Cruise Liners Drown Venice


Венецию губят круизные лайнерыVenice, Italy, is about to go the Atlantis way: the abyss of the sea could swallow the ancient city. Experts are trying to find a way to prevent the catastrophe, while ecologists blame it on increased number of cruise liners moored in the harbor of Venice.

Environmentalists are pretty much sure that large ships not only cloud the water of Venetian lagoon, but also cause gigantic waves that shake fragile foundation of the city.

Wooden piles, on which Venice stands, are close to total destruction, while the tourist rate adds by hundreds of thousands people year by year. According to official stats, there were 510 cruise liners in 2007 against 200 ships in 2000. Last year, 1.6 million guests visited Venice, which is four times more than in 1997.

Local authorities finally paid attention to concerns of local residents, historians and environmentalists. Giorgio Orsoni, mayor of Venice, is planning to restrict the number of cruise ships in order to stop the destructive waves. The closest harbor for heavy ships would be Porto Marghera on the mainland, says mayor.