(1:33 p.m. EDT) -- Tourists in Venice are being forced onto wooden walkways or into knee-high rubber waders after 70 percent of the city, including the iconic St. Mark's Square, flooded during the annual "acqua alta," or high water.
So far this year's acqua alta has peaked at 55 inches, nearly 5 feet above the normal level of the lagoon, The Telegraph reported. And according to The Guardian, the flooding is the sixth-highest since the city began tracking the acqua alta in 1872.
Caused by a combination of heavy rain, seasonal winds and the Venice lagoon's specific tidal patterns, acqua alta usually occurs in late summer and throughout fall, with the worst times being late October, all of November and early December. Flood waters are at their highest during high tides and generally recede the rest of the day.
Though most cruise lines have finished their Mediterranean seasons, a handful of ships are scheduled to visit Venice within the next week. Costa Fascinosa is in port today, while Splendour of the Seas and MSC Musica are in port Sunday.
A U.S.-based spokesman for Costa said the Italian head office had not alerted them to any changes to the Fascinosa's schedule in light of the flooding.