Venice: Seeking to Better Manage and Grow its Cruise Traffic

Viking Sea in Venice

Venice is expecting its cruise traffic for the year to be consistent with 2018 or up slightly, according to Galliano Di Marco, managing director of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri. Last year, Venice reported 520 calls and 1,560,579 cruise passengers.

“We are also seeing a slight increase in weekday calls, which is very important for us and the town, allowing for better management of passenger flow,” Di Marco added. “Most of the traffic is concentrated on Saturdays and Sundays. That is why we are working with our cruise clients to better distribute the traffic during the week. We are providing incentives in the form of reduced port fees for ships calling between Mondays and Fridays. That said, even on weekends, when we can have up to 10 ships, there is no real congestion.”

With the limit on ship sizes allowed to sail past the St. Mark’s Square and along the Giudecca Canal, the port authority continues to search for an alternative approach to its facilities, which are operating far below their capacity.

“An alternative approach will allow some of the largest cruise ships to call and also mean that we do not have to turn away berthing requests because of the limit on the size of ships that can call,” Di Marco said.

“We have 10 multifunctional terminals, six dedicated piers, and wide spaces for coaches, taxis, and provisions storage, and are continuously improving our efficiencies, safety, and security.

Also for 2019, Venice has kept its port fees unchanged for the third year in a row, according to Di Marco, in order to encourage more calls.

In April, 39 cruise companies renewed their commitment to the “Venice Blue Flag Agreement,” meaning they will burn fuel of no more than 0.1 percent sulfur, not only at berth but also navigating into and out of the port.

Sound emissions limitations are also being imposed on ships staying overnight at the S. Basilio terminal.

In other developments, the City of Venice will start charging a landing fee on all day tourists to access the city and other smaller lagoon islands. The fee, which goes into effect on September 1, will be used to pay for maintenance and security. The initial fee will be 3 euros per tourist until December 31, 2019, when it goes up a minimum of 6 euros and a maximum of 10 euros in 2020 based on the season.

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