Cruise

Large cruise ships banned from Venice

Venice is the latest city to say Arrivederci to giant cruise ships.

A new law, which will roll out over the next few months, will see the ships officially banned from entering the water in front of the famous St. Marks Square.

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The Italian Government handed down the ruling after continual complaints from residents that the ships sail too close to land, and dwarf the Gothic and Byzantine churches.

The new law will restrict ships weighing 100,000+ tonnes from coming into the bay, forcing companies to dock the ships at the industrial port of Marghera, some way away from the Grand Canal.

It follows a referendum in June where almost 99% of the 18,000 locals voted to ban the ships.

The Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said the ban was a huge win for Venetians, and applauded the ban for adhering to residential, tourism and conservationists’ requests.

“We want it to be clear to Unesco [the United Nations cultural agency] and the whole world that we have a solution,” Brugnaro said after the meeting of the governmental committee charged with saving Venice.

“This takes into account all the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely couldn’t afford to lose, and we can start to work seriously on planning cruises.”

While most are happy, some campaigners are still dissapointed with the outcome.

According to The Guardian, Tommasso Cacciari, from the No Grandi Navi (No Big Ships) protest group said, “The declaration means nothing.”

“They haven’t found a solution, there is no plan – basically, nothing will change. They say the largest ships will go to Marghera – but where will they put them?

“They say all of this will be done within four years, but even projects in Dubai do not get completed in that space of time.”

Cacciari also voiced concerns of the inevitable environmental damage, regardless of the port’s location.

“The pollution problem will still be there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Graziano Delrio said at a news conference in Rome that work still needs to be done on the new route, which will open within four years.

In 2013, ships weighing more than 96,000 tonnes were banned from the famous Giudecca Canal, with the number of small ships using the thoroughfare limited to five a day.

Legislation for smaller ships was then overturned in 2015.

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