Venice for Visitors logo
Venice Home All topics
Where to stay Transportation

Arrow. Helping 30+ million Venice travelers since 1997
Arrow. New in 2024: Venice's tourist "access fee"

Top 3 Tips for Venice Cruisers

From: Venice for Cruisers

Venice cruise terminal

ABOVE: Venice's Marittima cruise basin from the deck of MSC Poesia.

After years of receiving e-mails from worried or unhappy cruisers, we've put togreaders who are planning a cruise departure or arrival in Venice:

1. Stay near the cruise terminal, or near convenient transportation.

Don't let a travel agent book you into a hotel that's a long way from your ship! Venice is a city with no cars, a confusing layout, and more than 400 footbridges. Getting lost may be fun when you're sightseeing, but you'll hate struggling to find a hotel, fighting crowds on a public water bus, or trying to get in and out of an expensive water taxi with heavy luggage.

Where should you stay? Our article on Venice Cruise Terminal Hotels has recommendations that help you minimize walking and transportation hassles.

2. If you're arriving by ship, don't plan an early airline departure.

This is especially important if you're a passenger from a non-EU country, because you may not get your passport back from the immigration authorities before 9 a.m. or even later.

To make matters worse, the departures lobby at Venice's Marco Polo Airport is often crowded, and check-in can be a time-consuming process. We recommend arriving at the airport no later than 2½ to 3 hours before your flight's departure. (Note: If you're flying with Ryanair or any of several other budget airlines, you'll probably be leaving from Treviso Airport, which is a long bus ride from Venice.)

  • Bottom line: If you're transferring to the airport on your own, allow at least five hours from your ship's arrival time to get off the ship, use ground transportation to reach the airport, check in, wait in the security line, and reach your flight's departure gate. (If your cruise line is handling transfer and flight arrangements, you can defer to the cruise line's schedule.)

3. Know where your cruise ship is arriving or departing.

Not all "Venice" cruises begin or end in Venice. Some ships call at ports that may be two hours (or more from the city. For more information, see our Venice Cruise Ports with Maps article and read your cruise line's documentation.

  • Note: River vessels and hotel barges such as Uniworld's La Venezia, CroisiEurope's Michelangelo, and La Bella Vita of European Waterways often spend several nights moored along the waterfront above the Piazza San Marco. However, embarkation and disembarkation are always at Santa Marta, San Basilio, or (occasionally) Marittima.

Now that you've read our top three tips, we suggest reading our other Venice cruise articles before your ship's arrival or departure:

Also see:
Venice for Cruisers (Index of cruise articles)