ABOVE: A Norwegian Cruise Line ship leaves
Venice for the Eastern Mediterranean.
you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise? Not to
worry: In 2017, 14 cruise lines and two ferry companies are offering ship voyages that begin and end in Venice. Such
roundtrip cruises offer a great way to combine a Venice holiday with a trip by
ship--allowing you to enjoy back-to-back vacations with only one air or
Below are links to cruise and ferry lines that welcome
English-speaking passengers and have regularly-scheduled roundtrip voyages from
Venice in 2017:
NCL's Norwegian Star is
operating several roundtrip six-, seven-, and eight-night itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2017, with
frequent departures from Venice between April and October. The 91,740-ton
Norwegian Star has a capacity of 2,348 passengers, and it attracts an
We took a 14-day NCL cruise from Venice in July, 2015.
For details, see our illustrated
cruise review and photo diary.
France's luxury cruise line caters to international travelers (including
Anglophones) and has been on a shipbuilding spree in the past few years. See our
illustrated review of a roundtrip
cruise from Venice on Compagnie du Ponant's 264-passenger "megayacht,"
In 2017, L'Austral's new sister ship, Le
Lyrial, is offering slightly more than half a dozen Adriatic cruises from Venice. The
seven-night cruises have a "The Best of Croatia" theme.
Mediterranean Shipping Company, a.k.a. MSC, is one of the world's largest cargo
operators. It entered the cruise business just over 20 years ago, launched the
MSC Crociere brand in the mid-1990s, and now operates 15 large
ships that cater to a multilingual, multinational audience.
MSC is offering dozens of roundtrip voyages in the Eastern
Mediterranean from spring through fall, with a choice of four- to
itineraries aboard MSC Musica, MSC Poesia, or MSC
Sinfonia. To learn about our own roundtrip cruise from Venice with MSC,
read our illustrated
Poesia cruise review.
Europe's largest and oldest cruise line has been in business for more than 60
years. From Venice, Costa operates a busy calendar of seven-night roundtrip
cruises to Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro, with
several different itineraries and departures from April through December. Three ships are on the
Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2017: Costa Deliziosa, Costa Luminosa,
and Costa neoClassica.
We haven't cruised with Costa from Venice, but see our
Costa Magica review about a roundtrip cruise from Rome.
RCCI is an American value-priced cruise line that has been reaching out to
European travelers in recent years. In 2017, Rhapsody
of the Seas, Legend of the Seas , and Vision of the Seas will
offer seven- to 11-night cruises from Venice, with frequent departures from
Royal Caribbean's premium-priced subsidiary has several nine- to 11-night
roundtrip itineraries from Venice on its calendar in 2017. The featured ship is
Celebrity Constellation, which carries 2,170 passengers.
Two 21-night roundtrip cruises from Venice are on
Cunard's 2017 schedule: one in summer, the other in early fall. Both are on
Queen Victoria, a 90,049-ton ship with a capacity of 2,014
passengers. The itinerary includes Italy, Croatia, and the Greek Islands.
After a long hiatus, Princess is offering three roundtrip cruises from
Venice in 2017: two to Croatia, Greece, and Turkey, and the other to the
Western Mediterranean. All are on Pacific Princess, the line's
smallest vessel at 30,277 tons with a capacity of only 672 passengers.
Azamara Quest, a
690-passenger ship, will offer three eight-night cruises in the Adriatic
during 2017. (We sailed on Azamara Quest during that ship's last
voyage as the R7 of Renaissance Cruises, and we enjoyed the
"mid-size" cruising experience.)
SeaDream I, a tiny luxury ship
that carries only 112 passengers, will cruise in the Adriatic one time in
2017 (July 8-15).
Circle Cruise Line
GCT's 50-passenger Arethusa
(which serves American travelers only) will cruise to Slovenia and Croatia
from Venice in January, February, March, November, and December.
Lagoon and river cruises
Boutique River Cruises
In 2016, River Countess offers a 10-day "Gems of
Northern Italy" tour from Milan that includes a roundtrip cruise from Venice
with excursions in the Venetian Lagoon, Padua, Bologna, and Ferrara. A 15-day
"Spendors of Italy" package is also available with the same cruise component.
whet your appetite, read our
River Countess cruise
review at Europe for Cruisers.
From the end of March until late
October, European Waterways runs six-night cruises aboard
La Bella Vita, a
20-passenger hotel barge. The itinerary begins in Venice, includes stops at
small ports in the Venetian Lagoon, and heads up the Po River or the adjacent
Bianco Canal toward Mantua,
with return transportation to Venice by bus. (In alternating weeks, the cruise
runs in the opposite direction.) See our
illustrated review at Europeforcruisers.com.
River cruising is the specialty of this 35-year-old French line, which operates
trips of five to seven nights from Venice during most of the year. Part of the time is spent cruising, and the rest is used for
excursions by water or land to the Lagoon Islands, Chioggia, Ferrara, and/or
If you're more adventurous, or if you insist on having
your car as a companion, you can combine back-to-back ferry trips into a
This Piraeus-based shipping company operates cargo-and-passenger ferries that
link Venice with Igoumenitsa and Patras. Anek also runs ferries between Greece and the Italian ports of Ancona and
Check the Anek Lines Web site for a journey planner and
current timetables in PDF format.
After a hiatus of several years, Greece's Minoan
lines--now owned by the Grimaldi Group--returns to Venice in 2017 with
year-round, twice-weekly sailings to (and from) Igoumenitsa and Patras.
Service is aboard the largest cruise ferries in the Mediterranean. (Note:
The company's Web site wasn't yet showing the new route when this article
was last updated.)