Earlier today I was looking through the cruise excursions and I found that there are a lot in Venice, Italy – however, they were mostly over $79. With a little help from some travel colleagues on board, I was able to get into town, do a full circle tour of Venice by boat and head back to the ship for exactly 20 euro.
How to do it?
When you get off the ship and are walking out of the main cruise terminal you’ll see a people mover just outside the cruise terminal gates. It’s just like the monorail at Disney World but in Venice it’ll cost you one euro each way.
Follow the signs to the people mover and purchase your tickets at the kiosk.
Don’t be fooled because you’ll see a water taxi sign that will take you into Venice for 15 euro round-trip, just a little beyond that is the people mover.
Once you head upstairs there’s digital signage to showing Venice. It’s in two languages and the monorail runs every few minutes going back and forth (there’s only one stop in Venice, you can’t miss it).
The three-minute people mover ride will take you to station Roma (it’s the only stop in Venice), which is a main transfer point. Actually it’s a major transfer point for Europe with a train station about a five-minute walk away.
When you come out of the people mover station you’ll head left and go towards the water where you’ll see the vaparettos. At each docking station there’s a kiosk and a booth with the rates and schedules of the boats. Expect to pay 7 euro for an hour pass and 18 euro for a 12-hour hop-on hop-off boat pass, euros and major credit cards accepted.
There are a couple different boats and directions you can take the boat. I opted to hop off at San Marco to take some photos and then check out the Rialto Bridge. You can see the water routes here.
If you’re looking for other things to do in Venice, check out this article by Lonely Planet.
Heading back to the ship
The way back would just be the opposite of getting there. Get off the boat at the Roma stop, walk inland about a block and you’ll be at the people mover station. Scan your ticket that you bought earlier, head upstairs and board the people mover. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship, especially if there’s a lot of ships in port.
It was so convenient that we went back into Venice on the people mover later on in the evening to check out the night scene.
Tip: Take a photo of the sign at the people mover station or a local cross section to show someone if you get lost.
Tip: Keep in mind that the people mover hours change seasonally and closes at different times throughout this year. Tonight it closed at 10p. A taxi from piazza Roma to the cruise terminal is a flat rate of 20 euro. Expensive!
Tip: Buy your return ticket when you purchase your initial ticket. If you return to the ship at a peak time there will be a line at the kiosks. There only three kiosks at each station so lines can get long. If you know Italian you can pre-order your people mover tickets here.
Tip: Try to get the people mover early. There has been up to an hour wait to get on high volume passenger days.
Doing Venice on a budget isn’t impossible and after talking to the passengers back on the ship, they paid a lot more to see a lot less. Always research before arriving to port.
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