After years of tireless campaigning and countless protests, the Italian government has announced that it will start limiting the number of cruise liners that will be allowed to dock in Venice. Starting in January of 2014 the government has stated that cruise line numbers will be cut by around 20%.
Protesters have been campaigning for many years as there are a number of reasons why cruise ships sailing into Venice, through the main lagoon is detrimental to the city. It is thought that although cruise ships traverse the lagoon incredibly slowly, almost inching along, they still cause an incredible amount of damage to this fragile city.
Venice is a city that is already known to be sinking and cruise ships put even more strain on the delicate foundations. It is already well-known that Venice won’t be around forever, as it is slowly dissipating and slipping into the waters that surround the city.
SO SAD THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE THIS CITY
It’s terrible to think that a city as beautiful as this won’t be around for future generations to see and if banning or reducing the number of cruise ships will preserve it for longer then I absolutely think everything possible should be done to make it happen.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced plans to open up a new canal route into Venice which would allow cruise ships to continue to visit this wonderful city, but to enter by a completely different route thereby completely cutting the damage to the foundations of the city.
From November 2014 cruise ships which are larger than 96,000 tonnes will be banned from entering the city via the lagoon. There are modern cruise ships which now gross more than 200,000 tonnes and can carry more than 6,000 passengers and 5,000 crew members.
People from the groups who have been protesting have commented in the press that this is a good first step in their fight to ban cruise ships from Venice, but that it is simply a first step and their campaign to ban ships completely will go on.
Watch the Video below to see How Big a Cruise Ship looks in Venice
Campaigners argue that as well as damaging the foundations of the city, cruise ships bring unsustainable numbers of people to the city. They argue that having cruise ships bringing thousands of passengers each and every day during the summer months and having them flood into the canals, alleys, streets and bridges of the city has a negative impact as it becomes too crowded and touristic.
There are however, a large number of people who have a positive view of cruise ships visiting Venice as they welcome the economic benefits that come with having large numbers of tourists visit. This is obviously unbelievably helpful for shop, bar and restaurant owners in Venice who rely on tourists for their income throughout the year.