Cruise Season 2014 Opens in Venice with the arrival of the MSC Preziosa:
When cruise season ended in Venice last fall, the city was debating how many ships, what weight ships, and what routes they could take. Protesters dived into the waters to attempt to halt the boats and police were scooping them up and off to jail.
The pictures of the Monster Cruise Ship, the Carnival Sunshine, in a near miss with a vaporetto brought more tension. There are 2 sides to this story, and the photographer was accused of faking the picture. This ship belonged to the same company as the Costa Concordia, whose tragic collision along the cost of the island of Giglio in Jan 2012 is still in the mind of the Venetians.
However, it did highlight the possibility of accidents which could destroy the historic buildings and the city built on mud and pilings of old trees, now petrified.
There is no science which understand the precise effect these ships have on a daily basis, not to mention should one of them hit the foundations along San Marco. Since these foundations began in the 900s, no one knows their exact strength or the point at which they are overstressed.
Over the winter, debates were held in Venice and in Rome to attempt to sort out the issues.
The "Merchants of Venice" are on one side wanting even more cruise ships, more tourist who arrive by train, plane and bus. The municipality and the owners of the Maritime facility see only the money lining their coffers and a fair amount in their own pockets.
What do you think Rome's opinion would be if we were discussing damage to the Colosseum by a tourist mega bus weighing a hundred thousand tonnes and measuring one thousand feet?
Even my Venetian friends and I are divided on this subject. As I think there is no reason for any risk whatsoever to the city just so 3,000 people get the "view of a lifetime". You can get the same view from the top of many hotels in Venice without arriving on a behemoth. Or by climbing the tower in San Marco, or on the double decker vaporetto from San Marco to Lido and at the same time rub elbows with a few locals.
So the highly anticipated beginning of cruise season got underway this week with the arrival of the MSC Preziosa. The ship weighs 139,400 Tonnes, is 1,093 Feet Long with a crew of 1,388 and a passenger capacity of ,3,502. This monster ship travels at 24 Knots.
So what do you think happened on the "opening" day when the first ship arrived in Venice?
Despite having two (2) tugboats and one (1) pilot onboard, it plowed all 139,400 Tonnes right into the dock.
Especially after the assurances by the "committee" and local politicians that such an accident could never happen if they docked at San Marco.
Now I wonder who believes them?