La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos
Day 1: Venice (Departure from Marittima)
By 4 p.m., La Bella Vita was sailing from the Port of Venice's Marittima cruise basin.
As our barge turned left and headed up the Giudecca Canal, we saw CroisiEurope's Michelangelo (a French river vessel) coming toward us.
Michelangelo was about to turn and moor at Venice's San Basilio cruise terminal, which is used by small- to medium-sized ships.
Two oceangoing ships were already tied up at San Basilio: Aegean Odyssey and Silver Cloud. (The boat in the foreground is a "hop on, hop off" sightseeing boat called the Vaporetto dell'Arte.)
Continuing up the Giudecca Canal, we passed many smaller boats, including tour boats, vaporetti, and Alilaguna airport boats (such as the Alilaguna Linea Blu water bus in the foreground, which was on its way to Marittima.)
On this catamaran, which was cruising up the canal under engine power, an intrepid sailor was adjusting the boat's rigging from the top of the mast.
This fisheye photo shows the waterfront above the Piazza San Marco from La Bella Vita's sun deck.
Before mooring for the night, Captain Rudy Toninato took us on a short sightsightseeing cruise past the remote Venetian neighborhood of Sant'Elena (above) and into the main passenger-ship channel between Venice and the Lido.
La Bella Vita turned around after reaching the Pilot Boat station on the Lido, which dispatches pilots to arriving and departing cruise ships.
Soon, we were approaching our berth along the Riva di San Biagio. (At far left, you can see the Naval History Museum and--just to the right--the Hotel Bucintoro.)
A few minutes later, we were tied up along the Riva, only a short distance on foot from the Piazza San Marco.
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