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Venice Cruise Port Guide

By JoTuesday 06th November 2018

Venice Cruise Port Guide
Venice, a city in Veneto, Italy, is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. With its exquisite architecture, winding alleyways, enticing cuisine and spectacular waterways, Venice is the ideal city to visit on your 

cruise adventure. Whether you’re planning a quick stop in Venice on the day your cruise departs or you’re planning to stay overnight, this guide has all the information you need to make the most of your time in The Floating City.

Where is the Venice cruise port?

The cruise port is located near the Ponte della Libertà, the 4 km causeway that connects the mainland with historical downtown Venice. It consists of two main terminal areas, the Marittima Basin and the San Basilio pier, which is located in the Giudecca Canal. Most large cruise ships dock at Marittima, while San Basilio is ideal for small to mid-size ships.

The closest airport to the Venice Cruise Terminal is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), which is around nine miles away from the port. Options for travelling from the airport to the port include bus, taxi, train, boat or water taxi. Getting a land taxi should take 30 minutes and cost around €50 for a one-way trip, while a water taxi is the best option for a party of five or more. Although water taxis are more expensive with a fare of around €90, each taxi can carry up to 12 people with luggage, so they are ideal for a large group who plan to split the cost.

If you’d prefer to travel by train, it takes around 10 minutes to get from the airport to Santa Lucia station and costs €1. Unfortunately, there are no train stations by the Stazione Marittima dock, so it’s best to catch a water bus (vaporetto) from Santa Lucia station to Piazzale Roma, which should cost €2, and then get a land taxi from there to the cruise terminal.

If you decide to drive to the port, it should take around 20 minutes depending on rush hour traffic and roadworks. The directions from Venice Marco Polo Airport to the port are:

Exit the Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) and head south-east on Viale Galileo Galilei. At the roundabout, take the third exit and stay on Viale Galileo Galilei.
Then, take the second exit at the next roundabout onto Via Triestina, then again onto Via Orlanda, and then take the fifth exit onto Via S. Giuliano.
Follow signs for SS11/Venezia and merge onto Strada Regionale 11 Padana Superiore, then take the third exit at the roundabout onto Direzione Porto Marittimo.
Turn left to stay on Direzione Porto Marittimo and continue straight to enter the port. Most Royal Caribbean cruise ships are berthed at Stazione Marittima.

The full address for the cruise port in Venice is: Fabbricato 248, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy.

Getting around Venice
Island murano in Venice

Travelling around Venice is easy and inexpensive, as the city is home to reliable bus, water taxi and vaporetto services. Land taxis are limited in Venice as most of the city is off limits to automobiles, with the Piazzale Roma being the closest a taxi can travel to the city’s historic centre. Venice is divided into six sestieri, or districts, and different types of public transport are available in different areas. In Venice, transport is guaranteed on a 24 hr basis.

Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is the local transit authority in Venice, operating the city’s bus, water taxi, tram and vaporetto services. The best way to travel around Venice is by water, with ACTV offering around 160 water-craft to help passengers navigate the 150 canals that weave through the city. There are more than 120 floating stations and 30 lines that connect the historic city centre to the lagoon perimeter, with an additional set of seasonal lines in operation during busy tourist periods.

If you’d prefer to stick to dry land, the easiest way to get around the city is by foot. Venice is not very big at 414.6 km², so you can easily walk from one side of the city to the other in about one hour. There are also bus services, but these cannot travel further than Piazzale Roma, which is the last point in Venice where vehicles are allowed. ACTV and ATVO buses leave from Piazzale Roma for the Mainland, Mestre and its city centre, the Venice Marco Polo Airport and the Treviso Canova Airport.

If you plan on taking multiple journeys each day, you might want to purchase a one-to-seven day Tourist Travel Card, which allows unlimited travel on almost all ACTV land and water services. Starting at €20 for one day and going up to €60 a week, the card is activated by the electronic ticket readers at vaporetto stations and on land buses. If you’re between 14 and 24 years of age, you can take advantage of the cheaper Rolling Venice Card, which is valid for three days of unlimited ACTV travel and costs €26.

Food and Drink
Spritz Aperol drink with Venetian snacks

Venetian cuisine takes its influences from Italy and the Mediterranean, with local dishes usually featuring fresh seafood, grilled meat along with grilled polenta, fresh vegetables, handmade pasta or cheese. The most common dish is polenta, which is boiled cornmeal that is stirred constantly for 45 minutes and tastes like a dessert. The typical seasonings used in Venetian cuisine are butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, vinegar, senape, mostarda, kren and salsa verde.

A full Italian meal consists of several smaller dishes, each of which orient around fresh, local produce. First, you’ll begin with an Aperitivo, or aperitif, and then move onto an Antipasto, which is a light appetiser usually consisting of fine meats or smaller seafood. Next you’ll have a Primo, a dish based on pasta or handmade pasta, then a Secondo, a dish consisting of meat or fish, and then a Contorno, a side dish of vegetables. You’ll also have an Insalata (fresh salad), a Formaggi e Frutta, local cheeses and seasonal fruits, and then the Dolce, which tends to be a local dessert or gelato. Finally, you’ll sip some Caffè (coffee) and end with a Digestivo, an alcoholic drink served to help you digest the meal.

Another traditional dish of Venice is Baccalà, which is salt-dried cod from the northern reaches of Europe, prepared in olive oil, garlic and parsley and usually served with polenta or bread. It’s typically eaten as an appetiser or first course. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you may prefer Risi e Bisi, which is a risotto-like soup made of rice, peas, onions, parsley, salt and pepper.
To go alongside your meal, we recommend you try a Spritz Veneziano, a sparkling wine-based cocktail originating in Venice. The drink is prepared with prosecco or champagne, a dash of bitter liqueur such as Aperol or Select and is topped off with sparkling mineral water. Veneto is a renowned wine region that specialises in prosecco, white wines and Soave wines, so there’s plenty to keep wine-lovers happy in Venice.

For those who prefer beer, the most popular pint is Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Peroni brewery was founded by Francesco Peroni in Vigevano, Italy in 1846 and soon grew so popular that the company opened up a second brewery in Rome in 1864. With a clean, crisp taste, a balanced aroma and pale, golden colour, the beer was created to embody Italian craftsmanship. The Italian phrase for ‘a beer please’ is ‘una birra, per favore’.

The tap water in Venice is safe to drink and nearly every square throughout the city has a fountain where you can fill your water bottle.

Things to do and see in Venice
The Grand Canal and Rialto bridge in Venice

Venice is a romantic city with a bustling street life, remarkable architecture and prominent historical buildings. Most points of interest in Venice are located in the historic city centre, which is easily accessible by public transport.

St. Mark’s Basilica

Located in the popular Piazza San Marco, known as the heart of Venice, this elaborate church was built in honour of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Due to its opulent design, captivating mosaics, bronze statues and ornate gold glass tesserae, the Basilica was nicknamed ‘Church of Gold’ in the 11th century. The interior is based on a Greek cross, while the church’s high altar retable, the Pala d’Oro, is universally recognised as one of the most refined works of Byzantine enamel.

Rialto Bridge

The Ponte di Rialto is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal and was designed and built by Antonio da Ponte. Renowned as an example of Renaissance architecture and engineering, the stone-arch bridge was built in the late 16th century and has three walkways: two along the outer balustrades, and a central walkway that lies between small shops that sell linens, Murano glass, local produce and handmade jewellery.

Teatro La Fenice

Teatro La Fenice, or ‘The Phoenix’, is a world famous opera house at which the works of several iconic composers have been performed, including Rossini, Bellini and Verdi. The theatre has a tumultuous history, having been burnt down and painstakingly reconstructed three times since it was built in 1792. Renowned for its neoclassical ornate golden interior, painted ceilings, sweeping drapes and elaborate chandeliers, the La Fenice holds highly-artistic opera performances, complimented by a 98-member orchestra and 66-person opera chorus.

Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs is a white limestone bridge designed by Antonio Contino at the beginning of the 17th century to connect the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. The bridge’s name, given by Lord Byron as a translation from ‘Ponte dei sospiri’, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the barred windows before being taken to their cells. It’s said that if a couple kisses under the bridge while drifting below on a gondola at sunset, they will find eternal love together.

Palazzo Ducale

Formerly the residence of the Doge of Venice, the Palazzo Ducale holds pride of place on the Grand Canal waterfront and is considered to be a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Built sometime in the 14th century, the dainty colonnades, white Istrian stone, pink Veronese marble and gilded ornamentalism adorn the grand rooms of state, private apartments, chambers, courts and prisons within. The former ducal residence is now a museum that holds temporary exhibitions of Venetian art.

Everything you need to know about money in Venice

Venice is a pedestrian’s city, with its reasonably priced and widely available public transport offsetting the often pricey accommodation and expensive food. The currency in Venice is the euro (€). There are more than a hundred 24hr ATMs or ‘bancomats’ in Venice, the closest being the BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas bank, which is a 37-minute walk from the cruise port. The maximum daily withdrawal from an ATM is €250.

ATMs are the best way to withdraw euros in Venice, as they usually have the best exchange rates. If you prefer to exchange money in banks, at post offices or in bureaux de exchange, you’ll have to pay commission between 3% and 10%. The ATMs throughout Venice only accept a four-digit numeric pin, so if your bank uses a combination of letters and numbers, ask them for a new pin or for instructions on how to use your bank card overseas.

Key information to know before travelling:
San Marco square and Doge Palace in Venice

Language

The main language spoken in Venice is Italian, although most tourist spots speak English. The closest Tourist Information Office to the cruise port is the Venice Pavilion, which is a 30-minute walk away.

Opening Times

Shops open Monday to Saturday between 9am and 7.30pm, with lunch breaks taking place between 1pm to 4pm. The majority of clothing and gift shops are closed Monday morning, while the food shops close Wednesday afternoon. Most shops are closed Sunday.

Weather

Venice has a continental climate, with humid summers and damp winters. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 23°C, while January is the coldest at 3°C. The best periods to visit Venice are spring and autumn, particularly from mid-April to June.

Safety

Venice is considered one of the safest cities in Europe, with a very low crime rate. However, it’s important to protect your personal belongings at all times, particularly in densely populated tourist areas. The national central number for emergencies is 112.

If you want to experience the dazzling architecture, delectable dishes and romantic atmosphere for yourself, book your Venice cruise with Royal Caribbean today.

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