If you're a cruise
passenger and you're arriving or departing at the
Venice Cruise Terminals (Terminal
Venezia Passeggeri), staying at a hotel near the ship will save you money, huge
amounts of hassle, or both.
Read our "No. 1 Warning!"
article before making the mistake of booking a room in the wrong part of town.
In a city with narrow, crowded pedestrian streets and more than 400 footbridges,
you do not want to wrestle heavy luggage any farther than you
ABOVE: Compagnie du Ponant's
L'Austral at the San Basilio
In looking for a hotel, you need to know which terminal your
cruise ship will be using:
Large ships (such as Princess and Costa ships) invariably use the main
which has several terminals. Marittima is located just south of where the
road bridge from the mainland enters the city. It's about a 15-minute walk,
a 5-minute taxi or shuttle-bus ride, and an even quicker
People Mover ride from the
Piazzale Roma, the final
destination for buses and taxis that enter Venice.
Small to midsize ships up to about 50,000 tons (such as Silversea's
Silver Spirit or Compagnie du Ponant's
L'Austral) sometimes use
the Marittima basin as well. However, such ships are often assigned to the
terminal. This is on the Giudecca Canal (right below a pedestrian promenade
called the Zattere, which extends all
the way up to a triangular point opposite St. Mark's Basin).
River vessels and other very small ships nearly always arrive and depart
at the San Basilio terminal.
If you aren't sure where your ship will be moored, see the
Ship Schedule at the Terminal
Venezia Passeggeri Web site.
Where to stay in or near Venice's historic center
On the following pages, you'll find hotel suggestions for
several areas of town:
Stay here if your ship uses the Marittima basin, or if your ship uses the
San Basilio terminal and you want to transfer by taxi.
Piazza San Marco.
Prices tend to be higher in this area of the city. The Piazza San Marco is served by the
Alilaguna airport boat's Blue Line,
which connects Marco Polo Airport with the city center and the
Basin waterfront. The Alilaguna Linea Blu airport boat also stops
at the San Zaccaria and Arsenale vaporetto landings, making it easy to reach
both the airport and Marittima from the
waterfront promenade that runs east from the Piazza San Marco.
Stay at one of these hotels if your ship uses the San Basilio terminal and
you don't mind walking a few blocks with a small bridge or two along the
this area if you're arriving or departing at
Marco Polo Airport, and your ship is
using the Marittima cruise basin. (The
Alilaguna airport boat's Blue Line
serves both the airport and Marittima.) The Zattere area is also reasonably
convenient to San Basilio, either on foot or via the No. 2 vaporetto.)
The Lido di
Venezia and Murano. Hotels on the Lido (Venice's
beach-resort island) tend to be quite a bit cheaper
than hotels in the historic center, and many are close to the waterbus pier over level ground, with no footbridges to cross. The
small glassmaking island of Murano is a pleasant place to spend a night away
from Venice's hustle and bustle. Both islands are served by Alilaguna
airport boats that go directly to the Marittima cruise basin.
Saving money on the mainland
Another possibility is to spend a night or two in
Mestre, on the Venetian mainland. This is
especially convenient if you're traveling with heavy luggage, since you won't
need to walk far or cross bridges.
Hotels tend to be much cheaper in Mestre than in Venice, and if
you stay directly across from the
Mestre Railroad Station
(which is served by Mestre airport
buses and has a baggage room), you can reach the city center by train in
less than 15 minutes. From the Venice train station, you can walk across the
Calatrava Bridge to the Piazzale Roma. (See our
Getting to Your Ship article
for advice on what to do after you've reached the Piazzale Roma.)
If your luggage is bulky or heavy, consider taking a land taxi
to your ship. The fare between downtown Mestre and either the Marittima or San
Basilio cruise terminal shouldn't be more than
A third option: the Hilton Molino Stucky
Well-heeled cruise passengers often stay at the
Hilton Molino Stucky,
which is located on the island of Giudecca. The hotel occupies part of a
restored flour mill from the late 19th Century.
Note: The Hilton Molino
Stucky's location isn't especially convenient to Venice's main sights (you'll
need to take the free shuttle boat from the hotel to the Piazza San Marco, for
example), but an Alilaguna airport boat does offer service between the hotel and
the main Marittima cruise terminal, and you can take
the No. 2 vaporetto to the San
Basilio pier (one stop away from the hotel).
If you've already made a hotel booking, check
the hotel's location. You may find it worthwhile to cancel
your reservation and book at a hotel that's more convenient to the cruise
port. (If you've prepaid for a hotel in a bad location, we can't do anything
to ease your pain, but our local
articles may help you to make the best of a bad situation.)