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Cruise industry Netherlands - statistics & facts

Home to one of the largest ports in Europe and seen as one of the main routes to the European continent, it comes as no surprise that the cruise industry in Netherlands is big business. However, in 2020 and 2021, the cruise market was no exception to also being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which hit the entire tourism sector. The resulting economic slowdown was directly reflected in the revenue figures of the Dutch cruise segment, with a significant decline of over 70 million euros between 2019 and 2020. While the figures did not progress much in 2021, a better recovery is expected in 2022, with a predicted revenue of around 70 million euros for the Dutch cruise segment.

Impact of the COVID-19 on the Dutch cruise market

Travel restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) drastically reduced tourist movements all over the world. In the Dutch cruise market, these measures were reflected in the very low number of Dutch cruise passengers, at under 20,000 in 2020. Like a chain reaction, the revenue change in cruise bookings in the Netherlands dropped by approximately 75 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Looking at the activity in Dutch ports, those welcoming cruise ships also experienced a decrease in the number of cruise stops during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Port of Amsterdam – one of the largest ports in Europe and the second-largest in the Netherlands after Rotterdam – reported barely 130 sea and river cruise arrivals combined in 2020, a decline of over 90 percent compared to 2019.

Who are Dutch cruise passengers?

In 2019 and 2020, the Netherlands was among the top ten major European source markets based on cruise passenger volume. Although the age of cruise passengers has tended to decrease in recent years, the Dutch cruise market remained mainly represented by passengers aged 50 and over in 2020. According to the Statista Consumer Market Outlook, more than half of users in the cruise segment in the Netherlands had a high income in 2021. Furthermore, the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda were the most popular cruise destinations for Dutch passengers in 2020, who generally spent around ten days on a cruise.


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