Venice Postpones Ban on Large Cruise Ships

March 18, 2014
oceania-cruise-cabanas (10:00 a.m. EDT) -- An Italian court has ruled to suspend restrictions banning large cruise ships traversing Venice's lagoon, pending a June 12 hearing on the issue.

A separate court ruling that came into effect in January cut the number of vessels weighing more than 40,000 tons that were authorized to cross the Giudecca canal by up to 20 percent from 2012 levels. The same ruling also banned ships weighing over 96,000 tons from the route completely beginning in November 2014.

The Venezia Terminal Passeggeri (VTP) brought an appeal to the regional administrative court, prompting the ruling, according to Italian news website Gazetta del Sud.

"The court said alternative routes for the ships have yet to be determined. The suspension lasts until a June 12 hearing on the issue," the website reported.

At least one cruise line has repositioned its ships in response to the ban. Travel Weekly reported that Celebrity Cruises will swap its 122,400-ton, 2,886-passenger Celebrity Silhouette, which currently sails from Venice, with the older and smaller 91,000-ton, 2,034-passenger Constellation, currently sailing itineraries in the Baltic and Northern Europe. Celebrity announced the move when unveiling its 2015 itineraries.

--by Jamey Bergman, UK Production Editor