Dispel any confusion about Venice Port! Is it Stazione Marittima, Marghera or San Basilio the one you need? The best transfers to reach Venice cruise port!
If Venice is where your Mediterranean cruise ship starts or finishes its itinerary, or simply if Venezia is featured on your Mediterranean cruise holiday as one of its ports-of-call, you will find this Venice port information very useful.
The port of Venice is often an embarkation port for Eastern Mediterranean cruises. It is a big and bustling complex that constantly changes its looks, is being enlarged and added to.
The main port in Venice, Italy is called the Port of Venice or Porto di Venezia in Italian. It serves as a hub for various maritime activities, including commercial shipping, passenger transportation, and cruise tourism.
The Port of Venice encompasses several areas and terminals, including the Venice Passenger Terminal (VPT) at Marittima (Stazione Marittima) and the Venice Cruise Terminal (VCT) at San Basilio, which are specifically dedicated to cruise ship operations.
However, as I confirmed during my MSC cruise in June of 2023, cruise ships are now also docking at the industrial area of Marghera.
To make things even more confusing, there is no cruise terminal at Marghera, just the dock, so if you are embarking/disembarking the ship on this day, you will go through all the usual operations at Stazione Marittima which you will be shuttled to/from.
It grows with such speed that it has increased its traffic four times in the past seven years. From being the 10th biggest port in Europe it has moved to 4th place.
At the moment, Venice port is the second busiest in the Mediterranean! In one year almost 1,5 million people pass through the Venice cruise terminals.
You can see Venice port cruise ships arrival and departure here.
As you may know, there have been discussions and plans to reroute larger cruise ships away from the the city center due to concerns over the environmental impact and protection of Venice's delicate ecosystem and infrastructure.
The Italian government proposed redirecting larger cruise ships to the industrial port of Marghera to mitigate these concerns. The goal is to strike a balance between the economic benefits of cruise tourism and the preservation of the unique cultural and environmental heritage of Venice.
As I am writing this article in June 2023, this is exactly where cruise ships are docking - the industrial port of Marghera, not in Stazione Marittima.
When you're going on Venice cruise holidays, planning getting to and from your Venice cruise terminal is important as it can save you a lot of hassle with luggage and save you money from expensive last minute decisions you resort to in frustration.
Before going on a Venice Italy cruise, it is important to plan:
But first of all, let's make it clear what the actual location is that your Mediterranean cruise ship will be docked at!
You are probably getting confusing information from other cruisers, cruisers' forums and articles online, especially now after there is so much talk on the ban of cruiseships in Venice.
Ok, so lets try and make things simple.
Venice Port, managed by a company called Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, operates in 3 different locations in Venice:
1. Venice Passenger Terminal (VPT) at Marittima (Stazione Marittima): This is the primary cruise port in Venice and is located in the western part of the city, near the Piazzale Roma. It consists of seven multi-story buildings that serve as terminals for various cruise lines.
However, although all check-in, embarkation/disembarkation procedures are still done inside the Stazione Marittima, as of 2022/23. cruise ships do NOT dock at this location anymore! They dock at Marghera and the article on Marghera cruise port is a must read if your ship calls on Venice!
2. Venice Cruise Terminal (VCT) at San Basilio: This secondary cruise terminal is situated in the southwestern part of Venice, near the San Basilio ferry terminal. It is smaller in size compared to the main port at Marittima but is still used by some cruise lines.
Both cruise ports provide facilities and services for embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. The terminals offer customs and immigration facilities, luggage handling, check-in counters, security checks, and other amenities to ensure a smooth cruise experience.
3. Riva dei Sette Martiri: back in the day when I worked on cruise ships, we docked with RC Legend of the Seas twice in this location. What's the situation with it today? You will find out further down the page.
Let's take a look at each one of these Venice Port locations right now!
If you’re cruising on a really large cruise ship, it's check-in, embarkation and disembarkation procedures will most likely be based at the Venice port location called Stazione Marittima which is part of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri.
However, as mentioned before, they will not dock there, but at the industrial area called Marghera.
This is a big ship terminal complex on the west side of the city with a number of docks that used to house several cruise ships at the same time in the past.
Stazione Marittima Port of Venice Italy can be found between Troncheto Island and Piazzale Roma.
It is also very close to the 4 km long causeway that connects mainland and the airport with historical downtown Venice.
As you can see on the map, Stazione Marittima in Venice offers many facilities to its passengers:
For more information on how to reach Stazione Marittima cruise port terminal in Venice from your hotel, how to reach Venice port from downtown Venice, how to reach the Venice cruise terminal from Piazzale Roma, the train station or Venice airport, read our article on Venice Cruise Terminal
For more information on how to reach downtown Venice, San Marco and other destinations from this Venice port, read our article on Venice transportation.
Here's a few suggestions on how to reach Stazione Marittima from the airport or your hotel in Venice...
Another docking option is San Basilio pier which is also part of the Venezia Terminal Passagieri but is just round the corner from the Stazione Marittima, in the Giudecca canal.
San Basilio port normally houses smaller cruise ships, river cruise boats and local ships and ferries that connect Venice with Croatian ports on the other side of the Adriatic coast.
When getting off the ship at San Basilio cruise terminal, if you haven't previously arranged a private taxi pick up service, it's best to take a water bus (vaporetto)#2 (previously #82) from San Basilio to Piazzale Roma.
From there it's easy to use local buses or taxis if you need to get to the Venice airport.
But it's always good to arrange someone to wait for you so you don't waste time waiting around:
If you visited here 10 or 15 years ago you probably maybe remember your ship docking within a short walking distance from St. Mark’s square (Piazza San Marco), in the eastern part of Venice along the waterfront of the Bacino San Marco.
That little dock was very convenient for ship passengers but not for nearby inhabitants who had these enormous ships docked right under their front window. It also offered a picturesque view of the San Marco Basin, with beautiful vistas of the Venice lagoon and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
That’s why today it’s used almost exclusively as a yacht berth, and thus this location has been avoided in the past years and no, it’s not your Captain’s fault he couldn't park your ship closer to Piazza San Marco. The poor guy just simply has no choice.
Hovewer, if the Stazione Marittima Venice port happens to be very busy (especially in summer) it is possible your ship might dock at the Riva dei Sette Martiri. In that case, you are very lucky as it only takes about 10-15 min walk to reach Piazza San Marco.
Generally, no embarkations or debarkations will take place at the Riva dei Sette Martiri dock anymore.
From the port of Stazione Marittima there are a few ways to reach downtown, so right now you can go straight to Venice transportation article.
Can't wait to book your shore excursions in Venice? Here's a few 5-star rated ones:
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