It is a return variously appreciated. Venice welcomed, Thursday, June 3, its first cruise ship in seventeen months. The MSC Orchestra, arrived empty at dawn from the Greek port of Piraeus, is due to leave on Saturday afternoon with around 650 passengers. They will have to present a negative Covid-19 test dating back less than ninety-six hours to be able to board and will be subjected on their arrival to a new test, which, if it is positive, will prevent them from boarding. .
The ship is only authorized to embark half of its capacity of 3,000 passengers, to comply with health measures due to the epidemic. It must stop in Bari (Puglia, southern Italy), Corfu (Greece), Mykonos (Greece) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). During the two-day stopover in Venice, the crew will supply the ship.
Two events announced
Proof that the presence of these sea giants in the Venice lagoon is still controversial, two events are scheduled for Saturday, the day of departure of the MSC Orchestra : one to support their presence, the other to denounce it.
Conservationists believe that waves generated by cruise ships, several hundred meters long and several stories high, are eroding the foundations of Serenissima buildings.
This week, a plethora of international artists, from Mick Jagger to Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola and Tilda Swinton, sent an open letter to Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi to ask between others one “Final stop” of cruise ship traffic in Venice.
This letter, entitled “Decalogue for Venice”, also calls for better management of tourist flows, the protection of the ecosystem of the lagoon and the fight against real estate speculation, to protect “Physical integrity but also cultural identity” from the city of the Doges.