Venice, Italy (PortSEurope) August 9, 2019 – Danilo Toninelli, the minister of infrastructure and transport, has said that starting now, the number of cruise ships passing by Giudecca and San Marco will be reduced, a move aimed at the largest vessels, which will be redirected to dock at Fusina and Lombardia terminals from next month.
The authorities aim is to reroute about one third of the cruise ships already booked into Venice towards new berths by 2020.
Local people have been complaining about the ships for many years.
The alleged damage caused by the cruise ships has long been an issue, and was highlighted in June when the 66,000-ton cruise ship, MSC Opera, crashed into a ferry and dock at San Basilio-Zattere in Venice’s Giudecca Canal.
Locals consider that the cruise ships are bringing too many tourists to the port, an UNESCO heritage site, which is damaging local businesses and ruining the character of the city. Environmentalists have long claimed that waves caused by the cruise ships have damaged the underwater supports of buildings and polluted Venice waters.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also slowly sinking, with cruise ships blamed for eroding the floating city’s foundations.
Toninelli said public consultation would be held to solve the problem of cruise ships in the longer term.
In February this year, the government identified the ports of Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia as potential facilities for the handling of large cruise ships, whose entry in the Venetian lagoon would be prohibited. The ports were included in a list prepared by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT) that was sent to the mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro and the AdSP president.
The government asked the relevant authorities to carry out feasibility studies on the projects in a period of 90 days. The three projects will be submitted to public consultation to proceed to the final decision, the transport ministry said.
UNESCO has approved the alternative Marghera solution for cruise ships in the Venice lagoon and has given the Italian government another year to implement the safeguard measures, recognising that the path taken is correct.
UNESCO has welcomed the solution of the cruises to Marghera arriving in Venice without passing in front of San Marco, a decision that makes the mayor Luigi Brugnaro and the governor Luca Zaia happy. “Having recognized our work, now there are no more alibis on ships,” Brugnaro said.
In April to October, an estimated 32,000 cruise ship passengers disembark in Venice daily, according to the Port Authority (Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Settentrionale (AdSP – Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority). In August, over 450,000 day trippers visit the city.
Last week, the president of Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Settentrionale (AdSP – Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority), Pino Musolino, contacted other European ports to call for action in tackling the growing criticism and negative effects of the growing cruise industry in the Mediterranean.
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