TRIESTE – After the government’s decision to prevent access to the large cruise ships of the San Marco basin in Venice starting from 1 August, Trieste is a candidate as one of the alternative destinations, at least for part of the cruise activity.
In the meantime, as was easily predictable, discontent is increasing in Venice over a decision that will have a heavy impact on the sector, at least in the short term. Moving the ships to Marghera is not feasible in a tight time frame, even if the government has provided substantial funding to adapt the docks (about 157 million euros).
Venezia Terminal Passeggeri (Vtp) spoke of arbitrary cancellation of the “possibility of using the Marittima terminal under concession to Vtp until 2025”. The Italian management of Clia (the international association of cruise companies) gives a favourable opinion of the government decision. Still, it underlines its immediacy and, therefore, the inevitable negative impacts, hoping for the effectiveness of the compensatory measures.
Confetra Nord Est speaks of enormous risks for the entire cruise industry in Venice. In contrast, the companies Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line and the “smaller” Viking, Azamara and Silversea have already made it known that they do not want to use Marghera as an alternative port of call in Venice, effectively abandoning the destination.
Meanwhile, in Trieste and Monfalcone, the docks are ready to welcome the large cruise ships that can no longer moor in Venice. Last weekend was a successful “dress rehearsal” for what could be the weekends of the current cruise season, with five ships in 48 hours and the possibility of handling up to 20,000 passengers in August between Trieste and Monfalcone. Trieste, in particular, which is already homeport of MSC and Costa, has yet to experience berthing at Porto Vecchio: an experiment that was skipped in the past two weekends due to the Bora wind. However, a new terminal at Porto Vecchio could represent the future expansion of the cruise sector in the Friuli Venezia Giulia’s capital city. In Monfalcone, however, in recent weeks, there has been discussion of possible interference between the arrival of the “white ships” and the port’s commercial activity, given that the quay is the same. Therefore, both cities must resolve some details, but everything suggests that they will become reference points for cruises in the North Adriatic.