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MSC Opera Crashes into Riverboat in Venice

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2 hours ago, JimVB said:

An update from our daughter who boarded in Bari.  MSC now arranging alternate transport to Bari, indicating they no longer expect Opera to leave Venice on Friday.  Next cruise looking doubtful.

 

Thank you for providing continuous update.  I don't think this is a surprise to most. The good news is your daughter sure will have a story to tell. Please let her know there are lots of people she will never know who are wishing her safe travels! 

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Regarding the ban on cruise ships in Venice... I hope that the ban (if implemented) would include a grace period (for those who already booked). I hope there won't be a "Cuba" scenario.

 

But what I am more concerned about is the ripple effect of this decision. Which city would be next to ban the ships? Probably Dubrovnik, maybe Barcelona. Those cities are already packed by tourist in high season.

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4 minutes ago, Domen said:

Regarding the ban on cruise ships in Venice... I hope that the ban (if implemented) would include a grace period (for those who already booked). I hope there won't be a "Cuba" scenario.

 

But what I am more concerned about is the ripple effect of this decision. Which city would be next to ban the ships? Probably Dubrovnik, maybe Barcelona. Those cities are already packed by tourist in high season.

 

Amsterdam has recently imposed a very high fee on cruise calls [not cruises that start or end there], which has led a number of lines to substitute Rotterdam.  We even have a thread on the River Cruising forum on this topic: 

notamermaid

Will overtourism affect river cruising?

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7 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

The first time I sailed into Venice was 2010 on the Ruby Princess. At that time they were talking about limiting all cruise ship access. Fast forward a decade and the Ruby Princess is too big to allow in as Veniza has implemented size restrictions. There has been a pretty active movement from people in Venice to limit all cruise ship traffic (and bnb rentals for that matter). It's safe to say that the Opera incident fueled the flames. My recommendation would be to choose a very small ship or river boat, but don't abandon the idea of Venice entirely. It's single-handedly the most beautiful sail in I have ever experienced. 

 

We've sailed several times from Venice - including on Fantasia-class before that sized ship was banned.

 

There are major demonstrations being planned about banning cruise ships in Venice.  The Opera incident is certainly going to accelerate the decision to, if not ban them outright, curtail the number and, of course, the size of the vessels.  The ship I'm looking at is in the same, small, class as Opera.

 

The following is from one media source https://www.thelocal.it/20190603/calls-for-venice-to-ban-cruise-ships-after-harbour-crash

 

"Measures were approved back in 2017 to rid the centre of Venice of cruise ships weighing over 55,000 tons, but the rules are not set to come into effect until 2021".

 

That will rule out even the smallest ships in MSC's fleet (which are all just over 65,000 tonnes).  This measure may even be introduced sooner, now.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Amsterdam has recently imposed a very high fee on cruise calls [not cruises that start or end there], which has led a number of lines to substitute Rotterdam.  We even have a thread on the River Cruising forum on this topic: 

 

I live in Amsterdam only a few minutes away from the cruise port. I've not seen them substituting Rotterdam, but rather docking in Ijmuiden then bussing into the city. Most of the major cruise lines are still coming into the city including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America, Viking, and Tui. The fee is 8 euro/passenger so I'd not really call that a hefty fee. On top of those there are an absolute ton of river cruise long ships parking here.

Edited by DerekB
missed a word

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2 hours ago, Beamafar said:

 

We've sailed several times from Venice - including on Fantasia-class before that sized ship was banned.

 

There are major demonstrations being planned about banning cruise ships in Venice.  The Opera incident is certainly going to accelerate the decision to, if not ban them outright, curtail the number and, of course, the size of the vessels.  The ship I'm looking at is in the same, small, class as Opera.

 

The following is from one media source https://www.thelocal.it/20190603/calls-for-venice-to-ban-cruise-ships-after-harbour-crash

 

"Measures were approved back in 2017 to rid the centre of Venice of cruise ships weighing over 55,000 tons, but the rules are not set to come into effect until 2021".

 

That will rule out even the smallest ships in MSC's fleet (which are all just over 65,000 tonnes).  This measure may even be introduced sooner, now.

Bea ... The modern day thing is to blame the cruise ships for any damage in Venice, Opera on Sunday apart there have been numerous ships going into and out of the City without issue traveling at a speed dictated by the Tugboats and handed down by the powers that be in the City. There is very little to no wash or wake created by the ships, take a look at the videos on Youtube at the smaller boats, water taxis, Vaparetto`s and Ferries and you will see who the real culprits are who are doing the damage to Venice!

When they move cruise ships to the other canal in order to get into the port and the damage continues who will they blame then.

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We first sailed in Venice in  Sept 1998 on Grand Princess --there was talk then that the canal had been dredged for the bigger ships

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1 hour ago, sidari said:

Bea ... The modern day thing is to blame the cruise ships for any damage in Venice, Opera on Sunday apart there have been numerous ships going into and out of the City without issue traveling at a speed dictated by the Tugboats and handed down by the powers that be in the City. There is very little to no wash or wake created by the ships, take a look at the videos on Youtube at the smaller boats, water taxis, Vaparetto`s and Ferries and you will see who the real culprits are who are doing the damage to Venice!

When they move cruise ships to the other canal in order to get into the port and the damage continues who will they blame then.

 I just got back from a week staying at an air bnb overlooking the Rialto bridge - the worst by far was the seemingly constant stream of ambulances.  They managed on one occasion during high tide to overturn a empty chair at a cafe and also nearly upended a gondola causing it to hit another one.  We would sit at night watching people get soaked as they passed.

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Just read on a facebook MSC page that the next cruise is also cancelled.

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3 hours ago, DerekB said:

I live in Amsterdam only a few minutes away from the cruise port. I've not seen them substituting Rotterdam, but rather docking in Ijmuiden then bussing into the city. Most of the major cruise lines are still coming into the city including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America, Viking, and Tui. The fee is 8 euro/passenger so I'd not really call that a hefty fee. On top of those there are an absolute ton of river cruise long ships parking here.

 

Here is an article about two cruise lines switching Amsterdam calls to Rotterdam (one of which is MSC):

https://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Cruise-Lines-Skip-Amsterdam-Calls-Amidst-New-Tourist-Tax

 

River ships aren't affected because their cruises all start or end in Amsterdam.

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2 hours ago, sidari said:

Bea ... The modern day thing is to blame the cruise ships for any damage in Venice, Opera on Sunday apart there have been numerous ships going into and out of the City without issue traveling at a speed dictated by the Tugboats and handed down by the powers that be in the City. There is very little to no wash or wake created by the ships, take a look at the videos on Youtube at the smaller boats, water taxis, Vaparetto`s and Ferries and you will see who the real culprits are who are doing the damage to Venice!

When they move cruise ships to the other canal in order to get into the port and the damage continues who will they blame then.

I live along the river that ships use to dock in Amsterdam and I agree - the amount of wake kicked up by the cruise ships is essentially nothing (especially in comparison to speed boats and the like). They are also quite silent - almost scary sometimes when they seem to creep up on me! 

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Currently there is a rumour that protestors will block the entrance to Venice this weekend and will block cruise ships leaving or entering.

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5 hours ago, sidari said:

Bea ... The modern day thing is to blame the cruise ships for any damage in Venice, Opera on Sunday apart there have been numerous ships going into and out of the City without issue traveling at a speed dictated by the Tugboats and handed down by the powers that be in the City. There is very little to no wash or wake created by the ships, take a look at the videos on Youtube at the smaller boats, water taxis, Vaparetto`s and Ferries and you will see who the real culprits are who are doing the damage to Venice!

When they move cruise ships to the other canal in order to get into the port and the damage continues who will they blame then.

 

1 hour ago, DerekB said:

I live along the river that ships use to dock in Amsterdam and I agree - the amount of wake kicked up by the cruise ships is essentially nothing (especially in comparison to speed boats and the like). They are also quite silent - almost scary sometimes when they seem to creep up on me! 

While I won't deny that wake damage from the small boats in Venice is a problem, you must realize that no matter how slow a cruise ship goes, it still displaces 20,000 cubic meters of water, and that water goes somewhere, raising the water level as it goes.  I think it is idiotic to allow any ocean going ship into Venice, given her problems with rising water levels and the limited water under the keel of these ships.  Given that the port of Marghera is so close by, with a completely separate entrance channel that is at minimum 2 meters deeper, that is where all ships should go.

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Cheng ... We understand what you say about the water movement but the wake/wash from the smaller craft is doing untold damage which the Venetians seem to be disregarding. You only have to travel above the 4mph limit on an English canal boat to see the damage the speed can cause on the banks at the side. On numerous occasions it has been suggested that the route used by commercial shipping is used but instead of heading left for Marghera they go right and into Venice port.

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3 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

 

While I won't deny that wake damage from the small boats in Venice is a problem, you must realize that no matter how slow a cruise ship goes, it still displaces 20,000 cubic meters of water, and that water goes somewhere, raising the water level as it goes.  I think it is idiotic to allow any ocean going ship into Venice, given her problems with rising water levels and the limited water under the keel of these ships.  Given that the port of Marghera is so close by, with a completely separate entrance channel that is at minimum 2 meters deeper, that is where all ships should go.

 

That is true to some point. It all goes down to wave height.

As a Civil Engineer I had studied the Hydromechanics and the sole culprit for the destruction of shore is based on the force of the wave hitting the shore (kN/m2). That force is calculated only by wave height. That means that wave 1m high coming from cruise ship has the same force as 1m wave coming from speed boat. Problem is that cruise ship can generate a wave 1m high at low speeds, but small boat needs a lot more speed.

 

The equation of maximal wave height that a water craft generates is down below (height of wave hitting the shore). 

Hm is maximal wave height [m], V is speed [m/s], X is distance between shore and boat [m], Lv is length of the boat at waterline [m] and D is draught [m]

 

So MSC Operas maximal wave (2 knts and 300m from shore) is 3.4m. This is theoretical height of course. Small boat (10m long, 10 knts, 1m draught and 30m from shore) will generate only 0.35m high waves.

1E31D123-5FC4-44C9-8ECB-35EFB5046173.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, Domen said:

 

 

The equation of maximal wave height that a water craft generates is down below (height of wave hitting the shore). 

Hm is maximal wave height [m], V is speed [m/s], X is distance between shore and boat [m], Lv is length of the boat at waterline [m] and D is draught [m]

 

So MSC Operas maximal wave (2 knts and 300m from shore) is 3.4m. This is theoretical height of course. Small boat (10m long, 10 knts, 1m draught and 30m from shore) will generate only 0.35m high waves.

1E31D123-5FC4-44C9-8ECB-35EFB5046173.jpeg

 

"they told me that there would be no math" !! 

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40 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

 

While I won't deny that wake damage from the small boats in Venice is a problem, you must realize that no matter how slow a cruise ship goes, it still displaces 20,000 cubic meters of water, and that water goes somewhere, raising the water level as it goes.  I think it is idiotic to allow any ocean going ship into Venice, given her problems with rising water levels and the limited water under the keel of these ships.  Given that the port of Marghera is so close by, with a completely separate entrance channel that is at minimum 2 meters deeper, that is where all ships should go.

Just to be clear I was only commenting on wake and noise - I don't know what the situation is below the water in Venice so you'd certainly be more competent than me on the subject! Wake and noise just doesn't seem to be an issue.  Any idea how deep it is in there? I know the North Sea Canal can handle 13.75 meter draught. 

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4 hours ago, sidari said:

Bea ... The modern day thing is to blame the cruise ships for any damage in Venice ...

 

I think there's a parallel reason for the objection to cruise ships in Venice which is to do with the number of day visitors they disgorge.  It's having a severe negative impact on the locals' everyday lives.

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37 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

 

While I won't deny that wake damage from the small boats in Venice is a problem, you must realize that no matter how slow a cruise ship goes, it still displaces 20,000 cubic meters of water, and that water goes somewhere, raising the water level as it goes.  I think it is idiotic to allow any ocean going ship into Venice, given her problems with rising water levels and the limited water under the keel of these ships.  Given that the port of Marghera is so close by, with a completely separate entrance channel that is at minimum 2 meters deeper, that is where all ships should go.

 

That displacement is the main issue because it creates a deep wash because the water is pushed out of the way as the ship moves and because of the natural way in which water always fights to retain it's level, it does that by moving those huge lumps of water ahead and behind and that creates huge rapid underwater currents. Those waves are beginning to remove the mud coatings on the wooden piles in on the sides of the canal that have stopped the wood rotting.

 

The other issue  they have is that the alternative southerly channel would need to be dredged before the cruise ships could use it.  The spoil created by the dredging would need to be dumped somewhere and the environmental scientists currently advise that the spoil would create a serious issue  for the any marine life infrastructure, so have advised against it - real Catch-22 problem.

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14 minutes ago, Domen said:

 

That is true to some point. It all goes down to wave height.

As a Civil Engineer I had studied the Hydromechanics and the sole culprit for the destruction of shore is based on the force of the wave hitting the shore (kN/m2). That force is calculated only by wave height. That means that wave 1m high coming from cruise ship has the same force as 1m wave coming from speed boat. Problem is that cruise ship can generate a wave 1m high at low speeds, but small boat needs a lot more speed.

 

The equation of maximal wave height that a water craft generates is down below (height of wave hitting the shore). 

Hm is maximal wave height [m], V is speed [m/s], X is distance between shore and boat [m], Lv is length of the boat at waterline [m] and D is draught [m]

 

So MSC Operas maximal wave (2 knts and 300m from shore) is 3.4m. This is theoretical height of course. Small boat (10m long, 10 knts, 1m draught and 30m from shore) will generate only 0.35m high waves.

1E31D123-5FC4-44C9-8ECB-35EFB5046173.jpeg

I am curious - when I watch the cruise ships drive by I am about 100 meters from them. There is no way the waves that come to shore are anywhere remotely near 3.4 meters. They would be more on the scale of the .35 meter waves. Any idea what accounts for this difference? It seems the shipping vessels (Which are much smaller) and speed boats cause FAR higher wave heights. Just curious and you seem to be the expert for sure!

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8 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

I think there's a parallel reason for the objection to cruise ships in Venice which is to do with the number of day visitors they disgorge.  It's having a severe negative impact on the locals' everyday lives.

Limiting the number of ships would help but does not stop people getting to Venice by Train or by Air unless of course you limit those as well.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, DerekB said:

I am curious - when I watch the cruise ships drive by I am about 100 meters from them. There is no way the waves that come to shore are anywhere remotely near 3.4 meters. They would be more on the scale of the .35 meter waves. Any idea what accounts for this difference? It seems the shipping vessels (Which are much smaller) and speed boats cause FAR higher wave heights. Just curious and you seem to be the expert for sure!

Speed boats usually drive in excess of 15 knots. If they are longer than 10m they produce even higher wake. Cruise ships usually travel further away and slower. Also because of the distance there are a lot of other factors that can elevate or lower the height (wind, tide, other boats etc.). 

 

But as I said. Only thing that counts is the height of the wave that crashes into the shore. Same wave from cruise ship has same effect as one from small craft.

Edited by Domen

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1 hour ago, sidari said:

Currently there is a rumour that protestors will block the entrance to Venice this weekend and will block cruise ships leaving or entering.

 

I wonder if a couple of Dubliners will give them some ideas on how to achieve this (🙄  pair of idiots!):

 

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/district-court/zigzagging-boat-blocked-cruise-ship-entering-dublin-port-court-told-1.3916678

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1 minute ago, sidari said:

Limiting the number of ships would help but does not stop people getting to Venice by Train or by Air unless of course you limit those as well.

 

I say this as an avid cruiser but also as someone who lived in Italy for 5 years in the 70s and 80s:  it is the cruise ships that unload thousands (tens of thousands on a busy port day with the mega ships) of people and have overwhelmed the capacity of the cities and their attractions to handle them. 

 

We returned to Italy for an extended vacation - to show our now grown kids where they were born - in 2011 and were absolutely stunned by the number of tourists (including us!) in Florence, Rome and Venice.  Talking to locals in every city, they all mentioned the number of cruise passengers as being the biggest contributor.   We had a great vacation but my parting words to my kids were "Come back in the middle of winter.  The weather won't be as nice but your sightseeing will be much, much better."

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1 hour ago, DerekB said:

Just to be clear I was only commenting on wake and noise - I don't know what the situation is below the water in Venice so you'd certainly be more competent than me on the subject! Wake and noise just doesn't seem to be an issue.  Any idea how deep it is in there? I know the North Sea Canal can handle 13.75 meter draught. 

The channel into Venice used by cruise ships is only 9 meters deep, while the ships draw 7-8 meters, so there is only 1-2 meters of water under the hull, and the propellers create scouring currents along the bottom of the channel.  The southerly entrance to Marghera is dredged to 11 meters.  Maghera/Venice is not designed to take the large container vessels that call at Amsterdam.

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