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Are you having trouble choosing between a land vacation and a cruise? Not to worry: In 2019, more than a dozen cruise lines and ferry companies are offering ship voyages that begin and end in Venice. 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 train fare.
Below are links to cruise and ferry lines that welcome English-speaking passengers and have regularly-scheduled roundtrip voyages from Venice in 2019:
NCL's Norwegian Star is operating several roundtrip seven- to 10-night itineraries in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2019, with frequent departures from Venice from spring through fall. The 91,740-ton Norwegian Star has a capacity of 2,348 passengers, and it attracts an international clientele.
We took a 14-day NCL cruise from Venice a while back. For details, see our illustrated Norwegian Jade cruise review and photo diary.
France's luxury cruise line caters to international travelers (including Anglophones) and has been on a shipbuilding spree in the past few years. See our illustrated review of a roundtrip cruise from Venice on Compagnie du Ponant's 264-passenger "megayacht," L'Austral.
In 2019, L'Austral's sister ship, Le Lyrial, is offering a handful of seven-night roundtrip cruises from Venice during July and August.
Mediterranean Shipping Company, a.k.a. MSC, is one of the world's largest cargo operators. It entered the cruise business just over 20 years ago, launched the MSC Crociere brand in the mid-1990s, 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, with a choice of four- to seven-night itineraries aboard MSC Lirica, MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, or MSC Sinfonia. To learn about our own roundtrip cruise from Venice with MSC, read our illustrated MSC Poesia cruise review.
Europe's largest and oldest cruise line has been in business for more than 60 years. From Venice, Costa operates a busy calendar of three- to seven-night roundtrip cruises to Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Montenegro, with several different itineraries and departures from March through December. Three ships are on the Venice-to-Venice circuit in 2019: Costa Delizioza, Costa Luminosa, and Costa Victoria.
We haven't cruised with Costa from Venice, but see our illustrated Costa Magica review about a roundtrip cruise from Rome.
RCCI is an American value-priced cruise line that has been reaching out to European travelers in recent years. In 2019, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer 21 six- to eight-night roundtrip Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Venice, with departures from May to October.
Royal Caribbean's premium-priced subsidiary has eight roundtrip itineraries from Venice on its calendar in 2019. The featured ships are Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Infinity.
HAL has two Venice-to-Venice roundtrip intineraries in 2019: a 12-day "Adriatric Dream" cruise in June and August, and a 24-day "Adriatic Dream & Greek Odyssey" voyage in June. Both are on MS Veendam, a medium-size ship that carries 1,350 passengers.
Azamara Pursuit, a 690-passenger ship, will offer a handful of three- to seven-night cruises in the Adriatic during 2019. Sailings are in June and September. (We've cruised on two of its sister ships, and we enjoyed both.)
The large-ship luxury line's Crystal Serenity will operate one roundtrip, seven-night cruise from Venice in September, 2019. The ship, which was christened by Julie Andrews, carries 1,070 guests on nine passenger decks.
In 2019, River Countess is offering an eight-day "Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy" tour that includes a roundtrip cruise from Venice with excursions in the Venetian Lagoon, Padua, Bologna, and Ferrara. The ship's season runs from the end of March through early November.
To whet your appetite, read our River Countess cruise review at Europe for Cruisers.
From the 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.) See our illustrated review at Europeforcruisers.com.
River cruising is the specialty of this 35-year-old French line, which operates five-night trips from Venice during most of the year. Part of the time is spent cruising, and the rest is used for excursions by water or land to the Lagoon Islands, Chioggia, Ferrara, and/or Verona.
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 minicruise:
This Piraeus-based shipping company operates cargo-and-passenger ferries that link Venice with Corgu, Igoumenitsa, and Patras. Anek also runs ferries between Greece and the Italian ports of Ancona and Bari, making it possible to build a longer cruise with connecting voyages.
After a hiatus of several years, Greece's Minoan lines--now owned by the Grimaldi Group--has returned to Venice with frequent sailings to (and from) Igoumenitsa, Patras, and Corfu. Minoan's ship is among the largest cruise ferries in the Mediterranean.
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Copyright © 1996-2019 Durant and Cheryl Imboden. All rights reserved.
7th inset photo copyright © Celebrity
8th inset photo copyright © Holland America Line.
10th inset photo courtesy of Princess Cruises.
11th inset photo copyright © Azamara Club Cruises.
12th inset photo copyright © Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
14th inset photo copyright © European Waterways Ltd.