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Venice Bans Giant Cruise Ships

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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta this week approved plans to limit cruise ship traffic in the Venice lagoon, and moving to ban giant cruise ships from the area.

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Over the past decade and a half, Venice has become one of the busiest and most important cruise destinations in Europe but concerns have arisen over the safety and environmental implications of such traffic.

The number of cruise ships over 40,000 tons sailing in the Giudecca Canal will be cut by 20% starting in January 2014. In November 2014, all ships over 96,000 tons will be banned entirely. Currently on its busiest days, Venice has nine cruise ships in port.

“Finally the trend towards gigantic ships in the lagoon has been turned around,” the mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’ve had enough of these mega cruise ships just metres away from San Marco; from now on there will be clear limits on the size of ships that can enter Venice.”

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