Where are Venice's cruise terminals?
Venice has two terminal areas:
Marittima is a large basin
with a number of terminals. If you're cruising on a large ship from Carnival,
Costa, Holland America Line, MSC, Norwegian Cruise Line, or Royal Caribbean,
you'll arrive and depart at Marittima. (Smaller ships may also use Marittima
when space is available.)
San Basilio is a
long pier that mostly serves small and mid-size ships.
Immediately next to it is the Santa Marta pier, used by river
vessels and other ships of moderate size.
In addition, river-cruise vessels and hotel barges often moor
overnight on the St. Mark's Basin waterfront east 0f the Piazza San Marco
(although passengers board and disembark at San Basilio or, less frequently, at
Marittima is on the edge of Venice's historic center, while San
Basilio and Santa Marta are a little closer to the sights. All three areas can
be reached by land taxi from Venice Marco Polo Airport or the mainland.
How do I know where my ship will depart or arrive?
Check the port's ship
schedule, which is available in Italian and English.
How do I get to my ship (or from my ship to the
airport or a hotel)?
Read our detailed instructions for
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
I've already booked a hotel. Can you tell me how to get
there from the airport or cruise pier?
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.
(Tip: 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.