Following the meeting of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Venetian officials on Tuesday, the Italian government has announced that the number of cruise ships entering Venice’s Giudecca Canal weighing more than 40,000 tons will be reduced by 20% from January 2014, and ships weighing more than 96,000 tons will be banned from the canal completely from November 2014.
Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni said the decision “finally inverts the tendency toward gigantism in the lagoon.”
The Giudecca Canal, in front of St Mark’s Square in the heart of the city, is widely regarded as one of the highlights of a Venice cruise. However, many have welcomed the new decision.
Penny Guy, PR Director for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said:
“CLIA views the outcome of the meeting that took place last Tuesday in Rome as a positive on-going commitment of the representatives of the Italian Institutions to find a sustainable and long term solution for the city of Venice.
“This goal is shared by the cruise industry. We are in the process of determining the impact of the decision, and any estimation or evaluation at this time is premature.
“Venice is consistently rated as the number one European cruise destination for our industry and we look forward to further strengthening our role as a key contributor to the economic vitality of Venice.”
Among the ships affected by the ban on ships weighing more than 96,000 tons are MSC Preziosa, Celebrity Equinox and Regal Princess (launching next year).
Cruise lines with small ships will be unaffected by the changes.
The 2014 itineraries affected by the new cruise ship regulations are yet to be fully established. Passengers who are concerned about their holidays should contact their travel agent.
Question: What do you think about the new changes, and how will it affect your cruise holiday plans? Leave your response below…
Read the latest issue of Cruise International in shops now