Italy River Cruises Po River Cruises
Italy river cruises from Venice along the Po River are relaxing vacations. Enjoy Italy sightseeing at an entirely slow pace in full luxury. These river cruise vessels are more luxurious than most 5 star hotels. Travel Italy with a few like minded explorers. Together you’ll discover Ancient Roman, Byzantine, Middle Age and Medieval eras, and Renaissance history. On these all inclusive Italy river cruises you will discover exquisite Northern Italy. This 5 star Italy land tour with river cruise brings you to Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Venice, and Verona. You may also include Florence and Rome with an included 5 night post cruise Italy land tour.
Celebrate Italian cuisine and culture on this Northern Italy Land and Po River tour. The Veneto region which includes Venice, Verona, and Padua & the Po River Emilia Romagna region which includes Bologna and Ferrara.
$3,399+ 8-Day Luxury Italy Po River Cruise
$3,999+ 10 Day Po river Cruise with 3 Day Milan and Verona Pre Cruise Tour
$6,199+ 13-Day Po River Cruise with Florence and Rome Land Tour
The Italy river cruise with Northern Italy land tour begins in Venice. There you will have two nights in Venice on board before setting sail. At the end of the Po river cruise you’ll return to Venice for a romantic evening among the canals and cafes. The land tour includes Verona and Padua sightseeing excursions. From the Po River you’ll discover the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. Emilia Romagna is a beautiful region that stretches from the Adriatic to Tuscany and Liguria in the West. Ferrara and Bologna are cities located in this wonderful Northern Italian region that you’ll explore on your Italy river cruise along the Po River.
Sail with 132 guests in 65 staterooms along the Po River. This Italy river cruise begins in Venice. It cruises along the Po River. All inclusive Italy river cruise 2015 includes: All gratuities for all on board and onshore services; unlimited fine wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions with local experts as your guide; free Internet and Wi-Fi; and all arrival and departure day transfers. You’ll enjoy an on board wine pairing dinner. Then you’ll visit a vineyard with a tour and tasting in the Valpolicella grape growing zone of Verona.
Included sightseeing excursions with English speaking guides:
- Walking tour of Venice with a canal cruises
- Exclusive evening visit to San Marco Basilica
- Walking tour of Padua
- Olive oil tasting
- Day trip to romantic Verona
- Visit Bologna and attend a Pasta Workshop
- State-of-the-art audio headset system on all excursions
- Epicurean Adventurer Program Special food-and-wine-pairing dinner
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Dinners
- Onboard entertainment and insightful lectures
- Pasta-making workshop in Bologna
- Italian dessert-making demonstration and tasting
Po River Cruise and Northern Italy Land Tour Itinerary
The Italy river cruises itinerary is available from April to November. May, June, September and October are the most popular months.
Milan to Verona 3 Day Pre Cruise Tour
Day 1: Milan
Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport where you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Milan
Today enjoy a tour Milan, the fashion capital of the world and one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Included with the tour is a visit to the Duomo, the famous Gothic Cathedral, and a tour of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
Day 3: Milan, Verona, Venice (embark)
Today you’ll travel from Milan, which is in the northern Italina region Lombardy, to Verona, which is in the region of Veneto. Verona is most famous for its role in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is a beautiful city with significant ancient Roman buildings still standing, including the Arena, which looks like the Colosseum. Along the way we’ll stop at an estate for an authentic northern Italian lunch in Valpolicella, featuring local cuisine served with the famous northern Italian wines and prosecco. Upon arrival in Venice you’ll board the ship to embark on your River Cruise.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Po River Cruise
Sunday Day 1: Venice
Upon your arrival at Venice airport your all inclusive Po River cruise includes transfer from the airport to the ship.
After you’ve settled into your floating hotel, get your walking legs with a stroll around Venice. Then you’ll discover Venetian culture with a private boat ride around Venice and demonstration of fine arts of glassblowing and lace-making on display. Tonight dinner is included on board the ship.
Monday Day 2: Guided Tour of Venice
Venice, which was founded in the sixth century, controlled all European trade with the East during the Middle Ages. Local guides will lead you through hidden alleys where tourists rarely go to the Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, which is brimming with artistic treasures. The tour concludes at Rialto Bridge; stay in the city and explore on your own, or return to the ship. Cap off your day with a most memorable experience: an exclusive, crowd-free visit to spectacular St. Mark’s Basilica. In the evening enjoy a Captains Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD)
Note: It is not always possible to arrange after-hour visits to St. Mark’s Basilica. If religious functions or festivities are taking place in the evening, we will visit during regular hours.
Tuesday Day 3: Tour Padua
Enjoy magnificent farewell views of “The Floating City’s” grandest sites as your ship departs Venice for Chioggia. In the afternoon, you will be driven to the Medieval walled city of Padua, one of Italy’s oldest towns and home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Here, many notable scholars sought academic freedom, including Galileo and Copernicus, and two of Italy’s most famous writers, Dante and Petrarch, were students. Join your local guide on a walking tour of Padua through ancient arcades and porticos to Palazzo della Ragione, Padua’s historic city center, and then visit the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Later in the evening, reboard your ship and sail to Polesella. (BB, L, D)
Wednesday Day 4: Tour Bologna or Ferrara
Spend the whole day in Bologna, called la grassa, meaning bountiful. Its portico-lined streets are home to the oldest university in Europe. But does it really have the best food in Northern Italy? You be the judge. There’s more to the city than Bolognese sauce, that’s for sure—there’s Parma ham, parmigiano cheese, and perhaps the best tortellini in the world, all on lavish display in the amazing food markets. Join a pasta-making workshop and learn how to create your own fabulous pasta. Or spend a half day in Ferrara, one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, where you’ll discover how the city became an artistic hub for the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Petrarch, among others. (B, L, D)
Thursday Day 5: Tour Porto Levante
Enjoy the morning at leisure onboard your floating hotel as your ship sails from Polesella to Taglio di Po. Today you’ll visit Porto Levante, which is located south of Venice on the Northern Adriatic Sea. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind as you take in the beauty of the Po Delta Nature Reserve with 2 million trees of 150 different species. Be treated to a delicious seafood lunch. Later in the afternoon, reboard your ship in Chioggia and sail to Venice. (BB, L, D)
Friday Day 6: Full-day excursion to Verona
Shakespeare endowed Verona with enduring fame when he wrote of two star-crossed lovers, but Verona has been an important city in Northern Italy for 2,000 years. Though Juliette and her Romeo are Verona’s best-known pair, Verona’s best-known landmark is the pink-marble-sheathed Roman arena, where many of today’s famous composers, musicians, and opera singers still perform. Savor the magic of Verona and get swept away in its romance. (BB, D)
Saturday Day 7: Venice Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour or visit a local arts center
See Venice like a local during a walking tour of the Dorsoduro district and the Rialto, the city’s historic core. Visit the markets and indulge in a Venetian aperitivo. Or, if you didn’t join the arts center visit on day one, you can do so today. See master glassblowers and lace makers, arts for which Venice is renowned. During the afternoon, sail through the scenic Venice Lagoon. In the evening enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Sunday Day 8: Venice River Cruise Tour Ends
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)
For Italy river cruise travelers extending their vacation with the Florence and Rome land tour option see below.
Day 8: Venice, transfer to Florence
Today you travel to Florence; en route, enjoy lunch in the Tuscan countryside. The birthplace of Italy’s national poet, Dante Alighieri, and of the Renaissance, Florence offers innumerable artistic treasures. The city rose to prominence under the Medici family in the 14th century. The Medicis were the greatest patrons of art in Europe, employing Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Titian, and Fra Angelico, many of whose works you’ll see today. (BB, L)
Monday Day 9: Florence Walking Tour
Travel by foot to get a close-up view of some of the city’s most glorious sights: Florence Cathedral, the Piazza della Signoria, and the Piazza della Repubblica. From the banks of the Arno, take in views of Pitti Palace and the Ponte Vecchio. (BB, D)
Tuesday 10: Florence, transfer to Rome
Travel via motor coach through the breathtaking Tuscan countryside to Rome. Stop en route for a homemade lunch and wine tasting at Castello di Verrazzano, a gorgeous estate in Chianti country. (BB, L)
Wednesday Day 11: Rome
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Rome in European history, a historical fact you’ll discover on today’s tour which includes: St. Peter’s Basilica, the Arch of Titus, the Villa Borghese, and the Coliseum. Or “Do as the Locals Do” and walk the heart of Rome, seeing the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain. (BB, D)
Thursday Day 12: Rome
Spend the morning on a tour of the Vatican museums, ending at the Sistine Chapel, with its spectacular ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo. (BB, L)
Friday Day 13: Depart Rome
Transfer to Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your flight home. (CB/BB)
7 Day Italy River cruise Mantua to Venice
Settle in for a luxurious 20 passenger vessel, which has been completely refurbished with opulent decor, to create a stunning ship perfectly placed for cruising Italy’s rivers between Venice and Mantua. Accommodating up to 20 passengers, the vessel has two upper-deck suites and eight cabin staterooms. With a large sundeck, gourmet cuisine, fine wines and comfortable air conditioned cabins this barge is the ideal choice for your Italian cruise.
- Six nights’ accommodation on board La Bella Vita
- Full board during the cruise (from dinner on day one to breakfast on the last day)
- Chauffeured and guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Use of bicycles
- Regional wines with lunch and dinner
- Open bar with a large selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages
- Local transfers to and from the barge
Relax and take in Italy’s scenery aboard the comfortable sun deck, or venture off on one of several shore excursions, which include a range of historic tours, picturesque sightseeing and fine wine sampling.
Gourmet meals are taken either al fresco or in the spacious dining room/bar area. Get a true taste of local culture with regional Italian specialties including organic local wine, seafood, cheeses, prosciutto and more.
Venice to Mantua Italy River Cruise Day to Day Itinerary
Please note that this is a sample itinerary and may be subject to change. On alternate weeks, the cruise may run in the opposite direction. You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the barge moored in Porto Catena in Mantua.
Day 1 Venice
Guests are met at the Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma in Venice and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to La Bella Vita for a Prosecco welcome. An afternoon cruise takes us along the Giudecca Canal past some of Venice’s most famous monuments: the Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Punta della Dogana to our mooring outside the Naval Museum. Then time for a stroll to St Mark’s Square and a brief tour of the Doge’s Palace before dinner on board.
Day 2 Venice to San Pietro in Volta
Guided walking tour to Castello District, perhaps discovering some hidden parts of the city of Venice: the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, Palladio’s Church of San Pietro in Castello, the Naval Museum with a model of the Bucintoro (Doge’s Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim’s own vessel. Late afternoon cruise to Pellestrina which separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, along the Canal of the Orphans passing lagoon islands with their ancient monasteries, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. Dinner on board.
Day 3 San Pietro in Volta to Taglio di Po
After a stroll or cycle along the 18th century Istrian sea wall in Pellestrina, we cruise to Chioggia, city of Goldoni’s plays. Here we visit the picturesque town centre and colourful fish market. We also see the Cathedral and the Piazzetta Vigo before rejoining La Bella Vita at the Po Delta. Passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wildfowl, we travel upriver to Taglio di Po for dinner ashore hosted by the owners at the beautiful 17thC Villa Ca’Zen, a private stately home by the river where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.
Day 4 Taglio di Po to Bosaro
This morning we cruise to Adria, an ancient Etruscan town and visit the Archaeological Museum. After lunch on board, we drive to the Bagnoli Estate where we tour the Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of the 17thC Villa Widmann Borletti, for a private tasting of their renowned estate-grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. Afternoon cruise to Bosaro. Dinner on board.
Day 5 Bosaro to Trevenzuolo
Morning excursion with guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the Schifanoia Palace, renowned for its fabulous 15thC frescoes. We also admire the 14thC Estense Castle and its moat and the magnificent cathedral façade with its sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Return to the hotel barge for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads to Trevenzuolo and dinner on board.
Day 6 Trevenzuolo to Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, home of the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and a captivating lakeside setting. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14thC Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica and theatre. The intricate frescoes, Gallery of Mirrors and exquisite Rivers Room and 12,000 paintings and sculptures all create a Grand Finale to our Italian Renaissance adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 7 Mantua
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma in Venice.