Friday, July 20, 2012

Future of Cruise Ships in Venice

Will Cruise Ships Be Banned From Venice?

Earlier this year we wrote about the concerns raised by UNESCO about cruise ships impact on the World Heritage Site of Venice.  Following the Costa Concordia disaster, the organization called on the Italian government to impose restrictions on large cruise ships in Venice.   See Concordia Disaster Rekindles Venice Restrictions for details.

The picture above was taken by us during a recent Mediterranean voyage which ended in Venice.  You can see the balcony railing on the left which gives a perspective of how close the ship passed the heart of Venice.   We were just about to pass St. Mark's Square as this image was captured.


The state of the lagoon is a deep cause of concern. "The wash churned up by the ships is hollowing out the seabed and gradually turning the lagoon into an inlet of the Adriatic," warns Angelo Marzollo, the author of a UNESCO report. "The erosion is particularly bad in the southern part." 


Earlier this week, news surfaced about a law that was under review by the Italian Parliament which would give the city council powers over the city and surrounding waters.  This bill, under review of an environmental committee, was developed to safeguard Venice and the lagoon. 

Those in support of the legislation would call for ships over 30,000 tons to be required to moor outside the lagoon.  Unfortunately, there currently isn't an alternative solution to docking at the cruise terminal at the end of the Grand Canal, so nothing has been changed to date.


More than 600 people -- porters, mooring, security, hospitality and tourism operators gathered at the Venice passenger terminal to support the cruise industry.  Venice relies heavily on tourism and the supporters rallied to call attention to the more than 3,000 jobs made possible by the cruise ship industry.

There are those that say cruise passengers spend little money in Venice during their stays, so they question the value of the passengers to their economy.  

One thing is for certain, something needs to be done to protect Venice for generations to come and also safeguard the workers whose livelihood depends on tourism.   We will continue to watch this story as it develops.

Meanwhile we suggest you plan a cruise to Venice as soon as you can before changes are made that prevent you from having the experience of sailing into Venice.   It is an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life.   Seeing the canals from the ship is truly a unique perspective.

For more information on our Mediterranean adventure see:

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