Venice Excursions for Cruisers - Top 5 Basic Venice tours

"Venice Excursions for the first time visitors can be cheaper than the ones sold onboard your Mediterranean cruise ship!"

TOP 5 Venice Hotels (by TripAdvisor Guest reviews): Top 5 hotels

1. Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo - Top value only 10 minutes walk from Piazzale Roma and close to Grand Canal, read more...

2. Al Ponte Antico - A family hotel on Grand Canal that many wish to keep a secret, read more...

3.Hotel Canal Grande - Highly recommended hotel on Grand Canal, close to Piazzale Roma and the train station, read more...

4. Hotel Antiche Figure - Friendly, clean and with fantastic location for cruisers, read more...

5. Hotel Ca Dogaressa - A small hotel in a quiet canal and a vaporetto stop right outside, read more...

If you are visiting Venice city for the first time you have three options:

  • to see the typical Venice sights by yourself
  • book Venice excursions through your cruise line (can be very expensive)
  • book one of the local-tour operator organized Venice excursions with an agency that ensures their Venice tours prices are 100% guaranteed to be lower than the ones you would pay when booking through your cruise line, i.e. Viator.  

As we have mentioned before, if you are at least a little bit adventurous and have enough time on your hands, seeing the top Venice attractions like Piazza San Marco, Basilica di San Marco, Doges palace, Bridge of Sighs, Venice Grand Canal, caffe Florian Venice, Rialto bridge in Venice, Venice bridges or taking a ride in a gondola in Venice can be done in your own arrangement. 

That way you will save yourself some money, and if that makes a difference to your European cruise budget, definitely go with it. 

However, if you want to be accompanied by a knowledgeable local, someone who will take a considerate stress off of you during your Mediterranean cruise vacation, we do understand you might feel more comfortable taking one of the organized Venice excursions. 

And this is exactly what this page is dedicated to: tours for cruisers coming to Venice for the first time, staying here for a day and wanting to see Venice highlights.

If you have visited Venice before and seen all the top places, you have more time in Venice (staying here before or after your Europe cruise)...or you would like to do something more unusual like learning how to make Venetian masks, learn about Venetian food or take a Venice photo session with an experienced guide, check out our Venice Italy tours page. 

Keep in mind that the tours booked through Viator don't depart from the Venice port but from different locations around Piazza San Marco.

However we have described getting from Venice cruise terminal to Piazza San Marco in detail on our page Port of Venice.

Most Viator tours do not start too early in the morning so you can also take advantage of the absolutely free option of getting to Venice: walking! (which we gave you instructions on on our page Walk Venice).

Although Viator has recently  started advertizing specialized tours/shore excursions for cruisers those still aren't picking up cruisers from the cruise port or dropping them off there. The only difference seems to be that you are sharing tours with other cruise guests. 

So if their regular tours seem to finish well before your cruise ship's departure time and you know how to get back to the cruiseship on your own, we don't see the reason why you wouldn't book one.

We have talked about the benefits of booking a tour through Viator on our page about Venice tours (one of them being better pricing compared to your cruise line) so all there's left now is to explore what you'd like to see in Venice and chose one of the tours (at least two weeks ahead so they don't sell out!) here:  

1) Skip the line: Venice in One Day (3 hours)

  • this is the right tour for you if you don't want to rack your brains over compiling information on what to see in the few hours you have in Venice. 
  • Do you just want a tour that will give you a nice little overview of what's there from both land and water (a ride down the Venice Grand Canal included) , get you into Basilica di San Marco without waiting for too long in the sun, hear some interesting histories and legends from your passionate tour guide and then give you some time off for mindless wandering around and shopping? 
  • Sounds like this  tour will be a perfect introduction to Venice if you don't mind walking and getting your own way to Piazza San Marco (it's easy peasy, we have explained it all here on our Port of Venice page) and meeting your tour guide a few minutes walk from there. 
  • See more info, the reviews, check the departure times and the departure point, dress code for Basilica di San Marco, check availability and make a booking here: Skip the line- Venice in a Day.

2) Skip the Line: Best of Venice including Basilica di San Marco (2 hours)

3) Small group tour: best of Venice walking tour and Grand Canal water taxi ride  (duration varies)

  • if you have enough time on the afternoon of your visit to Venice and would like to have a more personalized approach you will like this tour: it is limited to 10 people only.

4) Venice walking tour and Gondola Ride  (2 hours)

  • If you are not into brushing elbows with hundreds of other tourists and a pumped-up atmosphere inside the churches, museums and other Venice sights but prefer  Venice excursions in a form of a relaxed romantic stroll around less known streets you would never find on your own, you will enjoy this tour.
  • And guess about a 30 minute breathtaking Venice gondola ride that comes with it too? Considering the price of gondola rides in Venice, the reviews mention this tour as a really good value for money.
  • The tour meets at Piazza San Marco.
  • See more info, the reviews, check the departure times and the departure  point,  check availability and make a booking here: Venice walking tour and Gondola Ride.

 5) Murano, Burano and Torcello Sightseeing Half-day tour - (4 hours)

  • Even though half-an hour ride away from Piazza San Marco, seeing  these little islands is one of the top things to do in Venice  even if visiting Venice for a day.Venice excursions as affordable as this make it possible for you to do so.



  • VENICE ITALY TOURS - for those who have more time for Venice excursions
  • VENICE TRANSPORT - Organized transport from the Marco Polo airport to your Venice hotel
  • TRANSPORT VENICE - Organized transport from the port of Venice to your hotel and vice versa


from VENICE EXCURSIONS to Mediterranean Cruise Ports Easy



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