Cruise ships are back in Venice


It starts again: A few days ago, the MSC Orchestra once again sailed through Venice. Many more will follow this summer – even the demonstrations along the shore will not prevent that.
Image: AFP

The announcement a year ago that Venice’s canals would be closed to cruise ships was apparently formulated in the subjunctive. The ocean liners are back.

VFrom afar it looked like a happy day: music, flags, balloons. Young and old, children and dogs – and boats. Fishing boats, rowing boats, barges, also sailing dinghies. Almost like Redentore, when boat after boat is moored in Venice and banquets are held on the banks to commemorate the end of the plague with the largest of all Venetian folk festivals. In fact, the plague is back, at least in the eyes of the Venetians who have gathered on the banks of the Zattere and in the boats to demonstrate against the return of the cruise ships. Against what the mayor and regional president are promoting as a “return to normal”.

The MSC Orchestra was the first ship with which the cruise season started again after the forced break caused by the pandemic in Venice: 92,000 gross register tons, almost three hundred meters long, thirty meters wide and as high as the Campanile of San Giorgio, the ship pushed like a floating prefabricated building through the Giudecca Canal towards St. Mark’s Basin. And that on International World Environment Day, of all places. Although the one-week round trip around the Greek islands including full board and corona test costs only five hundred euros, there are just 840 passengers on board, less than a third of the capacity.

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