Cruise ships

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Figure 2-7: The port facilities of Venice
Figure 2-8: Directions of cruise ship passengers
Example of a cruise ship in Venice

Cruise ships are large commercial passenger ships used for vacations. Cruise ships have become increasingly popular recently bringing both benefits and consequences to the communities they visit. Over the years Venice has become a very popular destination for cruise ships. From 1997 to 2011, Venice’s port has seen an increase of 496.57% in the number of passengers embarking and disembarking (see Figure 2-1 in section Cruise Ship Growth below). In 2011 alone, 1,786,416 people passed through Venice by way of cruise ships, which is an increase of more than 160,000 passengers, or 10.48%.

Venice is visited by cruise ships hundreds of times a year; in 2012, cruise ships will dock in Venice 573 times, mostly during the spring to early autumn months. To accommodate such frequent visits from large ships, Venice has three separate areas where cruise ships can dock. The largest ship terminal is the Marittima, which can handle several cruise ships at a time. San Basilio is used mostly for smaller cruise ships and large yachts. Lastly, Riva dei Sette Martiri is used almost exclusively for yachts, because nearby residents object to large ships blocking the view. A map of the city of Venice with the cruise ship ports is shown in Figure 2-7.


Types of cruise ships

Some cruise ships are port of call ships, meaning that they come in the morning to let passengers off and leave in the evening when all of the passengers have returned to the ship. This means that the passengers are exploring the city of Venice all day. Other ships are home port ships, or turn-around ships. Turn-around ships imply that all the passengers get off and new passengers get on, meaning that the amount of people brought to Venice by each ship, both directly and indirectly, is doubled, resulting in a very large volume of people in the same area during the time between arrival and departure.

With so many cruise ships and passengers traveling in and out of Venice, it is important to know where people are going to help understand their impact on the city. On five separate days in late October and early November of 2011, a team of students counted 15,438 passengers from 14 different turn-around cruise ships. According to the data, 39% of those cruise ship passengers took the buses, 21% took land taxis to the mainland, and 25% took various boats because of their effective way of maneuvering through Venice. The remainder of the people either took the people mover (9%) or walked (6%). A previous team created a graphic to display these findings, and their graphic is shown below in Figure 2-8.

Cruise Ship Growth

Figure 2-2: Increasing Cruise Ship Passengers Over Time

The cruising industry has grown substantially in the past 10 years. The popularity of the cruise ship industry has added an additional 15% of tourists in recent years, and is only becoming more popular as time goes on. This increasing trend, which has increased by 500% since 1997, can be seen by the graph Figure 2-2. It shows the total number of passengers arriving by cruise ships to Venice’s port each year.

Economic Impact

The cruise ship passengers are expected to spend approximately 57 euros at each port they visit and with an average of 2,500 passengers that is over 140,000 euros at each port visited. At each homeport visited each passegner is expected to spend 106 euros and with 2,500 people on a cruise this equals 265,000 euros. Since Venice is a homeport as well, the numerous ships cause a significant economic benefit.

Venice as a Port

In the past 10 years Venice has quadrupled the number of passengers that it has seen enter by cruise ship. As a result, it has become the 4th most popular port in Europe and 11th in the world.

Venice as a Homeport

Venice is the homeport to many different cruise ships. It was the first homeport in the Mediterranean and today is the number one homeport of the Mediterranean according to the Venice Port Authority.

Noise Pollution of Cruise Ships

The ever present cruise ships tied up at the Venetian docks are one of the largest sources of noise in the city. Noise ordinance allows for the docks to maintain a much higher level of volume than the city around it, and the cruise ships are appropriate to the zoning on the docks. However, this does not mean that the cruise ships do not break the zoning within the city itself. When tied up overnight, the hum of the engines will violate the 40dB sound ordinance of Venice proper at night. Furthermore, the huge number of tourists that cruise ships bring produces additional noise for the city.

Homeport Ships

Ship Company Year Built Passenger Capacity Crew Capacity Tonnage (Size) Website
Azamara Journey Azamara Club Cruises 2000 694 400 30,277
Azamara Quest Azamara Club Cruises 2000 702 410 30,277
Celebrity Equinox Celebrity Cruises Inc 2009 2,850 1,250 122,000
Le Boreal Compagnie Des Iles Du Ponant 2010 200 140 10,700
Arion Constellation Cruise Holdings 2010 200 140 10,700
Costa Deliziosa Costa Crociere S.p.A. 2010 2,828 1,100 92,700
Costa Fortuna Costa Crociere S.p.A. 2004 3,470 1,027 102,587
Costa Serena Costa Crociere S.p.A. 2007 3,000 1,100 114,500
Costa Victoria Costa Crociere S.p.A. 1996 1,950 800 75,166
Crystal Serenity Crystal Cruises Inc. 2003 1,080 655 68,000
Queen Victoria Cunard Line Ltd 2007 2,000 900 90,000
Vistamar Ellevi Shipping S.r.l. 2008 290 110 7,500
Athena First Quality Cruises Inc. 2007 390 260 40,012
Balmoral Fred Olson Cruise Lines Ltd 1988 1,230 471 43,537
C. Columbus Hapy Lloyd Cruises 1997 420 170 15,000
Gemini Happy Cruises S.A. 1992 800 385 19,093
Nieuw Amsterdam Holland America Line Inc. 1983 2,100 800 86,000
Westerdam Holland American Line Inc. 2004 1,916 800 82,500
Grand Celebration Iberocruceros S.L. 2008 1,896 920 47,626
MSC Armonia MSC Crociere 2001 2,087 700 58,625
MSC Magnifca MSC Crociere 2010 2,518 1,027 93,330
MSC Musica MSC Crociere 2006 2,550 987 89,600
MSC Opera MSC Crociere 2004 1,712 740 59,000
Seabourn Spirit Sebourn Cruise Line 1989 208 164 10,00
Seabourn Odyssey Sebourn Cruise Line 2009 450 330 32,00
Sea Cloud Hussar Sea Cloud Cruises 2009 136 90 3,000
Sea Cloud II Sea Cloud Cruises 2001 96 56 3,000
Sea Cloud Sea Cloud Cruises 1931 68 60 2,532
Vision of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 1998 2,435 765 78,491
Splendour of the Seas Royal Caribbean International 1995 2,076 720 90,000
Star Princess Princess Cruises Inc. 1989 2,600 1,150 109,000
Ruby Princess Princess Cruises Inc. 2008 3,800 1,200 113,000
Pacific Princess Princess Cruises Inc. 1985 1,100 780 30,277
Crown Princess Princess Cruises Inc. 2006 3,080 1,200 113,000
Astor Premicon Kreuzfahrt GmbH & Co. 1986 650 300 20,159
Regatta Oceania Cruises Inc. 1998 684 400 30,277
Nautica Oceania Cruises Inc. 1998 684 400 30,277
Insignia Oceania Cruises Inc. 2003 680 373 30,277
Norwegian Gem Norwegian Cruise Line 2007 2,466 1,154 93,502


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