Amsterdam’s city council has approved a proposal banning “polluting” cruise ships as part of the city’s latest move to clamp down on overtourism.
A spokesperson for Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Hester van Buren, who has responsibility for the city’s port, told CNN that the council approved a proposal on Thursday to close the city’s cruise ship terminal.
The center-left party D66, which sits on the council, said in a statement Thursday that the proposal was “adopted with a clear majority.”
The municipality of Amsterdam will now investigate how to implement the proposal, according to van Buren’s spokesperson. This will include discussions with the managers of the North Sea Canal, the councils of other cities on the canal and the Dutch government.
D66 party chairwoman Ilana Rooderkerk emphasized in the statement that “polluting cruise ships do not fit with the sustainable ambitions” of Amsterdam.
“Cruise ships in the heart of the city do not fit into Amsterdam’s goal of reducing the number of tourists,” Rooderkerk added.
Amsterdam is expected to receive more than 18 million overnight visitors this year. By 2025, that number could reach 23 million, in addition to another 24 million to 25 million day visits. Under a 2021 ordinance called “Amsterdam Tourism in Balance,” when the number of overnight visitors reaches 18 million, the council is “obliged to intervene.”
Earlier this year, the city launched a campaign revamping its approach to tourism, notably including tactics designed specifically to discourage British tourists on stag parties.
The online “Stay Away” campaign aimed to deter young British men planning to visit Amsterdam to cut loose and “go wild,” warning visitors between the ages of 18 and 35 of the consequences of of drinking too much, taking drugs or behaving antisocially.
Amsterdam also announced this year that it would ban the use of marijuana on the street and take new steps to discourage alcohol in its red light district, the traditional center of the city’s legal sex trade.
This followed an announcement from the city in 2019 that it would end tours of the red light district, citing concerns about sex workers being treated as a tourist attraction.
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.
However, it’s unlikely the city center will become a cruise free zone anytime soon, the deputy mayor’s spokesperson told CNN, admitting the proposal will “take some time” to implement.
CNN’s Blane Bachelor contributed reporting.