A majority of Amsterdam city councillors have voted in favour of closing the city’s cruise ship terminal, saying that polluting ocean-going ships are not compatible with the city’s green plans or efforts to cut back on tourism.
According to research bureau CE Delft, a single cruise ship that spends just one day in the dock emits the equivalent nitrogen-based pollution of 31,000 lorries going once around the capital’s A10 ring road.
In addition, the presence of the terminal east of the main railway stations, is making it difficult to build a new bridge over the IJ waterway to Amsterdam Noord, D66 councillor Ilana Rooderkerk, who drew up the motion, said.
In 2016, the city’s then-economic affairs chief Kasja Ollongren announced plans to move the terminal to the west of the port area, to free up space for the bridge.
The city expects almost 300,000 tourists to spend a day in Amsterdam this year as part of an ocean cruise, and a further 500,000 will visit via a river cruise.
Amsterdam’s finance chief Hester van Buren told the NRC that a decision on what to do about cruise ships will be taken “on the basis of research” and in discussion with other interest groups.
“I am not saying the terminal will never be closed or moved,” she said. “We believe a healthy living environment is very important, but this is not a decision that we can take on our own.”
The city has already imposed a limit of 190 on the number of big cruise ships using the port and there is an investigation underway into the impact of river cruises, she said.
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