Thousands of protesters have marched in Venice demanding cruise ships be kept out of the city’s lagoon.
The demonstration on Saturday followed a dramatic crash which occurred earlier this month that saw five people injured and bystanders run for cover, after a cruise ship collided with a smaller river boat in Venice’s Giudecca Canal.
Some marchers reportedly carried banners that read “Ships out of the lagoon” and “No big ships”.
Others took to the Venetian Lagoon in “rowboats” and other small vessels to push a years-long campaign to end cruise ship port calls, according to ABC News.
The demonstration follows renewed calls by Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and industry authorities to reroute large ships in Venice to other ports.
Italy’s Transport Minister, Danilo Toninelli, recently said the accident “proves that cruise ships shouldn’t be allowed to pass down the Giudecca anymore”.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has issued its support for renewed calls to reroute large vessels dropping anchor in Venice, with recommendations cruise ships use the Vittoria Emmanuele Canal.
CLIA chairman Adam Goldstein said: “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 … to utilise the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca.
“CLIA cruise lines welcome and will support the urgent implementation of this solution.”
A proposal to move large ships anchoring in the Guidecca to Vittorio Emanuele has been in the works for over a year.