The Giardini della Biennale is a parkland area of Venice, Italy, that was created by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte, and is known for the Venice Biennale Art Festival and the many cats that prowl around there. What it’s less known for are massive, city-block-sized cruise ships almost running into it, but that’s just what happened yesterday.
The ship is the Costa Deliziosa (delicious coast?), a 92,700 gross tonnage (that’s a measure of volume, not weight, but it just means it’s huge) luxury liner owned by Carnival Cruise Lines and operated by Costa Crociere, a subsidiary of Carnival.
The Costa Deliziosa was being pulled along the Giudecca Canal by the park with tugboats in very severe weather and with remarkably poor visibility when, according to a spokesperson for the vessel,
“violent gusts...caused a detour during the passage in the Giudecca Canal.”
That “detour” turned into an alarming near-miss as the colossal ship barely avoided crashing into the docks on the bank, one of which housed outdoor seating for a restaurant, which was luckily empty due to the bad weather.
It appears that the addition of a third tugboat was the factor in avoiding disaster.
The near-miss has prompted Italian officials to once again revisit proposals to prohibit large vessels like these from the San Marco area of Venice. That’s probably smart, but if they do that, where will we get crazy viral videos like this? Have they even considered that?