The Italian government has confirmed plans to route cruise ships away from Venice city centre.
Transport minister Danilo Toninelli, the Financial Times reports, said starting next month some ships would be directed to the city’s outlying Fusina and Lombardia terminals, although these remain within the Venetian lagoon.
Toninelli said the aim by next year is to re-route a third of Venice’s cruise traffic away from Venice’s Marittima terminal in the city centre.
Longer-term, city officials plan to consult Venetians on where new berths for the city should be situated.
The move comes after five passengers were hurt when MSC Opera struck Uniworld’s River Countess in the city’s Giudecca canal in June, widely regarded to have been the tipping point for a move towards reducing cruise calls in Venice city centre.
Earlier this month, Venice’s port authority called on a number of Europe’s other popular cruise destinations to join forces to demand the cruise sector take greater responsibility for its impact on city ports.
Andy Harmer, Clia director UK and Ireland, said: "Clia cruise lines have been actively engaged in discussions for a considerable time about using the Vittoria Emanuele Canal as the preferred alternative solution.
"We have been cooperative in simulations and studies that supported the Comitatone recommendation. Clia urges all parties in Venice to reach a conclusion to start the preparation work to prepare the Vittoria Emanuele Canal so we can begin to reroute the larger ships.
“The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Mayor of Venice, the Veneto region, the port authority and many others to find viable solutions to allow larger cruise ships to access the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal.
"We are in agreement with the solution developed by Comitatone in 2017 to utilise the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca. Clia cruise line members welcome and will support the urgent implementation of this solution.”