Italy Bans Large Cruise Ships
Italy Bans Large Cruise Ships from Venice
Italy bans the large cruise ships from sailing into Venice starting Aug. 1. The decision comes after UNESCO drafted a recommendation in June to add Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger, including “damage caused by a steady stream of cruise ships.” Government officials called it “an important step for the safeguarding of the Venetian lagoon.”
The ban applies to ships exceeding 25,000 gross tons or longer than 530 feet sailing the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal. Large cruise ships will be rerouted through the Venice lagoon, and dock on the mainland at the industrial port of Marghera.
Italian premier Mario Draghi’s office noted that smaller ships that don’t have any of those characteristics “are considered sustainable” to the Venetian environment and can continue to dock in Venice. Permitted ships generally have about 200 passengers compared to the thousands that massive cruise vessels carry.
The decree establishes Venice’s waterways as a national monument, providing enhanced state protection typically given to artworks or historical buildings.
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