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Roundtrip Cruises from Venice


ABOVE: Compagnie du Ponant's L'Austral at the San Basilio cruise terminal in Venice. (See our illustrated cruise review at Europe for Cruisers)

Are you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise?  Not to worry: In 2015, nine 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 train fare.

Below are links to cruise and ferry lines that welcome English-speaking passengers and have regularly-scheduled roundtrip voyages from Venice in 2015:

Ocean cruises

photoCompagnie du Ponant
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," L'Austral.

In 2015, L'Austral's new sister ship, Le Lyrial, is offering frequent Adriatic itineraries from Venice between May and mid-September. (Most are seven nights, with one three-night cruise in May.)

photoMSC Cruises
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 offers weekly seven-night roundtrip voyages in the Eastern Mediterranean from spring through fall, with a choice of four different itineraries aboard three ships: MSC Poesia (see our review), MSC Lirica, and MSC Musica. Two longer cruises from Venice (one eight nights, the other 14 nights) are also on MSC's roundtrip cruise calendar in 2015.

photoCosta Cruises
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- to 14-night roundtrip cruises to Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Croatia. Four ships are on the Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2015: Costa Deliziosa, Costa Fascinosa, Costa Celebration, and Costa neoClassica.

We haven't cruised with Costa from Venice, but see our illustrated Costa Magica review about a roundtrip cruise from Rome.

photoRoyal Caribbean International
RCCI is an American value-priced cruise line that has been reaching out to European travelers in recent years. In 2015, Spendour of the Seas has scheduled 10 six- to eight-night roundtrip cruises from Venice between May and early November.

Celebrity Cruises
Royal Caribbean's premium-priced subsidiary has a handful of seven- to 13-night roundtrip itineraries from Venice on its calendar in 2015. All cruises are on Celebrity Constellation, which carries 2,170 passengers.

photoNorwegian Cruise Line
NCL's Norwegian Jade is operating two different roundtrip itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2015, with frequent departures from Venice between April and October. The 93,558-ton Norwegian Jade has a capacity of 2,402 passengers.

Holland America Line
HAL, a "premium" large-ship cruise line, has scheduled a few 12- to 24-night roundtrip cruises from Venice in 2015. Most are on the Nieuw Amsterdam, with one departure on the Zuiderdam. (We haven't cruised on either ship, but you can read our illustrated in-depth review of HAL's ms Rotterdam.)

imageSilversea Cruises
Silver Spirit, a luxury ship that carries only 540 passengers, will sail roundtrip from Venice in September, with port calls in Ravenna, Slovenia, and three Croatian ports. (See our Silver Spirit cruise review at Europe for Cruisers.)

Lagoon and river cruises

From April to November, 2015, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven-night cruises from Venice to the Po (with side trips to Padua, Ravenna, and Verona) on River Countess. You can book the cruise only or a 13-day tour that includes Florence and Rome.  For details, see the Italy pages at Uniworld.com and read our River Countess cruise review at Europe for Cruisers.

photoEuropean Waterways Ltd.
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 Verona.


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 minicruise:

photoAnek Lines
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 from Patras and Igoumenitsa to Ancona, Italy, which is down the Adriatic Coast from Venice.

Check the Anek Lines Web site for a journey planner and current timetables in PDF format.

Also see:
Venice for Cruisers Index

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