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Roundtrip Cruises from Venice

In normal years, 15 cruise lines and two ferry companies offer roundtrip itineraries from Venice, Italy that make it easy to combine a cruise with a Venetian holiday. The pandemic has wiped much of the 2021 calendar clean, but this article will give you an idea of what to expect when the cruise industry revives.


ABOVE: NCL's Norwegian Jade leaves Venice for the Eastern Mediterranean.

2021 alert: You may have read news stories about large cruise ships being banned from Venice. In reality, not much is likely to change for the foreseeable future. See "Cruising in Venice: What's changing in 2021-2022" for details.

Are you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise?  Not to worry: In typical years, more than a dozen cruise lines and ferry companies are expected to offer 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 normally have regularly-scheduled roundtrip voyages from Venice.

Ocean cruises


Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL's Norwegian Star is operating several rseven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2020, with frequent departures from Venice from spring through fall. Two ships cruise from Venice: Norwegian Dawn, with a capacity of 2,340 passengers, and--for one itinerary--the 2,402-passenger Norwegian Jade.

We took a 14-day NCL cruise from Venice a while back. For details, see our illustrated Norwegian Jade cruise review and photo diary.


Compagnie 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 2020, L'Austral's sister ship, Le Lyrial, is offering a handful of roundtrip Adriatic cruises from Venice during the summer months.


MSC 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 a large fleet of megaships that cater to a multilingual, multinational audience.

MSC operates dozens of roundtrip voyages in the Eastern Mediterranean from spring through fall, with a choice of  three- to seven-night itineraries aboard MSC Lirica, MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Orchestra, or MSC Sinfonia. To learn about our own roundtrip cruise from Venice with MSC, read our illustrated MSC Poesia cruise review.


Costa 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 three- to 11-night roundtrip cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with several different itineraries and departures from spring through fall. Three ships are on the Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2020: Costa Delizioza, Costa Luminosa, and Costa Mediterranea.

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


Royal Caribbean International
RCCI is an American value-priced cruise line that has been reaching out to European travelers in recent years. For 2020, the line offers a variety of six-, seven-, and eight-night roundtrip cruises to ports in Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro. All are on Rhapsody of the Seas, which is "midsize" by today's mass-market ship standards with a double-occupancy capacity of 2,416 passengers.

Copyright (c) Holland America Line

Holland America Line
HAL has an appealing menu of Eastern Mediterranean roundtrips from Venice in 2020, with multiple departures from spring through fall. Cruises are 12, 14, 24, or 28 days in length, with a handful of voyages including ports in Israel. Most cruises are on Nieuw Amsterdam (2,106 passengers), with Veendam (1,350 passengers) hosting one 14-night itinerary.

Celestyal Olympia

Celestyal Cruises
This Greek cruise line is offering a series of 7-night Adriatic cruises from Venice in December, 2020 aboard the midsize Celestyal Olympia. The line has a good reputation and caters to a pan-European audience.


Silversea Cruises
One of our own favorite cruise lines has three roundtrip itineraries from Venice in 2020, each on a different luxury ship: Silver Spirit, Silver Shadow, and a brand-new vessel, Silver Moon.


Star Clippers
This "tall ships" line has several roundtrip cruises from Venice to Croatia and Montenegro in 2020. The 7-night itineraries are on Royal Clipper, a five-masted sailing ship with a capacity of 227 passengers.


Celebrity Cruises
Royal Caribbean's premium-priced subsidiary has three roundtrip itineraries from Venice on its calendar in 2020. All are aboard Celebrity Constellation, with departures in June, July, and August.

Azamara Quest

Azamara Quest, a 690-passenger ship, will offer one seven-night "Croatian Intensive" roundtrip cruise from Venice in late October. (We've cruised on a sister ship, and we enjoyed the vessel's moderate size.)

Crystal Serenity in Venice

Crystal Cruises
The large-ship luxury line's Crystal Serenity will operate one 28-night roundtrip cruise from Venice from May 10 to June 7, 2020. The ship, which was christened by Julie Andrews, carries 1,070 guests on nine passenger decks.

Lagoon and river cruises


Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
In 2020, a newly renovated La Venezia (formerly River Countess) is offering a seven-night "Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy" roundtrip with excursions in Venice, the Venetian Lagoon, Padua, Bologna, and Ferrara. The ship's season runs from the end of March through early November.

To whet your appetite, read our River Countess cruise review at Europe for Cruisers.


European Waterways Ltd.
From spring through fall, 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 or the adjacent Bianco Canal toward Mantua, with return transportation to Venice by bus. (In alternating weeks, the cruise runs in the opposite direction.) See our illustrated review at


River cruising is the specialty of this French company, which operates the Michelangelo in Venice, the Venetian Lagoon, and the Po Delta. Part of the time is spent cruising, and the rest is used for excursions by water or land.


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:

Anek Lines ferry in Venice

Anek Lines
This Piraeus-based shipping company operates cargo-and-passenger ferries that link Venice with Corru, Igoumenitsa, and Patras. Anek also runs ferries between Greece and the Italian ports of Ancona and Bari, making it possible to build a longer cruise with connecting voyages.

Minoan Lines
After a hiatus of several years, Greece's Minoan lines--now owned by the Grimaldi Group--has returned to Venice with frequent sailings to (and from) Igoumenitsa, Patras, and Corfu. Minoan's ship is among the largest cruise ferries in the Mediterranean.

Also see:
Venice for Cruisers (Main Cruise Index)