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Venice Vaporetto Routes

A guide to ACTV public water-bus lines in Venice

ACTV motonave in Venice

ABOVE: An ACTV motonave passes a cruise ship in St. Mark's Basin. (See our Vaporetto Water Buses article for more information on boat types.)


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Venice's waterbus routes change from time to time. This means that published map and guidebook descriptions of boat lines, which are operated by the transit agency ACTV, are frequently out of date. We suggest printing the accompanying route tables and taking the page with you to Venice.

Please note that routes are subject to change and seasonal variation. When in doubt, check the timetables at the vaporetto stops.

Things to know:

1. At smaller stops, boats will come from both directions. Pay attention so you'll board the right waterbus!

2. Occasionally, a boat will ignore certain stops or will terminate its run before the end of the line. The placard or electronic signboard on the boat will indicate any such deviations. (Either that, or the conductor will shoo you off.)

3. Some lines are seasonal (typically summer or, occasionally, spring through fall).

ACTV No 1 vaporetto4. ACTV has a Web site where you can download a printable route map and a detailed timetable in PDF format.

5. If you board at a stop that doesn't have a ticket office or machine, approach the conductor immediately after boarding and ask for a biglietto. Otherwise, you could be fined heavily for traveling without a ticket.

imob ticket reader6. Be sure to validate your ticket before boarding the boat. Hold your ticket close to the electronic reader (see inset photo) until you see a green light flash or hear a beep.

7. You can save money on public transportation by purchasing a 12-hour to seven-day ACTV Tourist Travel Card from any vaporetto ticket booth. A more expensive option is the tourist office's Venezia Unica Tourist Pass (formerly the Venice Connected card) which has a complicated pricing scheme but offers services beyond transportation. We recommend the ACTV Tourist Travel Cards, which are easier to buy and are a better value for most visitors.

8. If  you're staying in Venice for an extended period or plan to visit several times within a five-year period, consider buying a Venezia Unica long-term stored-value card, which will let you purchase vaporetto tickets at cheap residents' rates.

Vaporetto and motoscafo9. For convenience, "vaporetto" is often used as a generic synonym for "water bus," but technically there are three types of boat: the "vaporetto," a flat-decked boat used on routes such as No. 1 (Grand Canal) and No. 2; the "motoscafo" (used for routes that go into the Lagoon; see photo at top of page); and the "motonave" (a larger vessel, sometimes with two decks, that is used for commuter service to locations such as the Lido, Punta Sabioni, and Treporti).

10. Most ACTV boats are now wheelchair-accessible. Vaporetti on the most popular routes (1 and 2) are flat-decked boats where wheelchairs, strollers, and baby carriages can roll on or off easily, with a hand from the boat conductor if necessary. In recent years, motoscafi (which have cabins inside the hull) have been redesigned with wheelchair areas on the entry decks.

For more information on specific boat lines, see our ACTV waterbus route table on page 2.

Also see our articles on Venice Vaporetto and Bus Fares, Buying Vaporetto Tickets, and ACTV Ticket Machines.

Updated May, 2014

Next page: Vaporetto Route Tables


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