Amsterdam cruise ship ban comes closer

2024-06-28T17:04:43+00:00 June 28th, 2024|Ports|

Amsterdam is to reduce the number of ocean going cruise ships by half in 2026 and aims to move terminal away from the city in 2035.

The City of Amsterdam has announced that will limit the number of seagoing cruise ships that moor at the Passengers Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) from 190 to a maximum of 100 per year from 2026 onwards.

The PTA will also immediately return to only utilising one cruise berth. Cruise ships will be also be required to use shore power by 2027.

The long term aim is to move the PTA from its current location on Veemkade, near the city centre, in 2035.

With these measures, the city is implementing the municipal council’s wish to cease operations at the cruise terminal in Amsterdam. Banning cruise ships is also part of a broad package of measures to limit the growth of tourism and combat nuisance, the city council said.

Amsterdam City Alderman Hester van Buren (Port), said: “The city council wants a liveable, clean and sustainable city. Sea cruise is a polluting form of tourism and contributes to crowds and emissions in the city.

“By limiting sea cruises, requiring shore power and aiming for the cruise terminal (PTA) to move from its current location in 2035, the council is responsibly implementing the council’s proposal to stop sea cruises.

“With these balanced steps, the council tries to meet what is reasonable and acceptable to all parties, within the agreements already made in the context of the North Sea Canal Area (NZKG) and Sprong over the IJ.”

Research agency, Berenschot has carried out an in-depth analysis on behalf of the City of Amsterdam in which the various interests were taken into account.

Discussions were held with many stakeholders from the industry, city, region and national government.

The council said that it was following the recommendations from Berenschot’s report.

Besides reducing the tourist crowds, this measure also has positive effects on the reduction of pollutants, such as particulate matter, nitrogen and sulphur oxides and CO2 emissions.

The use of shore power also ensures less noise pollution from berthed ships.

Sea cruising remained a particular polluting sector of tourism that uses non-sustainable energy sources, such as diesel oil and LNG, which are needed while sailing at sea, through the North Sea Canal and across the IJ into the terminal, the city said.

Discussions held with the council’s partners show that Rotterdam can take over 40 cruise ships that will no longer be allowed to dock in Amsterdam starting 2026.

However, the City acknowledged that these restrictions will reduce spending by cruise passengers and shipping companies in the city. For the city, this also means less income because less tourist tax will be collected, and because of a lower dividend payment as a shareholder of the Port Authority.

The financial consequences of this decision will be included in the next budget memorandum. No consequences of this decision are yet expected in the 2025 budget, the city said.

In consultation with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Port Authority and the province of North Holland, a financial and legal feasibility study will be carried out into the PTA’s possible relocation to the Coenhaven, the west of the city.

Based on this feasibility study, the council will decide in consultation with the Government, the Port Authority and the province of North Holland, whether its relocation is feasible by 2035.