Should Venice have an offshore cruise terminal?
Need a hug in Venice? Find a friendly Venetian.

Barging from Venice: the beautiful life, a.k.a. 'La Bella Vita'

La Bella Vita in Venice

ABOVE: La Bella Vita in St. Mark's Basin, Venice. INSET BELOW: A stateroom, and dinner on deck.

Stateroom on LA BELLA VITAVenice is one of Europe's leading cruise ports, and you'll often see large ships cruising up or down the Giudecca Canal. If you're alert, you may also see another kind of vessel amid Venice's megaships, vaporetti, and tour boats: the luxury hotel barge La Bella Vita of European Waterways Ltd., which cruises in the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River Valley from early April through late October.

La Bella Vita is a 20-passenger vessel that was  refitted in 2010 to the standards of European Waterways, which markets upscale barge cruises in Italy, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Benelux countries.

The barge, which looks like a downsized river cruiser, has eight staterooms, two junior suites, a lounge, a dining room, and a large sun deck. Other amenities include a PC with Internet access, 10 touring bicycles, and an air-conditioned bus that follows the barge to provide transport for shore excursions.

LA BELLA VITA - Dinner on DeckThe crew of seven includes a chef who prepares Venetian and other Italian specialties throughout the cruise. Fares cover six nights of cruising, meals, wine and other beverages, and shore tours in Venice, Chioggia, Ferrara, Mantua, and other locations in the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River Valley.

For more information, see the La Bella Vita pages at the European Waterways Web site, www.gobarging.com

Note: We haven't cruised on La Bella Vita, but we did spend a week on the European Waterways hotel barge La Renaissance in 2008, and you can read our in-depth review here.

BELOW: This view of La Bella Vita shows the large sun deck, the upper deck (which houses two junior suites and the public rooms), and windows of staterooms on the lower deck. 

La Bella Vita - barge in Venice

Photos: European Waterways Ltd.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)