Amsterdam to halve number of river cruise calls

By Kelly Ranson
24/04/2024
Home » Amsterdam to halve number of river cruise calls

Amsterdam City Council has announced it will cut the number of river cruises operating in the city in half by 2028 in a bid to combat overtourism.

The council says it will reduce the number of river vessels in the Dutch capital’s waterways to a maximum of 1,150.

In recent years river cruise visits to Amsterdam have increased – in 2011 there were just over 1,300 calls, and in 2023 the figure stood at 2,125 calls.

Amsterdam City Council said it would work with the Port Authority and Cruiseport Amsterdam to reduce the calls.

In a statement, it said: “Amsterdam must be and remain liveable, for residents and visitors. That is why we take measures to combat overtourism. We want to halve the number of river cruise ships in the city within five years to a maximum of 1,150 in 2028. Fewer river cruises means less crowds and more quality of life.”

The peak season for cruise calls in Amsterdam is typically in April and May, largely due to the tulip season, when guests dock in the city, then depart for Keukenhof, which is about 25 miles away.

Cruise Hive reports around 380,00 tourists head to the city to join a Rhine cruise and book a pre- or post- cruise stay. It said the new limit would reduce tourism numbers to around 217,000, and claimed €63 million in revenue could be lost.

It cited Luxury Hotels of Amsterdam, a partnership of 25 hotels as saying: “These visitors, who often use our hotels for pre- and post-visits, are known as valued guests who do not cause any nuisance, but rather contribute to the city’s cultural heritage.”

Amsterdam council insisted river cruises remain part of the Amsterdam visitor economy but the city will focus on the most sustainable ships that have a connection for green shore power.

“We think it is important that Amsterdam remains a pleasant place for everyone. This sometimes involves difficult choices, but that is necessary for a clean, sustainable and liveable city,” the statement added.

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