Italy To Ban Large Cruise Ships In Centre Of Venice To Protect Lagoon
Large cruise ships will be banned from sailing into the centre of Venice from August 1, Italy announced Tuesday, after years of warnings they risk causing irreparable damage to the lagoon city.
The decision, confirmed at a meeting of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet, comes just days before a meeting of the UN’s cultural organisation UNESCO, which had proposed to add Venice to its list of endangered heritage sites.
“The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system,” Draghi said in a statement.
He added that there would be money to mitigate the impact on employment.
The move will see the biggest ships diverted to the city’s industrial port of Marghera.
However, this is viewed as only a temporary solution, with ministers calling for ideas on a new permanent terminal.
Campaigners have for years been calling for cruise ships to be banned from sailing past the iconic St Mark’s Square.
They say the giant floating hotels cause large waves that undermine the city’s foundations and harm the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon.
The debate was reignited by the return last month of cruises after the coronavirus pandemic, when the throngs of tourists that normally fill the streets of Venice stayed away.
Venice was put on UNESCO’s heritage list in 1987 as an “extraordinary architectural masterpiece”.
Local Currency & Tipping Customs
While traveling to Italy, youll use the euro as the official currency. Youll notice Visa and Mastercard are the two most commonly accepted credit cards during your Venice cruise. A servizio, or tip, is typically included in your bill at restaurants. If you take a gondola ride, be sure to tip the gondolier or water taxi provider. When youre enjoying a coffee in Italy, leave behind a few cents as a tip.
Venice And Lagoon Size And Population
- The;surface of the whole city of Venice is slightly below 8km2, about twice as big as Central Park in New York.
- The tallest building in Venice is the Campanile di San Marco, or Saint Marks Bell Tower, which measures 99 m.
- Most buildings in Venice are below 20m.
- The;average depth of the lagoon in which Venice is located,;is around;1,2 m.
- The number of inhabitants in Venice is under 55.000.
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Port Of Departure Venice Italy
Venice, Queen of the AdriaticVenice is a major cruise ship hubs in the Mediterranean, with over a thousand cruise ship movements, and a million cruise passengers per year. Currently Venice is the 13th busiest cruise port in the world, and the 3rd busiest in Europe. The Venice Cruise Terminal is situated at the Venice end of the four kilometer road that joins Venice to the rest of Italy.Venice port is not directly on the Mediterranean, but is located in the Venetian Lagoon, this is joined to the Adriatic by a narrow channel called the Porto di Lido.Venice Cruise Terminal is host to more than twenty cruise companies, including MSC, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Between them, the cruise-lines offer a tremendous choice of cruises from Venice.
Cruises From VeniceCruises from Venice generally focus on three areas, the Adriatic, with the beautiful coastline of Croatia and Montenegro, the Aegean, with the spectacular Greek Islands, and the Eastern Mediterranean, with gateway ports to the Holy Land.
Things To Do Near Venice Cruise PortBasilicaDoge’s PalaceCampanileCruise Port MapCruise Port LocationPort AuthorityCurrent Marine TrafficCurrency
Venice And Cruise Ships: A Delicate Balance
Last month, a 2,500-passenger ship entered the Venetian Lagoon the first since the pandemic began reanimating the debate on the negative effects of mass tourism.
In early June, the MSC Orchestra, a 2,500-passenger cruise ship, entered the Venetian Lagoon at dawn, sailing through St. Marks Basin, past the Doges Palace and the still-quiet St. Marks Square. It continued its journey through the Giudecca Canal and then docked on Venices main island.
It was the first time a cruise ship had entered the lagoon since the pandemic hit Italy in February 2020.
In a place that is heavily dependent on tourism, and where cruise travel contributes about 3 percent of the local gross domestic product, many in Venice welcomed the ship.
But others did not. Among the latter were 2,000 protesters who met the MSC Orchestra when it sailed on its reverse route two days later. Some were on small boats on the Giudecca Canal; others chanted anti-cruise slogans from the waterfront.
I hope we made some of the passengers wonder if what they were doing is wrong and think about the social and environmental impact of their vacation, said Jane da Mosto, a biologist and activist who took part in the protest on a small boat.
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Are Cruise Ships Allowed In Venice Background On A Historic Port With An Uncertain Future
Venice is the Eastern Mediterranean’s most important cruise homeport and the third-largest Mediterranean cruise hub after Barcelona and Civitavecchia . It’s been a maritime power house for centuries and at the center of the European cruise industry’s rapid rise since the early 2000s. Although modern sailing entered the picture much later, Venice and cruise ships go back a long way.
But now, conservationists are demanding an end to cruise ships in Venice’s Giudecca Canal, the main waterway where vessels enter the city and the famed St. Mark’s Square. This is due, in part, to safety fears sparked by what’s been dubbed “The Gulliver Syndrome” — disproportionately large ships that dwarf the city’s architecture. The main concern is that large ships wear down the already-sinking city’s infrastructure over time.
Claims that cruise ship waves damage the city’s fragile foundations have been dismissed by the port authority, according to the 2012-published “To Venice By Sea,” a collection of essays about the cruise industry there. Its introduction cites research showing the damage is caused by vaporetto waterbuses and pleasure boats.
So what is the future for Venice, a port that’s a justifiable must-see for its beauty, artwork and canal culture, and one that is on modern must-see bucket lists for many, including Italian-American immigrants’ children and grandchildren?
Venice Tours Shore Excursions Hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Venice is known to be the Queen of the Adriatic. It is one of the most romantic world cities. Venice can enchant anyone with its breathtaking palazzos, canals and beautiful bridges. This city is so spectacular, that you will need at least three days to enjoy some of its wonders. Spend a day in a gondola at the narrow channels and be amazed by Venice. Go to Murano, the Venetian glassmaking center, or visit some of the famous places near the St Marks Square:
- Basilica: the place where you can see Pala dOro. This famous altarpiece dates since 976. It is made of solid gold by the Byzantine goldsmiths and it has precious gems encrustations.
- Doges Palace: situated right to the Basilica. You can see the Council Hall, plaques of the Doges and the world-famous Bridge of Sighs .
- Campanile: dating since 912. The Campanile is the third building you have to see. There is astonishing city view from the top of it. This is not the exact original of the building, but a rebuilding with the original materials after its collapse in 1902.
From Venice City are offered tours to;Bologna – located approx 130 km to the southwest. Train travel time is 1,5 hours.
Port Venice cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port’s schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Venice, Italy. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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Italy To Ban Cruise Ships From Docking In Venice Starting Aug 1
Aiming to protect a national monument, Italys government Tuesday moved to ban massive cruise ships from sailing directly into Venice and limit access to its fragile lagoon, definitively altering mass-scale tourism to the City of Canals.
The governments decision, which will take effect Aug.1, will put a stop to the contentious image that has come to symbolize many of overtouristed Venices problems: fuel-guzzling ships, taller than the citys bell towers, passing through the historical waterways and depositing thousands of passengers in the heart of the old city.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi called it a step for the protection of the Venetian Lagoon.
The move was made under pressure, just days before the United Nations cultural protection agency, UNESCO, was set to discuss listing Venice as an endangered World Heritage site. A UNESCO document from June specifically called on Italy to ban big cruise ships from the lagoon and move with the utmost urgency.
The cruise ships have long posed a conundrum in Venice, pitting economic needs the cruise industry in Venice employs several thousand people against a fragile ecosystem. Opponents of the cruise ships in Venice have protested for years, saying that the wakes caused by the ships contribute to erosion and that day-tripping, mass-scale tourism is incompatible with a relatively small, compact city.
Does This Mean That Venice Is Totally Safe And No Tragedies Will Ever Occurr
No, only forbidding cruise ships to pass in the basin of Saint Mark;will;assure Venice to be completely safe from cruise ship related accidents.
Just like;everything else, from trains to planes, the risks are calculated, reduced as much as possible, and often prevented. Yet, accidents do happen, its a matter of statistics and probability. Whether a mechanical or electrical dysfunction, terrorism, human error or deliberate choice, tragedies are a reality.
In the past years, between 500 and 600 cruise ships docked yearly in Venice. This means that cruise ships crossthe Basin of Saint Mark between1.000 and;1.200 times every year, just in front of the Doge Palace on one side, and San Giorgio on the other side. In 20 years, big ships will have passed 20 to 24.000 times through;the heart of Venice. One, only one, single accident in the Basin in one of those 2o.000+ crossings could mean a tragedy from which Venice would never recover.
The possibilityof accidents is small, but the consequences would be devastating.
Up to this point, all;considerations speak clearly;against Big Ships.
Why then, are there people in favor of cruise ships?
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Book Your Italy Cruise Vacation
Cruise to Italy and visit some of the worlds most beautiful and historic cities on your all-inclusive Italy cruise vacation. Experience the magnificence of the peninsula along the Mediterranean coastline as you travel through the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Adriatic Sea. Home to some of the most iconic works of art and exquisite cuisines, an Italian cruise is one not to miss. Experience the best of Italy on a 7-Day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Rome or maybe a 7-Day Greek Isles Cruise from Venice.
Will Cruise Ships Return To Venice
Business reporter, BBC News, Venice
“Work! Work! Work!” shout the baggage handlers, ship cleaners and port security guards protesting on the steps of Venice’s Santa Lucia train station.
The protest formed quickly and without warning – a flash mob, designed to call urgent attention to the 6,000 Venetians who rely on the cruise industry for work. After 15 minutes they are gone.
This year, international travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus are forcing cruise companies to delay most tours until 2021.
That’s meant the ships that usually tower high above Venice’s historic bell towers and basilicas have been noticeably absent.
Environmental campaigners have welcomed the change. They’ve been calling for cruise ships to be banned from Venice for years because of concerns about pollution and continual damage to the fragile foundations of the city.
Traditionally known as La Serenissima, Venice is no longer “‘the most serene” but rather one of the most polluted ports in Europe, according to the green campaign group Transport and Environment.
Supporters of the cruise industry say the Italian government in Rome must now come up with a long-term plan – such as a new cruise terminal, outside the Venice lagoon – that will protect the city, but also guarantee the ships’ future in the area.
“When the coronavirus is finished, we need to bring the cruise ships back to Venice,” he says. “This is the moment for the government to make a decision.”
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Are Cruise Ships Sailing From Venice
From Venice, Costa operates a busy calendar of three- to 11-night roundtrip cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with several different itineraries and departures from spring through fall. Three ships are on the Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2020: Costa Delizioza, Costa Luminosa, and Costa Mediterranea.
Like Having An Elephant In A China Store
For centuries, the Venetian Lagoon protected Venice. Built on a cluster of islands, the city could not be attacked from land, and the lagoons hard-to-navigate shallow waters and muddy seabed discouraged invaders from sea, who risked getting stranded. Thanks to this inaccessibility, Venice maintained its status as a maritime power throughout most of the Middle Ages.
But today Venice can be reached on cruise ships weighing up to 95,000 tons, docking directly in the heart of the old city.
Its like having an elephant in a china store, said Diego Calaon, a scholar of ancient topography at Venices Ca Foscari University. He noted that, in its heyday in the late Middle Ages, Venice had a policy of preventing large vessels from docking on its shores, noting that they were much, much smaller than modern cruise ships.
Stretching 30 miles across the Adriatic and shielded from the open sea by two narrow islands, the lagoon is a shallow body of salt water, often less than 5 feet deep, crisscrossed by deeper trenches created by erosion or dug by man. It is only through these canals that vessels of a considerable size can navigate and, even so, with difficulty: In 2019 a cargo ship was stranded in the eastern part of the lagoon, near Chioggia.
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Top Things To Do In Venice
Take a Gondola Ride
To skip a gondola ride in Venice is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Its an unmissable experience no matter if its your first time in Venice or youve seen the city many times. After being on cruises from Venice, theres nothing more charming than seeing the city from a nimble, tiny gondola.
Head to Burano
On the island of Burano, just a short boat ride away, is a fishing village lined with colorful houses where the areas lace-making has earned an international reputation. Come for the shopping, meet local artisans, and stay for a casual lunch at one of the islands many quaint restaurants.
Lounge at Lido
If youre craving a beachy getaway during your Venice cruise, head straight to Lido, a beachfront sandbar where local Venetians take it easy. Lido has evolved over time and now boasts swanky beachfront hotels and bars that accommodate visitors from all over the world. The annual Venice Film Festival fills Lido in late summer.
From Cruise Ship To Hotel
I havent booked a hotel; my trip is in April, so I think I have a lot of time.
But I’m wondering how to get from the cruise dock to the hotel. I worry that if I dont book with a well known hotel, I will get lost. Are there water taxis?
Thanks in advance
There are Water Taxi’s but they are very expensive, when you decide on a Hotel we can advise you better, I think whatever you book we would of heard of it,
Every hotel in Venice has on its web site detailed instructions on how to get to the hotel.
I havent decided on a place to stay partly because I dont know if it is simply wisest to stay somewhere most convenient to the cruise terminal because we will have some large pieces of luggage. That’s why I asked about the taxi, not realizing that it would be very expensive.
I would like to have more options, but if getting my luggage there is an obstacle, then I will focus on the Piazzale Roma. What do you think?
Currently, if the luggage were not a problem, I would be considering Ai Tagliapietra or Ca Angeli. My brother is trying to sell me on the Accademia, but I think it is a little too expensive; depending on what you tell me about the luggage problem, I will ask my wife what she thinks.
Italys Government To Ban Cruise Ships From Venice
In a landmark move, Italys cabinet on Tuesday declared the lagoon a national monument and banned large cruise ships from entering starting Aug. 1.
Italy announced on Tuesday that it was banning large cruise ships from entering Venices waters and was also declaring the citys lagoon a national monument, in a move to protect a fragile ecosystem from the downsides of mass tourism.
The ban, demanded for decades by both Venice residents and environmentalists, will take effect on Aug. 1.
The intervention could no longer be delayed, Italys culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said in a statement.
In recent weeks, as cruise ships returned to Venice after the pause imposed by the pandemic, protesters in the city rallied on small boats and on the waterfront with No big boats flags. Last Sunday, they demonstrated during the Group of 20 summit for economic ministers that took place in the city, attracting international media attention.
My heartbeat is so fast I could be having a heart attack, said Tommaso Cacciari, an activist and spokesman for the No Big Ship Committee, responding to Tuesdays announcement. We have been fighting for 10 years, and now this victory feels almost unbelievable.
Tuesdays decision removed that condition, so the ban could be enforced in weeks, not years.