The controversial ban placed upon large cruise ships entering the waterways of Venice has been abandoned. As we reported in October, extreme measures were being considered to combat the ban, giving cruise passengers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Italian city despite the ban.
Just two months after a limit was imposed on cruise ships over 96,000 gross tons from sailing along the Giudecca Canal and St Mark’s basin to Venice’s main cruise terminal, the city’s Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale threw out the ban.
The alternatives are still being considered with a number of institutions including the Italian Transport Ministry and UNESCO still in support of a ban or limitations. Environmental impact assessments are due to be undertaken along the Contorta-Sant’Angelo canal in March, with this route being proposed as a potential alternative.
There is a little time for a solution to be decided upon, with many cruise lines planning itineraries based upon the assumption it would be difficult to access the Venetian port. Venice’s merchants will be hoping that a fruitful solution is found as the cruise industry brings in millions of Euros to the city’s economy every year.
A spokesman of P&O Cruises explained: “CLIA [Cruise Lines International Association] acknowledges and respects the verdict and its member lines have chosen to voluntarily refrain from bringing ships above 96,000 tons to Venice until a new navigational route becomes operational. We are looking forward to welcoming a final decision by the Italian government on the alternative route for big ships in Venice.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Tambako The Jaguar, Bass_nroll