Amsterdam to Slash Cruise Stops in Half to Fight Mass Tourism

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The Dutch capital’s cruise stop cap and eventual relocation of its main terminal are part of an active approach toward combatting overtourism.

Amsterdam plans to start cutting the number of ships that can stop at its main port terminal over the coming years, its municipal government said Wednesday.

  • Starting in 2026, the number of sea cruises that can stop at the Passengers Terminal Amsterdam will be set at 100, down from 190 today.
  • Within a decade, cruise ships won’t be able to stop at the main terminal.
  • By 2035, the main terminal for cruise stops will be outside the city.

All cruise ships will be required to use shore power by 2027. This means ships will have to get their electrical power from the shore while docked at the port, cutting the use of onboard diesel engines — a contributor to carbon emissions.

“By limiting sea cruises, requiring shore power, and aiming for the cruise terminal to move from its current location in 2035, the council is responsibly implementing the proposal to stop sea cruises,” said Hester van Buren, an alderman for the municipal government.

In addition to pollution, the cruise industry has been known to contribute to overcrowding. In Venice, the government has limited the number of cruise ships at its industrial port and is building a smaller terminal outside the city center, said Simone Venturini, deputy mayor for tourism.

The cruise cap is the latest policy by Amsterdam to combat overtourism. In April, the city banned the construction of new hotels. Earlier this year, it launched a new campaign to discourage nuisance party tourists from visiting the city’s Red Light District.

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