Amsterdam is banning cruise ships to curb overtourism

The ban comes hot on the heels of the Dutch capital's 'stay away' campaign, which targets young British men

Charmaine Wong
Written by
Charmaine Wong
Contributor, Time Out Travel
A cruise ship in Amsterdam harbour
Photograph: NAN728 /

Overtourism has been a much-debated topic in the world of travel for a while now. Some travel hotspots are actively asking visitors to stay away, while certain European cities popular for boozy trips and stag parties are taking measures to clamp down on rowdy tourist behaviour.

Amsterdam, the Dutch capital known for its museums, coffeeshops and canals, is one of them. The city recently launched a ‘stay away’ campaign aimed at British men searching for stag dos and banned smoking cannabis on the streets of the red light district. And now, in the latest move to tackle overtourism, Amsterdam is set to ban cruise ships from the city centre.

Currently, cruise ships can dock close to the city centre at Cruise Port Amsterdam which is located smack in the middle of the Dutch capital and within walking distance of popular tourist destinations like Royal Palace, Anne Frank House and the red light district.

The influx of day-tripping visitors from cruise ships and the pollution caused by the vessels did not sit well with Amsterdam’s coalition of green and centrist parties, who cited ‘daily air pollution’ and ‘pressure on the quality of life’ as banning grounds. The coalition has stated that the cruise ships ‘are not in line with the sustainable ambitions’ of the city and disrupts the development plans of a new bridge that’s slated to connect the city’s historic southern district and the Noord district.

Will these bans deter tourists from overcrowding the Dutch capital? Who knows, but every little helps.

ICYMI: Has Dubrovnik actually banned wheelie suitcases?

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

You may also like
You may also like