Venice Lagoon and Po River Cruises
ABOVE: CroisiEurope's Michelangelo
offers 4- to 6-day cruises of the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River Valley.
Until a few years ago, a
number of companies operated Po River cruises from Venice. Today, there are
CroisiEurope, a French
company that offers 4- to 6-day cruises of the Venetian Lagoon and the Po
aboard Michelangelo (see photo above).
Nicko Tours, a Germany
firm that recently brought a river ship, Bellissima, to Venice for
a program similar to CroisiEurope's.
Uniworld is a U.S.-based
luxury river-cruising line that caters to English-speaking travelers. In
2013, the company is offering seven-night cruises in Venice and the Po River
Valley, with day trips to Bologna, Padua, Ravenna, and Verona. Cruises are
on River Countess, which is a notch up the comfort and price scale
from its competitors' ships. (See our review of a 2012
Seine River cruise
with Uniworld, and check the
Italy pages at Uniworld.com for
Venice cruise details.)
Things to know:
River cruises normally depart from Venice's
pier and spend part of their time moored along the
Sette Martiri, a waterfront promenade above the Piazza San Marco facing
St. Mark's Basin. The latter is a delightful place to spend the night on a
ship, especially if your cabin is on the water side: You can open your
window or balcony door in the morning, stick your heads out,
and look into the eyes of vaporetto passengers as water buses
arrive and depart from the Giardini vaporetto platform.
Venetian Lagoon and Po River cruises are more about land
excursions than cruising: Much of your time will be spent on buses or land
tours, with the cruise vessel serving as a floating hotel.
For more information, see the cruise-line descriptions and click
the links on the
pages in our European Cruise Guide
Europe for Cruisers.
European Waterways Ltd. offers six-night cruises from Mantua to
Venice/Venice to Mantua aboard La Bella Vita, a 20-passenger hotel
barge. (The luxury barge is also available for private charter.)