Amsterdam is Netherlands' capital and a major North Sea port (via IJmuiden), as well as Amstel (Rhine) river cruise port. Port's cruise schedule includes mainly ships with roundtrip UK and Baltic Sea itineraries. Amsterdam is also turnaround/homeport for river cruises - on Rhine, Moselle and the Dutch waterways.
Netherland's capital city has a population of around 845,000 (urban 1,35 million, metro 2,43 million) and covers an area of approx 166 km2 (64 mi2). Randstad Megalopolis (which besides Amsterdam also includes the located in South Netherlands Rotterdam and The Hague) has a population of around 7 million. Amsterdam City itself is one of the world's most visited tourist travel destinations, and one of Europe's art capitals. It has a unique history, large canal ring, world-famous museums, huge selection of guided city tours and shore excursions. The next photo shows the sea cruise port and its passenger terminal building.
Port Amsterdam (officially "Haven van Amsterdam") is a major seaport serving Amsterdam City. It is currently ranked Baltic Sea's 2nd largest cargo port (after Aarhus). The port is on a former bay and via Noordzeekanaal is connected to the North Sea.
In the 17th-century (during the so-called Dutch Golden Age), Amsterdam was one of the main seaports of the Dutch East India Company - world's first-ever multinational corporation (established 1602 AD). Today, it is Netherlands's 2nd largest cargo port - after Rotterdam. Port's 2014 statistics showed as handled marine shipping cargo ~97,4 million tons. For comparison, in 2008 the port handled 6029 marine vessels with 75,8 million tons of cargo and 435,129 TEUs (containers).
Annually, Port Amsterdam handles around 50,000 vessels (seagoing, river ships and barges). Port's total area is 6,2 km2 (2,4 ml2) waterways and plus 20 km2 (7,7 ml2) land areas (quays, roads, railways, green areas). The port comprises several harbors, which are also part of city boroughs (named Westpoort, Westerpark, Centrum, Zeeburg). The list of harbours (haven) includes Afrika, Amerika, West Harbour, Jan van Riebeeck, Petroleum, Coen, Mercurius, Hout, De Ruijter Quay (Ruijterkade), Eastern Trade Quay.
In 2017, Netherlands's positive economy led to a 2,5% increase in shipping volumes at Port Amsterdam - up to 81,3 million cargo tons. Together with other North Sea Canal ports, the total transshipment volume reached the record 100,8 million cargo tons. In Port IJmuiden the growth was 7% (up to 18,5 million tons). Port Beverwijk's increase was 6% (800,000 million tons). Port Zaanstad's increase was 35% (300,000 tons). Port's increase in Ro-Ro shipping was 11% (1,9 million tons). Imports rose by 4% (up to 50,9 million tons). Exports remained unchanged (30,4 million tons).
In 2017 were allocated 18 hectares of land (11 hectares in 2016). Land recipients were Bio Energy Netherlands (biomass power station generating from waste timber electricity and raw materials for the country's chemical industry) and Chaincraft (biotech company converting biomass into fatty acids). Borghese Real Estate and DHL (logistics) expanded at Atlaspark. Two new facilities were realized at HoogTij park (Gam BAKKER, Container terminal CTV Vrede Steinweg) where Port Amsterdam is a participant. The port also acquired 10 hectares of land on the North Sea Canal's northern side.
In November 2017, the port announced its objectives to achieve up to 50% emissions reduction (NOx, SOx, soot particles) generated by docked ocean cruise ships by the year 2030. Another planned objective was reducing to virtually zero the levels of noise and air pollution caused by diesel generators at all public berths (located inside the city's ring road) by 2018.
- To achieve these goals, into port's Infrastructure was made investments in innovative technologies, like LNG bunkering facilities and shore-side power supply.
- The EUR 10 million budgeted project was scheduled for completion by 2021.
- Port's new incentive program additionally promotes clean shipping and offers discounts on port dues for LNG-powered vessels.
In January 2018, Port Amsterdam signed with Titan LNG a long-term contract for the base (FlexFueler001, in America Harbour) of the company's bunkering pontoon. This was Europe's first such facility. Its central location in the harbour enables LNG transfers by both trucks and special vessels, making it independent from large-scale LNG terminals. America Harbour (draft 9,7 m) can handle both inland and ocean vessels alongside FlexFueler. The number of LNG-powered ships is rapidly growing (via drydock conversion and newbuilds) as this fuel is cost-effective, suitable for various vessel types and environmentally friendly. LNG completely removes SOx and soot particles, reduces NOx emissions (up to 85%) as well as CO2 emissions. In August 2018, the port started offering a doubled "ESI discount" (Environmental Ship Index) for ESI-certified and LNG-powered vessels.
In December 2018, Port Amsterdam conducted 4-week trials for MADS (Marine Anti Drone System). This program was for monitoring where and why drones (legal and illegal) fly over port's land areas. MADS detects and identifies flying drones within a 5 km (3 mi) range. The system provides GPS coordinates of both the device and its pilot, as well as drone’s speed and course. More and more seaports worldwide begin to use drones for various purposes, including infrastructure inspections and environmental measurements.
In mid-December 2018 started construction works on the Plastic Recycling Amsterdam project - a partnership with Umincorp (Rotterdam-based) and Milieu Service Nederland (Diemen-based). The new recycling plant has an annual capacity of 17,000 tons. The collected plastics are washed, shredded, separated (via Magnetic Density Separation), then sorted and processed into packaging materials.
For FY2018 (fiscal year), Havenbedrijf Amsterdam NV (port authority) reported a net profit of EUR 68,5 million (12,5% increase over 2017's EUR 60,9 million) and revenue increase 5% (EUR 157,4 million), primarily due to land allocations totaling 45,1 hectares (18 hectares in 2017) and harbor fees increase due to increased transshipment cargo volume (82,3 million tons / 81,3 million in 2017). Port's added value increased 4% (to EUR 7,2 billion), the employment - by 2% (to 68,399 port-related jobs), North Sea Canal Area transshipment cargo volume reached 101,8 million tons. Port's total number of ship calls increased 7% (to 17,952 / 16,813 in 2017). The port handled 180 cruise ship calls plus 2007 riverboat cruise calls. Port’s investments amounted to EUR 53,3 million (40% increase over 2017's EUR 31,9 million).
In March 2019, at Afrikahaven were inaugurated 4 new berths that serve inland liquid bulk carriers - blue cone-marked tankers shipping flammable materials. In the period November 2017 through February 2019, at Amsterdam's Afrikahaven port were constructed a total of 18 new berths (serving inland cargo ships with LOA lengths up to 135 m / 443 ft). The project also included adding 3 mooring quays (plus piles) and building a new concrete quay fitted with a drinking water supply station and a waste processing plant.
For FY2019, Port Amsterdam reported a record transshipment volume of 86,3 million tonnes (6% increase over 2018's 82,3 M tonnes). The transshipment growth was largely attributed to the 18% increase in energy products shipping (mainly coal and oil products), also dry bulk (+6%), TEU-containers (+12%), Ro-Ro shipping (+17%), chemical products (+3,4%), construction materials (+2,4%). Imports increased 5,7% (total 53,2 M tonnes). Exports increased 5,5% (33,6 M tonnes).
Amsterdam cruise port
Cruise lines that include Amsterdam in their ship schedules increase every year. The terminal handles over 250,000 passengers during high season.
One of Northern Europe's largest cruise ports, Amsterdam handles an average (ship calls) of 140+ ocean and 1500+ river cruises, The annual number of cruise tourists is around 700.000.
In September 2015, MSC Splendida became port's largest cruise vessel. The seaport has 2 cruise terminals - Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (serving ocean ships) and another terminal located after the locks in IJmuiden.
In 2017, the cruise port handled a total of 134 ship calls (125 in 2016) and 332,998 passengers (281,907 in 2016). At Port IJmuiden, cruise ship calls were 23 (32 in 2016). The total number of river cruise ship calls in 2017 was 1876. The number of river cruise passengers was 495,550.
In late-November 2018, MSC Cruises announced that all of the company's scheduled for 2019-2020 calls at Amsterdam were cancelled. The decision was due to the port's new tourist tax for visiting / transit passengers. The tax is EUR 8 pp per day (for port stays less than 24 hours) and EUR 16 (for overnight port stays / over 24 hours). MSC refused to recover the additional costs from its customers. In the revised MSC itineraries, Amsterdam was replaced with other Dutch cities, from where was offered (as optional) bus travel to Amsterdam. Following MSC, CMV (Cruise Maritime Voyages) also cancelled all its pre-booked visits for 2019-2020.
In 2018, Port Amsterdam handled 7525 sea-going vessels (including 180 cruises) and 41424 barges. These numbers for 2017 were, respectively, 7011 and 40012. In 2019, the cruise port received 117 seagoing ship calls (180 in 2018). The decrease was due to the new tourist tax (since January 1, 2018). In 2019 were received 294,000 cruisers (425,000 in 2018). The seagoing cruise vessels to IJmuiden were 62 (30 in 2018). Port Amsterdam handled 2282 river cruise ships (2007 in 2018).
Port Amsterdam new sealock (world's largest)
A new (world's largest) sealock is currently under construction at IJmuiden (North Sea Canal's entrance). The new facility will provide access to Port Amsterdam even to the world's largest cruise vessels.
The new sealock has a length of 500 m (1640 ft), width 70 m (230 ft) and depth/max draft 18 m (59 ft), ranking it the world’s largest. Construction works started in January 2016, with scheduled completion by the end of 2019. After the sealock's inauguration, Amsterdam port will be accessible (for all types of marine vessels) 24 hours a day.
The next YouTube video shows the sealock project's main highlights.
Sealock project's construction and maintenance costs are about EUR 500 million. In July 2018 was announced, that the planned sealock completion will be delayed by 27 months, now scheduled for the end of January 2022. The existing Noordersluis lock will continue to serve the traffic, but larger ships will not be able to dock at Port IJmuiden.
Amsterdam cruise terminal
Amsterdam cruise port terminal is located 15 minutes away from the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, right in the city heart. The central train station of Amsterdam is just in 10 minutes walking distance.
- Amsterdam cruise port terminal has a large reception, tourist information office, cafes, restaurants, luggage facility, and shops. There is a parking area which is underneath the Amsterdam cruise port terminal (Passenger Terminal Amsterdam).
- If you prefer, you can use a touring boat or public transport to reach the center of Amsterdam.
- Passenger Terminal Amsterdam has quays with a length of 600 m and 10.5 depth. If the weather is in normal condition, vessels up to 330 m will turn very easy in Amsterdam cruise port terminal.
- Available for the passengers is a pontoon for transfer to and from different kinds of touring boats.
- Parking (underneath the PTA / cruise terminal) is EUR 30 per day (subject to change).
At the moment you disembark here, you can enjoy great views of the city from the huge outdoor balcony of the terminal. The passengers can also use the 4-star Movenpick hotel facilities.
Amsterdam tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Exploring the canals: Amsterdam has at least 165. All are surrounded by typical houses and beautiful green trees. You can also see the typical 17th century Golden Age houses.
- The Rijksmuseum: exhibitions of famous Dutch Golden Age painters, one of the most popular places to visit. The “top” piece is “Night Watch” by Rembrandt. You will also see Jan Steen’s and Vermeer ‘s paintings.
- The Begijnhof: located in the heart of the old city. A lovely 14th-century place with beautiful houses and green gardens.
- Brown Cafes: or a typical Dutch pub. The name is given after the color of the interior – dark wood and stained by cigarette smoke walls.
- Anne Frank House: nearly a million tourists visit the Anne Frank House every year. The place is touching with the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, and her family. They were hiding in this house during the Nazi occupation.
- Vondelpark: the most popular park in Amsterdam.
- Oude Kerk: dates since 1250 AD, Amsterdam’s oldest church. The paradox is that it is located at the Red Light District center.
- Waterlooplein: located near the City Hall. A huge market, where you can buy anything but usual at a very good price.
- The Red Light District: real notorious highlight. You can see hundreds of young women, wearing only lingerie, behind a red-lit window.
- Coffee Shops: you can buy marihuana or hash for personal use in small quantities.
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