Well, Venice has been in the news twice recently with 2 related cruise stories, first a crash and then a protest.
On Sunday the 2nd June, MSC Opera apparently snapped a tow rope then careered into a smaller boat, docked with 130 passengers onboard.
The incident involving the 2004-built cruise ship occurred at San Basilio Pier in the Giudecca Canal at 8:35 a.m., the Italian fire agency confirmed.
In frightening video footage passengers from the smaller vessel can be seen rushing away before the impact but unfortunately, 5 people sustained injuries. Both the MSC Opera, as well as the tourist boat have been damaged in the incident.
Opera’s next cruise, scheduled from Bari on June 8 and Venice on June 9, has been cancelled due to the ship remaining in Venice as an investigation is carried out.
There was already calls for the large cruise ships to be banned from the Giudecca canal, this latest incident only adds fuel to the flames.
Thousands of people, many carrying placards, protested on Saturday, calling for the large boats to be kept out of the lagoon.
Many claims that the waves the ships create is eroding the foundations of the historic city. This causes regular flooding, leaving iconic sites such as Saint Mark’s Square underwater. Italy’s Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said the government would come up with a “definitive solution” by the end of June.
This has been an ongoing argument for years. In 2013 the government banned ships of more than 96,000 tonnes, however, this was overturned by a regional court. Then in 2015, the government announced that larger ships would be diverted from the historic centre but again this failed to materialise.
It is a very difficult decision to make as no-one wants to damage such an iconic destination however the number of cruise passengers visiting the area surely helps the local economy.
Let us hope that they can reach an outcome that will keep both sides happy.
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