Venice has finally decided to ban large cruise ships from entering the crowded Grand Canal through its city centre. The decision comes a few months after a cruise liner smashed into a riverboat and dock. Venice also asked other European cruise destinations to join in its effort to reports Travel Pulse.
Cruise ships will be gradually re-routed
The Italian government has announced that it will gradually begin to reroute ships away from the city centre starting next month. By next year, nearly one-third of the ships visiting Venice are expected to call at ports closer to the Italian mainland. However, it will still be inside the lagoon including the Fusina and Lombardia terminals.
Danilo Toninelli, Italy’s minister of transport explained that the ultimate goal was “to avoid witnessing more invasions of the Giudecca by these floating palaces, with the scandals and risks that they bring.”
He added, “starting now, we will decrease the number of liners passing by Giudecca and San Marco, particularly the bigger ones,” during the transport committee hearing. “The aim is to reroute about one-third of the cruise ships already booked on Venice towards new berths by 2020. We’ve been talking about big ships for 15 years and nothing has been done. These floating palaces will start to go elsewhere.”
The public will be consulted before selecting a new location
Officials will consult the public before selecting a new location for cruise ships to dock in the long-term future. Andy Harmer, CLIA’s U.K. and Ireland director discussed alternate solutions in a statement. “Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) cruise lines have been actively engaged in discussions for a considerable time about using the Vittoria Emanuele Canal as the preferred alternative solution,” he said.
He added, “The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Mayor of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Port Authority and many others to find viable solutions to allow larger cruise ships to access the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal. We are in agreement with the solution developed by Comitatone in 2017 to utilize the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca.”