Monaco imposes cap as it welcomes cruise ships back to its waters

The arrival of fine weather has marked the return of cruise ship stopovers in Port Hercule, with the government promising to impose strict limits.

From April to November, cruise ships will return en masse alongside yachts in the ports of Monaco, or at anchor near the Principality, with thousands of tourists eager to experience the legend that is Monaco and the surrounding French Riviera.

While it is a welcome boost to the local tourism sector, it does have an environmental impact on the small Principality and its coastline.

In an effort to preserve the atmospheric and marine environment, the government, in announcing the return of cruise season on Wednesday, said that it is working with the Société d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco (SEPM) on a “rational” cruise policy.

“By setting a maximum limit on the size of ships at the port or moor, a limit on the maximum capacity of passengers on board, and the duration of the season, the Government allows the reception of cruises in line with the image of Monaco, its quality of life and its economic attractiveness,” said the government.

This year, authorities aim to undertake inspections on 90% of vessels, and analysis of samples from 30% of those cruise ships at the Rainier III breakwater.

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Photo by Monaco Life