We’re offering you boat hire in Venice – yes, Venice! – for an irresistible cruise you’ll never forget.
Boating holidays on the Venice Lagoon, where dreams become reality.
Venice sums up everything about the Italian passion for life. This iconic city is the backdrop to a unique cruise. Your journey starts from our base, a pretty harbour called Chioggia on a small island in the Venice Lagoon. Take a look at the colourful fish auction here, then set off on your no-license boat, cappuccino in hand, for a canal boat holiday in this city that opens onto the Adriatic Sea. Explore the Lagoon, its traditional, little-known fishing villages, its long beaches, and the lovely town of Treviso, encircled by its walls – a cultural must-see. Also visit Pellestrina and its picturesque ochre-coloured houses and the Lido, as seen in the film Death in Venice. The archipelago has many well-preserved historic sites and a host of small islands with beautiful names. From the deck of your self-drive boat you can look out at the Venice Lagoon stretching in front of you and follow the little-used channels, until you come to the mouth of the harbour at Malamoco. There, La Serenissima herself is visible from the sea, with the famous campanile of St Mark’s Square. The dream is complete: you are gliding into Venice from the sea.
From our departure base of Chioggia, you can rent Penichettes® and Europas. We’ve partnered with Rendezvous Fantasia to offer their excellent NCF boats in Venice
Chioggia, your starting-point for an Italian-style cruise
This little fishing village in the south of the Lagoon, known for its fish market, basks in the glow of nearby Venice and is the departure point for your boat hire holiday.
Discover the map of the
destination and its waterways
Cruising through the Venice Lagoon – a magical experience
Listed as a UNESCO Word Heritage site, Venice is a place of inspiration. It’s full of treasures and sources of pleasure, including our top five attractions, which you definitely shouldn’t miss during your holiday
Venetian gastronomy, standing out from the crowd
Italian food pleases the most demanding of gourmets, but Venice stands out from the crowd with its own specialities, such as risotto, polenta or fegato alla veneziana (calves’ liver), which you can discover during your cruise.
Burano and its colourful houses, the island of a thousand hues
Burano is a traditional little fishing village, one of the most beautiful in the Lagoon, nestling between two canals. Although well known for its lace production, it also has a magical beauty due to the rainbow-hued façades of its houses. Definitely post it on Instagram!
The Trepponti bridges, the pride of Comacchio
When it was built in 1634, this was the place where five canals met on the Po delta. Today, three of them are still in use beneath the arcades of this imposing construction. From here, you can see the fish market, housed in a historic building and still functioning.
Arriving by boat at St Mark’s Square, a symbolic moment
When you spot the campanile of St Mark’s in the distance, you know you’re about to make an exciting and unforgettable landing from the sea. The Columns of Saint Mark and Saint Theodore beside the Grand Canal guide you towards the square’s most interesting historic monuments.
A cruise to Venice on the Lagoon: the true meaning of la dolce vita
Boat hire in Venice offers an amazing voyage. You’ll cruise between little islands in the Lagoon, then pass through unspoilt natural surroundings – keeping an eye out for the wildlife – to reach towns famous for their art and history. You need no license to cruise on your self-drive boat – these are ‘no stress’ holidays. Your cruise in the safe waters of the Lagoon, within reach of the sea, will be a unique and comfortable journey that’s accessible to everyone.
And of course, when you rent a boat with Locaboat, our staff at the base will give you plenty of advice before you take the helm. For example, you’ll need to know that the depth of water in the Lagoon varies from low water to high water, so when you moor your boat you should leave more slack than usual on the mooring rope. Once you know the basics, you can relax and enjoy your cruise, visiting some outstanding sites, from St Mark’s Square to traditional fishing villages where the reflections of ochre and yellow houses sparkle on the water. Then back on board, following the posts that mark out the channels, you continue slowly on your way. You could cruise from 143 km to 378 km on this magical round trip.
Discover boating holidays in northern Italy with Venice canal boat rentals
Begin your canal boat holiday in Venice from the seaside town of Chioggia
Capital of the Veneto region, the famous city of Venice needs no introduction. Built from a group of 118 islands, the city is connected by a network of canals and hundreds of bridges. This water city lends itself perfectly to boating exploration, and there is arguably no other city in Europe so perfectly placed to be explored from the waterside.
Located at the southern end of the lagoon, your Venice canal boat holiday can start from Locaboat’s base in Chioggia. Often called Little Venice, Chioggia is a beautiful location within its own right. Before setting out on your canal boat holidays through Venice and northern Italy, ensure you take time to see the many beautiful sights Chioggia has to offer.
One thing that makes Chioggia a great place to explore is its authenticity and lack of over-tourism. Travelling along the Canale Vena, you can take in the picturesque sights of Chioggia and the surrounding area. Chioggia is also home to several medieval churches, each one providing its visitors with stunning views of their high renaissance interiors.
As well as the many religious buildings, Chioggia is also a great place to explore the quintessential narrow streets that this area is known for. Called calli, these narrow streets are not only fun to explore but provide little surprises around every turn. Once you have uncovered the beauty of Chioggia, you are set to board your canal boat and head out north into the Venician lagoon.
Taking your Venice canal boat rental north
Once you have left the Chioggia harbor, your Venice canal trip can finally begin, driving your boat out into the famous Venice Lagoon. The first point you will arrive at when you leave Chioggia is the long island of Pellestrina, which creates a barrier between the Adriatic Sea and the lagoon. One of the lesser-known islands along the lagoon, Pellestrina, was once nothing more than giant mud banks. Now, in more modern times, the island is a thin strip of resorts, cafes, restaurants, and much more. Stopping off on Pellestrina will find yourself surrounded by quaint fishing houses and idyllic narrow streets. Pellestrina is also known for its Marazzi, a stone wall built in the early 18th century to protect the island from the sea.
Moving on from Pellestrina, your boat rental in Venice, Italy, will draw you closer to the next Venician island of Lido. Lido is a relaxed seaside resort that allows you to soak up the relaxed atmosphere before driving into the hecticness of inner Venice. If you’re looking for an Italian beach to enjoy, Lido is the place! Known more for being the location of the Venice film festival, Lido’s beaches have won awards for their pristine sands and shores.
The southern tip of Lido is also home to the Oasis of Alberoni, a nature reserve that provides a natural habitat for protected bird species such as Kentish Plover and Little Tern. It is also the location of the complex dune system spoken of in the poetry of Lord Byron.
Exploring the northern Venician areas of Portegrandi and Jesolo
When you’re exploring the canals of Venice by boat, it’s easy to overlook the northerly settlements of Portegrandi and Jesolo. Portegrandi is famously home to the Sile River Regional Nature Park, which spans three thousand hectares. This is a perfect spot to enjoy the open spaces of Venice. Following the Sile River will take you into the green fields of the Venice region, something that is often overlooked by your average visitor to the city.
Jesolo is one of the furthest north easterly points in the Venice area and is easily reached when you opt for boat hire in Venice. The town is best known as a holiday destination for many Italians, Austrians, and French holidaymakers.
It is a funfair of activities, making it perfect for families seeking a memorable time for their young ones. A ride on the ‘Wheel of Venice’ will give a birds-eye view of the surrounding city and countryside as the Ferris wheel turns.
For a feast of boutique shopping, head to the town’s Via Bafile walking street, home to an array of shops, ice cream stalls, and quaint Italian cafes. The town is a hub of all sorts of citywide activities both during the day and night. Mooring your boat here allows you to have a holiday enjoying your canal boat hired in Venice as well as a beach holiday in the town of Jesolo.
Navigating boats in Venice through the smaller, lesser-known islands
Those who hire boats in Venice, Italy are usually more interested in exploring the main islands through the archipelago and lagoon. However, as the city is made up of over one hundred different islands, many of the smaller ones can get overlooked. Weaving through the lagoon, you’ll notice that some islands have their own unique appeal, and by travelling through the canals of Venice by boat, you can see them all.
The island of Torcello is one of the oldest inhabited of the Venician islands but one of the less frequented by tourists. The island is most famous for its 7th-century church, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Founded in the year 639, the church is home to stunning colourful Byzantine mosaics and a breath-taking architecture to match.
Venice lagoon boat trips can also take you to the island of Murano, commonly known as the glass island. The centre of glass production for hundreds of years, Murano was and still is, home to a huge glass-blowing cottage industry. The culture of this glass blowing can be seen in all its details at the Murano Glass Museum, where you can witness live demonstrations of the glass blowing that makes the island of Murano so famous.
A little further north is the island of Burano, known for its own commodity, fine lace. Technically a series of four close islands connected by bridges, Burano is an idyllic water wonderland. The island is famous for its colourfully decorated houses, with stunning blues, reds, yellows, and green standing out along every street. You can also learn about Burano’s lace-making history at the Burano Lace Museum, with fine examples of lace from through the centuries.
Explore unmissable sights when you choose self-drive boat hire in Venice
Exploring the Doge’s Palace and other iconic Venetian buildings
Arguably one of the most iconic sights in all of Venice, no canal boat holiday in Italy would be complete without a visit to the Doge’s Palace. This Venicitin Gothic styled palace was constructed in the late fourteenth century and was the home of the Doge, the elected leader or appointed ruler of Venice. Throughout the Byzantine Empire, the Doge’s palace was considered one of the most lavish complexes in all of Europe. The building continued to be used as a palace and prison throughout the medieval and modern eras, finally becoming a museum in 1923. Exploring this huge complex may take a good few hours but is certainly worth it!
Right next to the Doge’s Palace is another of the city’s more iconic sites, the Bridge of Sighs. The bridge crosses the canal from an old interrogation room to the prison in the Doge’s Palace. Legend has it that prisoners would see their final view of beautiful Venice before being led down to the cells, giving it the name Bridge of Sighs. Not only does the bridge have a strong link with the history of Venice, but it is also a bridge of beautiful design and architecture. Passing under the bridge with your Venice canal boat rental is an experience in itself.
Catch sight of St Mark’s Basilica, an icon of Venice
Another of the city’s most iconic sights and buildings has to be the St Mark’s Basilica or the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco, as it is known in Italy. This is one of the largest cathedrals in northern Italy and a fine example of Italo-Byzantine architecture. Once the personal chapel of the Doge of Venice, St Mark’s Basilica became the city’s official cathedral in 1807. Its religious significance took on a new role when its treasures became known, housing the most valuable collection of Byzantine silver and gold in the world.
Visiting St Mark’s Basilica is an awe-inspiring experience, even for those who aren’t of the Catholic faith. Its interior is a jaw-dropping example of renaissance and religious art, complete with mosaics, sculptures, stained glass, and marble. A combination of stunning architecture, world treasures, and a scale that is mind-blowing, St Mark’s Basilica is a must-see when boating through the canals of Venice.
Browse through the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Apart from the iconic ancient buildings and historic canals of Venice, the city has its own modern scene of art and culture that can’t be found elsewhere. One of the best places for this is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in the centre of Venice, housed in a former 17th-century Customs House. This is a satellite gallery of the famous Guggenheim in New York and houses a range of modern art accumulated by Peggy Guggenheim.
Highlights in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection include worlds by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, and many more modern artists. Being so close to other major attractions in Venice makes a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection an easy thing to visit, along with other key sights in the city.
Sail along the famous Canale Grande
When it comes to boat hire in Venice, Italy no trip would be complete without sailing down one of the city’s most famous waterways, the Canal Grande or Grand Canal. The largest waterway in the city, this canal is more like a river as it bends from one side of the city to the other in a giant ‘S’ shape.
By boating down the Canale Grande, you can take in the awesome sights that line the waterway, including hundreds of impressive buildings dating from the 1200s onwards. Instead of walking and weaving between these hundreds of buildings, the canal allows you to see them in style. Only four bridges span the width of the canal, proving just how popular boating is in Venice compared to walking.
Navigate your way under the Ponte di Rialto
The Rialto Bridge, or Ponte di Rialto as it is known in Italian is another of Venice’s more iconic sights. A simple thing such as a bridge means very little in any other European city, but in a city such as Venice where the landscape is dominated by waterways, a bridge takes on an image of its own. This is no ordinary bridge however, the Ponte di Rialto is an ornate stone bridge that crosses the San Marco and San Polo districts of Venice. It is more a work of art than any other canal crossing, even if it is still highly functional.
The bridge replaced an earlier wooden structure that fell during the mid-15th century. The bridge that replaced it is crafted from stone, including ornate stone reliefs depicting religious motifs. You can pass under the bridge with your Venice Italy canal boat or cross it on foot to have a peek at the shops that stand along the bridge.
FAQ – Can you rent a boat in Venice?
Similar to canal boat hire in France or canal boat hire in Ireland, it’s easy and fun to rent a boat in Venice. The water-laden Italian city is the perfect place to rent a boat and can be done from a number of different places, with Chioggia being one of the most popular. Renting canal boats or yacht charter boats in Venice, Italy is easily done.
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