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Published on Monday, June 7, 2021

Protesters out in force as Venice welcomes first cruise ship

Venice welcomed its first major cruise ship call in more than a year with protesters out in force opposing it.

The visit of the MSC Orchestra reignited long time tensions as it was circled by demonstrators in small motorboats.

"Cruise ships bring a hit and run tourism that actually brings little benefit to Venice," said one protester.

MSC Orchestra set sail with less than 1,000 passengers marking the return of cruise ships to the city after nearly 18 months.

The government has vowed to remove cruise ships from Venice lagoon to a new dock but a new permanent home for cruise ships could take years.

CLIA claims Venice's economy had lost about €1 billion due to the pandemic

"We don't want to be a corporate villain," said Francesco Galietti, of Cruise Lines International Italy.

"We don't feel we should be treated as such. We feel we are good to the communities."

The government said it will issue a request for proposals soon for bids to construct a terminal outside the lagoon, while a temporary dock will not be ready until at least next year.


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