Cruise Liners Banned from Amsterdam City Center in Bid for Sustainable Tourism
The Amsterdam City Council has prohibited cruise liners from entering the city center as the Dutch capital seeks to limit tourist numbers and reduce the pollution caused by these ships. According to BBC, politicians stated that cruise liners do not align with the city's pursuit of sustainable development.
This move will result in the closure of the central cruise terminal on the River IJ, near Amsterdam's main railway station. The measure aims to curtail mass tourism in the city, which attracts around 20 million tourists annually. Additionally, over 100 vessels dock at the capital each year, contributing to environmental damage and placing extra strain on the city's infrastructure. A study conducted in 2021 on a large cruise liner revealed that it emits as much nitrogen oxides (NOx) in a single day as 30,000 trucks.
Furthermore, the passage of cruise ships clashes with plans to construct a new bridge between the historic southern district and the Nord district, which is the center of recent urban development projects.
"Cruise liners in the city center do not fit Amsterdam's objective of reducing tourist numbers," said Ilana Ruderkerk of the D66 liberal party. Recently, Ilana Ruderkerk compared cruise tourists to a "locust invasion" that suddenly engulfed the city.
Other Amsterdam officials were displeased with such an expression. However, Mayor Femke Halsema complained last year that cruise ship tourists are only released for a few hours, during which they have time only to eat but not to visit museums, thus burdening the city without generating significant revenue.
The Amsterdam City Council is also attempting to mitigate the influx of tourists by banning cannabis smoking in the red-light district streets. In March, the city launched an online campaign urging young British tourists, who often visit the capital to legally smoke marijuana and explore the sex districts due to its reputation as Europe's most liberal city, to stay away. This behavior has offended locals, prompting authorities to take action.
In a similar vein, Italy prohibited tourist access to one of Europe's most beautiful beaches, Spiaggia Rosa, located in Sardinia. The ban is imposed due to excessive tourism, particularly tourists who steal sand from Spiaggia Rosa to take home with them. While a step on the beach will cost you €500, those caught with sand in their pockets now face an even higher fine of €3,500.