European Waterways Unveils New “Venetian Lagoon” Itinerary

European Waterways has unveiled the “Venetian Lagoon” island-hopping itinerary, an optional new route, which 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. While large cruise ships are banned from entering the Venice Lagoon to protect its fragile infrastructure, the Giudecca Canal—one of Europe’s most celebrated canals—and the Venice waterfront remain accessible to smaller vessels that include European Waterways’ 20-passenger luxury hotel barge, La Bella Vita.

La Bella Vita typically cruises between Venice and the Renaissance city of Mantua along the River Po and Canal Bianco. For guests who wish to explore the attractions of the islands in the lagoon, the vessel’s optional “Venetian Lagoon” itinerary will introduce them to islands such as Burano, the “Island of Lace;" Murano, renowned for its glassware; and 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.

It all starts with a Prosecco welcome, greeted by the captain and crew aboard La Bella Vita. This is followed by the first cruise through the Giudecca Canal at sunset. Other 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 six-mile sea wall; and San Lazzaro degli Armeni, which is still occupied by the Armenian monks. The last stop will be in Venice, 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 Venetian government.

“Venetian Lagoon” cruises are offered at the same rate as those of La Bella Vita’s classic cruise on the River Po. Good to know: Private, whole-boat charters are also available.

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