A Venice water taxi is a type of private boat used for transportation on the city's waterways.
They are small, sleek, lacquered wood boats that take 10-12 people maximum. You will recognize official licensed water taxis by a yellow stripe on their side and a registration number.
Just like land taxis, they will take you straight to where you want to go but will charge considerably more for the convenience.
However, if you know this is your once in a lifetime visit to Venice, a water taxi is the best way to create the "wow" effect as you approach Venice.
Water taxis offer a more exclusive and personalized way to experience Venice's unique transportation system.
Having a ride in a Venice water taxi is like hiring your own private limo – you can’t get more personalized service than this when it comes to getting around Venice.
They provide a blend of convenience, speed, and comfort, making them a popular choice for travelers who want to enjoy the city's waterways with a touch of luxury.
Also, if you are cruising with a bigger group of friends or family, it is definitely worth considering as it might save you a lot of hassle and a lot of time, especially if you’re determined to see one of the Venice lagoon islands first (Murano and Burano).
Once the cost is split up between 10-12 people, it can be quite reasonable.
If you came to cruise Italy to really enjoy every single moment of it and money’s not in question…well, what can I say, lounging on the leather covered seats at the open back of your water taxi…for a moment you might just believe you’re on your way to the red carpet of the Venice film festival, while being chased by the paparazzi!
However, it's important to weigh the advantages against the cost and your travel priorities. If budget is a concern, public transportation options like vaporettos still provide a unique and enjoyable way to navigate the city's canals.
Getting a water taxi in Venice is relatively straightforward. Water taxis are available at various docks throughout the city, especially at major transportation hubs such as airports, train stations.
When you approach a water taxi dock, you'll typically find a line of water taxis waiting, each operated by different companies. You can simply approach a water taxi and let the driver know your destination. They will quote you a fare based on factors like distance, time of day, and the number of passengers.
However, it is always advised to pre-book your taxi pick-up:
Pre-booking saves you time upon arrival. You won't need to wait in line or go through the process of finding a water taxi operator at the dock. Your reserved taxi will be ready to pick you up at the designated time and at a fixed price - no need to barter and saves you of the feeling you've been ripped off!
Pre-booking generally provides peace of mind, knowing that you have a reliable mode of transportation already arranged, especially if you have tight travel schedules or important appointments.
Can I catch a water taxi inside the Venice cruise terminal?
Many years ago, when Stazione Marittima was still bustling with life and many cruise ships that used to dock there, it was possible to catch a water taxi inside the cruise terminal.
Since the move of cruise ships either to Marghera industrial area or other port towns in the north of Italy, water taxis are not to be seen anywhere near the cruise terminal.
However, local taxi service providers came up with a combo or water taxi + land taxi transport to get you from the cruise port to your hotel or Piazza San Marco and vice versa:
As you may know, Piazzale Roma square is where the Grand canal begins and the first point closest to Stazione Marittima cruise terminal where you can take one of the boats to central Venice.
I found this great service for you with a meeting point just a few minutes walk from Piazzale Roma: you cross the Calatrava bridge and you find yourself in front of the Santa Lucia railway station.
This is where you can catch this water taxi service to wherever you want to go in central Venice.
Not many people know about it so you are very likely to be on the water taxi by yourself, so chances are big you will have private service:
If you'll be spending a few days in Venice before you board the ship, you can take a water taxi from Venice airport to your hotel.
Official water taxi fares will be around €125 for up to 6 people, and €150 for 7-10 passengers.
Remember that you can also share a water taxi with someone else if they're going in the same direction.
It will take from about half an hour to up to an hour for the Venice water taxi to reach the downtown Venice area.
To find a water taxi at the Venice airport, as you exit from the arrivals terminal, follow the signs for Motoscafo water taxi.
It will take you about 10 minutes to reach the actual dock. You will know you're on the right track as you walk under the covered walkway.
You can wait for your water taxi in line here or...
If you want to make sure there is a water taxi waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Venice, check one of the options below...
If you disembarked your cruise ship in Venice, stayed a few nights and now you have to catch your flight home, here's the easiest way to get from your hotel to the airport:
Is there a shared water taxi from Venice airport to hotels? Is there a shared water taxi from Venice hotels to the airport? - this is what many travelers would like to know.
The service I found for you has excellent reviews! Their customers say it is much cheaper than a regural private water taxi service and they provide great service. Booking a round trip is possible, too.
Visiting the islands of Murano and Burano by water boat in Venice offers a delightful and authentic experience that allows you to explore these unique islands at your own pace while enjoying the beauty of the Venetian lagoon.
On Murano, you can witness the art of glassblowing (and shop for your Murano chandelier or just a piece of jewelry), while on Burano, you can explore the vibrant, colorful houses and the intricate lace-making tradition - both islands offer authentic and memorable experiences, all that away from the crowds you normally see in Venice in high season.
I highly recommend them if you have an overnight in Venice or stay here for a few days before or after your cruise.
Of course, getting there is possible solely by motor boats - for smaller groups it is always in water taxis. What a great way to combine two fantastic experiences at the same time.
Another fantastic way of joining touring Venice, having a Venice water taxi ride and getting from point A to point B is booking a private water taxi tour that starts from the Santa Lucia railway station to Piazza San Marco.
What makes this ride different from the one I mentioned above is that this one lasts an hour and includes commentary of the professional local expert guide: they will explain all the palaces, churches, the Rialto bridge and even the hidden, minor canals.
Click to find out more about this great opportunity: