I finally got round to organising my tours for the next cruise this week. The choice has been affected by hearing a program on the radio lamenting the number of cruise ships calling into ports where they are not welcome.
It has never occurred to me before that our presence was resented but it's obvious when you think about it.
Often there's more than one ship moored. Huge high vessels blocking out the view of the port of call are a common sight.
Streams of buses, taking us out to favoured spots can be seen all day coming and going.
I'm afraid I've always taken it for granted that we were welcome by virtue of the amount of money we spend whilst ashore. Many a fragile economy should have been bolstered by our presence but this is clearly not enough to compensate for our unrelenting presence in small towns whose economies have been blessed by our spending habits.
This week though I heard a program on the radio where an official from Venice regretted the arrival of the cruise ships. One or three most days....
It jolted me to realise how much we, the truth seeking passengers were resented as was the sight of the towering decks of the huge ships on their skyline.
I don't blame them for feeling under threat ....the amount of money we spend ashore doesn't in any way compensate for our presence.
So although I've booked several outings I have made a decision not to get off when we reach Venice.
Many of my trips are described as leisurely. It means I sit on a bus whilst a native of wherever we are talks to us about the places we are travelling through.
Getting off to spend money is often part of this sort of trip and I'm happy to hope that this is a contribution to their economy.
So I have booked my trips out.
It's a month before we set sail....I am still looking forward to it. For ancient single old women it's still the ideal way of travelling...and there are always people to talk to! But I will be aware that we are not always welcome....
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