Thursday, August 1, 2013
Carnvial in Middle of Venice Controversy
Too Close to Shore?
According to reports in the Italian press, an alleged incident involving Carnival Sunshine has triggered cries from Andrea Marcucci, head of Italy's Senate committee on art and culture, to ban cruise ships from sailing in the Venice lagoon.
This is not a new controversy. We reported news about this shortly after the Costa Concordia shipwreck in our article Concordia Disaster Rekindles Venice Restrictions. Even before then, there had been concerns raised about the harm done by cruise ships in Venice.
British tabloids "The Telegraph" and "The Daily Mail" broke the news citing information contained in the Italian news agency ANSA's article from July 29th. Carnival Cruise Lines, The Italian Coast Guard and others contend that the alleged "sail by" did not occur.
The interesting thing is that cruise line captains are not under the control of their vessels when they enter the Venice lagoon. A pilot boards the vessel and takes control. So, even if the news were true, it would not be the fault of the captain, but rather that of the pilot who should know the waters.
In addition, the ship is guided by two tugs, one in front and one in the rear of the ship. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that all these local operators would steer the vessel too close to port.
Sailing into Venice in the early morning is a magnificent event. It would be a shame if some hidden agendas prevented ships from seeing this perspective of Venice.
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