Roundtrip Cruises from Venice
In a typical year, cruise and
ferry lines offer roundtrip itineraries from Venice,
Italy and nearby ports that make it easy to combine a cruise with a Venetian
ABOVE: A tugboat passes Compagnie du Ponant's
Austral, which is moored at the San Basilio cruise terminal in central
you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise? Not to
worry: In most years, major cruise lines offer ship voyages that begin and end in Venice
or in locations nearby. 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 offer at least a few scheduled roundtrip voyages from
Venice or nearby cities.
Please note: Some
ships sail from ports as far away as Chioggia or Ravenna (up to two
hours by bus from Venice), thanks to an Italian government edict that
has banned all but the smallest ships from Venice's city center. Others
depart from the Marghera Industrial Zone or the ferry port of Fusina on
the Venetian mainland, which are much closer to central Venice and Marco Polo Airport.
For more information, see
Venice cruise ports (with
maps) and our Venice cruising changes article.
Also note that some cruise lines allow check-in at the
basin in central Venice, with free shuttle buses taking passengers
to their ships at ports on the mainland.
This boutique cruise line occasionally has roundtrip
itineraries from Chioggia and Fusina (two small ports on the Venetian
France's luxury cruise line caters to international travelers (including
Anglophones) and has been on a shipbuilding spree in the past few years.
illustrated review of a roundtrip
cruise from Venice on Compagnie du Ponant's 264-passenger "megayacht,"
In 2023 and 2024, Ponant is operating a small number of
roundtrip Adriatic cruises from Venice. The itineraries begin and end at
Marghera, not far from Venice's historic center.
Europe's largest and oldest cruise line has been in business for more than 60
years. From Venice, Costa usally operates a busy calendar roundtrip cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with several different
itineraries and departures from spring through fall.
Costa ships currently arrive and depart in Marghera, on
the Venetian mainland.
HAL no longer cruises from
Venice, but it does have occasional roundtrip itineraries from Trieste (near
Italy's border with Slovenia).
If you can tolerate a two-hour train or bus ride, you
could combine a HAL cruise with a Venetian vacation.
Mediterranean Shipping Company, a.k.a. MSC, is one of the world's largest cargo
operators. It entered the cruise business more than 20 years ago 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. Most ships arrive and depart in Venice's
mainland port of Marghera.
RCCI is an American mass-market cruise line that has reached out to
European travelers in recent years. Unfortunately, its so-called "Venice"
cruises now arrive and depart at Ravenna, which is about two and a half
hours from Venice by road or rail.
Royal Caribbean does offer bus transfers between Ravenna
and central Venice or Venice Marco Polo Airport at extra cost.
One of our own favorite cruise lines has occasional roundtrip sailings from
Fusina, a small ferry port on the Venetian mainland.
In 2023 and 2024, the line's seven-night itineraries include cities in the Adriatic, with an
emphasis on Croatia.
Windstar will offer a series of nine-night roundtrip cruises from Venice
with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia. All are aboard Wind
four-masted sailing vessel that carries 148 passengers.
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.
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.)
illustrated review at Europeforcruisers.com.
Boutique River Cruises
A newly renovated La Venezia (formerly
River Countess) offers a seven-night "Venice & the Jewels of
that includes port calls in Chioggia and two islands in the Venetian Lagoon. The ship's
season typically runs from the end of March through early November.
To whet your appetite, read our
review at Europe for Cruisers.
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 Igoumenitsa and Patras. Anek also runs ferries between Greece
(including Corfu) and the Italian ports of Ancona and
Bari, making it possible to build a longer cruise with connecting voyages.
Anek ferries arrive and depart at Terminal Fusina, on the Venetian mainland.
About the author:
Durant Imboden has
written about Venice, Italy since 1996.
He covered Venice and European travel at About.com for 4-1/2 years before launching
Europe for Visitors (including
Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl
Imboden in 2001.
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