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ByRick Deutsch

Venice Italy finally making progress on moving Giant Cruise ships

After multiple false starts and a lot of debate, it looks like the government is about to announce a major change to the way the mega-ships are docked. The Mayor of Venice is Luis Brugnaro and he said that the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to berth cruise ships bigger than 100,000 tons in the port of Marghera. It’s on the mainland – across from Venice.

Ship in Venice- Too BIG!

This would allow the behemoths to still service the classic city and not hurt Venice’s tourism and the daily life of residents. A June test vote was at 99% for ridding the endangered city of the giant ships.

A a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, the mayor said: “I can announce that before the summer, the government will announce the solution to the problem of big ships.”
Venice, Italy and the problem of Godzilla Ships | The city is drowning in tourists

Two new slots will be constructed at Marghera in 2019. This would shift about 50% of the current load to Marghera. The docks at Venice could still be used for smaller ships.

Passengers typically spend little since they are visiting for only a few hours. Plus they tend to eat onboard the ships, rather than in town. A cup of coffee is one of their few expenses. Life for residents is not fun dealing with all the people gawking.

The pollution and water damage to buildings should improve soon.

OK – now you are up to date. Been to Venice? You might get a speaking gig and go free. Ask us how.

 

 

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ByRick Deutsch

The Port of Dubrovnik is overloaded with tourists

Dubrovnik

Fairy tale Dubrovnik from the air

Dubrovnik is one of the neatest old towns in the world. I’ve been there twice on cruise ship speaking gigs.

It’s a medieval city, complete with a wall that protected the population  inside. While there are others – Rothenburg in Germany comes to mind – Dubrovnik is a real living city. All the shops, restaurants, churches and infrastructure to keep the 1,500 residents happy.

The ‘”fortress” was involved in the 1990’s Bosnian War decades ago and shows bullet holes to prove it. It is a World Heritage Site. For a few bucks you can walk around the 15-ft top of the authentic barrier wall. It runs about a mile and you get some spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.

Like many of the world’s “neat” historical sites, it’s being overrun by us – tourists. As a storybook locale for movies, many are filmed here: – Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Robin Hood. More bodies and heavy equipment to crowd the narrow walkways.

It’s a favorite of tourists. Last year, 529 ships with upwards of 3,000 people each sent out tenders to drop folks into the town. In 2015, the number was 475 and 463 in 2014. We’re now talking about 800,000 people jamming the limited space of Dubrovnik. Hey, you’d think the locals would love the business! The truth is that visitors only get a few hours to sight-see, so they don’t stroll the shops and buy anything. Food is free onboard, so the restaurants suffer.

 

Locals are moving out. They are tired of gawkers looking in the windows of their little cottages.  Doing business “downtown” is a major chore. Every summer day it’s a zoo.  The Dubrovnik Port Authority and the local government are thinking of limiting the cruisers to 8,000 per day.

Read about the Problems in Venice

Many other World Heritage sites are also suffering from massive crowds – Machu Picchu, Venice, Galapagos and the Pyramids among them.

Tune in each week for more cruising news. You’re working and don’t get exposed to stories like this….we’ll keep  you covered. It’s a good touch to be able to converse with your audience when you do speaking onboard.

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ByRick Deutsch

Replica Titanic project in jeopardy – might not happen

Clive Palmer

Australia’s Clive Palmer

Word out of Australia is that Clive Palmer, the billionaire who announced plans to build a sailing replica of the Titanic, has run into financial straits.  It’s not directly related to the ship building effort. Rather, he is being sued for $66 million Aus in entitlements for workers fired from his Queensland Nickel refinery.

He is now involved in court proceedings. He has stated that he has had nothing to do with the plant. He has said the managing director, Clive Mensink, should be the one involved. Under his control, the company went bankrupt and then liquidation. Creditors were owed $300 Million Aus.

So the good ship Titanic 2 may not happen.  We’ve followed this effort from the beginning.  Get up to speed by checking out past blogs. Also, read about the Chinese project to also build one.

The design was water tested in Germany and Parker’s plan was initially to sail it from England to New York, but that plan changed to being berthed in Saudi Arabia. The break-keel date has slipped continuously. It was to be identical to the original, save for modern underpinnings…..and radars to look for icebergs! Tickets would be sold as in 1915 – First class, second class and steerage. Those down below would have to share restrooms.

Compounding the drama, he has told reporters that he is suffering from pancreatitis and had earlier undergone a gall bladder operation. My bet is that it won’t happen. Cuba is next on my list.

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