ABOVE: A 44-foot (13.5m) Minuetto cabin cruiser in St. Mark's Basin, Venice.
Avid boaters, take note: You can enjoy a Venetian vacation without giving up a boating holiday. Thanks to Le Boat, you can rent a cabin cruiser in Precenicco or Casale (two riverside towns) and spend anywhere from one to several weeks exploring the inland waterways of Northern Italy--including the Venetian Lagoon and the islands around Venice. If you're pressed for time, you can skip Venice and enjoy a three- to five-night "Friuli Short Break" from Precenicco.
To make your trip planning easier, Le Boat has set up a number of cruise itineraries with recommended routes, activities, and cruising schedules. Each itinerary on Le Boat's Web site features a map, basic information (distance, cruising time, number of locks, and number of bridges), and illustrated descriptions of towns, villages, and resorts along the way.
Le Boat's cabin cruisers accommodate two to 12 passengers, and you can book a boat any time between mid-April and mid-October.
Disclaimer: We haven't cruised with Le Boat (we've never piloted any boat larger than a canoe), but Le Boat claims to own and operate the largest fleet of self-drive cruisers on Europe's waterways, and the company has been in business for more than 40 years. You can read reviews from past renters on Le Boat's Web site.
Here are some more photos, courtesy of Le Boat: