Large cruise ships will soon be banished from the centre of Venice, Italy's transport minister announced on Nov 5, 2017.
The ships have long been a source of frustration to locals, who have protested against the pollution and potential damage to fragile historic buildings and the canal itself.
And cruise ships are also a key factor behind the rise of mass tourism to the lagoon city, which has meant that on a given day, there are more visitors than residents in the city. This has pushed up rents and seen traditional, artisan businesses replaced with shops selling fast food and cheap souvenirs.
Now, an Italian government committee has decided that ships weighing over 55,000 tonnes will have to moor in the industrial port of Marghera, northwest of the historic centre of Venice. This means they will no longer be able to access the Giudecca Canal, which passes next to St Mark's Square. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the decision was "extremely positive" because it had managed to find a compromise between environmental and residents' concerns, and "the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we cannot afford to lose".
"We want it to be clear to UNESCO and to the world that we have a solution," Brugnaro added, referring to warnings from the cultural heritage organization that the city could be listed as 'threatened' if it failed to take measures restricting cruise ship access.
The new route will be open within four years' time, Italy's infrastructure and transport minister Graziano Delrio said, confirming the plan first announced in July this year. He said the changes would not interfere with commercial traffic.
In recent years, frustrated Venetians have staged frequent protests against the mass tourism which has pushed up rents and forced many families out of their hometown. Brugnaro has made tackling overcrowding a priority, and has introduced measures ranging from promotion of the lesser-explored corners of the city to the installation of people-counters at the most popular sights, as well as 'locals first' policies on water buses. And this summer, the mayor's office gave the go-ahead to a ban on new tourist accommodation in the historic centre.
Fincantieri holds steel cutting for 3rd Carnival Cruise Line's VISTA class cruise ship
The steel cutting ceremony of the third “Vista” class cruise ship, which Fincantieri is building for Carnival Cruise Line, a brand under Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise operator, took place today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera. She will be delivered in autumn 2019, the shipbuilding group said in a media release.
The new unit will be a sister ship of “Carnival Vista”, delivered in Monfalcone in April, 2016, as well as of “Carnival Horizon”, also currently under construction at the shipyard in Marghera with delivery scheduled at the beginning of 2018.
At 133,500 gross tons and 323 meters long: these are the figures of the “Vista” class, which includes the largest ships that Fincantieri has ever built for the Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet. She will have 1,987 passenger cabins added up to the 761 of the crew, being able to accommodate more than 6,500 people onboard, including staff.
A monster cruise ship meets a giant octopus and crashes into the Rialto bridge, provoking a tsunami. It’s an apocalyptic vision of Venice. The message of Stop the Madness, Philip Colbert’s pop-art-with-a-purpose at the current Venice Biennale, is echoed by Lorenzo Quinn’s Support, a large-scale installation of giant hands reaching out of the Grand Canal to prop up the crumbling Palazzo Sagredo.
Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro could also do with a helping hand. Under-populated and over-touristed, Venice is facing threats from all sides. Its status as a world heritage site is slowly sinking, with Unesco threatening to slap the city on its in-danger list, a fate normally reserved for war-ravaged ruins, under-funded third world sites and, er, Liverpool. Unesco’s concerns about cruise ships, mass tourism and damage to the fragile lagoon ecosystem “have been met with empty promises but no concrete proposals”, according to Italia Nostra, the country’s influential heritage body.
For outsiders, megaships are the biggest blight, symptomatic of the vested interests that paralyse Venetian decision-making. For Jonathan Keates, chairman of Venice in Peril, the cruise ships “are an abomination whose size threatens the dimensions of the city”. Indeed, the World Monument Fund put Venice on its watch list in 2014 precisely because “large-scale cruising is pushing the city to an environmental tipping point and undermining quality of life for its citizens”. Read more at https://www.theguardian.c...
Holland America Lays Keel for Nieuw Statendam Cruise Ship
Holland America Line laid the keel for its next new ship Nieuw Statendam during a ceremony at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. The keel, which is the first building block of the ship measures 37 feet long, 114 feet wide and weighs about 260 tons.
The 2,650 passenger Nieuw Statendam will be the second ship in the line's Pinnacle class; it is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2018.
Fincantieri launches “Carnival Horizon” in Marghera (near Venice)
“Carnival Horizon”, the new ship of Carnival Cruise Line, brand of the Carnival Group, the world's largest cruise ship operator, was launched today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera. Interior fittings will now begin, leading the ship to its delivery, scheduled in spring 2018.
The launching was introduced by the traditional and well-wishing “coin ceremony”, consisting, according to an ancient shipbuilding custom, in welding a silver dollar on the last deck of the ship. Godmother of the ceremony was Clementina Zecchin, employee of Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera. The new unit, sister ship of “Carnival Vista”, the largest ship which Fincantieri has ever built for the Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, delivered in Monfalcone in April 2016, will have a gross tonnage of 133,500 tons, be 323 meters long and accommodate more than 6,400 people onboard, including the staff.
Venice Is Fed Up With Cruise Ships And Angry Protesters Are Blocking Them
Venice, which this year logged a new low of fewer than 55,000 inhabitants—down from 164,000 in 1931 – registers up to 30,000 cruise ship passengers tramping through the small, ancient city per day. World famous for its canals and gondolas, Venice is a major destination for Mediterranean cruises. More than 600 big ships pass through the Giudecca Canal each year, ferrying millions of passengers to views of the 15th century Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square and other architectural and artistic wonders.
The total of visitors per year is calculated to be almost 22 million, an overwhelming number considering the size of the fragile, salt-corroded the city, which has long required constant attention to keep it from sinking, literally.
Per day, the number of tourists is around 60,000 exceeding by 5,000 the number of Venetians which, in the words of UNESCO officials means that “the capacity of the city, the number of its inhabitants and the number of tourists is out of balance and causing significant damage to the city.” Read further at www.forbes.com/si...
Fincantieri starts building of cruise ship "Seabourn Encore"
"Seabourn Encore", the first of two ultra-luxury cruise ships that Fincantieri is building for Seabourn Cruise Line, brand of Carnival Corporation, was launched today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera (Venice).
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Mr. John Delaney, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales, while Fincantieri was represented by Antonio Quintano, the Marghera yard manager.
“Seabourn Encore”, due to join the Seabourn fleet in the end of this year, is being built according to the standards and technical solutions that make Seabourn one of the most prestigious brands in the ultra-luxury segment and will continue the fleet modernization that began in 2009.
The all-suite ship is approximately 41,000 gross tons, 210 metres long and 28 metres wide and will be able to reach a cruising speed of 18.6 knots. It will carry up just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. Every suite will feature a private veranda.
Safety will be one of this ship's major strong points. It will be built using the very latest technologies, whose standards will exceed the requirements of the relevant legislation. Fuel consumption will be significantly reduced by optimizing the ship's hydrodynamics.
Fincantieri has built 70 cruise ships since 1990 (of which 47 from 2002), and other 14 ships are currently being designed or built in the Group's yards.
Offshore terminal proposed to handle mega-ships in Adriatic
North Adriatic ports should pool resources and develop an offshore terminal to allow mega-ship access, an Italian port official has said.
The solution was conceived by Paolo Costa, president of the Venice Port Authority, who announced it to the audience of the Marintec China conference. North Adriatic ports are currently only capable of handling vessels up to 7,600 20-foot-equivalent units, while northern European ports such as Rotterdam regularly handle mega-ships.
With the offshore terminal, Costa believes that Adriatic ports such as Venice, Chioggia, and Ravenna would not need to invest heavily to expand their port facilities separately. Instead, they can pool their resources for the construction of one offshore terminal in the Adriatic Sea to handle mega-ships.
“The offshore terminal model offers one call for mega-vessels as compared with the traditional model of multi-call of smaller vessels feeding the mega-ship,” Costa said. www.joc.com/port-...
Venice Port Authority has published the international tender for the drafting of the new port masterplan, which will set the basis for the port development up until 2050.
The masterplan’s goals include promoting a sustainable port system in the Venice lagoon, based on the new offshore terminal and its links with other onshore terminals, both in and out of the lagoon.
It will also promote private investment in line with the development of the whole region along with the deployment and strengthening of sea based worldwide import-export companies in Porto Marghera.
There are also plans to modify and rationalise both the whole port and the single terminals layout and fostering rail network to the hinterland for both environmental and market purposes. www.maritimejourn...
The challenge of protecting the ancient city of Venice from the sea has been a long saga. Increasing high tide levels within the sensitive Venice lagoon have seen many sections of the city flooded.
Work started on an ambitious project to enable the three inlets to the lagoon from the sea to be closed of by tidal barriers in the event of high tides and now the final stages of the project comprising the installation of the gates is being carried out.
Each of the three barriers comprises a series of modular gates that, when filled with water, rest on the seafloor. When high tides are forecast these hinged gates will be raised by filling them with compressed air. More to read at www.maritimejourn...