This is what the new port strategy means for river cruising

The new 2021-2025 strategy states - amongst other things - that Port of Amsterdam will focus on making tourism more sustainable and promote clean shipping. This is being done with initiatives including new shore power facilities, the Green Award requirement and optimal spread throughout the region.

Monic van der Heyden, Commercial Manager Cruise, explains the policy for river cruising. 

New shore power facilities 

New shore power facilities have recently been installed in order to make tourism more sustainable. Monic says: "Because of the lockdown, we were able to do that more quickly. All berths have been provided with new shore power points. These run on green electricity, so that the river cruise vessels can use renewable energy in future." 

Green Award requirement 

The Green Award requirement has been created in order to encourage clean shipping. This means that only river cruise vessels with this sustainability award are allowed to moor in the centre of Amsterdam, and otherwise only outside it. "The original plan was for this to take effect on 1 January 2022," explains Monic. "But due to Covid-19, the inspections could not take place and not all shipping companies had the opportunity to make modifications in time. We have therefore recently decided to postpone the introduction of the Green Award requirement until 1 January 2023." More information about the application and certification process can be found on the Green Award website. 

Optimal spread through the region 

Another aspect of the new strategy is the optimal spread of river cruising throughout the region. At the moment this is effectively happening of its own accord. Monic says: "We wanted to encourage this with policy, but as a result of the pandemic there is not really any need. Because of Covid, shipping companies are discovering other routes through the Netherlands for themselves, so I expect the spread to happen of its own accord over the coming years. We think this is a permanent development."