The cruise industry increased in popularity among all ages, even though most passengers are within the older age group. In the Netherlands, both sea and river cruises saw a growth in passengers, before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put trips on hold. The full impact of COVID-19 on the industry is still unknows, but previous figures give an overview of the situation before the pandemic started.
Comparing Dutch cruise passenger volumes to other European countries, the Netherlands were ranked 8th in 2018. Passengers from Germany and the UK/Ireland account for the largest volume, with over 4.24 million travelers combined either embarking at domestic ports or flying to other countries to board. Looking at the European river cruise industry, the two main markets are the US/Canada and Germany. Collectively they represented most passengers’ onboard cruises on European rivers, whereas Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) counted just over one million river cruise passengers.
Whenever sea cruise passengers arrive or depart from the Netherlands, most of them dock at the Port of Amsterdam. However, in 2019 the capital city received approximately 120 cruises, which is a significant decrease compared to the previous year when there were 180 cruise calls registered. This decrease was the direct result of the implemented tourist tax for cruise passengers, initiated by the municipality of Amsterdam as of January 2019. To avoid such taxes, cruise companies did not dock in Amsterdam, but arrived at other harbors in the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam.
Besides the Netherlands, the so-called ABC islands located north of Venezuela are popular cruise destinations as well. All three islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, even though they remain outside of the European Union. Aruba and Curaçao are autonomous, while Bonaire is a special municipality of the Netherlands. As of 2018, Aruba received approximately 815 thousand cruise visitors, whereas Curaçao and Bonaire counted roughly 757 and 390 thousand passengers, respectively.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Cruise industry Netherlands".