Amsterdam to begin cruise ship limits in 2026 and eliminate city dock by 2035

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has reached an agreement on measures to begin limiting the number of cruise ship calls at the port from 2026. It is part of a larger plan to eventually remove the cruise terminal from the city and manage its arrival. Tourists inside the city.

After first being proposed by local leaders in 2016, efforts to reduce the number of ships in Amsterdam began gaining momentum nearly a year ago. A popular tourist destination, the city of canals complained of noise, air pollution and congestion. The number of tourists has increased in recent years. According to the recently dissolved Amsterdam Cruise Port Foundation, the city receives 150 cruise calls each year and handles 300,000 passengers. Municipal council current rules allow 190 sea voyage calls annually. The port serves both ocean going vessels and river shipping industry.

The municipal council reports that immediately Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) is limited to one berth per day. A schedule published on their terminals site shows that 111 cruises are currently scheduled for port calls in 2024, but from 2026 the new limit will be a maximum of 100 calls per year. They also require all cruise ships calling at the port to use shore power by 2027. In April, they also voted to halve the number of river cruise ships calling Amsterdam.

„With these measures, the city is implementing the municipal council’s desire to end the cruise terminal in Amsterdam. The ban on cruise ships is part of a wider range of measures to curb tourism growth and prevent nuisance,” they announce the new steps.

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They examined it after it came to the fore in July 2024 and said Rotterdam could take up to 40 cruises that would no longer be allowed to go through Amsterdam. Some cruise lines already call in Rotterdam and offer bus trips to Amsterdam.

City officials acknowledge that the restriction will reduce costs for cruise passengers and cruise lines in the city, citing declines in museums, dining, shops and excursions. For the city, they note, this means less revenue because less tourism tax is collected, and a loss of revenue for the Port Authority. They are studying the financial consequences of reporting that it will be included in the next budget, while at the same time implying lower fuel consumption and air pollution.

In consultation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Port Authority and the Province of Noord-Holland, they are also starting a financial and legal feasibility study on the relocation of the PTA to Coenhaven. They are exploring the feasibility of the municipal government’s ambitious target of removing the PTA from its current location at Veemkade by 2035.

Some cruise ships have already adjusted schedules, while others use berths in Coenhaven, an industrial area west of the city center. However, commuters complain that the city is less accessible and has been forced to provide buses from Coenhaven into the city centre.

Amsterdam joins other major cities, including Barcelona, ​​which have moved to relocate cruise ships from the city centre. Juneau, Alaska, reached the state’s first voluntary agreement this year to limit the number of daily cruise passengers after imposing a limit on the number of cruise ships that call into port each day.

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