Amsterdam’s city council has taken action to limit the number of visitors and reduce pollution by banning cruise ships from the city center. This decision comes as the Dutch capital aims to align with its sustainable goals and tackle the issue of over-tourism.
As part of this measure, the central cruise terminal located on the River IJ, near Amsterdam’s main train station, will be closed. Cruise ships have been seen as a symbol of the problem of mass tourism, and the council’s decision to move them out of the center was supported by a large majority.
This move is just one of the steps taken by the council to address the issue. Previously, they had banned cannabis smoking on the streets of the red-light district and launched an online campaign discouraging young British men from holding their bachelor parties in Amsterdam.
With an annual influx of around 20 million visitors, Amsterdam has become a victim of its own popularity. The city’s appeal as a party destination has attracted many tourists, leading to overcrowding and environmental concerns.
The center-right party D66, which governs the city in collaboration with social democrats and environmentalists, stated that cruise ships’ pollution goes against the sustainable aspirations of Amsterdam. Additionally, the presence of these ships conflicts with plans for a new bridge between the historic southern district and the Noord district, an area currently undergoing development projects. By banning cruise ships from the city center, the council hopes to preserve the city’s heritage, environment, and overall quality of life for its residents.