Boost for tourism — cruise ships are finally returning to the Netherlands

The Dutch cruise ports in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Ijmuiden haven’t had a single passenger on their quays this year. However, that is set to change as all three terminals expect to welcome the first cruise ships and tourists again next month.  

The coronavirus crisis has thrown a massive curveball at the cruise industry over the past year and a half. Nu.nl reports that the first cruise ship was meant to arrive in the Netherlands on April 10 this year. That will now only happen on September 9.

According to Dick de Graaff from The Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA), “There were supposed to be 148 ships in 2021. Now it is looking like there will only be 15.”

The cruise port in Ijmuiden was supposed to receive a boat two weeks ago, “but that had to be cancelled because the number of infections in the Netherlands was so high”, a representative of the port, Alexander Coesel, tells Nu.nl.

A disastrous year for cruises

Bad weather caused the first ship of 2020 to be cancelled. Since then, all of the subsequent cruises have been “cancelled due to the coronavirus storm”, says Coesel.

Shipping companies normally set these routes years in advance, but nowadays, they are adapted quickly to fit the circumstances — you can’t plan anything these days. 🙄

A million euro per cruise

Cruise passengers give a great boost to tourism revenue. According to Nick Hoogeweij from Cruise Port Rotterdam, “the arrival of a ship usually quickly yields €1 million” — ka-ching!

Passengers are there for the full experience and aren’t afraid to drop a dollar or two, so they spend money ticking off all those bucket list items. “They spend money on museum visits, at restaurants, and on shopping.” Heineken Experience, anyone?

The Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) commissioned their own research into the revenue raised per cruise passenger. They found that when passengers only disembark for a day, they spend an average of €76 per person.

But when the cruise starts or ends in Amsterdam, that average soars up to €375 per person (you read that right), as passengers often also book a hotel.

Safety first — cruise passengers in bubbles

Shipping companies and Dutch cruise ports have drawn up strict protocols in line with GGD and RIVM guidelines to ensure that everything goes smoothly. The passengers will be in a kind of bubble to reduce the risk of infection.

Whether the ships do actually make a comeback will depend on how the coronavirus situation is looking at the time.

What are your thoughts on the return of cruise ships? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: fotolupa/Depositphotos

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.

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