Too close for comfort? Video shows Carnival Sunshine ‘within 20m of Venice promenade’

The row over allowing large cruise ships to continue to use Venice has turned up a notch with the release of footage claiming to show Carnival Sunshine manoeuvring within 20 metres of the promenade.

The ship – which I left in Civitavecchia near Rome on Monday – was filmed on Saturday by local author Roberto Ferruci, who said it almost smashed a waterbus into the quay.

However, the Venice Port Authority denied there had been any problem with the ship, which had two pilots on board and was being aided by two tug boats.

Carnival described the story as ‘completely false’ and said the ship passed at a distance of 72 metres, along an agreed route, and was within safety limits.

A statement said: ‘The ship was in the hands of the port pilot and the distance from the quay was being monitored by the coastguard and the ship’s voyage data recorder.’

My friend and colleague, John Honeywell, aka Captain Greybeard, was on board Sunshine at the time. He described a Daily Telegraph report on the event as ‘rubbish’ and ‘pure fiction’.

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