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I’ve done a number of posts in the last couple of years about the changing regulations regarding cruise ships passing through St Marks basin in Venice to get to the local cruise terminal. In November 2013 various restrictions were announced, including an absolute ban on ships with a tonnage over 96,000 from passing through St Marks Basin from November 2014 – this would effectively prevent the largest ships from visiting Venice as there is no other route to the cruise terminal. I posted about this here. Then in March this year I posted that the new regulations had been suspended pending a review. Well, the review is now concluded (I presume) and various media (Telegraph, BBC) are reporting two conclusions:-

  • the new regulations have been reinstated, with effect from November;
  • an environment impact analysis on the digging of a new channel to provide a new approach to the termini from the south will be made. (I blogged about a possible new channel here)

I don’t think the new decision will have any impact on the cruise lines – they had already made plans for 2015 on the basis that the new regulations would be in place. For example, P&O are doing fly-cruises starting in Venice with Ventura (115,000 tons) this year but will do them with Oceana (less than 90,000 tons) next year. But it’s obvious that the argument isn’t over: some groups in Venice are apparently going to oppose the digging of a new channel, and if they’re successful then that will prevent larger ships from getting into Venice at all. Other groups, representing the interests of businesses and those employed in the tourist industry, are keen to continue to allow the large ships to enter the city. So this will run and run. I suppose that the uncertainty will eventually have an impact on the number of cruise visitors – if the lines don’t know from one year to another what they will be able to do, they’ll start to scale back.

Finally, I continue to be baffled, and annoyed, by the attempts to link the Concordia disaster with risks to Venice. Costa Concordia sank because she hit a rocky underwater reef. In the Venice lagoon not only aren’t there any underwater rocks, but there is also a Venice pilot on the bridge of every cruise ship during the approach and exit, and also two tugs escort every ship.

2 Responses to “2015 restriction on big ships in Venice reinstated”

  1. Carol Reed says:

    I read about the link to Concordia, that it “rammed” Giglio. How absurd. It was because of an incompetent captain that it “hit” a reef on Giglio.

    Surely having tourists visiting Veinice is a great thing for the Italian economy. All they seem to want to do is stop tourists coming, it’s madness.

  2. […] did a post earlier this week on how the proposed restriction on the largest ships sailing into Venice – those over 96000 […]

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