Insider's Guide to Venice

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 30 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:2 hours (approx.)

Venice Canal Cruise: Grand Canal and Secret Canals by Motorboat

Discover Venice’s hidden charms on a 2-hour cruise through the city’s secret canals. Watch scenes of daily Venetian life as you glide through the lesser-known neighborhoods of Cannaregio, Dorsoduro and the Jewish Ghetto. A knowledgeable guide will accompany you and share insight into the city’s history, architecture and local legends. For a grand finale, head out into the wider waters of the Grand Canal and float beneath the iconic Rialto Bridge.

Numbers are limited to 9 people on this small-group tour for a personalized experience. 


  • 2-hour small-group Venice canal cruise by motorboat including the Grand Canal
  • Explore the waterways of charming Venetian neighborhoods such as Cannaregio, the Jewish Ghetto and Dorsoduro
  • Discover pretty canals away from the well-trodden tourist trail, as well as top Venice attractions such as the Arsenale and Rialto Bridge
  • See craftsmen in work at a Dorsoduro gondola workshop and stop for photos at the Jewish Ghetto
  • Hear stories, anecdotes and snippets of Venetian history from an onboard guide
  • Small-group cruise with a maximum of 9 people ensures a personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Venice Canal Cruise: Grand Canal and Secret Canals by Motorboat

Enjoy your tour around Venice by boat!

See the quieter side of Venice away from the typical tourist track with this small-group canal cruise. Make your way to the departure point near St Mark’s Square to meet your guide and board a comfortable motorboat. Enjoy the quiet charm of Venetian backstreets and observe canal-side scenes of daily life, such as residents hanging up laundry to dry or chatting among sidewalk cafes.

Pass through the gates of Porta dell’Acqua to enter Venice’s 12th-century shipyard known as the Arsenale. Learn how this historic naval depot was once among the greatest in Europe during Venice’s reign as a maritime superpower. 

Next, glide through the narrow, picturesque canals of the Cannaregio neighborhood and make your way to Venice’s Jewish Ghetto. Disembark here for 15-20 minutes to explore the historic quarters by foot and capture photos of the centuries-old buildings that surround the main square. Continue on by boat to the neighborhoods of Santa Croce and Dorsoduro, and pass a traditional gondola workshop where craftspeople carefully carve and finish these classic Venetian vessels by hand.

Finally, make your way out into the wider waters of the Grand Canal for a cruise past the opulent palazzos and churches that line its banks. Float beneath the famous Rialto Bridge before returning to the original departure point near St Mark’s Square.

Customer Reviews

Stacey F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Nice overview of Venice with good tips for sightseeing.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great guide, and beautiful boat.

Deborah A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was a great tour! There were only eight of us plus our guide so we were really able to see all the sights as well as get out of the boat several times to see different areas of the city. It was easy to stand up and take pictures whenever we wanted although beware of the salt spray making spots on your lens. We loved being able to see some of the smaller canals that are only available in this way. We saw parts of the city that we might otherwise have missed such as the Jewish Ghetto and the Gondola Boatyards where the gondolas are built. Our guide was great--very friendly and knowledgeable--and I would highly recommend her. I took her card so that I could include her in my review but alas it disappeared during the rest of our travels. I think her name was Katherine and she was originally from Croatia or the Czech Republic. We enjoyed her tour very much. It was totally worth the cost to see parts of the city that cannot be accessed by vaporetto.

Janece G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This was fantastic. Our tour guide---Christina was brilliant. It was so different to our gondola ride on our last visit to Venice and I'm so glad we decided to try something a little different.
Janece from the Gold Coast, australia

Jayne L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We ended up having an almost private tour with only one other couple on board and the tour guide was amazing and very knowledgeable. I was able to get a lot of great pictures and all in all we were very happy. As a final note, if its hot make sure to take water with you because there are hardly any opportunities to buy any on the tour. We saw places we never would have seen otherwise.

Benjamin H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Tour was wonderful. Christina is the real deal - knowledgeable, friendly, and courteous! Great way to get introduced to some of the lesser known areas as well as hitting the major ones as well.

Jennifer F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This is an absolute MUST DO! You get so much more than the standard Grand Canal boat tour. Christine, our tour guide, was the very best guide we had on our two week trip. She was entertaining, engaging, and we learned so much about Venice. Its a wonderful overview of the whole city, with amazing views, entertaining stories, and interesting history and local culture. We even got off the boat and walked for a few minutes in two of the neighborhoods, seeing sights we never would have found on our own wandering the city. Don't hesitate to book this tour!

Fay G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

A great way to see Venice by water

Bridget Q

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent tour and tour guide

Kath G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Good to see parts of Venice the tourist would not discover

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Tour code: 2635GRANDCANAL


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