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WorldMediterraneanItalyVenice to TriesteVenice
Port of Entry
45°26.34′N, 12°19.74′E Chart icon.png
Venice - La Serenissima

The city of Venice has been the inspiration for poets, artists, musicians and travellers for nearly a thousand years. Constructed on a series of marshy islands by refugees from the Barbarian invasions of the Italian peninsula in the 5th and 6th centuries AD, the ascendancy of Venice began in the 8th century, when the loose federation of island communities freed itself from the yoke of the Byzantine empire and initiated an explosion of commerce that was to transform it by the beginning of the 11th century into one of the most powerful trading centres and maritime powers in the Mediterranean. During the Crusades, Venice expanded its overseas territories until it dominated the trading routes throughout the Eastern Mediterranean via a series of fortified staging posts around the Adriatic and across the Aegean. At its zenith in the 15th and 16th centuries Venice was the most wealthy and glorious city in southern Europe, but a new power, the Ottoman empire, was rising in the East and by 1669, with the loss of its hold on Crete, Venice’s star was waning fast. The final seal on the city’s decline came in 1797 when the government of what was left of the Republic of Venice handed over control to Napoleon’s troops without a fight. But from the ashes of Venice’s imperial might a new industry was born as early as the mid-18th century, when wealthy and cultured travellers from all over the world began to descend on its dazzling array of treasures, which even Napoleon’s attentions had not succeeded in tarnishing. Today the city and the islands of its lagoon attract an astonishing 20 million visitors every year to marvel at Venice’s unique architecture, admire the rich artistic legacy of works by painters such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Canaletto, or sample the city’s 400-year old musical tradition with works by renowned composers such as Monteverdi, Gabrieli and Vivaldi. Of course, few of the 20 million visitors can experience Venice in the way that the cruising yachtsman can, for nothing beats the thrill of entering the lagoon of ‘La Serenissima’ in your own vessel, just as almost 20 generations of sailors have done since the return from his 20 years of exploration by Marco Polo around 1295 AD.


British Admiralty
1483 - Approaches to Chioggia, Malamocco, Venezia and Marghera
1449 - Porto Marghera and Porto di Malamocco
1442 - Venezia
1473 - Trieste and Chioggia

Carta della Laguna di Venezia - Full-coverage Venetian lagoon-specific cartography, scale 1:25,000. App available for iPhone and iPad. There is also a printed version in book format with the same data.


During the summer months the prevailing winds in the Adriatic are light to moderate coastal seabreezes. In spring and autumn, northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the northern Adriatic, where the much-feared “bora” is caused by high pressure over the mountains to the NE coupled with low pressure over southern Italy. Fortunately, the fiercest “bora” is normally to be expected in the winter months. Thunderstorms are occasionally experienced in spring and especially autumn and can be accompanied by violent winds of gale force and above. Luckily they are rarely long-lasting. Fog is a further hazard often encountered in the lagoon of Venice, especially in the early and late season.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Roma, Trieste, Kerkyra (Greece) and Split (Croatia)


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


There are a total of 117 small islands in the lagoon, some inhabited but many of them little more than extensive mudbanks. The principal inhabited islands are as follows:


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


There are three entrances to the lagoon of Venice (from S to N):

Porto di Chioggia World icon.png 45°13.95′N, 12°19.3′E The entrance of Porto di Chioggia is between two long breakwaters extending E from the long, low spit of land that protects the lagoon from seaward. A detached, arc-shaped breakwater protects the entrance from SE and a yacht can pass either side to enter the channel. However, note that the deeper water is towards the northern breakwater. Depths in the main channel are 6.5 - 8.0 metres but only 4.0 - 5.0 towards the sides. Be sure to give the ends of the breakwaters a clearance of at least 200 metres as there is dangerous rock ballasting. Follow the channel marked with buoys and wooden posts, which turns S after a mile to enter the port of Chioggia. The channel is dredged to 6.5 metres, but there are several shallower patches of around 4.0 metres. Entry is best around slack water, since the tides can reach 4.0 knots at springs. Entry is potentially dangerous with strong onshore winds.

Porto di Malamocco World icon.png 45°19.9′N, 12°20.5′E The entrance of Porto di Malamocco lies half way along the long sandy spit that protects the lagoon of Venice from Chioggia as far north as the main island of Venice itself. The entrance is protected by two long breakwaters and a detached, arc-shaped breakwater immediately S of the southern breakwater. The ends of the N and S breakwaters are identifiable by conspicuous black and white and red and white painted structures. A fairway beacon is situated 2.0 miles ESE of the entrance, from where a course of 287 degrees brings you safely through the entrance. A conspicuous light beacon in the entrance, the Roccheta Tower, in line with a tower beyond, the Torre Spignon, gives you a course of 287. The safe channel is also indicated by port and starboard markers. The channel is dredged to 14.0 metres. Entry is best around slack water, since the tides can reach 4.0 knots at springs.

Porto di Lido World icon.png 45°25.18′N, 12°26′E The Porto di Lido is the principal (and busiest) entrance to the lagoon, giving the most direct access to the island of Venice. As the deepest channel with depths of over 10 metres, it is also the one used by ferries and large commercial vessels. The ends of the N and S breakwaters are identifiable by conspicuous black and white and red and white painted structures. A fairway beacon is situated around 2.5 miles SE of the entrance, from where a course of 300 degrees brings you safely through the entrance. The safe channel is also indicated by port and starboard markers. The channel is dredged to over 10.0 metres. Entry is best around slack water, since the tides can reach 4.0 knots at springs.

Note: port regulations require that all yachts use their engines when entering or leaving the lagoon and manoeuvering in the channels.


Venice is a port of entry to Italy.

For entrance details see Italy.


The berthing options in Venice are too numerous to include in one section. The summary table below details the principal marinas and basins suitable for visiting yachts in and around the centre of Venice, together with the number of berths, maximum length accommodated and maximum depths at low water. For further information on berthing at each location, click on the appropriate link.

For details of berthing opportunities elsewhere in the lagoon, in the areas of Chioggia, Mestre, Cavallino-Treporti, Portegrandi and Piave Vecchia, see The Venetian Lagoon.


No. of berths
Max. length (metres)
Max. depth (metres)
Venice - Central
c. 25

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

See above or: The Venetian Lagoon.


Whereas it is commonly said that port regulations forbid anchoring in the lagoon, owing to the large numbers of electrical and other cables criss-crossing the lagoon bed, the law itself [1] states that anchoring is forbidden in the non-urban canals in the lagoon only if it is an impediment to navigation [Art. 53, (i)]. Anchoring remains forbidden in the urban, port, and maritime canals [Art. 53, (e) and (f)].

There are anchorages W of Poveglia Island and NE of Burano Island, as well as on Canale Gaggian (Di San Lorenzo). Depths well exceed 3m.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

See links under Port and Popular Stops for details.


See links under Port and Popular Stops for details

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

See links under Port and Popular Stops for details

Things to do Ashore


Such is the wealth of attractions in Venice that every visitor will arrive with a special list which grows by the day. Even after a month in the city, most keen tourists would leave with a number of things still undone. The ‘must see’ site would however, include the Grand Canal (preferably by water), lined with some of the most splendid palazzos reflecting Venice’s golden age; the Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge), probably the most photographed in the world; St Mark’s Square, with its intriguing bronze figures striking the hour in the 15th century belltower of Torre dell’Orologio and ferociously expensive cafes; the nearby St Mark’s Basilica with its stunning 11th-15th century mosaics; the famous Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the Doges (rulers) of Venice for nearly 400 years, with spectacular paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese and the much-imitated Bridge of Sighs; the church of Santa Maria della Salute with more wonderful paintings by Tintoretto and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco with some of the most breathtaking frescoes in the city. By waterbus essential additions to the itinerary would be the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore with its church (more Tintoretto masterpieces) and monastery gardens; Murano, Venice’s glass-making centre for nearly 1,000 years, with its Museo Vetrario (glass museum) and mosaic-laden church of SS Maria e Donato; Burano, famous for its gaily painted houses and lace-making industry, and Torcello, with its faded charm and impressive Byzantine cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which boasts some of the finest Byzantine mosaics in existence.

Palazzo Ducale and St Mark's square
Torre dell’Orologio
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Colourful Burano

Grocery & Supply Stores

See links under Port and Popular Stopss for details.


See links under Port and Popular Stops for details.


See links underPort and Popular Stops for details.


See links under Port and Popular Stops for details.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

See links under Port and Popular Stops for details.

Garbage Disposal

See links under Port and Popular Stops for details.


  • Marco Polo airport just N of Mestre has flights to most international destinations
  • Budget flights also from Treviso airport (30 km)
  • Airport buses and hydrofoil to Venice
  • Trains to Rome, Milan, Florence and Padua and several European capitals
  • Ferries to several destinations in Greek islands and Croatia
  • Vaporetti (water buses) serving Venice and outlying islands
  • Venice People Mover public transit system connecting Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Athene of Lymington, Peregrinus

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