Italy bans large cruise ships in Venice

Photo: EPA Activists of the committee `No Grandi Navi` (No big ships), headed for the MSC Orchestra on board of small boats, protest against the cruise ship being allowed in the Lagoon, Venice, 5 June 2021.

Italy's government announced on Tuesday evening its decision to ban large cruise ships from entering the Venice Lagoon, news wires reported. The measure applies to cruise ships with more than 25,000 gross registered tonnage or a length of more than 180 metres or a height of more than 35 metres. Vessels that exceed certain emission standards will also no longer be able to sail through the lagoon of the world heritage city.

The ships will no longer be able to sail through the lagoon as of 1 August. The government sees this as an important step towards protecting the Venetian lagoon.

Ships that are considered sustainable or do not fall under the criteria for the ban may continue to pass through the lagoon.These are, for example, cruise ships with a capacity of around 200 passengers.

The measures of the Council of Ministers led by PM Mario Draghi come a few weeks after experts of the UN cultural organization UNESCO proposed putting Venice on a negative list of endangered world heritage. UNESCO justified its concerns by citing the cruise ships in Venice, which critics warn are polluting and endangering the environment there.

However, this is a temporary solution, dpa noted. In parallel, the Port of Venice is looking for mooring proposals outside the lagoon for the future, so that ships will no longer sail through the Canale della Giudecca, past the famous St Mark's Square. Ideas can be presented up to 31 December, from which a panel of five experts will select the three best ones.

 

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