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Post-Concordia regulations impact Po River cruises

Post-Concordia regulations impact Po River cruises
New safety regulations implemented by the Italian authorities in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster are affecting Po River cruises.

Both Bellissima of Nicko Tours and Michelangelo of CroisiEurope have been restricted to cruising the Venice Lagoon as authorities are requiring an additional certification for the stretch between Chioggia and the mouth of the Po, which leads to the Adriatic Sea.

The requirements were instituted in late April, after both vessels had already conducted several cruises between Venice and their Po destinations. Italian authorities are requiring the river vessels to comply with several mandates that normally apply only to ocean-going cruise ships as they transit the open sea, although just for a few miles. A certification is needed to document compliance.

Nicko Tours announced that no alternations to Bellissima will be required, reducing the new obligations to a formality. Seatrade Insider understands that certification of both ships is in progress; Nicko has confirmed it is optimistic about being able to re-introduce the full itinerary between Venice and the Po River in June.

Currently Bellissima is sailing an alternate route in the Venice Lagoon, calling at Chioggia and Murano. All shore excursions are conducted as planned. Nevertheless, Nicko is giving passengers affected by the itinerary alternation a €100 discount and the option to re-book for another date.

CroisiEurope also has made alternative arrangements including an additional excursion to Bologna.