The ports of Venice and Chioggia, in 2022, recorded 214 calls for cruises for a total of 238,000 passengers, of which 197,000 in homeports (i.e., embarked and disembarked there). Expectations for 2023 are 271 calls and 600,000 passengers, 540,000 of which in the homeport.
Numbers still far from those recorded pre-pandemic and before the decree law 103/2021 which sanctioned the ban on entry into the lagoon (and therefore to the maritime station) of cruise ships of 25 thousand tons and up. In 2019, in fact, there were 498 calls and 1,618,000 passengers, of which 1,397,500 in the homeport.
Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, president of the Port System Authority of the northern Adriatic Sea, and extraordinary commissioner for cruises, outlined the balance sheet of the 2022 cruise season and the forecasts for 2023. But he also illustrated the infrastructural projects launched to resurrect cruise traffic in a city which, before the sinking of the Concordia – which fueled the protests, and therefore the regulations, which progressively prevented the transit of large passenger ships in the Giudecca canal, until the total stop with the 2021 decree law – it was a favorite destination for cruise lines.
«Since 1 August 2021 – said Di Blasio – there has been a ban on the entry of ships of 25 thousand gross tons, with a maximum length of 180 meters and a height of 35 meters from the waterline, with the exception of mixed propulsion ships sail-motor. Finally, there is fuel consumption during maneuvering which must not exceed 0.1%. This has involved a very strong blow to the sector: the Government has chosen the immediacy of the blockade rather than the transition”.
To deal with such a situation, the commissarial structure has launched, together with Vtp (Venice passenger terminal), a project that provides for widespread landings in various areas between Venice and Chioggia. In 2022, he explained, the works on the Liguria and Lombardy docks in Marghera were completed, a terminal for commercial traffic on which cruise units can also stop but which still have a temporary reception tensile structure for passengers.