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Venice is the dreamiest of cities: a garden of palaces and elegant buildings built over a lagoon, with waterways instead of roads. Every inch of this remarkable place has something to offer an admirer - a charming bridge over a quiet backwater, a hidden gem of a restaurant, a promenade beside the Grand Canal, a shop full of leather goods or a peaceful moment in Saint Mark's Cathedral. Right from the moment you step out of the cruise terminal or train station, you are immersed in a beautiful cityscape which feels like an Italian daydream.
With water forming a theme in the city, it makes perfect sense to depart Venice on a cruise ship and head for the open sea. Most ships arriving and departing sail right past Saint Mark's Square along the Giudecca Canal, offering wonderful views over the city. Mediterranean cruises are always spectacular, but a cruise departing Venice adds something a little extra - and offers the chance to spend a few days in the city before you sail away.
Cruise lines and destinations from Venice
The wonderful diversity of cruise lines offering cruises to Venice and out of Venice reflects the many different cultures and countries of the Mediterranean region. Traditionally European-focused lines like MSC Cruises, P&O and Cunard Line are all commonly seen departing the city, but they aren't the only ones. You could also embark on a cruise from Venice with Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival cruises, Celebrity cruises or opt for a smaller boutique ship; luxury lines like Azamara Club and Seabourn continue the Venetian glamour with their amazing vessels and fabulous itineraries.
The destinations available on Venice cruises are just as plentiful and varied. The lagoon opens out into the Adriatic, offering fast access to the beautiful and sunny Eastern Mediterranean ports. The Greek Islands are a favourite itinerary - just imagine the amazing things you will see on a cruise from Venice to Santorini! Croatia's ports are also popular, and the options broaden as the cruise ships sail farther afield. Turkey, Egypt and the Holy Land feature on the schedules of some cruises departing Venice, as does the Western Mediterranean.
Venice cruise port
Most cruise ships visiting Venice dock at the Terminal Venezia Passeggeri or Venice Cruise Terminal, located inside the lagoon and near the train station. It's close to the Piazzale Roma where Venice's only carpark is located and where all road transport stops, and many lines run regular shuttles to and from there during the day and at night - although it's also possible to walk. From Piazzale Roma, it's easy to access all of Venice, either with your own two feet or on water-based transport like the vaporetti (water buses).
Some smaller ships may dock at San Basilio and San Marta along the canal, where it is easy to catch a vaporetto directly.