Giant cruise ships will be stopped from steaming past Venice's St Mark's Square under a new deal between the Italian government and Venice officials. In September activists chained themselves to a large cruise ship while it was calling in Venice.
But, according to Italy's La Reppublica newspaper, the most likely outcome is that ships will enter the Venice lagoon at a gap below the town of Malamocco, following the "Petroli" canal route now used by commercial ships.
Ships weighing more than 96,000 tonnes were banned from the Giudecca canal in 2013, while the number of smaller ships using the waterway was limited to five a day, but that legislation was overturned at the end of 2015.
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This means that all ships from Carnival Cruise Line, all from Royal Caribbean aside from Empress of the Seas, and all from Norwegian Cruise Line will be banned from the canal.
Instead, they will sail through the Venice lagoon at a distance from the city, cut through at Malamocco (on the far end of the Lido, where the controversial Mose flood barrier is located), and dock on the mainland at Marghera, the industrial centre of the Veneto region.
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"This takes into account all the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely couldn't afford to lose, and we can start to work seriously on planning cruises", he added.
The decision, announced by local mayor Luigi Brugnaro this week, follows the United Nations' warning that Venice would be placed on UNESCO's list of endangered heritage series if steps weren't taken to move the ships away. Delrio said that the new cruise ship route will take about four years to open.
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