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Discover the best of Venice on this small group shore excursion. Cruise down the Grand Canal on a water taxi, and then take a guided walking tour of Venice’s quieter backstreets to see historic squares and hidden gems. Visit the iconic Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square, and enjoy skip-the-line access to St Mark’s Basilica. Upgrade to include a 2-hour tour of the Doge’s Palace, where you can wander through lavish public rooms and see the Piombi attic prison. Numbers are limited to 10 people for a personalized experience.


  • Small-group Venice shore excursion sightseeing tour by land and water
  • See top Venice sights along the Grand Canal on a 1-hour water taxi ride
  • Take a 2-hour walking tour and learn about St Mark's Square and Goldoni Theatre
  • Enjoy skip-the-line entrance to St Mark's Basilica
  • Upgrade to include a 2-hour Doge's Palace tour, and see the Piombi attic prison (usually closed to the public)
  • Covered by Viator's worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Venice Shore Excursion: Small-Group Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Taxi Ride

Venice Shore Excursion: Small-Group Best of Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Taxi Ride

Explore the magic of Venice by land and by sea on this combo, small-group shore excursion. Swap your cruise ship for a water taxi and begin your tour with a 1-hour ride down the Grand Canal. A great introduction to the city’s highlights, your boat trip will take you past grand palaces, cathedrals, historic homes and iconic bridges.
Step back on solid ground for a walking tour through the back streets of Venice. Follow your local guide through narrow passageways and over footbridges as you hear tales of Venetian history and legends. See the former home of the explorer Marco Polo, and marvel at the spiraling Bovolo staircase. Stroll through the charming squares of Campo San Luca and Campo SS Giovanni Paolo, and stop outside the historic Goldoni Theater opera house.
Cross the iconic Rialto Bridge and make your way to St Mark’s Square, where your guide will present a brief history of Venice’s most famous attractions. Admire the Italo-Byzantine architecture of St Mark’s Basilica, and then head to the front of the queue to step inside. Admire the cathedral’s soaring golden domes, detailed mosaics and masterful murals during a guided tour of the interior.
Upgrade to include a tour of Doge's Palace:
Upgrade to visit another highlight of St. Mark’s Square — the remarkable Doge’s Palace. Wander through awe-inspiring public chambers and see masterworks of Renaissance painting by Tintoretto and Veronese. Learn the dark history of the doges, who ruled the Venetian Republic for centuries, and ascend to the Piombi attic prison, where legendary lover Casanova was once jailed. Complete your tour with a walk across the notorious Bridge of Sighs that connects the palace to another prison network.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your excursion ends with ample time for you to return to the Venice port for your ship’s departure. In the extremely unlikely event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

Adele Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Mature Couple taking 1st European Trip including a Cruise.
Fantastic Tour!
We had an excellent, articulate, female guide with a passionate knowledge of Venice.
Engaging information on both aspects of the tour.
Climbing the stairs in St Marks Church was strenuous but well rewarded.
Canal Taxi Ride is the BEST way to navigate through the canal traffic and view the many bridges and bordering buildings.
We travelled via the Public People Mover from the Cruise Port to St. Marks and back with ease to reach our meeting point.

robert k

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

tour was great but finding the meeting point was very very difficult - 2 other couples also had the same problem and almost missed the tour

Donald G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Loved the excursion and would recommend it to others who have a short stay in Venice. My only thought is maybe to do the walking tour first and the boat tour last. We where all pretty tired by the last half of the walking tour. My guide was the best! I am going to Santo Domingo in December and will be booking more tours with you!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

It was beautiful we had a great time. Thank you.

Keith L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Our guide Elena spelling correctly? was fabulous! She was very knowledgeable about the sites we saw but also a local Venetian who could give us a glimpse into local life. The trip was broken Into three parts: extensive canal tour, Basicala and walking tour. Each was fascinating in its own right. Highly recommend this tour


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014


Jerry W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2013

We had two guides, one in the Grand Canal water taxi ride and tour and one for the walking tour. The taxi/Grand Canal tour was a great way to see the city and surrounding water ways from inside a boat. We enjoyed all the features and many places we saw. After completion we broke into small groups and went on our tour of St. Mark's and the walking tour. This was wonderful and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave great insight into the history of St. Mark's and plenty of time to look around and soak up the beautiful setting. It was very hot and she did an excellent job of getting us into the rare shade for updates and we walked right in past the long line. After the wonderful tour of St. Mark's we took a back road tour of Venice. Within two or three turns she had us in cooler, less crowded but very historical squares and sights. Within the provided time she delivered us to the main bridge, with the crowds and tips for quick ways back or what to do's. Wonderful end to our 20 day adventure through the Mediterranean. Highly recommend.

Karen v

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better October 2013

The Grand Canal taxi ride was informative. The day was rainy so getting out of the rain was preferable. By the time we started the walking portion of the tour, the rain had stopped. We changed tour guides and while the walking tour guide was friendly and informative after we left the basilica, we did not see the "highlights" of Venice. We visited small out-of-the-way places, not even the Rialto bridge or an explanation of St. Mark's square.

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