AHHH…Venice. Unquestionably, Queen of the Adriatic and a not-to-be-missed UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mega cruise ships will no longer be able to sail close by Venice's St.Mark's Square.
Mega cruise ships will no longer be able to sail close by Venice’s St.Mark’s Square.

Right now cruise ships can pass within 300 metres of Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, giving those onboard spectacular views of some of the city’s greatest Byzantine architecture.

All that changes next year as the Italian Government is banning large cruise ships – known as the skyscrapers of the sea – from Venice’s historic centre

International celebrities Sir Michael Caine, Michael Douglas, Rob Lowe, Susan Sarandon, Isabella Rossellini, and Cate Blanchett were among those who signed a petition calling for the giant cruise ships to be banned.

Also among the petitioners was actress Julie Christie whose film – the 1973 thriller Don’t Look Now – was set in Venice.

Mega ships have long been blamed for threatening Venice’s medieval buildings with corrosive smog and questions have long been raised about the effect of the ships’ vibrations on the foundations of centuries-old buildings.

Now, the Italian government has set guidelines that ban cruise ships exceeding 96,000 tonnes from Saint Mark’s basin and the Giudecca Canal, as well as  severely restricting visits by smaller ships.

The new guidelines come into effect next year, and Italy’s transport minister, Maurizio Lupi, calls it a balanced solution to save a world heritage city that is the envy of the world.

Itineraries of more than 40 cruise ships from lines including Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Disney, MSC, NCL. P&O, Princess, and Royal Caribbean may be affected.

Larger ships can still dock in Venice by making a far less scenic approach to the city,


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