A trip to Venice would lack the essential without watching the city from a unique perspective, from the water. Either you rely on a gondolier at quite a high price for half an hour or you steer yourself. In Venice, boat rentals are straightforward.
Where to Rent
Classic Boats rents efficient electric boats for starting 1 hour for €80 and going up to 8 hours for €295. The boats are well-maintained new crafts that don’t require fossil fuel or a boating license. In addition to the self-driven boats, bigger boats with a driver can be hired.
Venice Boat offers tours around the city canals or the islands at prices as low as €20 for an hour up to €95 for the day.
One of the oldest rental companies, Brussa is Boat, hires topette (self-driven crafts for up to 6 people) for €35 for the first hour and €25 for the following (plus taxes). A larger bragozzo for up to 10 people is available with a pilot. The rates vary according to the itinerary. The company has also boats for cargo transport and moving services that can be seen in the canals quite frequently (and even on Google Maps).
Vaporetto and ships can be rented from ACTV, the company that handles the city’s public transportation. For your trip, you can rent motorboats with 19 seats or larger crafts, such as 150-seat vaporetti, 500-seat motorboats or 50-car ferries. Email your request to the [email protected] or call +39 0412722421.
Fancy spending your entire holiday on a boat? Rent a houseboat. No license is required, but a briefing before the beginning of your sailing is scheduled to sail the calm but sometimes insidious water of the Venice lagoon. The houseboats can accommodate 4 to 8 people and can be rented only from April to October (the first and last months are low season) at prices that vary from about €1500 up to €4200 per week. Two rental companies are Houseboat and, Rendez-vous Fantasia.
Rowing in Venice
Nonetheless, the most enchanting event is rowing a rowboat. The silence broken by the swashing of the oars makes the experience of visiting the remotest areas unparalleled. The typical Venetian rowing technique, called Voga alla Veneta, is to stand rowing with one oar. As it isn’t an easy technique, it’s best to visit one of the many rowing clubs. Since the traffic is heavy with a constant swell, the beginners should address the clubs located in calmer canals. Canottieri Querini and Remiera Francescana are in the sestiere of Castello, Settemari and Cannaregio are in the sestiere of Cannaregio, Canottieri Giudecca is on the island of Giudecca, and Voga Veneta and Canottieri Mestre are in San Giuliano on the mainland.
Photo Credit: Rowing club (Photo by Brian Luster)