Imagine a vehicle the size of a shopping mall carrying 3,000 people moving through your historic neighborhood. If you lived in Venice, this would be your daily reality. Now imagine that vehicle is out of control…
I was going through some of my photos of Venice the other day, and I was shocked when I looked at this photo that I took a few years ago. That is the MSC Opera — the same ship involved in the accident last week in Venice. We were on the vaporetto, and the cruise ship was being towed through the canal. We were shocked by the scale — this enormous ship that dwarfed everything around it. And my husband and I had a conversation at the time about how much energy, time, and space it would take to stop something that huge... last week’s accident wasn’t the first. It won’t be the last unless something radically changes.
You may have heard about the controversy over allowing cruise ships in Venice. This is a serious problem for one of the most unique cities in the world. Venice is a city sitting in a lagoon, and it has a delicate ecosystem. Cruise ships bring with them three big problems (and a host of smaller ones).
They are so huge that the wake they create is damaging centuries-old buildings across the city.
They produce enormous amounts of pollution and environmental waste.
And they bring thousands of people into the city for very short periods of time which overwhelms certain parts of Venice.
I have never spoken to a Venetian who favors cruise ships in Venice. Never.
After the accident with the MSC Opera in June, 2019, there were enormous protests in the city with protestors begging the government to ban the cruise ships. These are people who make a living from tourists and tourism. They know that even without cruise ships, Venice will survive. And frankly, Venice would be a more pleasant place for all visitors without the cruise ships.
So if you are taking a Mediterranean cruise, I hope you will consider one that does not visit Venice. There are many other amazing ways to visit this beautiful city. Contact me! I’ll help you plan a wonderful trip! And Venice deserves more than a few hours’ visit, anyway. So come to Venice — just visit by vaporetto, not cruise ship.