Disembarkation Denied for Amsterdam!

I am booked on the Zuiderdam on April 22 for the transatlantic repositioning cruise that ends in Copenhagen.     

I requested that we be able to disembark the ship in Amsterdam two days early and was surprised to learn that the request for disembarking at that port has been "waitlisted". With this request being made seven weeks prior to sailing, I was shocked to learn that there even was a limit on the number of disembarkations. We have air travel booked from Amsterdam to Milan on May 8 and have made vacation plans to spend two weeks in Italy. The thought that we might not be able to disembark in Amsterdam absolutely never crossed my mind. 


We have over 300 days of cruising over the last 17 years and I have never heard of such an allocation! A Customer Service agent at Holland America told me that the number of disembarkations is determined by the local port authorities and that HAL has no control over that number.  She explained that the port authorities set aside  a certain amount of time to do the disembarkations and therefore limit the number. In my opinion, the agents should be present for as long as it takes to process ALL PASSENGERS who wish to disembark the port! I would expect that Holland America might put forth more effort try to resolve this unfortunate situation on our behalf but, so far, I  have not heard back from their "Ombudsman". We have been approved to disembark in the Zeebrugge on May 7 in case Amsterdam simply will not allow us to disembark at their port. This means we will have to miss one additional day of our cruise and find a hotel for the night as well as take the train to Amsterdam all because the port authorities can't be troubled to process two additional disembarkations!  This is seems absolutely outrageous to me! Has anyone had a similar experience and what was the outcome?


3 Answers

I found this in the Holland America Cruise Contract, and the last part of it explains a little about early debarkation.


Unauthorized stopover or disembarkation or failure to make any sailing of the Ship at any port shall be at Your sole risk and expense, You may be denied subsequent boarding, and You will not be entitled to any refund, payment, compensation or credit of any kind. If You plan to disembark the vessel and/or to off load packages, boxes or baggage before Your authorized port of call, You must advise the Front Office no later than the day before arrival in that port to arrange an inspection of You and/or Your belongings by local customs authorities. Should You fail to comply with this requirement and You and/or Your belongings are not presented for inspection, You may be assessed monetary penalties by local authorities. Furthermore, You agree to assume and/or reimburse Carrier for any expenses or fines that may be incurred as a result of such noncompliance. You acknowledge that for round trip cruises commencing in a country that stop in other ports of that country, You may visit but may not permanently disembark in any port in that country other than the port of embarkation. If You do disembark in a different port in that country, a fine or penalty may be imposed by that country’s government. In consideration of the fare paid, You hereby agree to pay any such fine or penalty imposed because of your failure to complete the entire Cruise.

We had a similar thread a month or two back. Exact same description and probably on the same cruise. I believe the person contacted the port authorities directly and was granted permission. This has nothing to do with the cruise line. This is totally outside of their control. This is a matter with the port authority and the local government.

Sorry to read about your problem. I hope that it can get worked out for you.


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