(1:05 p.m. EST) -- The city of Venice has pushed back its ban on cruise ships over 96,000 gross tons by two months, Cruise Industry News reports. The ban, which was scheduled to begin November of this year will begin January 1, 2015 instead.
The 20 percent reduction on ships more than 40,000 gross tons is already in place. But the managing director of VTP, the Venice passenger terminal, told Cruise Industry News that by rerouting ferry traffic away from the city center, cruise ship traffic only needed to be reduced by 12.5 percent. To achieve that reduction, 19 cruise ship calls had to be canceled this year, mostly by MSC Cruises, as well as a small number of port calls by Pullmantur and Thomson.
The cruise ship restrictions, which were announced late last year, are part of a new effort to protect Venice from what environmentalists and preservationists say is irreparable damage to the lagoon's ecosystem, as well as the city's oldest landmarks.