Sure it can seem a bit kitsch, but you’re in Venice, the sun is shining or it’s a romantically balmy evening, so what do you do? Take a ride in a gondola! Venice is meant to be viewed from the water, and riding in a beautiful curved wooden gondola ... 

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Jacki L United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Highly recommend the serenade tour! It was entertaining and relaxing. It would have been an awkwardly quiet ride otherwise. Our gondolier was friendly and great, not at all immature like I've read in some other reviews. I wish the boat had comfortable seats on both ends we were lucky to snag the comfortable seat on the end, but our friends were cramped in the middle seats opposite eachother and were a bit worried they might fall in. We caught the sunset which made it great for photos! Overall a wonderful experience.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

henry f

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2016

fantastic trip only wish the musicians had been closer to our gondola however we could still hear the serenade. Wonderful meal after the ride and John the waiter is so friendly and very helpful a lady came in and had not printed two tickets o had n evidence she had booked but John sorted this out for them.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade with Dinner

Caleb L

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2016

we wasted a bit of time gathering in a row of 6 gondolas before the singing starts. As the singing continued for abt 7-10 min, the gondola started moving away individually. You can still hear the guy singing but from far.

Still a good experience with the gondola ride but the serenade was a bit out of my expectations.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Derek A

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2016

Disappointing Gondola ride - nothing romantic about this ride whatsoever since you have to be lucky to be the first ones on the boat to be able to sit in the main seat together, otherwise the other 4 passengers are sitting opposite each other. The ride started late and we were one of 7 Gondolas following the one with the accordion player and singer. At first we all floated out into the canal to listen to the singer serenade us all with 2 very short songs before sailing through a 'back-street' canal with nothing of interest to look at, before ending up back at the start. It was that basic up a canal, turn right, sail a little further, turn right again and end up where you boarded so not even 25 minutes in all. Gondoliers were not even dressed in the normal costume, in fact they looked like night club bouncers in their bomber jackets and crew-cut hair styles. For the same price as we booked for equivalent of 80 Euros , we could have chosen a different location to pick up a Gondola and the two of us could have sat together and enjoyed the sights we expected to see including the Bridge of Sighs by ourselves and in a Gondola that is better maintained. The singer by the way was very good but we could not always hear him at times being so far back. You have to be lucky to be sitting in the same Gondola as the singer who does not 'jump' from boat to boat but I am pretty sure the family who sat with him did not have any paper vouchers with them, but paid in cash to ensure they sat in that very boat given the way they kept away from the queue and led to boat straight-away. Overall, taking a Gondola ride is a 'must do' activity but best to book it while your there at this time of the holiday season.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Camilo R

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2016

Did not like much, it only lasted about ten minutes, it was supposed to have 3 gondolas and one with the serenade singers, in total there were 5 gondolas, would not recommend

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Brian K

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
May 2016

It was a rip off. By far the most over-rated part of the trip. Stated 35 minutes with serenade, and it was at most 30 minutes with no serenade. Crammed into a boat with four others, and in a group of 10 boats. The gondola driver was texting on his phone while we were trying to take memorable pictures.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

thomas s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Did this on first evening in Venice to fit it all in. It was relaxing and a great introduction to an amazing town. Serenade was Bellissimo.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Marjorie M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

The serenade was great!

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Geraldine E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

The Serenade certainly added to the ambeance would definitely recommend booking from home,gave us much more time to explore.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Stuart H

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

It should have been 5 out of 5 but was a wee bit let down with the serenade the boat with the singer was to far back, but well worth it.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

jkkallestad

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

This was a great way to spend 30 minutes of one of our evenings in Venice. Just be sure to note that, as the description indicates, this is a group event, with musician and singer on only one of the Gondolas in a small fleet of them, and six people on each Gondola. This is not a private, romantic serenade - so if that is what you are expecting you will be disappointed. Otherwise, my wife and I thought that this was a great way to check Gondola Ride in Venice off of our bucket list!

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Kendra J

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

I read other responses about the Gondeliers.. and its true, they aren't the friendliest bunch. It's like they're bus drivers... just doing their job. However, the ride and serenade were great. I think for the price, this is a great deal.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Anthony B United Kingdom

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2016

Although it is stated that you are in a group of gondolas, we were towards the front and could not here the singer to well, which was a shame as he was good. If you are going to do this I would recommend paying a bit more and having your own gondola and serenader

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

alain_rima

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2016

We were very disappointed in the service we recieved. We were asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to set time, we were there 45minutes early before every one else arrived the had to proper set. Example how ever arrive first will board as per arrival. It was supposed to be for 35 minutes it was only 25 minutes!! The gondolas persons aboard the the gondola would not stop talking to each other as the singer and musicians performing could not really hear the serenaded. Also gondola personal on board they were smoking while the touring us on the gondola!!!

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Ian D

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2016

What a disappointment!
We arrived around half an hour before our trip time, just managing to distract the guy obviously in charge from his mobile phone call for him to look at our booking form and instruct sit here pointing at a line of wooden benches. Instead we nipped to a nearby bar for a drink and came back 15 minutes later to join a long queue of people holding similar booking forms. We eventually got on to our Gondola at 4pm, with the guy in charge still talking away on his mobile we were booked for 3.30 but it seemed to be a simple queuing system regardless of booking times.
As a party of 4 we were also joined by 2 American visitors which filled the Gondola not much room to be serenaded then! Ours was the first Gondola out into the Grand Canal. We circled for a few minutes whilst the other Gondolas filled and then set off with the singer and his accordion player just behind. This was quite fun, going down the Grand Canal with a few of us singing along.
We then turned down a smaller canal and ended up in single file with the singer probably 4 or 5 Gondolas behind us. We could just about hear him. We then basically when down a few back alley canals, passing building with no frontage and many seeming to be held together with scaffolding poles! Of all the beautiful locations in Venice this trip seems to manage to find none of them!
After a total of 30 minutes of unimpressive sightseeing, we were back where we started.
The best part of the trip was when our Gondolier pretended to fall off, catching us all by surprise.
I booked this trip through Viator as I have used them in the past and found all the trips well organised and value for money but not in this case.
Very disappointing.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Musata M

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2016

Massive rip off, only went on one canal, too short, serenade was terrible quality too.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Rebecca C

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2016

I was extremely disappointed, it was supposed to be a serenade tour, there was at lesat 6 boats, i singer and we were no where near to hear !! The goldolier was not in any way interested and was miserable !!

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Anne P

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
March 2016

Really disappointing.... Thought this would be a memorable experience with my husband but sadly for all the wrong reasons. We were not seated next to each other although it was obvious we were a couple, the serenade was several boats away and could barely be heard. I think we got a vague waft of Delilah not very Italian! We would have been better booking our own Gondolier for 80 euros negotiable as it was off season at least we would have been sat together!
We have done several Viator excursions on previous trips and always thought they were good value but sadly this was a waste of money.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Christopher W

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
March 2016

It did not last 35 minutes like advertised. It was ablut 20 minutes. The serenade was across 5 gondolas. The canals you go down were rubbish. If we had known it was a fixed price for gondola rides in Venice we would have got one when we were there. It would have been much better than this rubbish!

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Holly P

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
March 2016

When booking this it did not state that it was a shared serenade and that in fact you wouldn and #39;t be able to see or hear it. Our gondola happened to be the one in front and the gondola with the person singing on it was a few boats back. It only lasted 25 minutes, absolute rip off.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Note from Viator: Thank you for your feedback! We are sorry to hear you were not aware of both our private and shared serenade options when you placed your gondola ride reservation. For the future, please ensure you view the "Important Information" section of each tour's brochure page for the full details of the experience to ensure that particular tour is right for you. We're sorry this experience did not meet your expectations, but we hope you were still able to enjoy the rest of your time in Venice!

arthur f

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

Not as romantic as the photo, but an amazing once in a lifetime experience. About 15 min on the grand canal - which is more than enough - think I-95 or I-5 ! then down some of the smaller canals for another half hour which are a delightful trip. The serenade was wonderful. The trip length was just right. Highly recommended.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Susan L

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2016

The gondola ride was quite lovely though there were about 5 or 6 gondolas trying to travel together to share the serenade, so it was like a bit of a cattle yard at times with the boats jockeying for position and trying not to run into each other and other boats. There was absolutely no connection between the gondola ride and the dinner. You have to find your own way to the restaurant and it is some distance from the gondola stop. The restaurant and food were very nice, but there was no reason to do this as a package.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade with Dinner

Jennifer M

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2015

A must do when in Venice, and the serenade was well worth the extra money.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Kuna-Pitsch ... 

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2015

The serenade was nice but truthfully, the six seat configuration was horrible for all except one couple at the end who could sit together.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Shauna H

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
December 2015

A tourist must do activity but... not with this group. I booked this ride and serenade for my husband and I. I was excited about being on the water and listening to the singer/musician. - They were fantastic by the way... of what I could hear of them in the distance. Our boat was the furthest from the group which made hearing the music and singing difficult. They layout of the boat did not allow for my husband and I to sit together which I knew might happen when I booked this ride. Hubby was at the front of the boat and I on the side. At the end we had asked if we could do a quick picture on the couch seating and the gondolier was appalled that we would even ask. He rudely declined our request and rushed us off the boat as quickly as possible. Beware that this is a tourist trap at its finest.. you're in and then you're out... it takes the magic out of the moment. If you are a couple you are better off just standing over a bridge to listen to the beautiful music and song and then hire a solo boat ride. One really must do a gondola ride while in Venice just not with this group.

Doing what: Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

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