Too many tourists? Amsterdam to move cruise terminal

Photo: Jvhertum via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jvhertum via Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam’s cruise ship terminal will have to move from its current location close to Amsterdam central station in the IJ, city alderman Kajsa Ollongren said on Thursday.

‘The pressure placed on the city by tourists is too great. We have to get a better grip on the situation and moving the PTA will be unavoidable,’ the Financieele Dagblad quoted her as saying.

Ollongren said there were various locations suitable for a new terminal. ‘It will be in a westerly direction, such as towards Zaanstad,’ she said.

PTA director René Kouwenberg said he was disappointed at the news. ‘Cruise ship visits are important for Amsterdam and the fact that the ships can come right into the city is one of the reasons it is so popular among passengers and cruise companies.’

Limited impact

Last year, 134 large cruise ships came to Amsterdam, up eight on 2014. The PTA was already looking into a possible second location to cope with future growth.

However, moving the PTA will only have a limited impact on tourist numbers, Kouwenberg said, adding that tourists will want to come to the city centre, however they arrive. ‘Cruise ship passengers account for just 2% of the city’s tourists, and half of them go to other places, such as Volendam,’ he said.

While the most important motive for moving the terminal was the impact of tourism, the debate about a permanent crossing over the IJ is also ongoing, Ollongren said. There is growing support for the building of a bridge over the waterway, which would make the cruise terminal inaccessible.

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