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Are 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 train fare.
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 international clientele.
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," L'Austral.
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 MSC 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 Mediterranea.
We haven't cruised with Costa from Venice, but see our illustrated 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.
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 the Eurodam, but you can read our illustrated in-depth review of HAL's ms Rotterdam.)
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 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:
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 Bari.)
Check the Anek Lines Web site for a journey planner and current timetables in PDF format.
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Copyright © 1996-2016 Durant and Cheryl Imboden. All rights reserved.
7th inset photo copyright © Celebrity
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