Share article:
Share article:

Venice asks Bruges for help solving cruise ship problems

Already only a maximum of two ships are allowed to dock in Bruges. Credit: WIkipedia

Venice is looking to join forces with Bruges ( and other cities) in the hopes of finding a way to reduce the impact of large cruise ships and their passengers on their cities.

About thirty million people will go on a cruise this year, according to figures from the sector, 70% more than ten years ago. More guest also means bigger ships – arriving more frequently – to accommodate the passenger interest, which can cause damages and upset to the places they visit.

From the environmental concerns caused by emissions, to the direct impact the waves generated have on the foundations of Venice, the city wants to see a strengthening of the rules.

“I have written to all the European cities that share our experience of cruise tourism and that need to strike a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability”, said Pino Musolino, the head of the Venetian port, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

The appeal went to the ports of Barcelona, Amsterdam, Marseille, Dubrovnik, Bruges (Zeebrugge), Hamburg, Palma and Málaga.

“The growing size of the vessels, their environmental impact on the areas around our ports and the pressure exerted by the increasing number of tourists are creating a conflict situation,” added Musolino.

Barcelona, Palma and Marseille have already responded positively to the call, but Bruges is among those yet to reply.

“Next week, we will look internally at what we will do with the request from Venice”, said Joachim Coens, a port manager in Zeebrugge.

In order to curb this cruise tourism, Bruges has already agreed with the port authority of Zeebrugge that a maximum of two cruise ships are allowed to dock at the same time.

The Bruges city council has also previously announced that it will no longer advertise the city in hotels in other major Belgian cities after concerns that the current levels of tourism are unsustainable and bad for the city.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...
Brussels café managers ask for security guards following stabbing over vaccination proof
Managers of cafes in Brussels are asking to be provided with security guards if they’re to continue enforcing rules surrounding proof of vaccination, ...
1.6 tonnes of drugs, 27 suspects: Belgian police bust major gang
The Belgian police and public prosecutor's office arrested 27 suspects and seized 1.6 tonnes of drugs, over €80,000 and a number of weapons in a ...
75% more sexual violence victims seek help in Brussels since summer
There has been a 75% increase in the number of people asking for help from the Brussels Centre for the Treatment of Sexual Violence (CPVS) since the ...
European Commission outlines possible action against the rule of law crisis in Poland
In a speech at the European Parliament plenary on Tuesday morning, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen listed three options for action against ...