The Venice Cruise Controversy

Venice-Wolfgang MoroderOne of the cruise stories that just refuses to go away is Venice. Here’s a recent headline from The Daily Telegraph, in London:

“Giant cruise ships ‘crushing the life out of Venice.’”

This is a story that’s been going on for years, and there’s no end in sight. What it boils down to is this: Cruise ships that dwarf some of the waterways of Venice, notably the Guidecca Canal, are being blamed for erosion that environmentalists claim will destroy this jewel of Italy. Business interests, including the most recently elected mayor of Venice, argue that tourism is vital to the city’s economy and cruise ships (probably) deliver more tourists (and jobs) than any other mode of transportation.

One side says “the city will die” if it continues. The other side says it must continue and Venice will never die.

What triggered the most recent headline is a photo exhibition — 30 images of cruise ships that make St. Mark’s Square look like a local playground…and they do. The images are on display until January 6th in, of course, St. Mark’s Square.

A little history…

In 2013, the port of Venice banned large cruise ships — 2,200 passengers or more. The ban was overturned by a regional tribunal. In 2014, the Italian government stepped in and restored the ban, to take effect in 2015. Twelve days into the year, Venice’s regional court of appeal overturned the ban.

Clearly, Italians can’t make up their minds, so here’s a novel idea for them.

Have a referendum. Limit votes to the people of Venice, the ones affected by the death/life of their city. Yes or no. Let the people speak. Let the decision be in their hands, not the politicians in northern Italy or down south in Rome. 

Give them the facts, give them the propaganda, give them the pros and the cons…and let them decide. 

Once and for all.

– Photo by Wolfgang Moroder

In the news…

• Royal Caribbean orders Quantum Class ship No. 5 to arrive in 2020
• Rough seas, high winds delay Nieuw Amsterdam by a day in Barcelona

Today at Crystal cruising into river market

Norwegian Jade
7 nights
January 2, 2016
Houston (return): Cozumel, Belize, Roatan
Inside: $469
Cost per day: $67

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