European Waterways has introduced a Venetian Lagoon island-hopping itinerary on its 20-passenger luxury hotel barge, La Bella Vita, to its program.
The optional new route – exclusive to European Waterways – explores many of the smaller islands in the lagoon. These islands are often overlooked by tourists because they are difficult to visit without some form of private transportation.
“The islands within the lagoon are truly the ‘hidden gems’ of Venice,” said Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways.
“They are often less crowded, yet equally steeped in the history, culture, art, and traditions of this sophisticated city. On our Venetian Lagoon cruise, guests don’t have to worry about making their own arrangements to visit each of the islands. Instead, they can just soak up the atmosphere as they cruise in comfort, sharing with fellow passengers the gastronomic meals prepared by an onboard master chef, paired with some of the finest regional wine.”
La Bella Vita is the largest vessel in European Waterways’ extensive fleet and cruises between Venice and the Renaissance city of Mantua along the River Po and Canal Bianco.
For guests who wish to explore the extraordinary attractions of the islands in the lagoon, the vessel’s optional Venetian Lagoon itinerary will introduce them to such islands as Burano, the “Island of Lace”; Murano, renowned for its iconic glassware; and glamorous Lido – home to the Venice Film Festival. They’ll also call at the town of Chioggia, famed for the 18th century Church of San Domenico which is set on its very own island, as well as its picturesque canals, which will be explored on a traditional locally-built boat.
Highlights of the week-long voyage include the island of Sant Erasmo, called the “market garden of Venice” for its vegetable gardens and fields of artichokes; the island of Pellestrina, where guests can bike along the famous six-mile sea wall; and San Lazzaro degli Armeni, which is still occupied by the Armenian monks today. The last stop will be in historic Venice itself, mooring just outside the Naval Museum, where guests will visit St. Mark’s Square, the Cathedral of San Pietro, and Doge’s Palace –once the seat of the Venice government.
Venetian Lagoon cruises are offered at the same rate as those of La Bella Vita’s classic cruise on the River Po. They start from €3,890 per person based on double occupancy. Private whole-boat charters are also available starting at €72,500 (€3,625pp based on 20 passengers travelling).