|Seabourn Spirit Docked in Venice, Italy|
UNESCO has called on the Italian government to restrict access of large cruise ships to culturally and ecologically important areas, particularly Venice and its Lagoon which are visited by some 300 large cruise ships a year.
|Arriving in Venice on Star Princess |
Docked Next to RCCL Voyager of the Seas
|Venice Canals from Star Princess Deck|
Those that follow our blog on a regular basis know that we were on Star Princess last May/June for a 12 Night Greek Isles & Mediterranean Cruise - Rome to Venice. Our captain urged us to be up on the outside decks before 7 AM to see the ship entering into Venice harbor. It was an amazing sight - seeing Venice from a different perspective.
What Does the Future Hold
UNESCO's plea is not a new one, but it seems to have some new life as Italy's environment minister, Corrado Clini, appeared to take up the cause Tuesday.
"The aim is to free St. Mark's basin from the big ships once new canals have been dug," Clini was quoted by the Italian news agency ANSA as saying during a public appearance in northern Italy.
But Clini added that "in the meantime, it will be up to the port authority and to the city to decide which (sea) traffic is sustainable and compatible" with Venice's particular situation."
Venice officials have said that since tug boats guide the big cruise ships through the part of the lagoon weaving through the city, the risk of accidents is virtually eliminated.