- Protesters crowded in Venice to oppose the MSC Orchestra cruise liner.
- It’s the first cruise ship to leave Venice since the pandemic inaugurated.
- Residents are concerned about the environmental impact of cruise ships.
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Protestors gathered at Venice’s Giudecca Canal on Saturday as the leading cruise ship departed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video shared by the Daily Mail on YouTube betrays hundreds of people waving banners — some on land, with others in small boats in the canal — and chanting in bitch unwillingly at the MSC Orchestra cruise liner.[embedded content]
The 92,000-tonne ship collected 650 passengers before beat it for Bari in southern Italy, The Guardian reports.
There was confusion over why it had been allowed to port in the first state after the Italian government previously said cruise ships would no longer be allowed to sail past St Record’s Square. Instead, ships were to be temporarily diverted to the industrial port of Marghera.
Protesters were concerned relating to the environmental impact that could be caused by the return of cruise ships and a potential rise in COVID-19 cases.
The large liners are blamed for affecting the fragile ecosystem of the lagoon that surrounds Venice and undermining the foundations of the unique, prominent buildings of the “floating city.”
“The reason we are here because we are citizens of Venice and we are against this passage, but we are also against this tourism configuration that is destroying the city and is pushing out residents and people that want to live here. It’s destroying the planet, it’s trashing the city, and it’s polluting so much,” one resident said in the video shared by the Daily Mail.
Forbes reported in 2019 that a voyager’s carbon footprint triples in size when taking a cruise. The emissions produced by the ship’s exhaust fumes can forward to serious health issues, the publication added.
Cruise ships are also known for discarding trash, fuel, and sewage straight away into the ocean.
“I think the struggle is very long, I think we are against a very big financial interest, but if you ask the people burning in Venice, the people living in Venice don’t want these boats here,” another resident said in the video. “And also after one year and a half, the whole shebang basically stopped due to the pandemic, what we are worried about is that the situation goes back to before the pandemic.”
A counter-protest was submitted by Si Grandi Navi, a movement that supports those working in the cruise industry who have been out of work since the pandemic inaugurated, The Guardian reports.
Representatives for MSC and the Italian government did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.