Water Taxi In Venice (Updated 23 May 2019)

In Venice, water taxis are the preferred choice of transport to experience the scenery and lifestyle that you wouldn't forget in a lifetime. Many feel that you will be treated like a celebrity or royalty. However, we will like to share some bad experiences from TripAdvisor that a few unlucky tourists faced with a water taxi company or its drivers. We like to share and let you be mentally prepared, in case it happened to you.

Bad Experiences of Pre-Booked Water Taxi in Venice

Below are 2 pre-booked water taxi experiences and our learning lessons:-

  • Long waiting hours: "The ladies that came to greet us were wonderful however they didn't have the taxi's ready to load available. It took almost 90 minutes to get a taxi to arrive to take us to our hotel. I'm a travel agent and I had many people who booked this and the time it took to get the taxi wasn't reasonable especially when paying this kind of money. Lesson learned...when booking this make a pick up early (before 8:00 AM) to avoid lack of taxies. There were 10 ships in town this day." - meanskabrina, Miami.
  • Driver Rude and Rip-Off: We booked a water taxi with our hotel to go to the station at 3:15 pm for €70. Upon arrival at the station the driver charged us €100 and claimed he had been there since 3 pm, he refused to give us our €30 change. He also insisted on writing the time of 3 pm on the receipt.

    I would caution tourists to be very careful and give the exact amount of money to the driver so they cannot pocket the difference. 

    We reported the incident to our hotel and they reported the driver to the company. However, we did not receive any response from the company."  - Senyum
The learning points are to either pre-book slight earlier to avoid waiting time (if you transferring from Airport) and to pay the exact amount if you are booking when you arrived.

 

How Much Is A Water Taxi to/from Venice?

If you have a lot of luggage, a private water taxi is a good choice, as well as the most pricey compared to their water bus. 

Water Taxi Price Between Marco Polo Airport and Venice or Cruise Terminal: The price for a one-way trip to Venice will cost between 110-200 euros. In comparison, a water bus costs 7.5 euros for each person and, land taxi probably 50 euros, both without the luxury treatment. Definitely not recommended for those on a budget.

For Cruise Terminal (for example Royal Caribbean Cruise), the fastest and cheaper way is still Land Taxi so Water Taxi is still a luxury. Just cater enough time as it takes around 2-3 hours to get your luggage at the cruise terminal and another 2-3 hours for check-in at the airport.

If you are on a shoestring budget, we will definitely save this for a slow Gondola ride which is enjoyable too. Venice can be a very expensive place if you don't know where to find cheap food (they "charge" you for music in the tourist area).

If you are bringing a kid or want to set up a romantic trip, save up for the water taxi. It will be a special and much more relaxed experience.

How to take a water taxi in Venice: Although you can pre-book a water taxi via the Internet through the various companies and tour sites, it is also easy to book on the spot. There are kiosks inside the arrivals hall at the airport where you can book your water taxi, then a short walk 10 minute down to the dock. A two-way trip will be discounted so consider saving more if you can afford it.

Water Taxi From Venice Santa Lucia Rail Station

If you are coming from Santa Lucia rail station, there are private water taxi available Ferrovia which is just outside Santa Lucia railway stationThere are several different water bus (cheaper public transportation) lines calling at Ferrovia. If you have a great deal of luggage, you will be unpopular on the water bus if you take up passenger's standing space.

Do You Tip Venice Water Taxi?

For water taxis, there's no need to tip unless the driver performed a special service. In a rare occasion, drivers will charge less when the tide is too high for crossing under the bridges. Some drivers are also charming and very polite too.

It is however very welcomed by the driver if you tip them unlike some countries that cordon tipping (e.g. Japan). Therefore, if you have spare cash and liked the service, tip the driver and they would make your day too.

Private Water Taxi vs Shared Water Taxi

When booking your water taxi, if you have less than 4 people in your group, you also have to consider whether you want to pre-book a shared ride (Viator has this option).
The advantages of sharing are the price usually can be cut into half and you can also make more friends. Sometimes, the driver might even share your "private" water taxi so be prepared to share too and ask them to refund half your amount back!

What Are Water Taxis Called In Venice?

Vaporetto is another name for a water taxi or water bus in Venice, and translate to "little steamer", which are ships in the past running on steam. The Vaporetto is necessary for Venice as deep canals prohibit building underground railways, and there is no space for overground trains, leaving the canals as the only viable rapid transport system.

Weather in Venice: In term of weather, do check the weather forecast to avoid booking on a rainy day. A ride in the rain or choppy water is definitely not enjoyable. Below is an estimated number of days that it will rain in the month.

Average rainy days (rain/snow) in  Venice, Italy

You can stand in the open-air seating in the stern or choose the spacious leather-upholstered cabins. The private captain will chauffeur you up along the Grand Canal or even run between the airport and your hotel. 

How Long Does Water Taxi Take From Venice To Airport?

From Marco Polo Airport, it takes around 30 minutes to reach Venice via water taxis. You will need around 10 minutes to walk to the terminal. Therefore, for planning purpose you might want to cater 45 minutes to be on the safe side.

Journey time of transport in Venice

How late do water taxis run in Venice?

For example, Consorzio Venezia Water Taxi is a private water taxi company that runs throughout the night. However, Consorzio's airport desk closed after 10 pm so they would require prepayment, then call their office after you landed to have the water taxi sent to the airport.

However, many people will recommend taking a normal water bus instead of the nearest drop off and walk instead if you can.

Below are some tourist places to consider going to/from via water taxi or even a water bus (which we will cover next).

Tourist Places of Venice

Water Bus Venice Timetable

Besides water taxis, there are water bus on scheduled lines that serve locals within Venice, and travel between Venice and nearby islands, e.g., Murano, Burano, and Lido. The waterbus line is operated by the Venetian public transport system Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV). Most vaporetti have disabled people access.

ACTV sells 12-, 24-, 36-, 48- and 72-hour passes as well as single-journey tickets and 7-day passes. The private express company Alilaguna also operates a limited water bus service, to the airport for example, although its boats (including hybrid electric/diesel) are not technically considered to be vaporetti. As of Jan 2018, the following is a link showing the timetable of the available taxi bus routes you can take in Venice.

Water Bus Venice Timetable

How Late Do The Water Buses Run In Venice?

Most Vaporetto lines run from about 5 am until around midnight. There are night lines that run all night too. However, water bus captains may skip stops where no one is waiting at the dock to board. Do call out "scendo" if that is happening wrongly and they are skipping your stop.

How Much Is A Water Bus In Venice?

The standard ACTV water bus ticket costs 7.5 euros which are good for 75 minutes after validation on all routes of the Venice transportation network except the Alilaguna, Fusina, and Clodia lines. You can use more than one line to reach your destination, but return trips during the 75 minutes are not allowed. The ticket is free for children under 6 years old. For a passenger in a wheelchair, the fare is 1.5 euros and a companion may travel free. If you plan to travel more than 3 trips, it would be cheaper to get the day pass. Travel Card varies from 20 euros for one day to 75 euros for seven days.

Useful Contact Numbers for Water Taxi and Water Bus

+39-041-522-2303www.motoscafivenezia.it;

+39-342-906-1230Venice Water Taxi

+39-328-238-9661, www.veneziataxi.it

+39-041-272-2111, Water Bus (Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 2.00pm)

Conclusion

Do not miss the chance to take a water bus (on a budget) or a water taxi in Venice, as it will give you once in a lifetime experience. MyVeniceLife hopes you have a wonderful trip to Venice.

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