Amsterdam city councillors, who once called tourists “locusts”, are trying to ban cruise ships.

The city council approved a proposal to close the city’s 13-year-old cruise terminal.

But it won’t be happening any time soon. There have been talks on a curb on cruise ship numbers for seven years.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents cruise lines, said: “Cruise ships have not been banned from Amsterdam.

“Furthermore, the port and Passenger Terminal Amsterdam have already pledged to undertake investments worth millions of Euros in port infrastructure and shoreside electricity for the long-term.”

Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Hester van Buren says Amsterdam is investigating how to implement the proposal. It will hold discussions with the managers of the North Sea Canal and the Dutch government.

Amsterdam red light district closed to shore excursions

The Dutch city is the victim of its own success. It’s almost one million citizens have around 20 million visitors a year. Recently the city has become a battleground between local residents and hordes of tourists.

Its notorious red-light district, laws allowing the smoking of cannabis and lax alcohol lules have attracted youngsters out to party. The city recently launched an advertising campaign to deter them.

British “stag party” groups were singled out for the “stay away” campaign.

Amsterdam’s port is relatively new and right in the heart of the city. D66 party chairwoman Ilana Rooderkerk issued a statement saying ships in the the city do not fit into Amsterdam’s goal of reducing the number of tourists.”

Cruise lines pull out of major European port after new tax imposed on passengers
The city of Amsterda

CLIA’s response

CLIA said: “There have been discussions on its relocation outside the city centre which started back in 2016 and which are still ongoing.”

“We are working with the authorities to accommodate the views expressed by Council members while continuing to support the communities that benefit from cruise tourism. Of the more than 21 million visitors that Amsterdam receives each year, around 1% arrive by cruise ship, with cruise tourism contributing around 105 million Euros to the city annually.”

Amsterdam is also slashing flights at the city’s airport, with private jets and night flights halted.

Tourism numbers are staggering. More than 18 million overnight visitors are expected this year and by 2025 another 25 million day visits are expected.

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Cruise Passenger was in the city in May, and there were signs everywhere begging tourists to respect its citizens under the headline: “This is my home”.

Queues, however, were a common sight – particularly in Amsterdam’s famous shopping streets and popular restaurant venues.

Residents of the famous canal-side houses had signs on steps and windows exhorting tourists not to sit, stop or queue outside their homes.

Under a 2021 ordinance, the city’s council is “obliged to intervene” if numbers reach a certain level.

In its bid to “limit tourism and prevent nuisance,” Amsterdam also plans to restrict river cruises, convert hotels into offices and impose earlier closing times on bars and clubs.