Cruises

We've expanded our guide to hotels near Venice's cruise piers

AC Hotel Venezia by Marriott, Venice

ABOVE: The AC Hotel Venezia by Marriott has an entrance directly on the transportation hub of Piazzale Roma, but its guestrooms face a quiet side street, an attractive interior courtyard, or this traditional Venetian canal.

We're often asked what hotels are most convenient to Venice's cruise port, especially when passengers are traveling with heavy luggage or would like to avoid long walks over multiple footbridges.

The answer is "It depends." Venice has two sets of cruise terminals:

  • Marittima is the main cruise basin. It serves all larger ships, such as those of Costa, MSC, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Depending on how busy the port is, it also may be used for small and medium-size vessels.

  • San Basilio and its neighboring pier of Santa Marta are used by small ships, the occasional mid-size ship, river vessels (such as Uniworld's River Countess and CroisiEurope's Michelangelo), and hydrofoils to Croatia.

If your ship departs or arrives at Marittima, you'll probably want to stay on or near the Piazzale Roma, which is the land-transportation hub for Venice with airport buses, taxis, and the People Mover automated tram to both the Marittima cruise basin and the Tronchetto parking garages.

If your ship departs or arrives at San Basilio or Santa Marta, you may want to stay in the vicinity of those piers.

For current listings of hotels near Marittima and San Basilio/Santa Marta, we recommend looking at "17 Hotels Closest to Cruise Ships" guide on our main Venice for Visitors site. This newly-expanded guide describes 10 hotels that are extremely close to Marittima plus seven that are within easy walking distance of San Basilio and Santa Marta.

Each listing includes a photo, a link to the hotel's individual map and directions page at VeniceHotelDirections.com, and guest ratings from Booking.com.

The article also has Piazzale Roma and San Basilio maps that show the locations of all 17 hotels.

As a bonus, you'll find a secondary page with nine more hotels that are worth considering if you don't mind a slightly longer walk.

To get started, see:

For even more Venice cruise information, go to:

BELOW: The Hotel San Sebastiano Garden is a short walk from the San Basilio cruise terminal.

Hotel San Sebastiano Garden, Venice


Mestre hotels for cruise passengers

T1 tram in Piazzale Roma

ABOVE: From the T1 tram's terminus in Venice's Piazzale Roma, it's only a short walk over level ground to the Venice People Mover (an automated tram that runs to the Marittima cruise basin).

Mestre, on the Venetian mainland, is popular with cruise passengers for two reasons:

  • Hotels in Mestre are usually cheaper (or offer better value) than hotels in Venice's historic center; and...

  • From a hotel in Mestre, you can take a land taxi directly to the Venice cruise terminals at Marittima (used by large ships), San Basilio, and Santa Marta.

If you're considering a hotel in Mestre and are willing to pay 30 euros or more for a taxi to the port, any of the hotels in the article below should meet your needs:

Mestre & Marghera Hotels Guide

However, if you'd rather take public transportation, you need to consider your options:

1.  You can stay near the Mestre railroad station and take a train to Venice's Santa Lucia station, then cross the Calatrava Bridge to the Piazzale Roma and take the People Mover to the Marittima cruise port.

2.  You can stay in a hotel on a public bus line in Mestre that runs to Venice's Piazzale Roma. This may sound like a practical choice, but city buses can be crowded, and you may regret trying to board a bus filled with daytrippers or commuters when you're hauling bulky luggage.

3.  Your best bet (if you're departing from the Marittima cruise port) is to stay in a hotel on the new tram line that runs between central Mestre and Venice's Piazzale Roma:

Mestre Hotels on the T1 Tram Line

The tram is roomier and easier to board than buses are, and from the tram stop in Venice, you can walk a short distance to the People Mover. (The People Mover station has escalators and an elevator, so it's easy to manage even with a large, heavy suitcase.) See:

People Mover to the Venice Marittima Cruise Terminals

  • Note: If you've already booked a hotel in an inconvenient location (or if you've let a travel agent make that mistake for you), we suggest that you cancel the reservation unless you're willing to splurge on a taxi.

For more information about cruising from (or to) Venice, see the Venice for Cruisers section of our travel-planning site, Veniceforvisitors.com:

Venice for Cruisers

 


Take an opera cruise from Venice

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ABOVE: La Bella Vita cruises in Italy's Po River Delta between Venice and Mantua.

In 2015, European Waterways is offering two opera-themed cruises aboard La Bella Vita, a luxury hotel barge that cruises between Venice and Mantua.

Each opera package will include a pre-cruise "Night at the Opera" with premium seating in the Arena di Verona, a former Roman amphitheatre in Verona (an easy drive from Padua, where you'll spend a night before boarding the hotel barge in Venice).

The dates of the two opera-themed cruises are:

  • July 11-18, featuring Puccini's Tosca.

  • September 5-12, featuring Verdi's Nabucco.

Other opera-related activities include:

  • A visit to the Arena Museo opera museum in Verona.

  • A private performance by an opera quartet aboard La Bella Vita. (We've heard the quartet, and they put on a great show.)

  • Shore excursions to baroque theatres and opera houses such as Venice's Gran Teatro La Fenice.

imageIn addition to the opera performances and activities, you'll enjoy the experience of cruising from Venice to Mantua via the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River, with a memorable overnight stay on Venice's historic waterfront.

USD prices for the cruise, pre-cruise overnight stay in Padua, and opera performance in Verona start at $5,140 per person, double occupancy.

For more information, see the La Bella Vita - Opera Cruise itinerary and La Bella Vita Barge pages at the European Waterways Web site

We also suggest reading our illustrated La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review at Europeforcruisers.com, which describes our own cruise from Venice to Mantua with European Waterways.

BELOW: Outside the Roman Arena in Verona, where you'll see Tosca or Nabucco during your opera-themed La Bella Vita cruise.

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