A guide for Venice ship passengers

Spendour of the Seas in Venice

Venice's partial cruise ban:

In August of 2021, the Italian government banned nearly all cruise ships from Venice's historic center. For more information, see "Venice cruising changes" at Veniceforvisitors.com.

Many small ships (below 25,000 GRT) continue to moor in central Venice. These include small luxury oceangoing ships, private yachts, and river vessels that cruise in the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River Delta.

Here's what you need to know as a cruise passenger today

Cruise terminals:

The Port of Venice has two terminal areas:

  • Marittima, the main ship basin. Larger ships used to moor here, and some of the biggest cruise lines still use the terminals for check-in. (See "Where to board your ship" below.) Disembarking passengers may also be brought to Marittima, which is on the edge of Venice's historic center.

  • San Basilio, a quay and terminal building next to the Giudecca Canal. This is used by small to medium-size ships and hydrofoil ferries to Croatia.

Where to board your ship:

If your cruise is departing from Venice, consult your cruise documentation for information on where to check in. Unless your ship is smaller than 25,000 GRT, your ship's berth will be at one of several ports on the Italian mainland.

However, as we mentioned above, you may be able to check in at the Marittima cruise basin (where large ships moored until the Italian government's ban). If that's the case, a bus will take you to the ship's pier on the mainland.

Getting to the pier:

If your cruise departs from central Venice, or if you're checking in at Marittima, see these pages for information on how to reach the terminal:

Many cruise lines also provide transfers from Venice Marco Polo Airport to their ships, either free or at extra cost. Check your cruise documentation for details.

From the pier to the airport:

If your ship is arriving in Venice and you're flying out the same day, allow plenty of time for your airport connection. Here's why:

  • Immigration isn't always quick (we once waited 2½ hours to get our passports at Marittima).
  • Unless you've arranged a transfer with your cruise line, getting to the airport may take a while. (Taxis are often in short supply.)
  • Check-in, baggage drop, and security can be very slow at Venice Marco Polo airport at busy times or on mornings when several large cruise ships have arrived in Venice.
  • Treviso Airport (used by many Ryanair and Wizz Air flights) is nearly an hour from Venice.

Our advice:

  • To be on the safe side, spend a night in Venice before flying home, or book an airport transfer with your cruise line and hope for the best.

Pre- and post-cruise hotels:

Before reserving a hotel through your cruise line, make sure you know and like the location. (Some cruise lines' "Venice hotels" are half an hour from the city by train or bus.)

For advice on booking hotels that are convenient to the piers, see:

In-depth information at Venice for Visitors:

Port Web site:

Related page: