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Jack E Dawson

Cruise Ship Restrictions in Venice

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Following the incident on June 2nd, where a large cruise ship lost steerage and crashed into a dock and river cruise boat (a few very minor injuries), there was considerable local discussion about restricting cruise ships from using the Grand Canal. We will be sailing out of Venice on the Viking Sea next April and wonder if anyone has heard any more about these possible restrictions. When Viking first started their TV commercial showing one of their ships sailing up the Grand Canal, I wondered how this would be viewed by the locals. I have to admit that when I first saw that commercial, such a large ship seemed out of place. 

 

Jack

 

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And there are MUCH larger ships calling on Venice than Viking's.

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4 hours ago, Jack E Dawson said:

Following the incident on June 2nd, where a large cruise ship lost steerage and crashed into a dock and river cruise boat (a few very minor injuries), there was considerable local discussion about restricting cruise ships from using the Grand Canal.

You mean the Giudecca Canal. 

 

I expected the Viking Star to used the Basilio pier for our cruise this summer.  Our cruise documents that we just received shows the Stazione Maritima port.

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Thanks flashfearless, kind of like the Viking Jupiter recently on its maiden arrival at Piraeus Port and as was the ship in Venice?

 

Jack

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Cruise ships don’t enter the Grand Canal; they use the Giudecca Canal which is the larger canal that goes past St Mark’s Square and that intersects the Grand Canal. Nevertheless, Venice ought to restrict cruise ship access in the lagoon to preserve its heritage. 

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The cruise ship discussion in Venice has been ongoing for about 20 years. About 6 years ago the largest ships were actually banned, but the ban was revoked by the Italian courts. Can't remember the cut-off, but it was close to 100,000 tons, so only the largest ships.

 

I also read last year that they are again trying to have the mega ships use the mainland by 2021 or 2022. Viking's ships are < 50k GT, so should not be impacted.

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For the map above, the Grand Canal is the smaller canal dividing the island with San Marco and Cannaregio from the island below it. The Giudecca Canal separates the island of Giudecca from the top two islands.

 

San Basilio pier is in the Giudecca Canal about where Chiesa di San Sebastiano is labeled. The Maritimi port  are the dock areas to the left by the word "Venice."

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I hope you have the opportunity to sail out of Venice using the Giudecca Canal (w/ good weather as well) - it's quite a stunning view to sail past San Marco.  We had sailed into Venice on Oceania Riveria through the Giudecca Canal and docked at the Maritimi port.  Unfortunately, the day we sailed out, the weather was foggy and rainy so the views were not great.  

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Evidently restrictions on cruise ships sailing in and out of Venice is in the news again. 

We are sailing out of Venice (hopefully) on the Viking Sea for the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise in April of next year. I wonder if we will be impacted?

 

Jack

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4 hours ago, Jack E Dawson said:

Evidently restrictions on cruise ships sailing in and out of Venice is in the news again. 

We are sailing out of Venice (hopefully) on the Viking Sea for the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise in April of next year. I wonder if we will be impacted?

 

Jack

It might assist you to have a look on whatsinport.com, that way you can see which other ships are there same time as your cruise.  The locals keep on making a fuss - and they'd be much better off improving their own standards of waterborne behaviour first.  I've also been there when locals have tried to blockade the port, which did impact passengers hoping to embark and disembark for fly-cruises.  

 

Anyway, to be 'real' about all this, the locals would soon miss the money which tourists bring in to the area, and let's not forget the fact that ships built/serviced locally bring a lot of money to the area - and those arrive and/or leave via the Giudecca  canal.  

 

I've been there during times of flooding too, and had plenty of opportunity to witness the wash created by local waterborne transport and NOT created by big cruise ships.  

 

 

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Can't agree. These big ships are entirely inappropriate in such a small lagoon. Venice, like so many places in Europe, is not some sort of leisure centre for tourists. The actual residents have been driven out by the tourism industry. 

Why not just dock elsewhere and travel in to visit this precious destination?

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1 hour ago, Nippy Sweetie said:

Can't agree. These big ships are entirely inappropriate in such a small lagoon. Venice, like so many places in Europe, is not some sort of leisure centre for tourists. The actual residents have been driven out by the tourism industry. 

Why not just dock elsewhere and travel in to visit this precious destination?

Totally agree with you Nippy - I really do think it's inappropriate that cruise ships come so close to such a small and precious place.  The Venice experience has been ruined by so many people invading it each day. 

Much as I enjoy cruising, especially on smaller ships like Viking's, I don't like the way it is starting to spoil places.    Dubrovnik springs to mind... even though the port is some way from the city, you can hardly move when you get shuttled into town.  Last time we were there, we stayed onboard.   In Stavanger, Norway, a couple of years ago -  a VERY small town - we could hardly move for cruise ship passengers.  I looked at the ships in the dock and figured that their passengers alone numbered around 10,000.  Mostly British.  

Yes, I know I'm part of the problem, but it IS a problem, and people should be aware of it and accept that change is needed!  We can't change the past, but we can be more thoughtful about our future actions.

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Posted (edited)

reports have suggested end of September as being the effective date from which the current ban takes effect meaning all ships larger than 1000 gross tons will be re routed with the majority ending up at the cargo pier mentioned in the following story

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49276730?fbclid=IwAR0S0Mfa4gTFj42HmpN7FzNwkt2sGHZHiDQ1EXNcYLyqpSqTB6WVjzsPtAM

 

Edited by Captain_Morgan

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1000 GT seems really low. 100 pax "yacht" class ships are >4000 GT. Even river cruise boats are >3000 GT.
1000 GT means there will only be passenger ferries or small private yachts. The lightweight carbon-fiber electric fjord ferries in Norway are 770 GT.

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I believe that ships in excess of 100,000 tonnes are to be restricted.

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I suggest this story is a classic example of the modern media standard of why let facts stop a good story. Since the 2 recent incidents, I have been waiting for the resurrection of this headline.

 

Don't recall seeing it in any of my marine journals, as it wasn't really news worthy - my understanding is that no ships are banned next month. I believe the Govt Minister (who overturned the previous ban scheduled for 2021) mentioned they should consider alternative berths adjacent to Venice and also they should investigate methods to control the number of visitors, not just cruise pax.

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I have a strong suspicion that at the end of the day the people actually responsible for any ships using this particular area are the port authority.

 

My feeling is that if it is true (stressing the 'if'), then the port authorities are surely the authors of this situation?  Sure cruise line operators have to contact the various port authorities and request the berth and associated facilities well in advance of any brochures and schedules being published and put on sale.

 

Mind you, if this is true (surely a large ship just can't simply 'turn up and ask for space ad hoc apart from emergency situations?), then I'll be prepared for the whingeing and moaning from the locals because footfall and income will drop.  However, so does the tide - and then it smells!!!  

 

 

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Here is a link to a  thread from CC Italy Ports with more information on this possible ban. Apparently nothing is set in stone yet as there will be more discussions by the Italian authorities later this month. Any changes would be for next year and would be cruise ships larger than 55,000GT which would not effect VO ships which are under 50,000GT. We are on the Viking Sea next year for the Venice to Athens cruise, so I have a strong interest in this subject. The Venice authorities are also considering charging a Venice entry fee for people entering the city and not spending at least one night in a local hotel. The bigger problem is Venice has only 55,000 full time residents and on the busiest high season days up to 60,000 tourists descend on the city each day. Even in low season 30,000 tourists visit Venice each day.

 

a

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Not everyone in Venice relies on tourism. An entry charge seems sensible. Maintenance of such an unusual, ancient and beautiful place must be expensive and its unfair to expect the local council taxes to cover that. 

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