Giant cruise ships that block the Venice views and threaten foundations are to be banned from passing through city's heart

 

Rome

Monstrous cruise ships that ruin the view – and even block out the sun – for people strolling down Venice’s Giudecca Canal, will, from the end of November, no longer pass close to the lagoon city, cruise ship owners have pledged.

From that date vessels weighing over 96,000 tonnes will eschew the route that currently sees them pass close to St Mark’s Square, while, according to campaigners who want them banned, unleashing huge currents that threatens to undermine Venice’s delicate foundations.

The Cruise Lines International Association made the pledge during talks on Thursday with Italy’s Transport and Environment Ministers.

The development follows a confused situation in which a government decree last year appeared to ban the vessels, only to be challenged by a regional court in March.

After Thursday’s meeting, the Environment Minister, Gianluca Galletti, said: “We will proceed in a very short time with the choice of an alternative solutions that respects the environment and the tourism economy.”

Paolo Costa, the president of the Port of Venice, said: “I am pleased that the cruise ship companies have agreed to accept voluntary traffic restrictions.”

Mr Costa also welcomed ministers’ pledge to approve new routes that would allowed the biggest cruises ships to serve the city without passing by Saint Mark’s Square. He said that such a compromise that would not cause too much damage to the cruise lines or the local economy.

The agreement will also see a reduction in the number of cruise liners weighing over 40,000 tonnes that enter Giudecca Canal.

Over 650 cruise ships pass through the city annually, with protests by local people and environmentalists building in recent years. These protests gained momentum in 2012 when the 140,000-tonne MSC Divina gained the dubious title of being largest liner ever to enter the lagoon city.

No Big Ships Venice Committee, a local protest group, noted that the giant vessel produced as much pollution in an hour as 15,000 cars. In addition, the fumes contained 15 times as much sulphur as road vehicle emissions. The acid nature of the pollution is thought to be potentially speeding up the erosion of the city’s medieval buildings, which are already sinking into the lagoon. Environmentalists have long warned that the lagoon surrounding Venice, itself a Unesco heritage site, is also at great risk.

As part of the latest agreement, cruise ship operators are committed to not using fuel with more than 0.1 per cent sulphur.

The Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said the alternative route around Venice for the biggest cruise liners would be decided at a cabinet meeting next week. This prompted an angry response from the Mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, who said the citizens of Venice and their local representatives should have been more involved.

Mr Orsoni told the Adnkronos news agency that an environmental impact assessment was needed, and he predicted “nasty surprises” ahead for the government if it failed to abide by such a report.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments