Ravenna cruise port with two cruise ships docked

Venice to Ravenna Cruise Port Transfers Guide: Train + Shuttle

Ravenna Cruise Port: it’s small, it’s new, and if your cruise line promises a “Venice (Ravenna)” itinerary, be prepared for a scenic three-hour journey through the Italian countryside. Let’s just say, you won’t be having a drink in St Mark’s Square anytime soon! ๐Ÿคฃ In this guide, I’ll give you all the cruise transfer options from Venice Airport / city centre to Ravenna, so you can pick the one that works best with your flights and pre-cruise itinerary.

As Venice cracked down on mega-ships, Ravenna quietly emerged as a substitute embarkation port, primarily for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. And they weren’t alone โ€“ other cruise lines have sought refuge in nearby ports like Trieste and even further afield in Koper, Slovenia. When I first visited Ravenna in 2022, it was the port’s debut season with Royal Caribbean. Information was scarce, so I’m here to spill the beans on my experience and help you navigate this charming (and slightly off-the-beaten-path) cruise destination.

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Venice to Ravenna Cruise Port: Is a DIY Transfer Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Do-able, Needs Hustle)

Let me be upfront with you. A DIY transfer from Venice Airport or city centre to Ravenna Cruise Port involves two changes of transport and changing trains. Many cruisers will say that this is just too much hassle. Especially if you’ve just flown a red-eye across the Atlantic and dreaming of a drink by the pool as soon as you embark. And that’s why I list all the options available to you, including private transfers and their approximate cost, so you can make a decision that’s right for your flights and itinerary.

Despite the complexity, here’s why I still rate the DIY Transfer from Venice to Ravenna Cruise Port as do-able but needs hustle:

  • Buses from Venice Airport to Mestre Station: There’s two bus routes (with two different bus companies), running direct buses from Venice Airport to Mestre Station. You will by-pass the centre of Venice altogether. This makes the journey easier and less crowded.
  • Venice Mestre to Ravenna requires change of train: You’ll need to change trains once to get to Ravenna. Even though there are lifts and escalators, I know this is too much hassle for some.
  • Ravenna port shuttle: But as soon as you exit Ravenna station, you’ll be met by the crew with luggage assistance.

Ravenna (Italy) Cruise Port Essentials: What You Need to Know

1. Where is Ravenna cruise port?

Ravenna Cruise Port, located in Porto Corsini, Italy, is 90 miles (145 km) south of Venice. Most international cruisers will fly into Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE). If you have a choice, the closest airport is Bologna Guglielmo Marconi International Airport (BLQ)55 miles (92 km) west of Ravenna cruise port. Bologna may be a more convenient airport for those flying within Europe.

Ravenna Cruise Port Address: Porto Corsini, 48123 Ravenna, Italy – see this marked below ๐Ÿ‘‡

2. Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) to Ravenna Cruise Port: Transfer Options

You have 3 options to get from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Ravenna Cruise Port:

(a) Private Car Transfers

  • Approximate travel time: 2 hours 30 minutes by car (using toll roads).
  • Opt for the scenic route? For beautiful coastal views, add 20-30 minutes to your journey time.
  • Approximate private transfer cost:
    • โ‚ฌ350-โ‚ฌ400 for a car (sedan) with luggage
    • โ‚ฌ400-โ‚ฌ500 for a mini-van – so if you’re a family or a larger group, this will work out cheaper than getting two cars.

(b) Cruise Line Coach Transfers

  • Approximate travel time: 2.5 hours to 3 hours by coach (using toll roads), plus you’ll most likely need to wait for your coach.
  • Approximate cost: I’ve been quoted amounts between US$40-$60 per person one-way – note priced in US$ as Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean will charge you in US$. Please check specifically for your cruise, as I’ve been quoted different amounts for different cruises. Plus Celebrity seems to charge more for the same transfer as RC!

2024 Update: Ravenna is still mostly used by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. I would recommend that you consider this option, as a DIY transfer isn’t going to be that much cheaper and potentially more difficult than a 3 hour coach journey – see below.

  • Celebrity Cruises now sell the coach transfer on embarkation day starting from both the airport and from Isola Nova del Tronchetto. (It used to only sell the transfer from the airport.) Tronchetto will be easier for cruisers who have flown into Venice the day before and has stayed overnight. Tronchetto is an artificial island connected to Piazzale Roma via the People Mover. If you’re staying in Venice or Mestre overnight before embarkation date, it should be relatively easy for you to get to Tronchetto.
  • Royal Caribbean seems to be selling coach transfers from Venice city centre as well according to online reports. But I haven’t tried booking one, so I can’t be sure.

(c) Train Transfers (DIY)

My step-by-step DIY Train Transfers guide is below. Note that the cruise port is approximately 8 miles (13 km) from the station but I’ll talk about shuttles to the port, too.

  • Approximate travel time: If you time your train transfers well, it takes about 4-5 hours from Venice Airport. From Venice city centre, it will take about 3.5 hours plus transit time between your hotel and the train station.
  • Approximate cost: From Venice airport: โ‚ฌ25 per person. From Venice City Centre: ~โ‚ฌ16. Add US$10 port shuttle per person from Ravenna train station to Ravenna cruise port, to be charged to your shipboard account.

This DIY route is useful if you would like to stay in Ravenna the night before. There’s in fact lots to see & do in Ravenna – check out my Whirlwind Guide to Ravenna with an itinerary on how to see all the UNESCO Heritage listed mosaics that Ravenna is famous for.

3. Ravenna Cruise Port: Useful Tidbits

  • Ravenna Cruise Port Website: Check here for the latest port schedule; site in Italian only but Google Translate works!
  • Currency: Euros
  • ๐Ÿ’ถ Cash or ๐Ÿ’ณ Card in Italy?
    • Card: I had no issues paying with card 95% of the time, from train tickets, local metro/bus tickets to restaurants, convenience stores and museums
    • Cash: Smaller businesses, such as bakeries and street vendors will be cash only, so I would advise to carry some euros in cash
    • Tip: “Bancomat” is the Italian word for ATMs
  • Language: Italian
  • Recommended Transport App:
    • Pre-cruise sightseeing: I would recommend Citymapper for Venice and Bologna if you’re doing some pre-cruise sightseeing in either city
    • DIY Transfer: Use TrenItalia’s English website to check live train times & book tickets; I used Google Maps to navigate around Ravenna
  • eSIM for roaming in Italy: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout

Venice Airport (VCE) to Ravenna Cruise Port by Train: Step-by-Step Guide

View from cruise ship docked at Ravenna cruise port, with nearby beaches visible, Ravenna, Italy
View from ship – Ravenna Cruise Port is next to 9 beach towns with 35 km of coastline!

Insider Tip: To simplify things (and potentially save some cash), here’s my tip: skip Venice city centre entirely and head straight to Mestre on the mainland. Not only will you avoid potential Venice Access Fees, but you’ll also find easier transport connections for your onward journey to Ravenna.

Step 1: Venice Airport (VCE) to Venice Mestre Train Station

  • Option 1: ACTV Bus Line 15
    • Frequency: Every 30 minutes, check timetables on ACTV website
    • Cost: โ‚ฌ10 one-way
    • Journey Time: Approximately 30 minutes
    • Where to buy tickets: Ticket machine at the Public Transportation counter (Arrivals Hall), Tabacci shop (Arrivals Hall), or ATVO ticket counters
    • Finding the bus stop: Exit the Arrivals Hall and follow signs for “Bus”. The ACTV bus stop will be clearly marked.
  • Option 2: ATVO Mestre Express Shuttle
    • Frequency:  3 services per hour, up to 5 services during peak times, check timetables on ATVO website
    • Cost: โ‚ฌ10 one-way, โ‚ฌ18 return
    • Journey Time: Approximately 20 minutes – this is quicker as it is a non-stop service
    • Where to buy tickets: ATVO ticket counter (Arrivals Hall or Baggage Claim) or automated machines
    • Finding the bus stop: Exit the Arrivals Hall and follow signs for “Bus”. The ATVO bus stop will be clearly marked.

Step 2: Venice Mestre Station to Ravenna Station

River View onto Venice train station aka Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
  • Frequency: Regional trains between Venice Mestre and Ravenna run hourly, with more frequent service during peak travel times. The journey is around 3 hours, with one change at Ferrara station. Some express trains between Venice and Ferrara can cut journey times down to 2 hour 10 mins.
  • Stations:
    • Depart from Mestre station, called “Venice Mestre
    • Arrive at “Ravenna” station โ€“ not “Marina di Ravenna.” While Marina di Ravenna station is closer to the cruise terminal, there’s no way to cross the canal, so don’t go to the wrong station!
  • Timetables: Check the latest schedules on Trenitalia’s English website, Mestre is listed as “Venezia Mestre”
  • Tickets: For (more expensive) express services, I would recommend pre-booking tickets. For the regional services, there is no need to pre-book unless you want to. Regional one-way tickets are โ‚ฌ15.75. All seats are second class. Express ticket prices are variable, depending on demand, with first class seats available between Venice and Ferrara.
  • Luggage: Trains may or may not have dedicated luggage racks at the end of carriages on these Regionale Veloce (RV) services but there will be luggage racks on top of seats. Smaller bags will also fit underneath your seat. I also managed to fit a check-in bag underneath my seat! If you’ve booked seats in an express service, there will be luggage racks at the end of carriages.
  • Transfer at Ferrara: A pedestrian tunnel connects the 5 tracks at Ferrara station. Look for elevators to each track if you have check-in bags.

Step 3: Ravenna Train Station to Ravenna Cruise Port

Follow my guide below for shuttle options to Ravenna cruise port.

Planning your pre-cruise Logistics?

Venice City Centre to Ravenna Cruise Port: Train Transfer Options

  • Train Frequency: Regional trains between Venice and Ravenna run hourly, with even more frequent service during peak travel times. The journey is around 3 hours, with one change at Ferrara station. Some express trains between Venice and Ferrara can cut journey times down to less than 2.5 hrs.
  • Stations:
    • Depart from Venice’s station, “Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia”
    • Arrive at “Ravenna” station โ€“ not “Marina di Ravenna.” While Marina di Ravenna station is closer to the cruise terminal, there’s no way to cross the canal, so don’t go to the wrong station!
  • Timetables: Check the latest schedules on Trenitalia’s English website, Venice’s station name is listed as “Venezia S. Lucia”
  • Tickets: For (more expensive) express services, I would recommend pre-booking tickets. For the regional services, there is no need to pre-book unless you want to. Regional one-way tickets are โ‚ฌ16.15. All seats are second class. Express ticket prices are variable, depending on demand, with first class seats available between Venice and Ferrara.
  • Luggage: Trains may or may not have dedicated luggage racks at the end of carriages on these Regionale Veloce (RV) services but there will be luggage racks on top of seats. Smaller bags will also fit underneath your seat. I also managed to fit a check-in bag underneath my seat!
  • Transfer at Ferrara: A pedestrian tunnel connects the 5 tracks at Ferrara station. Look for elevators to each track if you have check-in bags.
  • Transfer to Ravenna cruise port: See options below for transfers to Ravenna cruise port

Ravenna Cruise Port Shuttle: Is It Available?

Yes! Here are the shuttle options from Ravenna train station:

  • Official Ravenna Tourism Board Shuttle: This shuttle requires pre-booking and makes stops at Ravenna hotels and the train station. While convenient, it might be pricier (โ‚ฌ20)
  • Cruise Line Shuttles: Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises offer their own shuttles directly from Ravenna train station. These are cost-effective (I was charged US$10 one-way to my cabin) and don’t require pre-booking. Look for a crew member outside Ravenna train station. They will offer luggage assistance at both the station and cruise terminal.
  • Local Bus: (Not recommended) Bus 90 from Bologna will stop at “Port Corsini Via Sirotti” stop, approximately 10 minutes walk to the cruise terminal. Catch it outside Ravenna train station called “Maroncelli Fs Box 1” stop. This service is largely catered to locals visiting the beaches close to Marina di Ravenna. Single tickets from the driver are โ‚ฌ2. There is a luggage storage compartment underneath the bus. (The “bus” is a motorcoach!)

I don’t recommend relying solely on local taxis for reaching Ravenna cruise port. During my first visit in 2022 (when Celebrity & RC first started using Ravenna), I learned there were fewer than 10 licensed taxis in the entire town! While the situation might have improved since then, the sheer number of arriving cruisers makes securing a taxi challenging.

Whether you’re exploring the romance of Venice or heading straight to your ship in Ravenna, I hope this guide helps you get there smoothly. Found this info useful? Don’t forget to share it with other cruise enthusiasts who might be heading to this charming Italian port!

Featured Image courtesy of Ravenna Tourismo

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