With Venice banning large cruise ships from its port earlier this month, several cruise lines have started informing passengers of the subsequent changes to their Italian itineraries.
According to CruiseCritic.com, previous plans to ban larger vessels from Venice’s iconic Lagoon were quietly dropped, but the latest shutdown was influenced by UNESCO’s threats to add the historic area to its list of endangered heritage cities.
With large cruise ships prohibited from calling on the Venice Cruise Terminal, companies will be forced to divert sailings to other ports, including Marghera or Trieste.
As a result, Royal Caribbean previously announced it would begin deploying Rhapsody of the Seas from Ravenna, Italy, around 140km south of Venice. Passengers onboard the Azamara Quest have also revealed they are calling on Trieste instead of Venice.
Other cruise lines serving the region are expected to announce changes in the coming weeks.
While the latest ruling bans larger cruise ships, river cruise vessels are still permitted in Venice, as Uniworld’s La Venezia is still scheduled to spend several days in the city before travelling on the Po River.
In June, MSC Orchestra became the first cruise ship to make the passage through Venice’s famous canal since the start of the pandemic, despite pleas from locals and government officials to reroute larger vessels due to safety and environmental concerns.
But it's not just the banning of large ships in Venice's quest to manage overtourism — Italy’s famed sinking city is also planning to start charging visitors for access and cap daily entries, beginning in summer 2022.
Source: Travel Pulse