MSC Sinfonia breaks down, stranding passengers for two days at Porto Marghera. Other ships redirected to Trieste by wind.

 

The predicted departure for Greece was postponed by an equipment failure: the situation was resolved only on the evening of Sunday 24 April. The MSC Armonia left port normally, while on 23 April the Costa Deliziosa was sent to Trieste due to high winds.

24 April 2022

VENICE. The state of mind aboard the MSC Sinfonia cruise ship, stranded on Saturday and Sunday 23 and 24 April at the TIV dock in Porto Marghera is summarized by a social media post by one of the 1,200 passengers: “We are on the third day of our cruise, and for two we have been stuck in the ugliest port in Italy, the one at Marghera… scrap and petrochemical containers surround us”.

A technical malfunction was behind the stop being prolonged well beyond expectations for the ship, 275 meters long, and weighing 65 thousand tons. The ship was still docked on 24 April, a few hundred meters from another MSC cruise ship, the Armoni, which instead completed boarding and departure from the port without problems.

When contacted the company explained that “the departure was delayed to allow technicians to repair a generator breakdown”. In fact, the departure for Greece scheduled for Saturday was delayed a day. The ship was only able to leave Venice, destined for Greece, on the evening of 24 April, around 8:30 PM.

There were protests on board the ship from the passengers, whose services were still guaranteed. Several took advantage of the opportunity for an unscheduled tourist visit to Venice. In the evening the tourists received a message from the company that informed them of a change in plans: their destinations were no longer Mykonos and Santorini, but Spalato and Corfu.

Cruise sector workers were also held up all day, for example the cooperative of baggage handlers.

The ship remained moored at a TIV dock made available for docking cruise ships, and still in the middle of being adapted to them.

 

While it is true that the situation was resolved with only a long delay and without slowing the traffic of commercial ships entering and exiting Porto Marghera, the episode nevertheless illustrates the fragility of the cruise sector in Venice after the decision by legal decree to move the cruise ships from Marittima to Porto Marghera. What would have happened if this breakdown had occurred simultaneously with the arrival of a commercial ship?

However, it is not only the interference between the two functions of the port, which have the potential of totally blocking it, that worries the operators. There is also the unpredictability of weather conditions. Just think of what happened only a week ago, when the MSC Armonia, expected last Sunday, was instead directed to Trieste due to strong gusts of wind, leaving dozens of workers at home. Then there is what happened just two days ago.

In fact, the first Costa Crociere cruise ship (the Deliziosa) was scheduled to be in Venice on Saturday 23 April. However, the arrival did not take place as scheduled – in this case as well the company preferred to turn towards Trieste. Deliziosa is 92-thousand ton ship, which is prohibited by order of the Capitaneria from entering the port with winds over 15 knots.

In the meantime, the work to upfit TIV’s Lombardia dock continues, while the ad hoc cruise ship terminal on the north bank of the north canal of Marghera will not be ready until 2023.

Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre


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