Embarking on a unique island-hopping journey through the lesser-explored islands of Venice’s historic lagoon, European Waterways’ flagship hotel barge, La Bella Vita, offers a captivating experience. The itinerary caters to a smaller, discerning crowd searching for a more relaxed, intimate way to enjoy Venice’s hidden treasures away from the bustling city centre.
Venice’s grand lagoon, studded with the timeless charm of numerous smaller islands, offers an enthralling encounter with history, culture, and tradition. Despite being restricted to massive cruise ships for preservation, the renowned Giudecca Canal and the Venice waterfront welcome smaller vessels, such as European Waterways’ La Bella Vita. This exclusive Venetian Lagoon itinerary allows guests to explore the often-ignored islands, which might be hard to access without private transportation.
Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways, expressed his enthusiasm for Venice’s “hidden gems”. Banks says these islands, steeped in rich Venetian culture, allow guests to experience the city’s elegance without the hustle. The cruise’s all-inclusive arrangement will enable passengers to fully immerse themselves in the experience, leaving all logistics to the onboard team.
On board the La Bella Vita, the largest hotel barge in European Waterways’ fleet, guests can experience luxury and discovery. With the vessel’s optional Venetian Lagoon itinerary, guests can explore the “Island of Lace,” Burano, and Murano, famed for its exquisite glassware. Chioggia, with its picturesque canals and the 18th-century Church of San Domenico, is another highlight. The glamorous Lido, home to the Venice Film Festival, is part of the itinerary as well.
Guests are welcomed aboard La Bella Vita with a Prosecco toast, setting the tone for an unforgettable journey. As the sun sets, the hotel barge embarks on its first cruise through the Giudecca Canal, starting an adventure that blends comfort, exploration, and culinary delights, all underscored by exceptional service.
The journey continues with the island of Sant Erasmo, known as Venice’s “market garden” for its vegetable gardens and fields of artichokes. On Pellestrina, guests can bike along the renowned six-mile sea wall. Another unique stop is San Lazzaro degli Armeni, inhabited by Armenian monks to this day. The itinerary concludes with a visit to historic Venice, where guests can explore St. Mark’s Square, the Cathedral of San Pietro, and Doge’s Palace.
The all-inclusive Venetian Lagoon cruises are priced from $4,550 per person, based on double occupancy, providing a unique alternative to La Bella Vita’s classic River Po cruise. For those desiring a more private experience, whole-boat charters are available starting at $83,500. Visit European Waterways for more information and to book this unique, intimate exploration of Venice’s hidden gems.