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zitsky

Venice - to/from St. Mark's square (gondola)

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I'm debating whether to do a gondola ride through Viking or do a private boat tour.  Can anyone tell me how to get to/from where the ship docks to Saint Mark's Square?  I suppose the ship may not always dock in the same place.

 

The reason I am debating is that one or more reviews suggested that the canals are pretty crowded, and slow.  Would appreciate hearing any recent reviews of this gondola experience.

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I have one strong recommendation for Venice. 

Book and after Hours tour of St. Marks. 

You will not regret it. 

We did ours thru WalksOfItaly.com. 

About $150 each. Doges palace first, then small groups into St. Marks. Even got to go down into the crypt. 

 

There are are less expensive options that do not include Doges Palace. Also cuts down the time. 

 

I’d do it again! And everyone who has followed my recommendation was delighted. 

 

We we used the noisy vaporattos to get around. Like busses on the water. Doing that convinced me to skip the gondola. Though maybe it would have been okay if they got off into the smaller canals. 

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Zitsky, Viking will have a water shuttle from the ship to a dock just east of St. Mark's. If you walk through St. Mark's square in almost any direction, you will encounter many willing gondoliers on the smaller side canals.  We took an evening gondola ride from in front of our hotel, which was just across the Grand Canal from the train station, down a little of the Grand Canal and then into a network of side canals.  At dusk, it was just beautiful!  The lights are coming on all along the Grand Canal, and in the quiet of the smaller canals you could hear snippets of conversation and instruments playing.  You might ask Viking where there ride will take you.

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47 minutes ago, Liz Masterson said:

I have one strong recommendation for Venice. 

Book and after Hours tour of St. Marks. 

You will not regret it. 

We did ours thru WalksOfItaly.com. 

About $150 each. Doges palace first, then small groups into St. Marks. Even got to go down into the crypt. 

 

There are are less expensive options that do not include Doges Palace. Also cuts down the time. 

 

I’d do it again! And everyone who has followed my recommendation was delighted. 

 

We we used the noisy vaporattos to get around. Like busses on the water. Doing that convinced me to skip the gondola. Though maybe it would have been okay if they got off into the smaller canals. 

 

Why did it make you want to skip the gondola?

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It just seems so expensive and chaotic. But @soundcruiser sounds like they had a good experience! Still if I had a choice... seeing St. Mark's without the crowds and with the golden mosaic tiles lit up... just breath taking.

 

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Last time in Venice we took the water taxi from the head of the passenger terminal to the dock just past St Mark's Sq. On the return we took the water bus up the Grand Canal  to Santa Croce, then took the short walk back to the ship.

 

Wasn't aware of any gondolas from the pax terminal down to St Mark Sq. Definitely didn't consider any ship's tours, but did look at booking directly. The prices were outrageous, so we didn't bother.

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Do you remember what they were asking for the gondola ride?  It is cheaper to book direct but I don't know the prices.

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3 hours ago, zitsky said:

Do you remember what they were asking for the gondola ride?  It is cheaper to book direct but I don't know the prices.

Memory is a little vague, since it was 2015. However, I recall prices were fixed and per person, with a minimum of 4 people. For the 2 of us I recall about $200 (CAN) each. I also think it was for only 1/2 hr and at night it was more expensive.

 

If anyone else has been more recently they may have a better recollection of prices.

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8 hours ago, zitsky said:

 

Why did it make you want to skip the gondola?

 

The Viking shuttle will take you to St Mark's area the same way the ship sails in, if this is where you are ending your cruise(I can't remember)  The Vaparetto will take you down the grand canal and the stop after the Train station is where you take about a block walk and you are at the People Mover to take you to the ship.  The smaller the group on the gondola the more expensive the ride pp.  We had tickets for the Hidden Gems and Gondola ride through Viator (There's a video on their website)but had wrong paperwork when we left hotel so just made do without the gondola ride.  I think this would have taken you on some of the smaller canals and had a more unique experience.  The grand canal is impressive but the vaparetto gives you experience and seems much more at home on the larger canal.  We got a day pass and it served our needs.  The free shuttle will get you there and back but not as scenic.

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14 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Last time in Venice we took the water taxi from the head of the passenger terminal to the dock just past St Mark's Sq. On the return we took the water bus up the Grand Canal  to Santa Croce, then took the short walk back to the ship.

 

Wasn't aware of any gondolas from the pax terminal down to St Mark Sq. Definitely didn't consider any ship's tours, but did look at booking directly. The prices were outrageous, so we didn't bother.

Yes, gondolas are outrageously priced.  Some dicker room but not much.  But then Venice is the most expensive city in Europe.  We thought the prices at McDonalds  in Venice to be outrageous too..😳  Don't get me started on the beer pricing....🍻 But Venice with no Gondola??  Sort of like Paris with no rude waiters....

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The best part about gondolas is that they are slow. Venice is so beautiful and fascinating it would be really daft to get involved in some sort of rushing about to tick off from a list of 'must sees'! Sit back, look at the ancient palazzos as you drift by and breathe in the atmosphere of this timeless treasure of a place. 

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Oh I see your point.  I wonder how Viking turns a 30 min ride into a 3 hr activity.  I guess it is the waiting and time getting to the boat dock.

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A very cheap way to experience a short gondola ride is to use a public traghetto to cross the Grand Canal, it only costs a couple of Euro but only last a couple of minutes. It is fun though and the top tip is to stand up like a local, not sit down like a tourist.

Rp

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6 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Yes, gondolas are outrageously priced.  Some dicker room but not much.  But then Venice is the most expensive city in Europe.  We thought the prices at McDonalds  in Venice to be outrageous too..😳  Don't get me started on the beer pricing....🍻 But Venice with no Gondola??  Sort of like Paris with no rude waiters....

You went to Venice and visited McDonald's??! 😱

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1 minute ago, Nippy Sweetie said:

You went to Venice and visited McDonald's??! 😱

Haha, yes.😳  Had just come off a couple of weeks on Seabourn and a Quarter Pounder with cheese called my name.  On the Inaugural WC we ate McDonalds at Christchurch, NZ, Saigon, and Porto, Portugal.  All tasted great...🍸

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18 minutes ago, Nippy Sweetie said:

You went to Venice and visited McDonald's??! 😱

 

I thought everyone did?!

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Posted (edited)

Am horrified at level of philistinism. 😕

Wanders off shaking head in sad disbelief...

Edited by Nippy Sweetie

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Maybe we should make a list of places in Venice to get a burger that are not American owned... since you all have your panties in a twist.

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5 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Maybe we should make a list of places in Venice to get a burger that are not American owned... since you all have your panties in a twist.

Right you are Zitsky🍺.  This was a bit of fun till the name calling started.  

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7 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Haha, yes.😳  Had just come off a couple of weeks on Seabourn and a Quarter Pounder with cheese called my name.  On the Inaugural WC we ate McDonalds at Christchurch, NZ, Saigon, and Porto, Portugal.  All tasted great...🍸

Jim,

 

I believe you have to be a mariner or perhaps have completed a World Cruise as a passenger to understand this concept.

 

After my 4-month trips of filet mignon every Tuesday & lobster ev Thursday, etc.  I was desperate for a  pie & pints followed by a visit to the chippie. No fancy grub for me when I was on leave.🙂 At home I was happy with a chip butty or beans on toast.

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:13 PM, Heidi13 said:

Jim,

 

I believe you have to be a mariner or perhaps have completed a World Cruise as a passenger to understand this concept.

 

After my 4-month trips of filet mignon every Tuesday & lobster ev Thursday, etc.  I was desperate for a  pie & pints followed by a visit to the chippie. No fancy grub for me when I was on leave.🙂 At home I was happy with a chip butty or beans on toast.

Right you are.  Even on tankers and freighters we ate very well.  After a hitch of months duration all I wanted was simple "home fare" stuff.  But don't even get me started on the delicious bucket of KFC fried chicken in Kuala Lumpur...🍺

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