The neverending theme: Venice and the cruise ships

The neverending theme: Venice and the cruise ships


March 27, 2021 - For what seems like forever, there has been a dispute in Venice about the access of the cruise ships to the Stazione Marittima. Environmental activists are demanding that cruise ships no longer pass through the Giudecca Canal and past St. Mark's Square. The operating company of the cruise terminal and its employees have a fundamentally different view of the subject.

On August 9, 2019 we wrote in the article "Cruise ships in Venice - the old story":" For years, cruise ships have been seen as a nuisance in the lagoon city of Venice. ... Cruise ships should be kept out of the historic city center as quickly as possible. Cruise regulations have been in place since 2013/2014. Apparently without success ". 

We thought the subject was ticked off and filed away. We are all the more astonished that the Ministry for Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility spoke up in Rome on March 25, 2021. Under the heading "Venice: The Ministers Agree on the Temporary Docking of Large Ships in Marghera" we read about the decision of a ministerial round about the access of large cruise ships in Venice.

Eurodam in the Giudecca Canal

Eurodam in the Giudecca Canal


The decision states that the four ministers for ecological change, for culture, for tourism as well as for sustainable infrastructures and mobility have decided to temporarily stop the traffic of large ships Venice divert to Marghera's industrial port near Mestre. Purpose of the measure: A historical and cultural heritage not only of Italy, but of the whole world is to be protected. The heads of the authorities also decided to start an ideas competition. The aim of the competition is to keep landings out of Venice's lagoon and to solve the problem of the transit of large ships in Venice in a structural and definitive way.

Venice's attractions - St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

Venice's attractions - St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace


It is amazing that this topic will still be discussed in 2021. Since November 2013 it has been stipulated that cruise ships of more than 96.000 GT no longer pass the Canale della Giudecca in front of St. Mark's Square. Since then, a maximum of five medium-sized cruise ships have been allowed to pass the Giudecca Canal every day. New berths in the suburb of Marghera would have to be developed. The measures were intended to protect the foundations of the city from the impact of waves and to reduce environmental pollution. Already in 2013 it was said that an alternative route for cruise ships was being worked on. At least two years were planned for the process of finding new approaches. It has been more than seven years and it looks like little has happened.

Venice - Grand Canal

Venice - Grand Canal


Nothing has changed in our conclusion of August 9th. At that time we wrote: “Up to now we believed that cities would have a regulating effect on cruise lines through their subordinate port administrations. When cruise ships take over and prove to be a burden on a city, the number of calls is reduced. It can't be that difficult! Where is Venice's problem? ”Nothing has changed in this assessment. How good that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting shipping traffic in Venice at a standstill. But what about after the pandemic?

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