Best Gondola Venice Italy
Rides for Cruisers 

Gondola Venice: everything you need to know about a gondola ride in Venice. What is the best way to get on one when on a cruise ship and the best gondola ride tours!

What is the best gondola ride in Venice for cruisers?

venice gondola image, gondola venice photo

If you are on a cruise and want to experience a gondola ride in Venice, there must have many questions related to this top Venice experience:

  • How much is a Venice Italy gondola ride? 
  • Are Venice gondola rides free? 
  • Is it worth booking a gondola? 
  • Is it possible to have a private or a group/shared gondola ride?
  • How to get a reservation for your Venice gondola tickets?
  • How to get a gondola from a cruise port or your hotel?

You will be a gondola Venice expert by the end of this article, so let's start:

Is it worth taking a gondola Venice ride?

Absolutely! Taking a gondola ride in Venice can be a delightful and memorable experience, especially if you are staying in Venice before or after your cruise and have enough time to enjoy it.

Venice is known for its intricate network of canals, and exploring the city from the perspective of a gondola allows you to appreciate its unique charm.

Gondolas are traditional flat-bottomed boats that have been used in Venice for centuries. They are typically propelled by a gondolier, who navigates the narrow Venice canals and provides a bit of local commentary along the way (sometimes he can even sing!).

The gondola ride offers a different vantage point, allowing you to see the city from the water and admire the beautiful architecture, bridges, and historic buildings that line the canals.

While it's true that gondola rides can be relatively expensive and touristy, they still offer a romantic and picturesque experience. It's worth considering a gondola ride, especially if you're visiting Venice for the first time or looking to add a touch of romance to your trip.

However, it's essential to manage your expectations and be aware that gondola rides are popular attractions, so they might be crowded during peak tourist seasons.

If you're concerned about the cost or prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can also consider taking a vaporetto (water bus) or traghetti (gondola ferries) as alternatives for getting around the city's canals. These options provide a similar experience at a lower price point.

Ultimately, whether a gondola ride is worth it depends on:

  • your personal preferences,
  • budget, 
  • and the overall experience you're seeking in Venice. 

But for many visitors, it's a charming and iconic activity that adds to the allure of this enchanting city.

How can I get on a Venice gondola ride?

If your ship is docked in Venice cruise port (now it's at Marghera industrial area cruise dock) and you would like to experience a gondola ride on this day, you have three options:

  • booking a gondola ride ahead, online (also perfect for you if you are staying in Venice before or after your cruise)
  • taking a cruise ship organized shore excursion (with your fellow cruisers)
  • reaching downtown Venice on your own and catching a gondola by yourself, along the way

How to book a gondola Venice ride online?

Booking your gondola ride ahead online can offer several benefits:

  1. Convenience: Booking online allows you to secure your preferred date and time for the gondola ride in advance, ensuring that you won't have to wait in long queues or risk availability issues on the day of your visit. It saves you time and allows for a smoother experience.
  2. Guaranteed Availability: Venice is a popular tourist destination, and gondola rides can be in high demand, especially during peak travel seasons. By booking ahead online, you have a better chance of securing a spot on the gondola at your desired time, ensuring you don't miss out on the experience.
  3. Flexibility and Choices: Online booking platforms often provide various options for gondola rides, including different routes, durations, and additional services such as live music or serenades. Booking in advance gives you the opportunity to explore these options and choose the one that suits your preferences and budget.
  4. Transparent Pricing: Online booking platforms typically provide clear pricing information, allowing you to compare different gondola ride options and make an informed decision based on your budget. This transparency helps you avoid any surprises or hidden costs that may arise if you were to book a gondola ride on the spot.

Later on in this article I will recommend some specialised gondola ride tours but if you want to dive researching right now, dive straight in right here:

Cruise line organised shore excrusions for gondola Venice ride 

You'll take a gondola Venice ride as part of your cruise line organized tour if:

  • you like sticking with your fellow Mediterranean cruisers from the ship
  • you’re not comfortable getting around Venice on your own
  • you’re not comfortable negotiating with Venice gondoliers
  • you don't mind somebody else picking the time of the ride for you
  • you don’t mind paying more for the cruise line services of organizing this excursion for you (please compare all the options' prices first!)

To book a gondola ride through your cruise line, please see the shore excursions on offer for the dates you picked.

Important: when you decide to take a gondola ride as part of your cruise line shore excursion, be ready to share a gondola with other cruise passengers. So, if you're a young honeymoon couple and are hoping for a romantic Venice gondola ride and serenade just for the two of you, you might be disappointed!

venice gondola, gondola ride in venice

Is getting a gondola Venice ride on the canal a good idea?

It's important to note that while getting a gondola on the canal without booking ahead offers spontaneity and potential cost savings (not on the basic 25-30 min ride, only if extending the ride for a longer time), it does come with some uncertainties.

Availability and waiting times can vary, especially during peak tourist periods!

Additionally, negotiating prices may not always be successful, and there's a possibility of facing higher rates or limited options.

Where to get a gondola on Venice canals?

venice gondola photo, venice gondola picture

In general, gondolas in Venice will be in your face all the time!

If you decided to walk from the cruise ship to downtown Venice you will first see gondolas at Piazzale Roma which is easy to reach by walking or using Venice people mover (not from Marghera dock where cruise ships dock as of 2022 but from Stazione Marittima which is where the cruise termial still officially is).

You'll recognize the official Venice gondoliers by their black pants and striped t-shirts. They won’t necessarily always wear the little Venetian hat.

If you’re taking some kind of transportation to central Venice , you'll see your first gondoliers along the waterfront in front of the Doge’s palace.

There's a big Venetian gondola stop behind the Old Offices of St. Mark’s square. Which is really good to know if you are staying in Venice for a few nights before or after your cruise.

Here’s how to find it:

  • Stand on Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s square) with Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark’s basilica) behind you. The long arcaded building that closes the right hand side of the square in front of you, is the Old Offices. There, you will also find the famous Lavena and Quadri cafés.
  • Walk to the very bottom of St. Mark’s square (with the basilica behind you) and turn right underneath the arcades before you reach the bottom.
  • Go through the little passage underneath the building and you'll find yourself on the canal with dozens of gondolas lined up (right next to the Venice Hard Rock Cafe).

Although this is one of the biggest gondola stops in Venice, you might find it a bit too crazy… it’s always packed with tourists and gondoliers shouting, trying to arrange people into boats… it takes away from the whole romantic experience a bit, I think.

Another Venetian gondola stop is on Campo S. Moise, just 5 minutes from here.

Here’s how to get there:

  • Walk to the bottom of St. Mark’s square with St. Mark’s basilica behind you
  • Take the passage on the left hand-side of Napoleon’s wing (Museo Correr)
  • Go past the Chanel and Louis Vuitton boutiques, down the Sal. San Moise street until you get to the first little square (Campo S. Moise)
  • The Venice gondola stop is right by the little bridge

If you're looking for info on Venice gondola boats in general, check our article Venetian Gondola.

Gondola ride in Venice prices and fares

How much is a gondola ride in Venice? Is it charged per person or per boat? - these are some of the most frequent gondola questions.

A gondola ride in Venice is typically charged per boat rather than per person. The pricing is generally based on the duration of the ride and the specific route chosen, rather than the number of individuals on the boat.

When negotiating or booking a gondola ride, you will generally be quoted a price for the entire boat. The price may vary depending on factors such as:

  • the time of day, 
  • the route, 
  • additional services (if any), 
  • and the gondolier's discretion.

It's important to clarify the details of the pricing with the gondolier before starting the ride to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

Make sure you confirm:

  • the agreed-upon price, 
  • the duration of the ride, 
  • and any specific requests (like singing)
  • or additional services that may incur extra charges.

Keep in mind that gondola rides in Venice can be relatively expensive, especially for longer durations or specialized experiences. It's always a good idea to have a clear understanding of the pricing and to discuss any additional costs upfront to avoid surprises later on.

In general, for a 25-30 minute private ride, you can expect to pay 80 euros during the daytime. During the nighttime, the price goes up to 120 euros.

Venice Italy gondola ride for 2

Taking a gondola ride for two in Venice can be a really romantic and intimate experience. Tourists love it for it's romantic atmosphere, enjoying the company of your loved one without distractions of a larger group, creating lasting memories and being the symbolic gesture of love and romance. No wonder it has been so popular for centuries!

It's my job to find the best deals for you so here's my recommendation for a romantic gondola ride for two (some even include a photo shoot):

Combining Venice tour with gondola ride

By selecting a sightseeing tour that includes a gondola ride, you can make the most of your time in Venice, gain insights from local experts, and enjoy a unique perspective of the city's beauty from both land and water.

Also, by opting for a sightseeing tour that includes a gondola ride, you can efficiently cover multiple points of interest in a single excursion. This can be especially valuable if you have limited time (as a cruise guest you really do) or want to make the most of your visit by maximizing your sightseeing opportunities

Moreover, opting for a pre-arranged sightseeing tour that includes a gondola ride saves you the time and effort of planning and coordinating each activity separately. The tour operator takes care of the logistics, including securing a gondola ride for your group. This convenience allows you to relax and enjoy the experience without worrying about the details.

Combining a sightseeing tour with a gondola ride through a package or bundled offer can often result in cost savings compared to booking each activity separately. Tour operators may provide discounts or negotiate better rates for the combined experience. 

Nighttime and sunset private gondola ride in Venice

Are you having an overnight in Venice? Or maybe staying for a few nights before or after your cruise? Lucky you!

A nighttime gondola ride in Venice can be a truly magical experience for several reasons.

First of all, it's the romantic ambiance: the gentle sway of the gondola, the soothing sound of water lapping against the buildings, and the charm of the historic architecture all contribute to a memorable experience.

Moreover, the nighttime gondola ride is serene and tranquil: during the night, the bustling crowds of tourists diminish, and the canals become quieter and more serene.

Stunning views are something you get to experience, too: the reflections of lights in the water create a magical effect, making the scenery even more enchanting. 

While gondola rides can be enjoyed during the day as well, a nighttime or sunset ride provides an enchanting experience that adds an extra layer of charm to your time in Venice.

Private gondola ride in Venice

While a private gondola ride in Venice may come at a higher cost compared to a shared ride, the benefits of exclusivity, customization, comfort, and personalization make it a worthwhile option for those seeking a more intimate and tailored experience.

Here's some of the best rated ones:

Grand Canal Gondola ride in Venice

The Grand Canal is the main waterway in Venice, and it is lined with stunning palaces, historic buildings, and picturesque bridges. It has been the center of Venetian life for centuries!

That is why a ride along the Grand Canal provides unparalleled views of Venice's architectural wonders and allows you to trace the footsteps of Venetian merchants, artists, and nobility who once traversed its waters.

As you glide along the canal, you'll pass by Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Venetian Byzantine buildings, each with its unique charm and character. From the iconic Rialto Bridge to the exquisite Ca' d'Oro and Palazzo Grassi, the Grand Canal offers a visual feast of architectural masterpieces.

Do you need more reasons to get on one of the gondola Venice rides along the Grand Canal?



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...


1. Livorno to Pisa

2. Port of Venice

3. Naples to Pompeii

4. Capri ferry

5. Livorno to Florence

6. Kusadasi shopping

7. Livorno to Pisa by Bus

8. Map of Venice

9. Port of Dubrovnik

10. Livorno Italy

11. Venice people  mover

12. Dubrovnik Croatia

13. Naples to Capri

14. What to pack for Europe

15. Getting to Dubrovnik

16. Messina Sicily

17. Pisa Train

18. Visiting Pompeii

19. Pompeii forum

20. Port of Piraeus

21. Getting to Florence

22. Venice vaporetto

23. Venice water bus

24. Livorno map

25. Getting to Zadar

26. Venice cruise terminal

27. Walk Venice

28. Mykonos beach

29. Tourist information Lucca Italy

30. Pomepii homes