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Start Your Cruise At Venice Italy

Updated on July 15, 2011
Cruise Ship Cruising Past St Marks Square
Cruise Ship Cruising Past St Marks Square

Let's Go Venice

The city of Venice is one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the Mediterranean, with over 1000 cruise ship movements, and 1,000,000 cruise ship passengers per year. Currently Venice is the 13th busiest in the world, and the 3rd busiest in Europe. The Venice Cruise Terminal (or Terminal Venezia Passeggeri, or VCT) is situated near the end of the four kilometer road that links the historic city with the mainland.

Venice port is not directly on the Mediterranean, but is loated in the Venetian Lagoon, this is connected to the Adriatic Sea by a narrow inlet called the Porto di Lido. The business concern that operates the Port of Venice area is the Venezia Terminal Passeggeri.

The port is host to more than twenty cruise companies, including RCI, Carnival's Costa and Star's NCL.

St Marks Square, Venice
St Marks Square, Venice

Don't Forget To Enjoy Venice

By booking a cruise vacation from Venice, you have of course, already treated yourself to wandering the streets of the most spectacular and romantic city in the world.  So make sure you allow at least two to three days somewhere in your vacation to enjoy wonderful Venice.

The most iconic of Venice’s buildings are those around St Marks Square – the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile. All 3 were started in the 10th century, and in the next 300 years the buildings saw many rennovations and changes.

Mykonos, Greek Isles
Mykonos, Greek Isles

Itineraries Available From Venice

Cruises from Venice generally focus on three areas, the Adriatic Sea, the Ionian Sea (with its spectacular Greek Islands), and Turkey. For a comprehensive presentation of timetables see cruises from venice.
A sample of itineraries -
'Greece, Turkey' from Costa Cruises (Venice, Baris, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Venice), 'Greek Islands In The Sun' from MSC (Venice, Baris, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Katakolon, Dubrovnik, Venice), 'Damation Gems' from Seabourn (Venice, Sibenik, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Koper, Trieste, Venice).

Maritima Basin, Venice Cruise Terminal
Maritima Basin, Venice Cruise Terminal

Useful Cruise Terminal Information

Venice Cruise Terminal contains 3 areas: the Marittima basin, which can handle the biggest ships that operate from Venice, and and the smaller Santa Marta and San Basilio quays. These are nearby on the Giudecca Canal.

Marittima is the largest of the ship basins at the Port of Venice's Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, with three terminal buildings and enough docking space to handle several large ships simultaneously. Ships docking here include the Musica (MSC), Poesia (MSC), Oriana (Carnival), Serena (Costa), Fortuna (Costa), and Armonia (MSC). It incorporates the Isonzo Quay (berths 18 and 20), the Tagliamento Quay (berths 107, 109, 110, and 112), the Piave Quay (117) and the TM Quay (TM berth).

Santa Marta (Quays 24 to 28) and San Basilio (Quays 29 to 31) is the long quay than runs from the main area to the Fondamenta Zàttere, the promenade beside the bank of the Giudecca Canal. Santa Marta handles ships like Europa (Hapag Lloyd), Black Prince (Fred Olsen), Wind Spirit (Windstar), and Insignia (Oceania). San Basilio berths smaller ships like the Regatta (Oceania).

Piazzale Roma
Piazzale Roma

Transferring to The Cruise Terminal

If you're embarking on a cruise ship in Venice, the simplest way to get between the airport and the cruise terminal is to buy a transfer when booking your cruise. If you've booked the components of your holiday separately, the following details how to get to the VCT.

From the airport
The cruise terminals are a 15- or 20-minute taxi journey from Venice's Airport.  A cheaper alternative is the airport bus to the Piazzale Roma, followed by a taxi or bus ride.  Another alternative is a private water taxi, expensive but fun.

From the Piazzale Roma
The Piazzale Roma is the major transport hub for Venice and is the last point cars can reach before the center of the city.  It is located at the termination of the access road to Venice.  The piazza is home to the bus station, and sits between the train station, and the cruise and ferry terminals.  There is also a major Vaporetto stop .

The least expensive way to reach the cruise ship terminals from Pizzale Roma is the free shuttle bus service, which runs back and forth on days which have cruise departures. An alternative option is a taxi, but this may cost over 20 euros.

For the Maritima terminal a third option is bus #6, which runs to the Tronchetto ferry port, this has a stop adjoining the cruise terminal.   Another possibility is to by foot, as it's a 10 minute walk from Piazzale Roma to the Maritima cruise terminal, though this can be quite tiresome on a hot day,especially with heavy luggage. To walk follow the main road away from Venice, and after crossing the railroad tracks make a left towards the port entrance, crossing the bridge.

For Santa Marta or San Basilio terminals you can take vaporetto lines 61/62 from Pizzale Roma.  Don't attempt to go it on foot, because it's over a mile, with difficult routefinding.

From the Piazza San Marco
Alilaguna (website operate an express boat service between the Piazza San Marco and Marittima (Line M) every 30 minutes from morning until late afternoon. The trip takes 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can catch a vaporetto (# 1 or 2 line) to the Piazzale Roma and carry on from there as described.

From Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station
It's a short walk to cross the Ponte della Costituzione (Constition Bridge) to get to the Piazzale Roma. 

From Venezia-Mestre Train Station
Mestre station is situated on the Italian mainland. Take bus line #2, this departs right in front of the station, to Piazzale Roma.


As the locals say Buono Viaggio for your memorable trip from the Venice Cruise Terminal.


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    • capitula profile image


      11 months ago

      Despite the protests, lengthy wrangling, and various pronouncements from government bodies, cruise ships below 95000 tons are still sailing along the Guidecca to the Maritima. The latest announcement seems to be that from 2022 cruise ships below 55000 tons will still be able to use the Guidecca, cruise ships above 95000 tons with dock at Marghera, and cruise ships falling into the 55000 to 95000 tons range will take the 'back door' Contorte canal to access the Maritima from Marghera. Confusing!

    • capitula profile image


      4 years ago

      Now UNESCO have waded in, threatening to place Venice on their list of endangered historic sites, unless the government aims to ban both cruise and cargo traffic from the lagoon. The old idea, now relaunched as 'Venice 2.0', of having a cruise terminal island outside the lagoon might now been taken seriously by the Port of Venice.

    • capitula profile image


      4 years ago

      The VTP seem to have got their way - the government now seems to be coming round to the idea of the dredging an alternative route into the cruise terminal from Marghera port - the Contorta-Sant'Angelo Canal.

    • capitula profile image


      4 years ago

      Tales of doom from the VTP who are predicting that they will lose nearly 50 cruise ship calls in 2014 and nearly 180 cruise ship calls in 2015. Potentially disastrous for the cruise port.

    • capitula profile image


      5 years ago

      If you're thinking of taking a cruise from Venice, and enjoy the marvelous sailing down the Giudecca canal, it might be best to book one fairly soon, as the anti-cruise-ship-in-Venice movement seems to be growing in strength.

    • profile image

      Andy Woodspot 

      8 years ago

      Another great itinerary is the Greece, the Holy Land and Egypt - see the Parthenon, Galilee, and the pyramids all in one week!


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