The controversial port of Venice has experienced a number of ups and downs in recent months with a ban placed upon cruise ships, prohibiting them from docking in the ancient city and then the announcement of a plan for a mega port.
Another twist has been added this week as a £100m artificial island has been proposed by engineering firm, Duferco Engineering. The company’s proposition of a 3,000ft long, man-made jetty would allow passengers to disembark and enter the city’s waterways aboard a series of catamarans with an 800-person capacity. This catamaran journey would take less than an hour from artificial island to historic city centre.
Locals have raised concerns that large cruise ships entering the city could be damaging the fragile foundations of Venice when cruising down the narrow Giudecca Canal to the current cruise ship terminal. This solution could help protect the city’s infrastructure, and still give visitors the chance to cruise into beautiful Venice.
The cruise industry is worth millions to Venice every year, making it incredibly important to the city that a solution is reached quickly and efficiently. An alternative solution has previously been suggested wherein a new channel would be dredged, allowing cruise ships to enter the current port without travelling so close to the city centre.
The proposed new island could play host to five large cruise ships simultaneously, potentially increasing the profitability of the Venice cruise industry significantly. Duferco have claimed they have the support of environmentalist groups and Venetian politicians.
Spokesperson, Renato Bodi, explained to The Telegraph: “It’s the most logical solution. It would remove the big cruise ships from Venice’s lagoon while still allowing passengers to experience the magic of arriving by water.
“It would take about two years to build and would avoid having to dig a new channel, which would be 100 metres [110 yards] wide and would have a big environmental impact on the lagoon. It seems to us to be the perfect compromise.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Abhimanyu, Iselin, Jean-Pierre Dalbera