Venice Lifts Ban on Large Cruise Ships

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 13, 2015

Photo courtesy of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri

Photo courtesy of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri

Venice, Italy has overturned a ban on cruise ships over 96,000 gross tonnage from sailing through the city’s Giudecca channel and passing St. Mark’s Square.

Venice's regional court of appeal (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) threw out the limit imposed in November 2014 for large cruise ships over 96,000 gross tons (which roughly equates to 2,260 passengers) to sail to the city's main cruise terminal. The ban also limits the number of ships of 40,000 tons or more to five per day.
Over the summer, celebrities like Michael Douglas and Cate Blanchett rallied in support of the ban citing the destruction and potential for flooding of the historic landmarks.  
The Veneto Region Administrative Tribunal was urged by numerous tourism groups and the Venice Passenger Terminal (VTP) to overturn the ban, but stated that any restriction on cruise ship travel would only be enacted after sufficient alternate routes for ships had been established.
The Italian Transport Ministry stated it will appeal the decision to the Council of State. UNESCO's president of the Italian National Commission, Giovanni Puglisi, said that he was appalled by the decision, claiming that the public interest should take precedent over cruise ships.
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