There can be a lot of traffic on the waterways in and around Venice. This combined with the up to 1 m tide is the reason we only recommend sailing on the venetian waterways if you have previous sailing experience.
In Venice you’ll meet a lively and very interesting jumble of tourist boats, water buses, water taxis and commercial boats, all of which have unconditional priority. To manoeuvre here you’ll need complete control and constant vigilance!
The Venice lagoon is directly linked to the Adriatic Sea, and this accounts for large differences in the tides. Sailing out at sea is prohibited. At several places in the lagoon the water level is sometimes so low that you sail through narrow fairways marked “Briccola”. The system is easy to follow both in general and in the smaller or larger intersections. You receive a thorough introduction with pictures upon arrival and the system is also clearly described with pictures in the channel map book.
Be aware that you can’t sail on the inner canals of Venice such as Canal Grande.
Be aware of the up to 1 m tides in the lagoon when you moor the boat so that it’ll not suddenly stand on the ground at low tide or are inclined in the moorings at high tide - at the risk of damage to the boat. Be sure to moor the boat with sufficient slack adapted so that it can follow the tide up and down.
For Le Boat and Locaboat customers there are private mooring spots at multiple locations in the venetian lagoon. Payment is obligatory when you book your boat. There are a very limited number of public mooring spots and private marinas around Venice. And they can be very expensive.
When sailing in Italy you should only moor at the designated mooring spots. Some are free but often you’ll have to moor at a private marina where you need to pay a fee for your spot.
All the locks in this region are electric and operated by a lock keeper. When you need to pass a bridge, you’ll often need to call ahead a few minutes before you arrive to request the bridge to be raised or opened. You’ll find more information on both locks and bridges in the manuals aboard your boat. A lot of the locks and bridge will be closed during lunchtime, and some are fully closed on a specific weekday. Inquire at the base for changes and other things to be especially aware of.
Vaporettos: Water buses sailing in fixed scheduled service all day until approximately midnight. It pays to buy a voucher, valid for x number of trips or 24 or 48 h hours.
Water taxis: Small fast sailing boats that you just have to watch out for when sailing in the fairways.
No matter where you sail in Italy, you’ll find a lot of exciting shopping opportunities. Most cities and towns have at least one fixed market day which is always worth a visit. You’ll also find supermarkets, bakeries, butchers and pharmacies in multiple cities and towns along the way.
Be sure to ask at the base upon arrival so that you are all up to date on the possibilities along your chosen route.