The city of Venice has long had its problems with the mass arrival of cruise ships, and Norwegian Cruise Line has become the first to pull its operations in the city.

Large cruise ships are already banned from the city. However, cruise lines have been working around this via tenders and stops in nearby cities.

New restrictions continue to arrive that make tourism, especially cruise tourism, more difficult in the city. Recently, a rule has been introduced that tour groups in the historic centre and other surrounding areas can not be larger than 25 people.

A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said: “While we have made every effort possible to maintain these calls to Venice, the tender operation and overall experience this provides our guests has fallen short of the standard we aim to deliver.

“We recognise that Venice is one of the world’s greatest destinations, cherished by both our guests and crew. And as such acknowledge the inconvenience and the frustration this disruption may cause.

NCL will be replacing Venice on planned itineraries with a visit to one of the four following ports. These include Ravenna in Italy, Rijeka or Zadar in Croatia and Koper in Slovenia.

The new ports

Ravenna lies about two hours South of Venice, and also is home to a canal system. Also drawing visitors to the city are nine different beach tines and renowned pine forests.

The city is perhaps best known for its 1000-year-old churches, ordained with Byzantine mosaics.

Zadar in Croatia is already a popular cruise stop on the famous Dalmatian coast. The 2000-year-old city has been beautifully preserved. The line will offer shore excursions out to beautiful natural attractions like Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The chance to visit Rijeka is a bit more rare, with the area difficult to reach by plane. It sees fewer tourists than other hotspots in the country. The harbour makes the perfect camera snap with colourful buildings on a bright blue coastline.

A cruise stop offers the chance to visit the famous Trsat Castle, the Postojna Cave, walk the city’s famous market and much more.

Koper in Slovenia occasionally shows up on Mediterranean cruise itineraries. But is less visited than many famous ports in the region. The city is extremely close to Italy. So much so that along with Slovenian, Italian is also the official language of the country.

The coastal town has a stunning main square, overflowing with colourful, the famous Praetorian Palace, panoramic views from the Koper Cathedral bell tower and famous wine in the nearby town of Vinakoper.