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Venice. Large cruise ships return as launchers circumvent the docking ban

By Monday, 05 September 2022 11:14

Large cruise ships have returned to Venice thanks to launchers that circumvent the docking ban.


These nifty craft, carrying 150 passengers each, recently transported some 1,500 passengers into Venice from the Norwegian Gem stationed just outside the Lido. The system, agreed with the Venezia Terminal Passeggeri company and the harbour master's office thus made it possible to bypass the ban that from August 2021 has prevented ships over 25,000 tons from sailing into Venice via San Marco and the Giudecca.

A smart solution used for Greek islands

This is not a new solution as it is frequently used on Greek islands lacking ports of call capable of accommodating large vessels such as the 94-thousand ton Gem. The Norwegian line ship did not, however, technically call at Venice, as it did not require refuelling or other port services during its stay in the natural harbour outside the Lido.

Another headache for Venice’s municipality

However this solution provoked discussions with the port authority and with Venice’s municipality which did not take to it kindly. Councillor for tourism Simone Venturini told the Corriere del Veneto newspaper that this is not the ideal cruise ship model for the city. In fact, the municipality has been striving for some time to avoid hit-and-run cruise tourism, as evidenced by the recent decision to introduce an entry fee into Venice that will come into effect next year.

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