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Amsterdam takes action against river cruises

Amsterdam wants to ban half of the incoming river cruise ships. The number of ships allowed to dock in the city is to be halved within five years, the city announced.

It is another measure taken by the Dutch capital to combat mass tourism. The city estimates that around 270,000 fewer travellers will visit the city each year as a result.

Alarmingly, an increasing number of ships have arrived in recent years. In 2023, there were 2125 with around 500,000 passengers. From 2028, the city has set only a maximum of 1150 ships that will be allowed to dock.

Amsterdam is also optimistic that this initiative will help alleviate air pollution within the city. River cruises, due to the influx of tourists, overnight stays, bus trips, and deliveries, contribute significantly to congestion and exhaust emissions. A considerable number of passengers opt to spend the night in Amsterdam either before or after embarking on their cruise, further adding to the environmental impact.

Last year, the city made the decision to prohibit large, ocean-going cruise ships from accessing the city center. However, before implementing the ban, the terminal must be relocated to a site outside the city center.