Protesters against large cruise ships docking in Venice are doing all that they can to stop the ships. A protest on Sunday caused several delays for cruises departing the city.

Seatrade Insider reports that several cruise ships left the Italian city later than planned as roughly 70 small boats operated by protesters took over the water while hundreds more protested from land. Among the ships that faced delays on Sunday was the 3,000-passenger Costa Fascinosa, 1,712-passenger MSC Opera and 2,536-passenger MSC Musica.

This protest, led by the No Grandi Navi (No Big Ships) organization, is part of an ongoing mission to stop cruise ships from coming into the port as locals have are afraid of potential damage.

The protestors believe that the large cruise ships, which pass within yards of Venice's Piazza San Marco, are causing environmental damage to the land. They claim that the ships are too big compared to the city and that the water churned up by them cause damage to Venice's delicate foundation. They fear that the ships may also be impacting historical treasures of the city.

The local port authority and cruise companies argue against the protests as studies show that ships cause minimal environmental damage to the area. They also argue their due to tight navigation restrictions for the area, an accident is not likely to occur.

Protests against cruise ships increased significantly after the crash of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in January. After this incident, the Italian government is looking for a new route for cruise ships to visit Venice without interfering with the San Marco area.

In June, protestors wrote a letter to Italian actress Sophia Loren, asking her to stop a cruise ship that was renamed in her honor from entering the port at Venice.  The No Big Ships Committee wanted her to keep her ship out of the port or for her to give up her role as the godmother of the MSC Divina.