Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has welcomed the decision by the Italian Government to allow for a long-awaited alternative route for cruise ships to access Venice.
For several years, CLIA and its members have been supportive of the Government’s ambition to identify a long-awaited alternative water route to serve Venice. This decision has finally identified this alternative route and port.
The cruise industry has over the years co-operated with national and local authorities constructively throughout, as authorities have searched for a sustainable solution to this long-standing and complex challenge.
Commenting on the announcement, Francesco Galietti, CLIA Italy National Director (pictured), said: “We are pleased that the Italian Government has taken this decision on an alternative route as the cruise industry has been supportive of a new approach for many years.
“The Government’s decision to appoint a special Commissioner to fast track the process is also a welcome development. We now look forward to progress being made towards the provision of alternative docking arrangements in time for the 2022 season,” he said.
The cruise industry provides a significant contribution to national economies. In Italy alone, the cruise sector generates a turnover of €14 bill every year, supporting over 120,000 jobs (direct and indirect), CLIA said.
Italian Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini, announced that the ban was approved during a Cabinet meeting on 13th July and will take effect on 1st August.
The ban covers the lagoon near the city’s St Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal.
Franceschini explained to the local media that the Government decided to act fast to avoid the UN culture agency UNESCO adding Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger sites at an upcoming meeting in China.
The ban will involve cruise ships of over 25,000 gt or longer than 180 m. It will also stop smaller ships that produce too much pollution or could otherwise harm the city’s environment from transiting.
At least four temporary sites near the industrial port of Marghera have been approved for visiting cruise ships.