New in 2024:
Venice Water Taxis
W are the limousines of Venice: With their spacious leather-upholstered cabins, open-air seating in the stern, and private captains to chauffeur you up the Grand Canal or on a high-speed run between the airport and your hotel, they offer an experience that you won't forget in a hurry.
Unfortunately, you won't forget the price in a hurry, either: The fare between Marco Polo Airport and a hotel or apartment in central Venice starts around €130, depending on location.
A trip within the historic center can easily cost €70 or more, depending on distance, time of day, and whether you've hired the water taxi at a pier or requested an aquatic cab by telephone.
Still, water taxis can hold up to 10 people, depending on the size of the boat, and the cost per person can be reasonable if you're splitting the fare with family or friends.
Water taxis are also faster than public airport transportation, since you don't have to transfer to a vaporetto or walk a long way to your hotel when you arrive in the city. (Figure 25 to 30 minutes for the trip between Venice Marco Polo Airport and a waterside hotel in the city center.)
How to hire a water taxi
At Venice's Marco Polo Airport, you'll find water-taxi ticket booths in the arrivals hall, after you've left baggage claim. (Look for the counters labeled "Speed Boat to Venice.")
After you've bought your voucher, leave the terminal and take the moving sidewalk to the boat piers. (See our step-by-step directions with photos.)
Another option is a shared boat shuttle, which is considerably cheaper than a private water taxi but double the price of the Alilaguna boat.
You can book water taxis online at the Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia Web site, or by phoning the Consorzio's dispatchers during business hours. (Phone numbers and hours are on the Consorzio's home page.) The Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia is a cooperative of water-taxi operators, with a fleet of more than 100 boats at its disposal.
Warnings and advice:
Water taxi video clips:
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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