Disembarking in Venice: How to Reach the Center


Everything is planned for your upcoming trip to Venice: accommodation, walks, dinners, transportation. Yet, if you arrive via cruise, as do more than 1 million people yearly, you might be wondering: how to reach Venice—that is, the city center—from your dock? To help, we’ve put together a guide of practical information to navigate you from the port’s passengers terminals to Venice proper.

Due to the high volume of sea passengers that travel to the lagoon every year and to better manage traffic, Venice has spread its receptive facilities to four locations, making it important to understand where your ship will dock.

The main hub, Marittima Cruise Terminals, is situated on the south-west side of the city, at the end of the bridge that connects it to the mainland. Nearby, at a south-east angle, is the San Basilio pier, facing the Giudecca Canal. All the ferries, instead, have been diverted to the Fusina terminals, on the mainland, at about 18 km (a little over 11 miles) from Venice. At the Riva dei Sette Martiri, close to Saint Mark’s square, small vessels, private mega yachts and river cruise ships berth.


The Marittima Cruise Terminals. Courtesy of VTP.
The Marittima Cruise Terminals. Courtesy of VTP.


Marittima Cruise Terminals—How To Reach Venice

How To Reach Venice
The people mover in Venice (source: Wikicommons)

At this site, where most of the large cruise ships dock, a number of terminals (# 103, 107, 108, 109,110, 117, 123, Isonzo 1 and 2) gather the passengers for embarking and disembarking procedures. From here, a variety of options allow to reach different locations in Venice, such as St. Mark’s square, Piazzale Roma (where land transportation ends) and the nearby railway station.

  • People Mover: This elevated transit system on tracks connects the Tronchetto parking garage with Piazzale Roma via the port, and departs from just outside of the Marittima port exit. A shuttle bus is available between the People Mover and terminals 117, 123, Isonzo 1 and 2. If you arrive at other terminals, you’ll have to take a short walk. It runs all year, departing roughly every eight minutes, with the following schedule: Mondays – Fridays: 7am – 11pm; Weekends: April – October: 8 am – 10 pm, November – March: 8.30am – 9 pm. One ride takes less than 3 minutes and costs € 1.30. Tickets can be purchased at the automatic vending machines, close to the boarding station entrance.
  • Water shuttle Alilaguna, blue line: The boat leaves from the dock in front of terminal #103. The final destination is the airport, but you can get off at any stop. It runs year-round, from 8.50 am to 4.50 pm. A ride to St. Mark’s square will take about 30 minutes, and cost € 8 (roundtrip: €15). You can buy tickets either at the ticket offices on-site, on-line here or onboard, paying one extra euro. The price includes one piece of baggage. Any additional luggage will  cost € 3.
  • Private taxi:  A land cab from the Marittima Cruise Terminals (the stand is in front of #117) to Piazzale Roma has a fixed rate of € 20, for a very short ride (about 5 minutes). A water taxi (leaving from terminal #103, phone number: 199 48 49 50) to the city will cost you about €70 (prices fluctuate depending on time of the day).

If you are arriving in Venice via plane or train and are looking for how to arrive at the port, please see our information outlined below on how to reach Venice.

How to Reach Venice
The Zattere, a large promenade facing the Giudecca canal, leads to the San Basilio pier.

San Basilio Pier

This is where smaller cruise ships, high speed hydrofoils to and from Slovenia and Croatia, large yachts, and catamarans moor. A short stroll across the bridge in front of the terminal will take you to the San Basilio vaporetto stop. Here, from the San Basilio wharf, you can reach either Piazzale Roma and the train station, or St. Mark’s Square, with line #2 (watch out for the correct direction). The ticket needs to be purchased in advance, and can be done online, by selecting the “1 way Water Service Ticket 60′, € 7” option. Land taxi rides to Piazzale Roma need to be arranged in advance.

Fusina Terminals

The easiest way to reach Venice is by taxi. You can arrange a ride, which will take about 30 minutes, by calling in advance. Otherwise, on weekdays, you can get the bus #16 from Via Moranzani (direction Via Rizzardi) and, after 20 minutes, get off at via Rizzardi. Then, walk down via Carrer to via Ulloa and then the underpass. At this point you’ll have arrived to the Mestre train station. On Sundays, you can catch bus #10 to the via Fratelli Bandiera stop, then continue to via Rizzardi. From here, see the directions outlines above, for weekdays. If Venice is your final destination, you can reach it by train, hopping on any of the multiple local carriers, identified on the timetable screen by the letter “R” (as in “regional”). The ticket can be purchased either at the ticket office or at the vending machines, for a little over a euro.

How To Reach Venice
View outside the St. Lucia train station in Venice.


For those passengers who have just arrived in Venice, either by plane or train, and wish to reach the Marittima Cruise Terminals, we’ve outlined a short list of options.

From the Marco Polo airport

  • Water shuttle Alilaguna, blue line: Right before exiting the arrivals terminal, on the left, you will find the Alilaguna info desks that can assist you with purchasing tickets. Please follow the signs that will guide you to the departure dock. The service is provided year-round, from 7.15 am to 2.45 pm. The ride to the cruise terminals will take between 1.30-2 hours, and cost € 15 (roundtrip: €27). You can buy tickets either at the ticket offices on-site, on-line here or onboard, paying one extra euro. The price includes one piece of baggage. Any additional luggage will  cost € 3.
  • Private taxi: For a flat fee of €45, a land cab will take you to the port in about 20 minutes. The taxi stand is located right outside the arrivals hall, to the left. If you prefer a water taxi (phone number: 199 48 49 50), be prepared to spend about €110, for a 60-minute ride. Right before exiting the arrivals terminal, on the left, you will find the taxi info desks, both for water and land carriers.
  • Bus: the ACTV bus #5, leaving roughly every 15 minutes from just outside the B door at the arrivals hall, will take you to Piazzale Roma in about 25 minutes and the ticket costs €6 (€11 roundtrip). Tickets can be purchased in advance on line (please, select Aerobus ACTV Transfer, Airport/Venice), and collected at the dedicated info desks at arrivals, right before exiting the terminal, on the left. For the same price, you can also hop on the ATVO bus (every 30 minutes, the ride takes about 20 minutes). From Piazzale Roma, across the square, you can take the People Mover to the Stazione Marittima (please see details above), or a cab.

From the Santa Lucia train station

The easiest thing to do is to get a taxi to the Marittima Cruise Terminals, running at a fixed rate of €20. Otherwise, you can reach Piazzale Roma either by walking across the red Ponte della Costituzione (Constitution bridge), outside the train station to the left, or by vaporetto (1 stop, lines #1, 2). The vaporetto dock, and the ticket offices, are located outside of the train station, in front of it. From Piazzale Roma to the port, you can choose between the People Mover or a cab (please see information provided above).