Venice

The Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace 
St Mark’s Square, the heart of the city
Murano and its glass-blowing art

Find Mediterranean Cruises

Venice

La Serenissima, a pearl of the rarest beauty

MSC Cruises shore excursions can be a clever option for visiting the monuments that draw the largest cruise crowds in Venice: the Basilica di San Marco – the mausoleum of the city’s patron saint – and the Palazzo Ducale – the home of the doge and all the governing councils.


Certainly these are the most dramatic structures in Venice: the first a mosaic-clad emblem of Venice’s Byzantine origins, the second perhaps the finest of all secular Gothic buildings. But you would be rewarded for visiting every parish: a roll-call of the churches worth visiting would feature over fifty names, and a list of the important paintings and sculptures they contain would be twice as long. 

Enjoy your cruise holiday in Venice walking in Piazza San Marco: the only piazza in Venice, all other squares being campi or campielli. Its parades, festivities and markets have always drawn visitors, the biggest attraction once being the trade fair known as the Fiera della Sensa, which kept the Piazza buzzing for the fortnight following the Ascension Day ceremony of the Marriage of Venice to the Sea; nowadays the Piazza is the focal point of the Carnevale shenanigans. 

The coffee shops of the Piazza were a vital component of eighteenth-century high society, and the two survivors from that period – Florian and Quadri – are still the most expensive in town. The glass-blowing industry is what made Murano famous all over Europe, and today its furnaces constitute Venice’s sole surviving manufacturing zone. 

Murano’s street-level premises are given over almost entirely to shops selling glasswork, and it’s difficult to walk more than a few metres on this island without being invited to step inside a showroom. Some of them have furnaces attached, and you shouldn’t pass up the chance to see these astoundingly skilful craftsmen in action.

Must see places in Venice

  • A gondola boat ride

    A gondola boat ride

  • Saint Mark's Square

    Saint Mark's Square

  • Glass-working at Murano

    Glass-working at Murano

Discover our excursions

15 results found

Download the cruise excursions programme (PDF)
  • GONDOLA TOUR & GUIDED WALKING TOUR (approx. 4 hours)

    CITY TOUR

    VCE05T

    No visit to the romantic city of Venice could ever be considered complete if it failed to include a trip on a typical Venetian gondola, rowed by a traditional gondolier. To acquire a licence to practise this old and venerable profession, a would-be gondolier must prove to have expert navigational skills, know the waterways inside out and be familiar with the city's history and landmarks. As you make your way from canal to canal, you can admire the beautiful bridges, the magnificent royal palaces and the typical narrow Venetian streets, called calli, from a unique perspective. The excursion includes free time in St. Mark's Square, home also of St. Mark's Cathedral, before a local guide takes you on an informative and comprehensive walk around the calli. The tour draws to a close with your return to your ship at the port. Please Note: No guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

    • GONDOLA TOUR & GUIDED WALKING TOUR approx. 4 hours

      CITY TOUR

      VCE05D

      No visit to the romantic city of Venice could ever be considered complete if it failed to include a trip on a typical Venetian gondola, rowed by a traditional gondolier. As you make your way from canal to canal, you can admire the beautiful bridges, the magnificent royal palaces and the typical narrow Venetian streets, called calli, from a unique perspective. The excursion includes free time in St. Mark's Square, home also of St. Mark’s Cathedral, after an informative and comprehensive walk around the calli with a local guide brings your tour to an enjoyable close. On returning to the port and collecting your luggage, your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: no guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • GONDOLA TOUR & ST. MARK'S SQUARE  (approx. 4 hours)

        CITY TOUR

        VCE09T

        What could be more Venetian than a gondola trip down the famous waterways, rowed by a traditional gondolier? This tour gives you an opportunity to discover the charm and beauty of the city's many bridges, ornate palaces and narrow streets, known as calli, from a unique canal perspective. The excursion also includes some free time to spend in St. Mark's Square, an ideal spot to sip coffee and watch the world go by or perhaps marvel at the resplendent St. Mark's Cathedral and Doge's Palace, which are co-located. Your tour end with your return to the port. Please Note: No guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
        • No guide available

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • GONDOLA TOUR & ST. MARK’S SQUARE approx. 4 hours

        CITY TOUR

        VCE09D

        What could be more Venetian than a gondola trip down the famous waterways, rowed by a traditional gondolier? This tour gives you an opportunity to discover the charm and beauty of the city’s many bridges, ornate palaces and narrow streets, known as calli, from a unique canal perspective. The excursion also includes some free time to spend in St. Mark's Square, an ideal spot to sip coffee and watch the world go by or perhaps marvel at the resplendent St. Mark’s Cathedral and Doge’s Palace, which are co-located. On returning to the port and collecting your luggage, your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: no guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
        • No guide available

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • TRANSFER TO ST. MARK’S SQUARE approx. 5 hours

        CITY TOUR

        VCE03

        After disembarking from the ship, you can drop your luggage at the left luggage facility outside Maritime Station and board a boat for a trip along the waterways to the famous St. Mark’s Square, the city’s social, religious and political centre. You will have some free time to explore the beautiful Piazza and the co-located St. Mark’s Basilica, a magnificent example of Byzantine architecture, and the adjacent Doge’s Palace. Or stroll around the exquisite Venetian streets, or calli as they are properly known, to fully experience the special charm of the city. On returning to the port and collecting your luggage, your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: this tour ends at Venice airport and is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
        • No guide available

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          5 h

      • CHARMING VENICE: GONDOLA TRIP, ST. MARK'S SQUARE & TOP
        MUSEUMS  (approx. 4 hours)

        CULTURE AND HISTORY

        VCE10T

        Treat yourself to the most luxurious way to see Venice: a gondola trip down the famous waterways with a traditional gondolier rowing at the stern. Feast your eyes on the many beautiful bridges, splendid palaces and the city's typical narrow streets, so-called calli, as you meander from canal to canal. A special "queue-jumper” ticket will then take you straight into the museum of your choice. Take your pick from the Doge's Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, just as a few examples. The tour concludes with a little time to spend at St. Mark's Square. Please Note: No guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
        • No guide available

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • CHARMING VENICE: GONDOLA TRIP, ST. MARK’S SQUARE & TOP
        MUSEUMS approx. 4 hours

        CULTURE AND HISTORY

        VCE10D

        Treat yourself to the most luxurious way to see Venice: a gondola trip down the famous waterways with a traditional gondolier rowing at the stern. Feast your eyes on the many beautiful bridges, splendid palaces and the city’s typical narrow streets, so-called calli, as you meander from canal to canal. A special “queue-jumper” ticket will then take you straight into the museum of your choice. Take your pick from the Doge’s Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, just as a few examples. On returning to the port and collecting your luggage, your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: no guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
        • No guide available

        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

      • PANORAMIC BOAT TRIP, MURANO & ST. MARK'S SQUARE ( approx. 4
        hours)

        CULTURE AND HISTORY

        VCE11T

        After boarding a pleasure boat at Venice terminal, your tour begins with a relaxing boat trip, first heading for St. Mark Square and then continuing on a route past the historically famous Venetian Arsenal and lovely isles such as San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa on your way to the island of Murano. Your guide will tell you all about these islands as the boat sails close by the coastline. In Murano, renowned for a glass-blowing tradition dating back to the 12th century, you will have a chance to visit the workshop of a famous glassworker or stroll around and admire the beautiful St. Donato Basilica. Your tour is rounded off with some free time to spend at St. Mark's Square before rejoining your ship. Please Note: This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            4 h

        • PANORAMIC BOAT TRIP, MURANO & ST. MARK’S SQUARE approx. 4
          hours

          CULTURE AND HISTORY

          VCE11D

          After boarding a pleasure boat at Venice terminal, your tour begins with a relaxing boat trip, first heading for St. Mark Square and then continuing on a route past the historically famous Venetian Arsenal and lovely isles such as San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa on your way to the island of Murano. Your guide will tell you all about these islands as the boat sails close by the coastline. In Murano, renowned for a glass-blowing tradition dating back to the 12th century, you will have a chance to visit the workshop of a famous glassworker or stroll around and admire the beautiful St. Donato Basilica. Your tour is rounded off with some free time to spend at St. Mark’s Square before returning to the port and collecting your luggage. Your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: this tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia)
            • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

              Difficulty Level
              Moderate

            • Duration
              4 h

          • PANORAMIC BOAT TRIP, MURANO, ST. MARK'S SQUARE & MUSEUMS
            (approx. 4.5 hours)

            CULTURE AND HISTORY

            VCE14T

            Board a boat at Venice terminal for a relaxing trip to Murano that takes you past St. Mark Square, the famous Venetian Arsenal and the isles of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa, with your guide providing details as you sail by. In Murano, home of the famous glassworks, you can then visit a glass-blower's workshop or St. Donato Basilica. After sailing back to St. Mark's Square, a special "fast-track” ticket will give you direct access to such famous museums as the Doge's Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, to name but a few. A fascinating experience awaits you whichever one you choose. The tour includes some little free time in St. Mark's Square before returning to the port. Please Note: This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
              • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                Difficulty Level
                Moderate

              • Duration
                4:30 h

            • PANORAMIC BOAT TRIP, MURANO, ST. MARK’S SQUARE & MUSEUMS
              approx. 4.5 hours

              CULTURE AND HISTORY

              VCE14D

              Board a boat at Venice terminal for a relaxing trip to Murano that takes you past St. Mark Square, the famous Venetian Arsenal and the isles of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa, with your guide providing details as you sail by. In Murano, home of the famous glassworks, you can then visit a glass-blower’s workshop or St. Donato Basilica. After sailing back to St. Mark’s Square, a special “fast-track” ticket will give you direct access to such famous museums as the Doge’s Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, to name but a few. A fascinating experience awaits you whichever one you choose. The tour includes some little free time in St. Mark's Square before returning to the port and collecting your luggage. Your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: this tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
                • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

                  Difficulty Level
                  Easy

                • Duration
                  4:30 h

              • ROMANCE & CULTURE: GONDOLA EXPERIENCE, GUIDED WALKING TOUR &
                TOP MUSEUMS approx. 4.5 hours

                CULTURE AND HISTORY

                VCE08D

                A gondola ride is a great way to explore the romantic city of Venice. As you travel from canal to canal, a breathtaking vista of bridges, palaces and narrow streets, known as calli, unfolds before your eyes. The tour includes a little free time in St. Mark's Square, before which a local guide will take you on an informative walk around the calli. A special museum ticket will then fast-track you into the museum of your preference. Choose from the Doge’s Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, to name but a few. On returning to the port and collecting your luggage, your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: no guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
                  • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                    Difficulty Level
                    Moderate

                  • Duration
                    4:30 h

                • ROMANCE & CULTURE: GONDOLA EXPERIENCE, GUIDED WALKING TOUR &
                  TOP MUSEUMS  (approx. 4.5 hours)

                  CULTURE AND HISTORY

                  VCE08T

                  A gondola ride is a great way to explore the romantic city of Venice. As you travel from canal to canal, a breathtaking vista of bridges, palaces and narrow streets, known as calli, unfolds before your eyes. The tour includes a little free time in St. Mark's Square, before which a local guide will take you on an informative walk around the calli. A special museum ticket will then fast-track you into the museum of your preference. Choose from the Doge's Palace, the Correr Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Biblioteca Marciana, to name but a few. Your tour ends with your return to the port. Please Note: No guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port.
                    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                      Difficulty Level
                      Moderate

                    • Duration
                      4:30 h

                  • FASCINATING VENICE: PANORAMIC BOAT TOUR, MURANO, ST. MARK'S
                    SQUARE & GONDOLA EXPERIENCE ( approx. 4.5 hours)

                    SCENIC ROUTE

                    VCE12T

                    Swap your ship for a boat at Venice terminal and embark on a boat tour to Murano on a route that will take you past St. Mark's Square, the Venetian Arsenal and the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa, with information provided by your guide. Once at the famous glass-blowing island of Murano, you can see the glass-blowing process in action at a glassworker's workshop or visit St. Donato Basilica. On returning to St. Mark's Square, you will swap your boat for a gondola and begin the last leg of your tour: a trip around Venice's picturesque canals and many bridges, flanked by spectacular palaces and the narrow streets known as calli. Your tour comes to a close with some free time to explore St. Mark's Square. Please Note: This tour is available only for guests in transit in Venice port. No guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip.
                      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                        Difficulty Level
                        Moderate

                      • Duration
                        4:30 h

                    • FASCINATING VENICE: PANORAMIC BOAT TOUR, MURANO, ST. MARK’S
                      SQUARE & GONDOLA EXPERIENCE approx. 4.5 hours

                      SCENIC ROUTE

                      VCE12D

                      Swap your ship for a boat at Venice terminal and embark on a boat tour to Murano on a route that will take you past St. Mark’s Square, the Venetian Arsenal and the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo and La Certosa, with information provided by your guide. Once at the famous glass-blowing island of Murano, you can see the glass-blowing process in action at a glassworker’s workshop or visit St. Donato Basilica. On returning to St. Mark’s Square, you will swap your boat for a gondola and begin the last leg of your tour: a trip around Venice’s picturesque canals and many bridges, flanked by spectacular palaces and the narrow streets known as calli. Your tour is rounded off with some free time to spend at St. Mark’s Square before returning to the port and collecting your luggage. Your tour will be brought to a close with your transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport. Please note: no guide service during the 30-minute gondola trip. This tour is available only for disembarking guests with flights departing after 16.30 (for guests aboard MSC Lirica), after 17.30 (for guests aboard MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica and MSC Opera), after 18.30 (for guests aboard MSC Poesia).
                        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

                          Difficulty Level
                          Moderate

                        • Duration
                          4:30 h

                      The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
                      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

                       

                      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

                      Reach the port

                      Port of Venice

                      This section contains information on how to reach the port.

                      Cruise Terminal:

                      VTP (Venezia terminal Passeggeri)

                      Reach the port by

                      • Car

                        Leave the motorway to Venice at the Venezia-Porto exit and follow the signs for Venezia - Stazione Marittima - Terminal Passeggeri.  
                        Venice Passenger Terminal website for useful information: www.vtp.it
                        Car

                        Parking Information

                        PARCHEGGIO VTP  (Venezia Terminal Passeggeri)
                        Port of Venice - Cruise Terminal
                        Tel. +39 041 2403090
                         
                        • When you arrive at the port in Venice, follow the signs to the parking area located inside the port and just a few minutes from the boarding area. 
                        • Payment will be made directly at the parking  
                        • Parking outdoor self-service.
                        Book your parking with MSC

                        park_and_cruise_logo

                        VEHICLE DAYS RATES
                        Car 4 € 40,00
                        Car 7-8 € 95,00
                        Car 13 € 145,00
                        Car 15 € 165,00
                        Suv 4 € 40,00
                        Suv 7-8 € 95,00
                        Suv 13 € 145,00
                        Suv 15 € 165,00
                        Minivan 4 €  80,00
                        Minivan 7-8 € 190,00
                        Minivan 13 € 290,00
                        Minivan 15 € 330,00
                      • Train

                        Santa Lucia Station St. Lucia Railway station is just a short walk from Piazzale Roma (approx.600 metres), where you can take the People Mover train to the Marittima terminal entrance for a modest fare.  
                        Società Cooperativa Venezia 1907 provides a luggage transport service in the railway station, which will take your luggage directly to your cruise ship. Designated staff on Platform 1 will collect your labelled luggage (labels are provided with your cruise tickets or alternatively provided by the “Società Cooperativa Venezia 1907) and deliver them to the ship.  MSC Cruises cannot be held responsible for any problems with the service and any complaints should be addressed to the service provider. 

                        Venezia-Mestre Station
                        The railway station is approximately 10 km from the Cruise Terminal. Taxi service available.
                        Train
                      • Plane

                        A taxi service is available to take you from Marco Polo airport to the Stazione Marittima cruise terminal. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on the traffic.  
                        Alternatively, you can take a taxi boat. An MSC shuttle service is also available. 
                        Please go to the MSC booth just outside the arrivals hall on your right.
                        Plane

                      Italy

                      History, gastronomy and fashion

                      History, gastronomy and fashion

                      A cruise to Italy is an emotional roller coaster. Rome is a tremendous city quite unlike any other, and in terms of historical sights outstrips everywhere else in the country by some way.
                       
                      Liguria, the small coastal province along the north-west coast, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer.
                      In Veneto the main focus of interest is, of course, Venice: a unique city, and every bit as beautiful as its reputation would suggest. Tuscany in central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country, with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence and Pisa.

                      The south proper begins with the region of Campania. Its capital, Naples, is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south. Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, too, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula and the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari.

                      As for Sicily, the island is really a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing Mediterranean beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalù, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.