I have been to many cruise ports around the world.
Many of the most popular cruise destinations I have traveled to are filled to the brim with tourists from around the world, immersing in the cultural experiences, unique local eateries and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the wonders of our planet far from home.
Now, some of these cruise destinations are in danger of limiting the number of cruise ships that visit in order to preserve the integrity of the cities and towns and islands that have stood the test of time and offer the local flavor that attract us in the first place.
Any of us that have visited Venice are enamored by the “canal” city, featuring St. Mark’s Square with all the cobblestone off-shoots that take us in various directions. I, myself, on various occasions, wish I had a GPS to get me back to the main square after wondering off and getting distracted by the unique shops and restaurants each diagonal takes me.
Wonder down by the train station area which you can get to by gondola, or, if you prefer, just walk, and gaze at the scenery and architecture. Across the canal is Murano, famous for their glass sculptures where you can witness the plethora of colors and shapes of glass molding first hand.
Now, the powers to be in Venice are limiting the number of cruise ships that visit Venice at any one time.
Dubrovnik, across the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, is a relatively small but beautiful port. The government is discussing cutting the number of cruise visits in half due to the influx of cruise passengers wanting to visit. The number of visitors per year have increased from 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 in only a few short years. Known for its beautiful scenery, sights and culture, Croatia only became an independent country in 2011. Since then, tourists have flocked there.
Santorini, one of the most picturesque islands across the Aegean Sea, with its exquisitely clear waters, almost limitless volcano views and photo view of the famous Caldera, has been a favorite for cruisers for many years. But, it is a small island and only a few cruise ships can port there on any given day.
The Galapagos Islands have limited the amount of tourists for a number of years. They are, perhaps, the most ecologically friendly place in the world, where humans are considered as foreigners encroaching on the endangered species, some of which are only found here.
Cruise ships visiting the Galapagos are required to pass rigid standards of emissions in order to maintain the purity of the waters, thus protecting the underwater inhabitants. No more than 100 passengers per ship are permitted and the number of ships allowed have been shrinking over these last years.
Australia and New Zealand cruises only take place for the major cruise lines during our winter and early spring due to the “reverse weather” of the U.S. Those cruise lines that feature Australia and New Zealand book pretty quickly due to the lack of ships traveling there and the relatively short season. Why not put more ships there if it’s so popular? Because the docking priveleges are limited and the best guided tour companies we book for our clients feature this destination in depth.
Yes, many of these cruise destinations and others thrive on tourism to bolster their economy and will continue to do so until it adversely affects the inhabitants and the culture.
Traveling around the world, whether by cruise ship, guided tours or privately arranged, is a privilege we, as Americans and our Canadian friends, enjoy.
Allow me to assist you to make your travel dreams come true.