Today, a regional Venetian court ordered a temporary suspension on the canal restrictions for cruise ships with a tonnage over 40,000 GRT and the upcoming ban on cruise ships with a tonnage over 96,000 GRT.
The motion to suspend the restriction was recently introduced to the regional court by the Venetian Cruise Terminal organization, local business associated with the port, and organizations representing a number of cruise lines who call in Venice throughout the year. The group of organizations raised concerns over the lack of alternative routes for diverted ships. The court agreed with the concern and opted to suspend the upcoming restrictions until June 12th.
The suspension of restrictions and alternative routes are scheduled to be discussed when the court reconvenes on June 12th.
Earlier in 2013, a Venetian court ruled to severely restrict cruise ship movement in Venice’s main canal and ban all cruise ships over 96,000 GRT from entering the canal. The restrictions on cruise ships would reduce the number of cruise ships with tonnage over 40,000 GRT from the main canal by 20%. The restriction has been in place since January. The ban on cruise ships with a tonnage over 96,000 GRT from the main canal is set to begin in November.
The restrictions and ban of specific cruise ships came after months of protests from local activists and environmental groups. The court stated the restrictions and ban were ordered as a result of the Costa Concordia’s sinking in January 2012 and a concern for the infrastructure and environment of the Venetian canals. The regional court has yet to produce any evidence of negative impact on the environment or infrastructure of the city by visiting cruise ships.