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.
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
Below are links to cruise and ferry lines that welcome
English-speaking passengers and normally have regularly-scheduled roundtrip voyages from
NCL's Norwegian Star is
operating several rseven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in
frequent departures from Venice from spring through fall. Two ships cruise from
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
For details, see our illustrated
cruise review and photo diary.
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,"
In 2020, L'Austral's sister ship, Le
Lyrial, is offering a handful of roundtrip Adriatic cruises from Venice
during the summer months.
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
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 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
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. 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
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.
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.
One of our own favorite cruise lines has three roundtrip itineraries from Venice
in 2020, each on a different luxury ship:
Silver Shadow, and a brand-new vessel, Silver Moon.
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.
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.
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.)
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
Boutique River Cruises
In 2020, a newly renovated La Venezia (formerly
River Countess) is offering a seven-night "Venice & the Gems of Northern
with excursions in Venice, the Venetian Lagoon, Padua, Bologna, and Ferrara. The ship's
season runs from the end of March through early November.
whet your appetite, read our
River Countess cruise
review at Europe for Cruisers.
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 Europeforcruisers.com.
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
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.
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,
Minoan's ship is among the largest cruise ferries in the Mediterranean.