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More Venice Malarkey!

I’ve read that the Veneto Regional Court of Appeal (Veneto region includes Venice) has ‘thrown out’ the new regulations that came into force in November. These regulations, as I’m sure you’ll be aware, prevented ships over 96,000 tons from sailing through St Mark’s basin and up the Giudecca canal – which, seeing as there’s no other way to the cruise terminal, effectively banned such large ships from calling at Venice. (There were also limitations on movements of smaller ships.) Now the new regulations have been lifted by the Regional court. So hurray! I hear you all cheer – that means we can have Oasis of the Seas in Venice in a few months’ time!

Err, no. This year’s cruise ship schedules are already determined. Brochures were printed and issued 9 months ago, bookings have been taken, and support and supply contracts let, so there’ll be no change for 2015. More significantly, they must be putting the final touches to their planned deployments for 2016 right now – the brochures for that year will be available from this spring, and once they’re published it becomes very difficult to make any changes. The cruise lines must be furious about the constant to-ing and fro-ing over this question – what they want above all is consistency.

Here in fact is what the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) had to say:

We acknowledge and respect the verdict of Veneto’s Regional Administrative Court. CLIA 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.”

However, the provision of funding for that new route is still uncertain, indeed, is unknown. Who knows how long this will continue? One thing is certain, if the regulatory position remains undecided then eventually some company in the industry will start running cruises on big ships into Venice. Maybe not in 2015, but 2016 would be a strong possibility.

One Response to “More Venice Malarkey!”

  1. lizbert1 says:

    Its a mess isn’t it? A final decision seems a long way off, especially if the courts keep flip-flopping like this. Very frustrating for everyone really, whatever your opinions, and no real winners except the lawyers at the moment!! A great post explaining things really clearly so thank you and in the meantime the fight goes on…..!

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