Hiring a Gondola
What can you expect of a gondola ride? The fares, like taxi fares, are regulated with a standard ride lasting about 40 minutes. Expect a higher fare than a vaporetto which you may use to cross the Grand Canal (“public transport” as compared to “limousine”), and higher still if arranged through a third party, such as a tour company or your hotel. You will also pay higher fares at night. The fares are per ride so as many as five others may share your ride and split the fare. Most people think of a gondola ride as a romantic adventure however, so this ride-sharing is not the usual choice. Hint: by hiring a gondola outside of the popular tourist areas even by a few streets, you might experience a more enjoyable ride in less crowded canals.
Two things you should not expect when hiring a gondolier: a female gondolier as the majority of gondoliers are men, and a musical ride as most gondoliers do not sing, romantic songs or otherwise !
If you wish to experience a gondola ride in Venice, contact your cruise professional, April. She has access to a number of Mediterranean cruises that call at Venice each summer, river cruises on the Po river which are based at Venice, and of course the ability to add this lovely city as a land stay extension on any European cruise. A custom or guided tour is always a good choice too.