Italy's ministers for infrastructure, culture, tourism and environment took the decision in order “to protect a cultural and historical heritage that belongs not only to Italy but to the entire world”, a statement revealed on March 25.
However, getting large cruise vessels to dock at Port Marghera, rather than in the downtown's terminal is only a “temporary” solution, the statement adds.
The ministers announced a “call for ideas” to create a cruise terminal outside the lagoon “and give a structural and definitive solution to the problem of large ship transit in Venice”.
Prior to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, Venice's cruise shipping traffic boomed, bringing millions of tourists to the historic city. Critics said the large cruise liners were a potential safety hazard, passing exceptionally close to the historic buildings, as well as a threat to the ecosystem of the lagoon.
Cruise ships are now suspended in the country as part of lockdown measures against the pandemic.