Where are Venice's cruise terminals?
Until recently, Venice had two terminal areas:
Marittima (a U-shaped basin
used mostly by large ships) and
long pier which, with the neighboring pier of Santa Marta, was reserved for
vessels and other ships of moderate size).
In 2021, the Italian government decreed that only small cruise
ships (typically under 25,000 GRT) could moor within the city's historical
center, and cruising in Venice has been a mess ever since.
Some ships are now using piers in the industrial area of
Marghera, on the Venetian mainland,
while others are arriving and departing at ports as far away as Ravenna or
Trieste (up to two hours from central Venice by bus).
How do I know where my ship will depart or arrive?
Check the port's ship
schedule, which is available in Italian and English. Better yet, confirm
with your cruise line.
How do I get to my ship (or from my ship to the
airport or a hotel)?
If you're cruising on a river vessel or other small ship,
read our detailed instructions for
Otherwise, check with your cruise line, since the
situation is highly fluid. (The Italian government acted hastily when it banned
most cruise ships from central Venice, and confusion has reigned ever since.)
Do I need to buy a transfer from the cruise line?
If you're going directly from Marco Polo Airport to the cruise
pier, you may find it convenient to use the cruise line's bus, though you'll
probably save money by hiring a land taxi.
If you're going to the
airport to the ship, you may feel more comfortable relying on the cruise line to
get you there in time for your flight.
Should I book my pre- or post-cruise hotel
through the cruise line?
As a rule, we'd say "No," and not just because we hope you'll
reserve through our partner, Booking.com. Here's why:
Cruise lines often book their passengers into hotels that aren't convenient for
sightseeing. One major American cruise line uses a hotel in Quarto d'Altino,
which is 16 km or 10 miles from Venice on the Italian mainland--presumably
because the hotel can accommodate large groups and tour buses.
think you'll have a much nicer experience (and you're likely to save money) by
picking one of the hotels in:
Cruise Terminal Hotels (article)
Venice Hotel Maps: Marittima
Venice Hotel Maps: San Basilio
Note that, even though your cruise ship may not be sailing from Venice's
traditional cruise piers, your cruise line is likely to offer a shuttle from
central Venice (typically the
Piazzale Roma) to wherever your ship is moored. And if you're sailing on
a river vessel or other small ship, you'll still be able to cruise from
Marittima or San Basilio/Santa Marta.
I've already booked a hotel. Can you tell me how to get
there from the airport or cruise pier?
If you're cruising from central Venice, browse our Venice Hotel Directions,
where you'll find step-by-step directions (with maps) to 185 or more hotels in
the city center.
What about shore excursions?
If you enjoy group tours and want to be shepherded from the pier
to the city center and back, a shore excursion is worth considering. But don't
feel that you have to book an excursion, because Venice is an easy city
to explore on your own.
Marittima cruise terminals, take the People Mover elevated tramway (just
outside the port gates) to the Piazzale Roma and walk to the sights from there. Or you can buy an ACTV ticket at the Hellovenezia
booth next to the Piazzale Roma and ride the No. 1 vaporetto up the Grand Canal to the Piazza San Marco.
From the San Basilio pier, the historic
center of Venice is just outside the cruise terminal's doors.
ports on the Italian mainland, you'll need to book a shore excursion or
shuttle bus through your cruise line or rely on taxis to reach Venice's
(Tip: In central Venice, buy a good street map at the nearest newsstand, bookstore,
or souvenir stall. And if you need to be back at your ship by a certain hour,
allow time for getting lost on your return trip.)
For more about
cruising to or from Venice, read the articles in our
Venice for Cruisers section.
Back to: Venice Travel
FAQ - Introduction