The Port of Venice: Transportation and Getting to Town from Venice Cruise Terminal
"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!"
Getting from the Venice port to the center of Venice or St. Marks square seems to be the buzz of the dining room a few days before your Mediterranean cruise ship reaches the port.
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 port of Venice to Saint Mark's square, from where all the main attractions are easy to reach.
So you may run to do the same and spend hundreds of dollars in the fear of being left stranded on the ship if you don't.
Later, you hear others talking of booking tickets for boats from the port of Venice and you have no idea whether they are talking of public transportation or something else.
In Venice, you may think it can get all so confusing with all these different kinds of boats: vaporettos (water buses), Venice water taxis you catch by the canals, water taxis pre-booked online, cruise line organized water shuttle boats.
Then again there are those who say they will just walk to Venice...and use the Venice people mover. By now, you're completely confused and have no idea what you're doing.
But now that you 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...
Factors to take into account
when choosing transportation from the port of Venice
- How long will your cruise ship stay in the port of Venice? - most Europe cruise ships that call to Venice will have an overnight in their itinerary. Not all ships necessarily arrive in Venice early in the morning so check the times of your arrival and departure and plan how many times you want to go downtown during your stay.
- How long can you walk without getting tired? - some people have troubles with walking and they will go either with ship organized tours or pay for the cruise line organized shuttle boat. In Venice, it's not just about walking from the port of Venice to Piazza San Marco... remember you will walk a lot once you get there too!
- How many times a day are you going to go back and forth between the port of Venice and Piazza San Marco? - do you have any arrangements or appointments that might limit your time on the day of your visit to Venice? Do you have a spa appointment? Have you arranged to meet one of your old friends in Venice at a specific time? Do you have to run back to the ship to pick up your kids at the kids centre?
Take all of these into account when planning your day and how many times you have to be back on the cruise ship. The more times you have to, or want to, go back and forth from the port of Venice the more you will benefit from a means of transportation that gives you an option of unlimited use for a flat fee (cruise ship organized shuttle boat).
- Whether you have kids with you or not? - are your kids old enough to walk all the way to Venice (1 hour walk) and then still walk for hours around the downtown Venice area? Or do they get tired easily and are better off taking water boat transportation straight from the port of Venice to Piazza San Marco area? What are their interests? Will you be taking them out into Venice every time you go out or will they be staying in the kids centre? Are you willing to pay for a shore excursion for them and will they appreciate it?
- How much money you would like to spend/save? - the great thing about getting downtown Venice from the Port of Venice is it can be done for all price ranges: from €0 (zero euros) by walking from Stazione Marittima Venice cruise terminal to Piazza San Marco all the way, to spending an euro for the Venice people mover and walking the rest, to about €100 (taking a water taxi). Think about your priorities and choose the kind of transportation that suits you best.
- What part of the day do you prefer to spend in town most? - if your cruise ship arrives at Venice early in the morning and doesn't depart until later the next day, you will have many options.
Some people prefer to go out very early in the morning while it's still not busy, have lunch out, come back for an afternoon nap and then go back out at night for a romantic gondola ride.
Others prefer to avoid morning crowds, have lunch onboard, and then head out in the afternoon sightseeing and shopping and treat themselves with a nice dinner out.
And then there's some, like us, that stay out from early morning to late night until their feet are just about falling off!
Every time of day in Venice is special and has its own little rituals: early morning espressos and cornettos con marmelata shoulder to shoulder with dressed up and perfumed shop assistants from luxury boutiques, before lunch aperitifs sitting at the bar inside Caffe Florian Venice, evening dinner in one of the authentic Venetian restaurants, night drinks at Harry's bar... so difficult to skip even one!
What time of the day do you think you will enjoy in Venice most? How long can you stay out in the port in one go?
These are all the factors to consider that will help you in deciding which transport to take when getting from the Stazione Marittima Venice cruise terminal to Venice St. Mark's square.
Types of transportation from the port of Venice to St. Mark's square
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:
Most of the cruise lines will organize water boat transportation from the port of Venice to very close to
St Marks square. Although these water boats look just like the regular Venice public transportation water buses... they are not. These boats are for the cruise passenger's use only and will take you straight to where you want to be with the least amount of walking! Read more...
If you would like to kill two birds with one stone, you can connect a Grand Canal vaporetto (water bus) tour with getting downtown Venice. For that you will just need to walk from the Stazione Marittima Venice cruise terminal to the first public transportation stop on the Venice Grand Canal and that is by Piazzale Roma.On your way there you can now also use the Venice people mover which will cut your walking short a bit. Read more about using vaporettos in Venice...
Click here for the Map of Venice Stazione Marittima and Piazzale Roma!
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 up to 12 people at a time, it might not even be a bad idea when you split the cost. You can see where to find the water taxi stand on our Map of Venice Stazione Marittima and Piazzale Roma. Read more about using Venice waters taxi...
Now, I have to put things into perspective for you: on any given day there are a couple of cruise ships in Venice Marittima Cruise Port. It gets busy. Very busy. And everyone is trying to find a water taxi. Can you imagine the frenzy that happens when taxis don't manage to operate fast enough for thousands of passengers looking for them?
That's why, if you're sure you want to use a water taxi, it is almost imperative to book one online way ahead. I have found this private water taxi service for you at our trusted partner, Viator: Venice Private Arrival Transfer by Water Taxi: Cruise Port to Central Venice. It has fantastic 4 1/2 stars ratings. Here's what some people say about it:
'We were met at the cruise port. The gal was very friendly and helped us with our bags as we took them across St Mark's square to our hotel. Thank God she was there to help us- we had no idea where we were going and it had been flooding in the square when we were there!! We will definitely do this the next time we go to Venice. Totally worth the extra money!! First class service and it was completely private as we were the only passengers aboard the transfer boat.'
Robert M, The USA
'I would recommend this excellent service to anyone who is arriving in Venice for the first time. It is very hard to find your own way around Venice at first as it is a real maze of lane ways, streets and campos.'
Gail C., the USA
I am so glad we arranged this transfer. We were met at the port by a lovely lady who was a joy!! This is the way to go when you need a hassle-free disembarkation and hotel transfer! Well worth the cost!
Sheree.capstick, the USA
To book and read more reviews go to Venice Private Arrival Transfer by Water Taxi. It will make your day in Venice smooth and hassle free and just like everyone else, you'll be glad you did it.
If you are fit and have lots of time on your hands, it's easy and enjoyable to walk all the way into Venice and use the Venice people mover. Read more...
And our Map of Venice Stazione Marittima and Piazzale Roma will help you find your way to the Grand Canal! No matter how far from Piazza San Marco, every little corner of Venice is interesting! Also, depending which route you take, you might get a little taste of how the real Venetians live!
Whether you like to jump “straight to the main meal” or wanna taste Venice bite by bite… you can do it all.
Deals on Hotels and Shore Excursions:
Hotels in Venice - HotelsCombined.com allows you to instantly search and compare room availability and prices from all major travel websites!
Viator Venice Tours and Shore Excursions - Compare prices to the ship offered shore excursions and book your own tours online!
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