Call for cruise port sustainability

Port of Venice NAPA's president wants to establish guidelines for a more sustainable European cruise industry. Image: Port of Venice

The president of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority (NAPA) has called for European ports to gather to discuss the economic and environmental impact of the cruise industry and to draw up guidelines for a new sustainable approach to maritime tourism.

Palma de Mallorca, Marseille and Barcelona have already accepted the written invitation from Pino Musolino to meet at the Port of Venice, part of NAPA. Mr Musolino has also written to the ports of Malaga, Zeebrugge, Dubrovnik, Hamburg and Amsterdam.

“I have written to all European cities that have a similar experience of cruise ship tourism as Venice and who have to balance economic development with environmental sustainability, boosting employment levels while establishing a healthy relationship with the area,” said president Musolino.

“I believe that it would be useful to combine our strengths and ideas to establish guidelines for the European cruise industry of the future, and also to convey to shipyards the need to build ships that are compatible with our infrastructure and the environment, finally creating 'European class cruises'.” The meeting also aims to enable ports to share experiences and best practise.

Bigger vessels

Mr Musolino said that the growing size of vessels and their environmental impact on port areas, plus the increasing number of tourists has created “conflict” and there is a need to look at how to work towards a more sustainable future while still supporting the growth of the cruise economy.

The cruise industry has come under fire in recent months for vessel emissions and congestion.

Residents of Venice recently held a protest against cruise ships in the city after a cruise ship hit a dock and a ferry in the Giudecca Canal.

“The industry model that so well has served our ports in the last two decades is not sustainable anymore and very soon we will all face the risk to see our ports and activities limited or even shut down, by local or national authorities,” Mr Musolino warned.

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