The Italian government has banned giant cruise ships from sailing into Venice’s Grand Canal in what is a monumental moment for Venetians who love their city.

Currently, the giant cruise ships are allowed to sail within a few hundred yards of St Mark’s Square and World Heritage Venice’s historic centre on their way to the lagoon city’s international passenger terminal.

Under the new rule due, large ships will be diverted to ‘Marghera’, an industrial town nearby which will have a new port built to accommodate the mega-liners.

But the new port and route will take up to four years to complete according to the Italian transport minister, Graziano Delrio.

Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said;

“We want it to be clear to Unesco [the United Nations cultural agency] and the whole world that we have a solution,”

“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.”


The historic newly proposed plan will see ships weighing 100,000 tonnes or more diverted away from the ancient canal, to leave the iconic waterfront of St Mark’s Square saved for gondolas and water taxis only.

With a population of around 55,000 locals, Venice sees 60,000 visitors per day flood its streets and canals. Residents in the city have consistency protested against the unsustainable numbers of tourists eclipsing the beauty of the city, including earlier this year when locals attempted to stop a large cruise ship from docking in small boats.

Activists have long argued that the huge ships, which can carry up to 5,000 passengers and crew, dwarf Venice’s cupolas, spires and palaces while eroding canal banks with the waves they create as they churn down the picturesque Giudecca Canal.

Smaller cruise vessels such as those of 55,000 tonnes or less – will be allowed to continue to use the present route.

What do you think of Venice banning Giant Cruise ships?