Another step towards limiting tourism in the city, Amsterdam approved a ban on cruise ships, according to CNN. The ban follows an increase in post-pandemic tourism and pollution, which doesn’t align with the city’s sustainability goals. 

Since 2021, Amsterdam city council members have toiled to change the image of the Netherlands capital. The city has already taken measures to reduce the party image it has gained over the years. Cannabis smoking is now prohibited in public in the inner city between 4 pm and 1 am from Thursday to Sunday.

The city has also restricted VRU rentals from occupying certain districts and even considered banning tourists from cannabis cafes. According to the International Business Times UK, the cruise ship ban is a response to a growing tourist problem.  

Too Many Tourists

Although Amsterdam ranks as one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, the city is annoyed with incoming tourists. According to IBT, the city attracts nearly 20 million visitors each year. The city council estimates that by 2025 the number of tourists will increase to 23 million. The new ordinances and changes are an attempt to halt tourist growth. 

Ilana Rooderkerk, chairwoman for the D66 political party, described incoming tourists as a “plague of locusts,” according to IBT. Rooderkerk told CNN that the cruise ships consistently flood the city with unwanted tourists. 

“Cruise ships in the heart of the city do not fit into Amsterdam’s goal of reducing the number of tourists,” Rooderkerk said.

Under the ban, Netherlands government officials hope to also get a grasp on the high pollution rate in Amsterdam. According to a 2021 study, one large cruise ship generates the same amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in 24 hours as 30,000 trucks. With more than 100 ships mooring in Amsterdam each year, the government is cracking down to decrease air pollution. 

Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Hester van Buren confirmed the proposal for the cruise ship ban’s approval by the city council, according to IBT. However, Dick de Graaff, the director of Cruise Port Amsterdam which operates the terminal in the city center, said the ship terminal will relocate and not close down. 

“There is no immediate closing of the terminal. The council’s call is to relocate the terminal – and we await a follow-up from the alderman on investigations,” De Graaf said.

The cruise ship ban comes just a few months after Amsterdam launched its online “Stay Away” campaign. The campaign discourages young British men from visiting the city for bachelor party celebrations.