One of the largest river cruise ports in Northwestern Europe, Amsterdam was named ‘Cruise Destination of the Year’ several times.
Amsterdam: the ultimate river cruise destination
A total of 2,007 river cruise ships called on Amsterdam in 2018, carrying a combined 406,949 passengers.
The Dutch capital remains a major attraction. Its berths are conveniently located near the historic city centre, world-class museums, and numerous local sights.
Amsterdam has a strategic location near Schiphol Airport. For that reason, Amsterdam also serves as the pick-up and drop-off point for the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal to Budapest, as well as for Black Sea cruises.
Day tourist tax for cruise passengers
The Municipality of Amsterdam charges a day tourist tax for TRANSIT sea and river cruise passengers who moor within the municipal boundaries of Amsterdam. For whom the day tourist tax has to be paid and how it works? Read more.
Free online reservation system
Amsterdam together with Zaanstad forms one river cruise area. You can book a berth in this region quickly and easily via the Easydock online reservation system.
What's more, you only need to make submit one statement and as a shipping company you will receive one invoice. With Easydock the planning is transparent and you are in control of your ships.
Do you use the shore power in Amsterdam? We're very happy about that. Not only is it better for the environment, you also help to prevent noise pollution. Read how you can easily connect the shore power.
The state-of-the art Passenger Terminal and the river cruise berths are located nearby all popular tourist sites in the Greater Amsterdam Area. The cruise facilities provide excellent accessibility. They are just 20 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and directly adjacent to Amsterdam Centraal Station, the city’s central railway station.
Any other essential passenger information regarding your arrival, transfer, facilities and options in the river cruise ports, is available on the Amsterdam Cruise Port website.
New relaxations will take effect for river cruise ships in the Port of Amsterdam with effect from 26 June. What exactly do these entail and what are the prospects for the future?
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.
Boat Bike Tours was one of the first shipping companies to restart operations on 19 June. The vessel De Amsterdam departed for its first bicycle cruise through western Netherlands. Director Jan Timmermans explains how it works and what measures Boat Bike Tours is taking to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable trip.
In these times of changing COVID-19 rules and relaxations, there is sometimes uncertainty about bookings, cancellations and the schedule. To avoid confusion, this article provides an overview of the most important arrangements and an update on the 2022 schedule.
River cruise newsletter
At least four times a year, we publish a River cruise newsletter. Below you'll find the most recent publications. Would you like to receive the newsletter by email? Then please sign up.
- Newsletter 1, January 2021
- Newsletter 19, October 2020
- Newsletter 18, September 2020
- Newsletter 17, August 2020
- Newsletter 16, July 2020
Frequently asked questions about river cruise
River cruise starting back up
Even though the shipping lines are keen to resume their operations, the number of vessels visiting Amsterdam will be significantly lower than previous years. The majority of the river cruise lines usually serve intercontinental guests, who for the time being cannot fly to Europe. Additionally, different countries have different measures in place, meaning it is difficult for the shipping lines to adhere to all of them.
This issue is independent of the river cruise. We foresee a resumption of seacruise operations not before August.
The vessels will be berthed at the usual locations in the port, such as the Rivercruise dockings at the Ruterkade. Because of the measures and the modest number of visiting vessels, we will initially use half of the jetties for berthing.
Shipping lines have to adhere to national guidelines to conduct business in a safe and responsible manner. We are responsible for the nautical part of the visit, including berthing and behaviour on the jetties. We have marked walking routes on the jetties and quays, have placed road signs and deployed stewards who will stimulate the guests to follow the guidelines.
We will evaluate each visit on what went well and what can be improved. Do we have to take extra measures, and if so, which ones?
The shipping lines have composed a protocol in collaboration with the EBU (European Barge Union). This protocol specifies the European guidelines for corona that each shipping line needs to follow and has been approved by the Dutch Government.
- Guideline for a Minimum Standard for the Resumption of River Cruises in Europe under COVID-19
- River cruises COVID-19 outbreak management guidelines
The Special Investigating Officers and the police are responsible for enforcing compliance.
There are different parties that are responsible for enforcing the rules.
As Port of Amsterdam, we are responsible for the nautical part of the visit, including berthing and behaviour on the jetties. Our port officers are mandated to enforce the nautical conditions.
Special Investigating Officers and the police are responsible for enforcing compliance to the Emergency Ordinance (maximum number of passengers, 1.5 meters of distance, etc.).
Additionally, we work closely together with the Municipal Health Services (GGD), which will be mobilised in case of an outbreak. The procedures concerning contagious diseases have been tested, tried, and validated.
The second lockdown was lifted per Saturday, the 5th of June. This means that river cruise vessels, with a maximum of 50 passengers in one space, can visit the port of Amsterdam again. We very much look forward to welcoming you back!
The lifting of the lockdown was announced by the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte on Friday, the 28th of May. Despite the easing of restrictions, a number of corona measures will remain in force.
When, despite all the measures taken, an outbreak of corona occurs on a vessel, the Municipal Health Services (GGD) will immediately be contacted. They will take the lead. The vessel will be transferred to a location in the western port area straight away, and the GGD will determine which steps need to be taken.
We do not know at this time. A few shipping lines have cancelled all their bookings till September 2021. A number of shipping lines will continue to monitor the situation, while others will resume their operations after July 1st. Even more important in this matter, what do the people want? Will there be an appetite for a river cruise trip? In any case, the guests will originate from our neighbouring countries. We expect intercontinental guests later this year. Therefore, the total number of river cruise vessels will be modest, a fraction of the roughly 2,000 vessels we have received in Amsterdam in 2019 and the preceding years.
National measures apply here as well: starting June 5th a maximum of 50 guests in one space is allowed. Of course the crew will also be on board. The size of the crew depends on the size of the vessel.