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More than a quarter of cruise ports are moving to cap cruise calls following overtourism concerns in countries with bustling cruise ports for the past three years.

A recent survey of worldwide cruise ports by Seatrade Cruise News revealed that 27 per cent of ports have restrictions to cap the number of cruise calls/passengers either in place or proposed.

Venice, Dubrovnik and Santorini are a few of the notable tourist hubs that have decided to limit the number of cruise ships in acknowledgement of increasing opposition from the local community towards overcrowding caused by tourists.

Authorities are looking to manage congestion and protect heritage sites by putting a cap on cruise calls or redirect ships to dock outside the city centre in Italy’s case.

Closer to home, Tasmania’s Port Arthur and Auckland Harbour in New Zealand, which are experiencing a cruise boom after being actively marketed, are also receiving similar complaints from local residents.

“There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each day across our industry, our member cruise lines are keenly and proactively engaging with destinations, and port authorities to find solutions that ensure destinations are strengthened and preserved,” says Joel Katz, Managing Director of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia.

“Cruise ships are one of the more high-profile and easy-to-target flashpoints when destination sustainability is discussed, due to their size and visibility. However, the cruise industry is only a small part of a challenge facing the entire tourism sector. As an industry, we need and want to be a part of the solution.”

Overtourism bring fears of not only congestion that puts heritage sites at risk, but also environmental concerns caused by emissions from cruise ships.

Cruise lines are already working towards using cleaner fuels and installing scrubbers on up to 40 per cent of their fleet to reduce emissions.

Some lines like Norwegian Cruise Lines and various brands under Carnival Corporation are also adopting cold ironing whenever the port allows, where ships use shoreside power, so vessels can turn off their engines while in port.

But the survey report shares that several ports have expressed that cruise lines need to be more transparent about the nature of those emissions such that ports and local authorities have the information needed to reassure local communities about the air quality.

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