Embarking on a cruise is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. You’ve got a few days to just kick back, relax, and enjoy your self and your travel companions. What could be better? With so much to see and do, the intention is to let all of your fears fly away, so that you can recharge and return to normal life, feeling rested and ready to go.
While many know the positive impact that tourism can bring to different cruise ports, most cruise passengers do not spend much time thinking about the impact that their vacation may have on the culture or environment of any given place.
But, as responsible and conscious vacationers, it is sometimes necessary to take a step back and more fully understand how far reaching your choices may be. A recent story out of Venice does just this.
Protest on the Canals
On Sunday, September 25th, Venetians came out in droves to protest the presence of cruise ships in their city. The protestors, which included residents and environmentalists, claim that the cruise ships are ruining the city both culturally and environmentally.
Protestors bobbed in colorful boats and waved flares, shouting, “Tourists go away! You are destroying this area!”
This is not the first time that cruise ship presence in Venice has ignited protests. In 2014, courts ruled that ships over 96,000 tons could not enter the city. However, since that ruling was overturned at the end of 2015, protests have once again been on the rise.
And, when we take a step back, the high tensions may make sense. After all, Venice is, slowly but surely, sinking into the water. Opponents of the cruise ship presence in the area claim that cruises have brought a plethora of negativity to Venice.
From increased rental prices that have pushed long-time residents from the city, to eroding cultural heritage and crumbling infrastructures, those in favor of reinstating a cruise ship ban have countless grievances.
The United Nations further reinforced this discontent earlier this year when they warned that Venice could become an endangered heritage site if cruise ships were permitted to enter the city.
Will The Protestors Succeed?
Thus, we are left wondering what the ruling bodies in Venice and in Italy as a whole will decide. Is the cruise tourism money worth the possible environmental and cultural damage it may be bringing?
From a legal standpoint, the protestors have a right to express their opinions and voice their concerns. But what will the ruling bodies decide? Only time will tell.
In the mean time, we will be keeping an eye on this situation. With a wide breath of experience in maritime law, and the necessary skills to effectively take on the major cruise lines, we have experience working the Plaintiff’s side of cruise ship law issues.
So if you or someone you know has suffered an injury aboard a cruise ship or believe you have a legal maritime issue on your hands, you know where to turn. A maritime lawyer can help you take your complicated case and make it more manageable. So, feel free to contact us today.