On the 2nd of June 2019 an out-of-control cruise ship collided into a dock and a tourist riverboat on a busy Giudecca Canal in Venice, injuring 5 people.
Cruise ships have been for long time a source of contention in Venice, where the administration is already trying to fight the consequences of mass-tourism. Following the collision, calls for banning cruise ships were renewed.
For the opponents, the crash served as a wake-up call. They say cruise ships are out-of-scale for Venice, cause pollution, endanger the lagoon’s ecosystem and are a danger for the people living and visiting the city.
The week after the incident, thousands of people have marched in Venice to demand that a ban is put in place. A day later, groups of small boats and kayaks joined a protest regatta. It was the first time since 1997 that authorities had allowed a demonstration in the city’s historic main plaza.
The Italian authorities are now discussing about the safety in the lagoon and a plan for cruise ships in Venice is expected to be announced, perhaps as early as the beginning of July. Venice is a very popular area, and it remains important to the cruise community that Venice remains a viable port. But the question of passengers’ safety and security is now pressing.
A solution was already proposed two years ago, that would remove ships from the Giudecca Canal and divert the largest ships to a new terminal in industrial Marghera, directly adjacent to Venice on the mainland. Midsize vessels would continue to dock at the Venice Maritime Station, but they would travel a new route.
We will keep following the events and will give you updates as soon as they are available.