How to get from the Airport or Amsterdam Central Station to the Cruise ships terminal
It is easy to travel from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA). PTA is where most seafaring cruise ships dock. Most river cruise ships also moor in the vicinity.
The terminal is located at Piet Heinkade 27, Amsterdam, just east of Central Station. [Map]
- From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- From Amsterdam Central Station
Your options to reach the cruise terminal:
Walk to the cruise pier (about 10 minutes, one-third of the way at a gentle incline)
- Tram 26
The tram stop is at the city side of the train station, at the far-eastern end. A tram arrives every 4-6 minutes. You need to obtain tickets from the driver (no cash!), or purchase day tickets ahead of time. That is a good idea especially if you plan to venture into the city after dropping off your luggage.
You travel just one stop (The stop is called ‘Muziekgebouw Bimhuis’)
If a 10-minute walk with luggage is not your thing (or you just don’t want to do it during a rain shower), take a taxi. The taxi rank is located at the IJ-side — the station entrance across from the River IJ — at the far-west exit. [map]
This short, 5 minute ride, can cost between €7,50 and €12,50.
Map to and from Cruise Ship Terminal
Book a Cruise
Possible Cruise Terminal Move
The Passenger Terminal Amsterdam may have to be moved to a new location in the near future. A final decision to that end will be made by the City Council at the end of 2018, but most observers believe that to be just a formality.
The new terminal will be located in the Port of Amsterdam — outside the city’s center. It would have to be operational by 2024.
There is a possibility that the current terminal will continue to operate, servicing small cruise ships only.
There are two reasons behind the proposed move:
- New Bridges
The borough of Amsterdam Noord, historically ‘cut off’ from the rest of the city by the River IJ, is growing by leaps and bounds.
There are three tunnels for cars and buses, and there is one multi-purpose bridge at the far east side of the river. Pedestrians and cyclists are ferried back and forth with free ferries operated by the Municipal Transport Company (GVB).
But since even more and larger ferries, sailing more often than before, cannot seem to keep up with the growing flow of traffic, the city has decided to build at least one bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. A second bridge will likely follow soon.
These bridges will make it difficult for all but the smallest of cruise ships to reach the cruise ship terminal at its current location. The reason for this is that the larger cruise ships must first make their way into the portion of the river called ‘Buiten IJ‘ (Outer IJ) in order to turn around. A bridge would prevent cruise ships from reaching that portion of the IJ.
Few Amsterdammers support the proposed bridges. The Port authority, the Federal Government, the Province of Noord Holland, and Rijkswaterstaat — part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment — all oppose the bridges as well. Most want the city to opt for tunnels instead.
But alas, wisdom and levelheadedness are two qualities that tend to be particularly scarce at Amsterdam city hall.
The city claims that the very location of the cruise terminal — right in the center of the city — contributes to overtourism. This despite the fact that the city center remains crowded with tourists during the months of November through March, when relatively few cruise ships arrive.
While Amsterdam is struggling to address the problems caused by overtourism, many people say that discouraging ‘high quality’ tourists such as cruise passengers is not the best approach.
That said, it is a fact that the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam has seen a lot more ships in recent years.
Whereas the PTA served 75 cruise ships in 2006, last year 153 moored at its quays. In 2018 the terminals expects to welcome 185 ships.1
The city council notes that most passengers will board tour buses, which the city wants to ban from the center of town.
But the council members’ suggestion that tourists will be more likely to bypass a visit to Amsterdam in favor of tourist attractions in the region is poppycock.
The Executive Board of Amsterdam points out that a new terminal in the Coenhaven will be able to handle 230 ships (700.000 passengers) a year. In addition, it will be able to accommodate mega ships — those longer than 360 meters.
From 2019 these ships will be able to pass the sea locks in IJmuiden, 25 km (14 nautical miles) away. The quay at the current PTA location cannot service these ships.
But members of the City Council have indicated that they do not intend to allow PTA to grow in the number of ships it handles. They say that growth can only be considered if and when it becomes clear that the new terminal location discourages passengers from visiting the city center. In our view, that is a foolish way to think and act. Politicians…
Hotels Near Passenger Terminal Amsterdam
Many cruise ship passengers spend a few days in Amsterdam before and/or after their cruise.
Since Amsterdam is so compact, basically any Hotel, Hostel, or Bed & Breakfast in the center of the city is a good choice. See our Amsterdam Hotel Guide for our suggestions, ranging from budget- to luxury hotels.
The highly rated Mövenpick Hotel, right next to the cruise ship terminal, is a popular choice. It offers spectacular views of the River IJ and the city center.
Take a look at these other options:
Cruise ships provide the city with income
Each cruise ship on average results in about a half million euro income for the city — in terms of what passengers spend, especially those who start or end their cruise in Amsterdam. Think about airport tax, hotel tax, and sales tax in shops and restaurants.
Also included in that amount is turnover tax paid by local businesses.
- Currently the Port of Amsterdam is also visited by 1900 river cruise ships and 39.000 inland cargo vessels a year. ↩
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