Cruise ships restart in Venice; protesters decry their risks

VENICE, Italy (AP) — The first cruise ship leaving Venice since the pandemic is set to depart amid protests by activists demanding that cruise ships rerouted out the fragile lagoon. The activists say that enormous cruise ships especially endanger the Giudecca Canal through the city’s historic center, posing environmental and safety risks. Italy’s government pledged this winter to get the enormous vessels — weighing over 90,000 tons and carrying thousands of passengers — out of Venice’s lagoon. Still, it will likely take years to reach that goal. Venice has become one of the world’s most important cruise destinations over the last two decades, serving in 2019 as a lucrative turnaround point for 667 cruise ships carrying nearly 700,000 passengers.