ABOVE: NCL's Norwegian Jade leaves
Venice for a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean.
you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise? Not to
worry: In 2016, 10 cruise lines and a ferry company 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 2016:
NCL's Norwegian Jade is
operating three roundtrip itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2016, with
frequent departures from Venice between May and October. The 93,558-ton
Norwegian Jade has a capacity of 2,402 passengers, and it attracts an
We took a 14-day cruise on Norwegian Jade in
July, 2015 and will be publishing an illustrated review soon. (Spoiler
alert: We enjoyed the ship, which had passengers from 55 countries on board,
and we were in no hurry to disembark after two weeks aboard the Jade.)
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 2016, L'Austral's new sister ship, Le
Lyrial, is offering 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 more than a dozen large
ships that cater to a multilingual, multinational audience.
MSC is offering 79 roundtrip voyages in the Eastern
Mediterranean from spring through fall, with a choice of three week-long
itineraries aboard MSC Magnifica, MSC Orchestra, and 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, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, and Montenegro, with
several different itineraries. Two ships are on the
Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2016: Costa Deliziosa and Costa
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 2016, Spendour
of the Seas, Vision of the Seas , and Rhapsody of the Seas will
offer seven- to 11-night cruises from Venice, with frequent departures from May
through late November.
Royal Caribbean's premium-priced subsidiary has one 10-night and one 11-night
roundtrip itinerary from Venice on its calendar in 2016. Both cruises are on
Celebrity Constellation, which carries 2,170 passengers.
Holland America Line
HAL, a "premium" large-ship cruise line, has scheduled four 12-day
"Mediterranean Empires" roundtrip cruises from Venice in 2016. (We haven't cruised on
but you can read our illustrated in-depth review of HAL's
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, Verona, Padua, Bologna, and Ferrara. To
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 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 sometimes stops at Corfu as
well.) 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.