"The Port of Venice...you'll finally find the answers to your questions, learn how to make an informed decision and choose the means of Venice transportation that is right for you!"
In 2022 many things changed when it comes to ships docking in Venice: as you may know, the city of Venice has put a ban on all big cruiseships docking in the city and have displaced the dock to the industrial area of Marghera which is between Tronchetto and Mestre. Which adds to the confusion and insecurity.
That is why you might see lines of passengers waiting to book their shore excursion tours at any cost, thinking that is the only way of getting from the Marghera port of Venice to Saint Mark's square, from where all the main attractions are easy to reach.
On top of that, cruiselines can be quite secretive about giving you straightforward info on your transport options from Venice port to central Venice as it's in their highest interest to sell their own shore excursions and expensive shuttle boats.
And then, if this is your first visit ever, it gets even more confusing with all those different kinds of boats, both public and private: vaporettos (water buses), Venice water taxis you catch by the canals, water taxis pre-booked online, and cruise line organized water shuttle boats.
But now that you've found Mediterranean-cruise-ports-easy, you'll finally find the answers to your questions, learn how to make an informed decision and choose the means of Venice transportation that is right for you!
But before you even consider transportation options and choose your way to reach downtown from your cruise ship, here’s a few things to keep in mind...
There are a few options when it comes to getting from the port of Venice to St. Mark's square:
Each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll tackle in these articles individually:
There are two types of water bus shuttles your cruise line will organise to get you to Venice:
1. Most of the cruiselines will organize water boat shuttle transportation from the port of Venice (keep in mind ships now dock in the port of Marghera) to a point very close to St Marks square. This is the quickest way of getting from the port of Marghera to the epicentre of Venetian tourist area. However, there is a charge for it: in summer of 2023 MSC cruiseline charged this service at 48 euros per person both ways.
2. The second cruiseline organised water shuttle is free. But it only takes you from the port of Margera into Stazione Marittima, the old port of Venice where cruise ships used to dock before 2022. They will drop you off at their terminal building and from there you will be free to find your own way into historical Venice (via Piazzale Roma, the first vaporetto stop on the Grand Canal).
Keep reading to find out your options from there onwards.
Or go with one of the rare, still operating tours made to cater to cruise guests and picking you up at the port...
Once you find yourself dropped off at Stazione Marittima, first you will have to walk to the central part of the port. It can be up to 10 minutes long walk. MSC dropped its passengers by terminal buildings 107-110, at the very far end of this building complex and we had to walk for some time...
You will know you are in the central part of the port of Venice by the cafe, shops and directions for public transport water buses by Alilaguna (which are not operational anymore).
From here you will have two options on how to reach Piazzale Roma, which is a square, a transport hub, the last point you can approach in a car, bus or taxi on the way to historical Venice.
You are probably also considering taking some other means of transport you have read about on the internet:
Once you reach the square of Piazzale Roma you have a couple of options on how to reach the historic Venice...
If money is not an issue, you can splash out and hire a water taxi for you and your group for the most personalized approach to Venice by water.
If you keep in mind that a water taxi can take 6-12 people at a time, it might not even be a bad idea when you split the cost.
Read more about using Venice waters taxi...
If you don't feel bartering about the price with water taxi drivers who don't really excell in English, you might as well book this one hour long water taxi ride from Piazzale Roma (Santa Lucia train station which is just one bridge away) all the way to Piazza San Marco:
Also, I have found a tour that will allow you an arranged pickup point and combines a ride with a water taxi and a walking tour!
If you wish to cross the famous Calatrava bridge on the way to Santa Lucia train station, you may do so as at its bottom you will find yet another water bus/vaporetto stop on the Grand Canal- Ferrovia (Italian for railway)
Find out how to take vaporettos in my article How to use Venice vaporetto.
Once you get to Piazzale Roma, walking becomes fun as everything around you is so exciting and wonderful: this is where historic Venice starts!
But before you decide to go into Piazza San Marco on foot, think of the time you will need to get there, and also think of how to get back in time so you don't miss the ship docked in the port of Marghera.
Do you have a great story about this? Have you been to this port of call? Have tried out any of the shore excursions I recommend? Do you have any tips that might help your fellow cruisers? Share them with us!
Hello! My name is Martina and I have been living, working and cruising in the Med for the past 20 years. Now I want to make you Med confident! Read more about me...
4. Capri ferry
10. Livorno Italy
13. Naples to Capri
16. Messina Sicily
17. Pisa Train
18. Visiting Pompeii
19. Pompeii forum
20. Port of Piraeus
22. Venice vaporetto
23. Venice water bus
24. Livorno map
25. Getting to Zadar
27. Walk Venice
28. Mykonos beach
30. Pomepii homes