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More Cruise Lines Axe Calls to Amsterdam as a Result of the City's Tourist Tax

More Cruise Lines Axe Calls to Amsterdam as a Result of the City's Tourist Tax

More Cruise Lines Axe Calls to Amsterdam as a Result of the City's Tourist Tax

October 10, 2019

Kerry Spencer
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(4:10 p.m. GMT) -- P&O Cruises and Cunard are the latest cruise lines to axe calls to Amsterdam following the introduction of the city council's €8 per person per 24-hour tourist tax that came into force on January 1, 2019.

P&O Cruises operates popular mini cruises to Holland from the UK and plans to drop calls to Amsterdam from March 2019.

In a statement, the line said: "All P&O Cruises calls to Amsterdam will be replaced by calls to IJmuiden. Complimentary shuttle buses from IJmuiden into the centre of Amsterdam will be available for all guests. All guests will be advised in advance of their cruise.

"Ventura’s call to Amsterdam in September may instead be from Rotterdam but guests will be advised in advance. Also we have extended the hours in port so that guests can plenty of time in Amsterdam. For the overnight calls the buses will run throughout the night."

Cruise Critic member Lanky Lad has also posted to Cunard's forum that Amsterdam has been pulled from his October 4 sailing onboard Queen Elizabeth.

The Carnival Corporation-owned cruise lines join Cruise & Maritime Voyages and MSC Cruises who announced their plans to axe calls to Amsterdam in December 2018, following the introduction of the tourist tax.

MSC Cruises and CMV both replaced all future calls to Amsterdam with Rotterdam.

CLIA (Cruise Lines Industry Association), which represents the cruise sector, said in a statement that its members were "disappointed" at the move by Amsterdam.

"CLIA and its members are disappointed that the City of Amsterdam has introduced its day tourist tax which applies to all transit passengers (older than 3 years) and is charged per 24-hour period. 

"This means that cruise passengers visiting Amsterdam, who already pay a significant amount in port fees and other tariffs, will have to pay a further €8 per 24-hour period that they remain in the city, whilst other day tourists, who arrive in Amsterdam by train, bus or car, would not have to pay a day tourist tax and do not also pay port or other fees.

Transit cruise passengers represent only 1 percent of the total tourist traffic in Amsterdam and last year the City of Amsterdam received over 60 million euros in net revenues from the Port of Amsterdam as a result of cruise calls to the city in comparison the remaining 99 percent of the tourist traffic are expected to contribute via all tourist taxes, just short of 80 million euros in 2019. 

"It is self-evident that the contribution of cruise passengers is extremely disproportionate."

To put the financial impact of the new tourist tax into perspective, a ship the size of P&O Cruises' Ventura, which can carry up to 3,080 passengers, could incur fees of up to €24,640 for every 24 hours it spends in port.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises have all confirmed that they have no plans to axe calls to Amsterdam at this time.

Other cruise lines with calls in Amsterdam this year include Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Marella Cruises.

Cruise Critic has contacted all the lines with calls scheduled in Amsterdam and will continue to update this story if more information becomes available.

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