Venice Cruise Ships Return Sparks Large Protests

venice cruises

Venice cruise ships return and people are not happy! Huge protests took place both on land on boat. Here is everything you need to know.

Over the last week, Venice cruises have returned but have reignited the anti-cruise movement. Protesters were waving “no big boats” on flags and signs.

This is the first cruise since the pandemic and is due to pick up approximately 650 passengers. All travellers must produce a negative Covid test before they board.

Cruise ships in venice
Cruise Ships | Drew Harbour

Why are there protests against the Venice cruise ships return?

For decades, environmental activists have opposed the massive ships going through the canals and lagoons. Not only do they pose safety risks but also environmental concerns. 

These huge ships cause mass disturbances for cities like Venice. They contribute to noise, pollution, smoke and cause damages to architecture.

The anti-cruise ship advocates say they were deceived by the Italian government. Residents were unaware that cruise ships would be sailing through the canals.

Despite prime minister Mario Draghli declaring that these enormous ships would be banned from the city limits, that was not the case. Draghli pledged to get the cruise ships out of the Venice lagoon this spring, but claims reaching the goal will take time.

Venice cruise ships
Venice Cruise |
Miranda Salzgeber

The Venice Environmental Association Threatens Legal Action

One of the groups against the large ships is demanding that officials ban the cruise ships from the Lagoon. They are giving 15 days and if no action is taken they will take legal action.

Environmental expert, Andreina Zitelli said “It is a great provocation that a ship has passed. You cannot compare the defence of the city with the defence of jobs in interest of big cruise companies.”

Environmentalists urge the cruise industry to make changes.

Venice cruise ships return
Water Pollution | Riley

How do cruise ships affect the environment?

These large ships contribute to large amounts of water and environmental pollution. They have numerous waste streams including:

  • Blackwater – sewage from toilets
  • Graywater – waste from sinks, showers, laundry
  • Solid waste – glass, paper, plastic, steel
  • Hazardous waste – from on-board activities, photo processing, dry-cleaning, equipment cleaning
  • Air pollution – diesel engines burn high amounts of sulfur fuel and other harmful chemicals.

U.S. laws allow cruise ships to dump raw sewage into the ocean. This drastically affects marine life because it leads to the spread of disease causing bacteria.

This bacteria can kill marine life and contributes to beach closures and unsafe water conditions.

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