Cruise ships will be banned by law from sailing through the city center of Venice from August 1, as “an important step for the safeguarding of the Venetian lagoon,” the Italian government has announced. Large cruise ships will be rerouted through the Venice lagoon, and dock on the mainland. The government will now hold public consultations about the possibility of building terminals outside the lagoon.This decision of the Italian authorities was also anticipated. In June, UNESCO drafted a recommendation to add Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger, including the presence of cruise ships in its reasoning. What is good for the “environmental, artistic and cultural heritage of Venice,”as the government said, will produce important loses for many people, about 4,200 local workers employed by the cruise industry. Compensation was promised for them.
Francesco Galietti, director of trade body Cruise Lines International Association Italy (CLIA), told media that the reaction from the cruise industry was “overwhelmingly positive.” „It’s the first time in 10 years that we’re seeing tangible progress,” he said. It seems, however, technical preparation will not be finished yet for this year. The Marghera docks will be a “short to medium-term solution” according to Galietti. “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.” A winner solution will be selected by June 30, 2023.