Mega Ships to Return to Venice

January 13, 2015

A ban on large cruise ships sailing through Venice’s Giudecca Channel has been scrapped.

In November 2014 Venice’s regional court of appeal – Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale – imposed a restriction which stated that from the start of 2015 large cruise ships would not be allowed to pass through the Giudecca Canal and St Mark’s basin to the city’s main cruise terminal, as reported by us here

Vessels included in the restriction were those that weighed more than 96,000 tonnes, equating to around 2,260 passengers. The number of ships sailing through the centre, weighing 40,000 tonnes or more was also set to a limit of five a day.

The restriction was put forward in a bid to prevent damage to fragile buildings and the environment in Venice. For years, environmental groups have been protesting against the large ships but ports and cruise industry employees have argued that they contribute millions of euros to Venice’s economy.

After much controversy a series of appeals were led by the Venice Passenger Terminal and Tribunal Judges made the decision to overturn the decree.

It also stated that the ban should only be set in place once an alternative route has been created. There has been talk of the Contorta Sant’Angelo Channel but this could take at least eighteen months before it is complete..

A spokesperson for P&O Cruises said: “we acknowledge and respect the verdict of Veneto’s Regional Administrative Court. CLIA and its member lines have chosen to voluntarily refrain from bringing ships above 96,000 tons to Venice until a new navigational route becomes operational.

“We are looking forward to welcoming a final decision by the Italian government on the alternative route for big ships in Venice.”

Do you agree with the decision to scrap the ban?