VENICE has got to be one of my all time favourite destinations in the Med. It is a truly amazing sight, whether you are sailing in at dawn or sailing out whilst the sun is setting. The elevated position of the cruise ship enables you to look right over the top of the city whilst water taxis and other vessels crisscross the lagoon all around you. When you reach the terminal you can either get a water taxi directly to St Marks Square or you can walk it. If you choose to walk, the direct route through the back streets is just over a mile, but is well worth it! Or you can choose to follow the Grand Canal round to the Rialto Bridge, cross over then on to St Marks Square (approx 1.5 miles).
I prefer walking through the back streets as it enables you to see parts of Venice that you wouldn’t normally see. This way is also a lot quieter!
TOP TIP - Coffee in St Marks Square is pricey, anything from 10 Euros upwards. If you've just got to do it then do it! But, if you fancy a picturesque little walk for a great coffee for under 2 Euros, then walk towards the lagoon with the Basilica on your left. Turn left and walk along the waters edge. Cross 7 bridges and then off to your left is Via Giuseppe Garibaldi. There are lots of little cafes and restaurants down here.
TOP TIP - Don’t book your gondola ride onboard your cruise ship, you’ll end up paying far too much. I found the best thing to do is, from St Marks Square, follow the signs to the Rialto bridge. There are lots of gondoliers on the way. Ask them how much and for how long, and get them to show you if possible where they will take you on a guide map. I managed to get a ride for 45 mins for 4 people and we ventured onto the Grand canal for less than half what the cruise line wanted.
TOP TIP - If you are sailing into Venice you need to be on the right hand side of the ship for the best views. If you are sailing out, you need to be on the left hand side. Make sure you allow plenty of time to find your prime position as hundreds of other fellow cruisers will have the same idea!
TOP TIP - If you are flying into Venice for a fly cruise, book your seats on the right hand side of the plane. Coming into land across the lagoon is just an incredible sight and you’ll probably get a glimpse of your cruise ship in port like I did!