Crystal Serenity at Venice

Norwegian Cruise Line Excludes Venice From 2024-2025 Itineraries Amid Restrictions

Norwegian Cruise Line has removed Venice from its 2024 and 2025 cruise schedules, responding to the Italian city’s efforts to protect its delicate ecosystem by limiting tourist access.

Venice has intensified its visitor regulations by designating its waterways as a national monument, prohibiting large cruise ships from docking in the historic center.

The cruise operator had adapted to previous restrictions by transporting passengers via smaller boats, but has now determined this solution does not meet their high service standards. According to a Norwegian spokesperson speaking to Euronews Travel, the alternative tender boat operation fails to offer the quality experience Norwegian strives to provide its guests.

Venice’s decision to ban cruise ships from its center in 2021 came after UNESCO warnings that the city risked being listed as endangered, driven by concerns over the damage caused by large vessels to the lagoon’s structure and pollution levels. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) had expressed support for Venice’s new regulations, viewing them as a significant advancement.

In place of Venice, Norwegian Cruise Line will explore alternative destinations, including stops in Italy’s Ravenna, Croatia’s Rijeka and Zadar, or Slovenia’s Koper for this year’s itineraries.

From 2025, the company plans to substitute Venice visits with additional sea days or alternative ports, which are yet to be announced.

Venice continues its campaign against over-tourism with plans to introduce a tourist fee for day visitors starting this spring and to regulate tour group sizes in the summer. Meanwhile, other cruise lines have sought alternative nearby stops, such as Marghera, Trieste, or Ravenna, to circumvent the ban while still providing access to Venice’s vicinity.

Ravenna, Italy, emerges as a notable alternative, boasting a rich history as a capital city three times over and housing eight UNESCO heritage sites, including the final resting place of Dante Alighieri.

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