Following a string of media releases earlier this week alleging that cruise ships have been banned from Venice, CLIA has released a statement that refutes the claims.
"There is currently no ban in place preventing cruise ships from visiting Venice. Discussions concerning the future of cruise ships using the Giudecca Canal have been ongoing for several years and those discussions continue today without any conclusion," a statement read.
According to the release, Danilo Toninelli, the Italian Minister for Transport, spoke at the Italian Parliament yesterday (Aug. 8) and reported that he had set up a working group to look at alternative solutions which could see some ships rerouted to the mainland Fusina and Lombardia terminals, until the end of the year.
No decision has been made yet.
“The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Minister, the Mayor of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Port Authority and many other stakeholders to find viable solutions to allow larger cruise ships to access the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal. We are still in agreement with the solution developed by Comitatone in 2017 to utilize the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca,” said Tom Boardley, Secretary-General of Cruise Lines International Association Europe. “CLIA cruise line members welcome and will support the urgent implementation of this solution," the statement concluded.
Yesterday, numerous international media outlets reported that mass market cruise ships would be banned from entering the city's historic city centre.
The state of Venice
Back in February, the Italian government announced a plan to instill a mandatory tourist tax for those seeking to explore the sinking city.
The tax, which was set to come into effect in May, was proposed at €2.50 to €10 per person, before climbing to six euros in 2020, and then hiking all the way up to rates of eight euros on heavy traffic days and 10 euros on very busy days, like summer time, when cruising is most popular in Europe.
With cruise tourism on the rise, the city has been subjected to mass visitors for decades. A combination of trying to combat heavy pedestrian foot traffic and the inevitable damage caused by cruise ships, like erosion and pollution, are just a handful of the reasons behind the new tax.
Recently, two German tourists made headlines after being charged $1,000 for preparing a cup of coffee at a historical site in Venice, in an attempt to avoid paying the hefty fees travellers can expect at Venice's cafes.
Back in June, the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, asked UNESCO to consider placing Venice on its famous list of World Heritage Sites, after Italy's transport minister failed to deliver on a plan that would stop big cruise ships from entering the city centre's ports, The Telegraph reports.
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