Large cruise ships have been banned from the historic city center of Venice following an accident in June. After a giant cruise ship collided with a small tourist vessel that injured five people, the Italian government implemented the new law.
The MSC Opera cruise liner was approaching a terminal on the Giudecca canal when it collided with a dock before crashing into a river boat, which had 110 people on board.
Cruise Ships Will Be Diverted
Cruises are set to be diverted away from the city under the new plans. Venetians have long-criticised the presence of large cruise ships in the historic lagoon. They claim it damages Venice’s foundations and ruins the skyline.
Locals have battled for decades for a ban on cruise ships, taking to the city’s streets and canals in protest. Venetians are frustrated with the enormous ships clogging the waterways and proving to be a hazzard for smaller boats.
By next year the plan is for a third of the ships to berth at ports well away from the city. The terminals are three miles from the city across the lagoon on the Italian mainland.
Ships weighing more than 1,000 tonnes or more will be moved away from Venice’s canal.
According to Statista, over 20 million tourists visit Venice a year and of that, around 1.5 million are cruise passengers.
The historic center receives up to 60,000 visitors daily but it’s estimated less than half of tourists spend the night.
In June, the mayor, Luigi Brugnaro requested Unesco to place the city on the world heritage blacklist in a bid to preserve Venice.
Venice is also tackling it’s overtourism problem with new laws on the table from city officials that include daily visitor fees of up to $11, bans on open alcohol and fines for sitting on the ground.
In early 2018, visitor-only routes to popular landmarks were introduced to keep tourists away from the locals.