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Venice 11/9/2021


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Here's a news article:
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-italy-legislate-keep-liners-out-venice-lagoon-sources-2021-07-13/
"The ban will take effect from Aug. 1, barring ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from the shallow Giudecca Canal that leads past Piazza San Marco, the city's most famous landmark."

So, I think large vessels can still make a Venice stop, but they can't moor as closely as before.

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Ahhhhh, so finally the government has found their backbone.  What does this mean for cruisers?  The 25000 ton limit rules out nearly all cruise ships and losing the ability to use the Giudecca Canal means that the Maritima Port will be essentially a ghost town.  There are a few ultra luxury ships such as the two SeaDream Yachts that would still be able to use the port, but those cruises are out of the price range of most cruisers.   While it might be possible for some ships to relocated to Maghera (on the mainland) this commercial port is really not equipped to handle large cruise ships.  There is also no efficient way to move large numbers of passengers between Maghera and Venice so this is another problem not mentioned in the Reuters article.   I have no clue what the cruise lines will do with their schedules.   Some have suggested the use of Trieste but this port is about 100 miles (via road or train) from Venice.  

 

My advice to cruisers who want to see Venice is plan on going to Italy a few days early or staying a few post cruise days and visit Venice via air, train, or driving.  It is a fascinating place for a few days visit.

 

Just a personal comment.  DW and I have been blessed to have visited Venice on at least 6 cruises (we lost count) and have also driven there (multi-day visits) on several of our European driving trips.  Anyone who has watched the huge ships moving down the Giudecca Canal should understand that there has long been an inherent danger is using this channel.  There has also been numerous studies which speak to significant damage being done to the fragile infrastructure (along the canal) by overpressure caused by large vessels.   As much as I will miss the opportunity to enjoy Venice as a port, if banning ships helps preserve this city then we are supportive of the ban.

 

 

Hank

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Just saw the story on Bloomberg.  The government has stated that cruise ships will use Marghera after 1 August and they've put aside 157 million € to construct a temporary docking port.  This temp facility will be used until they can find a permanent solution.  Right now, it's pretty much a commercial and industrial area but, with the arrival of cruise ships and a terminal, I can imagine all sorts of amenities popping up, including transportation to the main island.

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Long time coming and in my judgment long overdue. It may be too late to save Venice as a viable city. The behemoth cruise ships and 50,000 visitors a day have left a toll on the lagoon and the livability of the city. Venice is best in December and March before the cruise ships reappear.

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5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

There are a few ultra luxury ships such as the two SeaDream Yachts that would still be able to use the port, but those cruises are out of the price range of most cruisers.  

Windstar's Wind Surf still makes the cut, is not ultra luxury, and probably within the budget of most O passengers. I'm with you- it's about time this bit of preservation happened.

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13 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Windstar's Wind Surf still makes the cut, is not ultra luxury, and probably within the budget of most O passengers. I'm with you- it's about time this bit of preservation happened.

DW and I have long thought that cruising in and out of Venice is one of the great cruise experiences.  You will always find me up on deck enjoying every moment of the passage through the Lagoon and Giudecca Canal.  But we have spent a lot of time in Italy (I have driven more then 10,000 miles throughout the country on our independent driving trips) and have grown to love the country for its people, history, food, wine, and many sub cultures (which vary across the country).  I have also seen (first hand) the damage caused by over tourism in places like Venice, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast.  We have also watched some latter day efforts to reign in the over tourist problem (and we admit to being part of this problem).  The Italian's and their government do understand they have an over tourist problem but have lots of internal political issues dealing with the problem.  I think banning ships from Venice might be only the beginning of trying to implement real solutions.  Cinque Terre also needs major intervention to limit ships access to nearby La Spezia.  

 

Just some words to fellow cruisers who have enjoyed visiting Italy on cruises.  Most cruisers have gone to places like Florence and Rome on a port day trip and it is wonderful for most.  But when I first saw Florence it was on a typical all day cruise excursion.  I thought Florence was OK but still remember being exhausted from the usual tour cramming in visits to the Ufizzi, Academia, etc.  A few year later DW and I drove to Florence and spend a few days in a nice hotel just outside the main tourist area.  We would stroll along the Arno around sunset and eventually sit down to a long dinner at a restaurant long after the cruise ship passengers were gone.  Florence was magical in those evenings when there were not crowds in the streets, the walk ways along the Arno were relatively empty, etc.  Eventually we fell in love with the city, its amazing architecture, the cuisine, etc.   And it is the same with many other places in Italy.  San Gimignano (a personal favorite place) is normally packed with day tourists/cruisers during the daytime.  But after 6pm it becomes a quiet incredibly romantic walled town with some OK restaurants.  One evening after a late dinner DW and walked the main street of San Gimignano when we had the place to ourselves and DW remarked that it must have looked similar hundreds of years ago!    I mention this for the younger cruisers/travelers who have yet to experience the joy of actually being in a place (on your own) after the crowds have fled.  Italy is great for a cruise, but it is truly magical when you spend time exploring the country.

 

Hank 

 

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15 hours ago, brittany12 said:

Long time coming and in my judgment long overdue.

Amen to that. Venice has become a victim of its own success as a tourist destination. The main problem, as such, isnt the cruise ships but the many North Europeans, like me, for whom the city is an easy short break destination. Our last trip, was four nights in the April. A lovely time to visit, with the weather starting to be really nice and still relatively few tourists around (except in the main hotspots). Of course, with only about 60k people living there, it's not heavily populated.

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Venice depends on tourism. It’s their major business.  With a ban on ships, cruises may find more tourist friendly ports.  Best way to see Venice is to stay there, not a cruise stop.  At night after the tourists leave, Venice is amazing. 

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Congrats to the city of Venice!  Finally a city is standing up to over-tourism.  This is great news for this amazing city! 

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As mentioned above, we saw Venice on an exhausting one and a half day tour with a great sail in and out several years ago.  In 2019, we returned by car-left in the rental apt's parking lot (a bus ride away from the main island)  the whole time and really saw Venice.  We enjoyed sunset cocktails and things off the beaten path without all the frenzy and as said by several, it was magical at night with long dinners and quiet walks.  If you want to see Venice from the water, take one of the local transit boats to get from point A to B or take one all the way around the main island-there are many deals on tickets.  The POV taking a boat out to the other islands is also great.  See Venice not from a cruise day!

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Posted (edited)

This is definitely the right move to make. I love Venice. And I love spending time there - especially "after hours" when the cruise masses have left.

 

Having said that... one of most enduring Oceania cruise memories was leaving from Venice back in 2012. The vantage point from our balcony on a bluebird day was absolutely phenomenal. This one picture does not come close to doing it justice.

 

Add to the experience, as we left all the America's Cup boats were coming back from the America's Cup World Series Match Race Championship. A real thrill for a lifelong sailor/racer to be sipping champagne and watching then all come by.

 

Our Riviera cruise in October 2021 is scheduled to conclude in Venice and we were hoping to have that experience one last time... But again, this is the right move and I am ever so thankful for the memories!

May be an image of outdoors and monument

Edited by clairol
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i wonder how many other ports  will start banning cruise ships or limiting  their  numbers ??

 

Tourism is  not always a good thing

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This is from my TA regarding Amsterdam-Venice cruise 9/20/21:
”I double checked with Oceania regarding the port in Venice. They have never been scheduled to dock at the Lagoon port in front of St. Mark's Square so the ban at this time does not effect them.  The ship is going to dock in Venice as it always has just on the outskirts of Venice at StazioneMarittima - Pier 1 - Port of Venice.  The agent that I work with at Oceania
forwarded me a map of the port showing the port location.  I'll forward that to you to follow this email.
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5 minutes ago, Jayne E said:
 
”I double checked with Oceania regarding the port in Venice. They have never been scheduled to dock at the Lagoon port in front of St. Mark's Square so the ban at this time does not effect them.  The ship is going to dock in Venice as it always has just on the outskirts of Venice at StazioneMarittima - Pier 1 - Port of Venice.
 
thanks for the info. I am assuming this is for Marina’s arrival and would expect Our Riviera arrival in late October to be the same location  Whatever and wherever it is, we will still be cruising so ALL IS GOOD

 

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Your TA and the Oceania rep share a poor knowledge of geography.  I assume the rep got confused because the O-class ships are too big for San Basilio so they have to use Marittima along with the truly huge ships.  But both locations are approached by the same route:  into the lagoon and through the Giudecca canal.  There is no other way to get to Marittima.

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1 minute ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Your TA and the Oceania rep share a poor knowledge of geography.  I assume the rep got confused because the O-class ships are too big for San Basilio so they have to use Marittima along with the truly huge ships.  But both locations are approached by the same route:  into the lagoon and through the Giudecca canal.  There is no other way to get to Marittima.

Sure seems that way….one of many reasons we may sadly cancel.  O also changed our cancel policy without notifying us. 

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6 minutes ago, Jayne E said:

Sure seems that way….one of many reasons we may sadly cancel.  O also changed our cancel policy without notifying us. 

How did they change you cancellation policy?

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16 hours ago, Petoonya said:

Windstar's Wind Surf still makes the cut, is not ultra luxury, and probably within the budget of most O passengers. I'm with you- it's about time this bit of preservation happened.

Been there on the Wind Surf and had a great time in the city for a few days.  We took the train back to Rome, spent one more night there and then flew home to Reno.

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Just now, clairol said:

How did they change you cancellation policy?

Was “Cruise with Confidence”. Cancel 15 days prior with full CREDIT refund. 
Now cancel 61 days prior fir full refund or make final payment and in full cancel penalty. 

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54 minutes ago, Lvwindstar007 said:

Been there on the Wind Surf and had a great time in the city for a few days.  We took the train back to Rome, spent one more night there and then flew home to Reno.

Someone on the Windstar forum pointed out that although the Windsurf makes it tonnage-wise, it exceeds the length requirement, depending where you measure it: if you measure at the water line, she makes it. If you measure from the longest points, including the bowsprit, she doesn't.

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I am curious to know what the dates are for that cancellation policy? I know they had more liberal policies at some point, but ours for our October cruise is just the standard one. I could be wrong but I think Cruise with Confidence is Princess?

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From a CNN article today:

The law will protect the "environmental, artistic and cultural heritage of Venice," said the government in a statement.
It will affect ships weighing over 25,000 tons, with lengths of over 180 meters.
The government said that a maximum of five berths will be created at Marghera, at a cost of €157 million ($185 million).

 

 

It goes on further to say:

 

However, although the deputy mayor of Venice, Andrea Tomaello, had previously told CNNthat ships would be rerouted to Marghera this summer, Galietti said the berths would not be ready: "There's going to be nothing this year, all this scramble is to get Marghera ready for next year."
Tomaello did not respond to a request for comment. But Galietti said that cruise lines are now "eyeing the 2022 season."
"I think this is it for this season, full stop," he told CNN. 
"Each company will have to review its plans -- some will cancel altogether, others will maybe divert what was assigned to Venice to Trieste, Monfalcone or Ravenna."
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