Several media reports have come out recently about the city of Amsterdam banning cruise ship from the downtown area, but those reports are not entirely accurate.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has made a statement clarifying the reports and explaining ongoing discussions about port facilities, improvements, and the potential for relocation.
Several media reports in recent days have quoted local Council members in Amsterdam, Netherlands with respect to criticisms about cruise travelers and the prospect of banning cruise ships altogether. The Amsterdam City Council has voted to ban ships in an effort to curb pollution and manage tourism, calling cruise ship passengers “locusts” with hardly any benefit to the local economy.
It must be noted, however, that the vote is a recommendation only, and there is no impact at this time on scheduled cruise ship calls to Amsterdam.
CLIA has issued a statement reassuring travelers and cruise lines of the commitment of the port toward upgraded infrastructure and long-term power investment to continue welcoming cruise ships.
“We are aware of the media reports about the future of cruise in Amsterdam. As the port has publicly stated, cruise ships have not been banned from Amsterdam,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, the port and Passenger Terminal Amsterdam have already pledged to undertake investments worth millions of Euros in port infrastructure and shoreside electricity for the long-term.”
CLIA also notes that discussions about the possibility of relocating the cruise port outside the city center began in 2016, and those discussions remain ongoing with no immediate plans for drastic change.
The organization also provided data on the actual figures of cruise tourism and its contribution to the city of Amsterdam.
“Of the more than 21 million visitors that Amsterdam receives each year, around 1% arrive by cruise ship, with cruise tourism contributing around 105 million Euros to the city annually,” CLIA said.
Cruise Port Amsterdam has also responded to the inaccurate reports, noting that it is “business as usual” for cruise ships visiting Amsterdam at this time.
“On July 20, the coalition parties of Amsterdam city council called for a ban on ocean-going cruiseships docking at the current location in the city centre. The council has appealed to the College of Mayor and Aldermen who have yet to respond,” the cruise port said. “The current situation has no influence on the already booked calls at our port.”
Cruise Port Amsterdam also notes that there is no policy proposal yet made impacting cruise ship calls, nor is there any timeline mentioned for such drastic changes. While it is possible that a new port location is being investigated, but the port has no information about that option at this time.
Any changes or relocation efforts would likely take years to implement, possibly in a multi-phased approach or with only limited impact in the initial stages.
The capital of the Netherlands is a popular cruise ship destination visited year-round by both river and oceangoing vessels. Popular cruise lines that include regular visits to Amsterdam on itineraries include Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Costa Cruises, and more.
Amsterdam is a popular port of call on northern European itineraries, or specialized cruises visiting multiple European capital cities. It is also often part of Scandinavian, Nordic, and Baltic Sea itineraries, as it provides a convenient port of call en route to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or Finland.