Prepare to journey along the Po, Italy's longest river. This voyage offers much more than just the tranquil waters you travel on. It's a passage through the vibrant soul of Italy, with golden beaches ready for your footprints and cities rich in history. As you float down the river, ancient towns reveal their secrets through historic structures and lively squares. It's a real-life canvas of Italian culture and historical splendor. Plus, get ready for a culinary adventure that's as enticing as the scenery. The Po River cruise is an open invitation to see, taste, and embrace the Italian way of life, ideal for those eager to explore and learn. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Po river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Po Travel Guide
|May 18, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Lisbon||Madrid||14||$6,099|
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|Aug 27, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Porto||Porto||8||$4,499|
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|Apr 02, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Lisbon||Madrid||14||$5,879|
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|Apr 19, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Porto||Porto||8||$4,199|
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|Apr 26, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Vega de Terron||Porto||8||$4,399|
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|Jun 07, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Vega de Terron||Porto||8||$4,399|
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|Jun 14, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Porto||Porto||8||$4,399|
|Jun 18, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Madrid||Lisbon||14||$6,379|
|Jun 21, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Vega de Terron||Porto||8||$4,399|
|Jun 25, 2025||AmaWaterways||AmaVida||Lisbon||Madrid||14||$6,379|
Po Travel Guide
Po River Cruises Highlights
- Venice - The Floating City: The journey typically starts or ends in Venice, a city famed for its intricate network of canals and stunning Renaissance architecture. Cruise ships dock close to the city center, where you can wander through St. Mark's Square, marvel at the Doge's Palace, or enjoy a gondola ride through the meandering waterways.
- Venice's Grand Canal: Experience the pulse of Venice as you glide along its main artery, lined with palatial residences and historic buildings. The Grand Canal isn't just a waterway — it's a living museum showcasing the splendor of Venetian architecture.
- Rialto Bridge in Venice: Spanning the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge is not only an iconic crossing but also a bustling marketplace. This stone-arch bridge reflects the commercial heart of Venice since the Renaissance.
- St. Mark's Basilica in Venice: This cathedral is a masterpiece of Byzantine art, with its opulent design and golden mosaics. It has been the symbol of Venetian power and faith since the 11th century.
- Padua - A Scholarly Treasure: In Padua, you'll dock near the historic center, home to one of Europe's oldest universities. Don't miss the frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel or the bustling daily market in the town square.
- The University of Padua: As one of the world's oldest universities, this institution has been a center of learning since 1222. It's a place where science and culture have mingled for centuries.
- Scrovegni Chapel in Padua: Home to Giotto's frescoes, the Scrovegni Chapel is a testament to the skill of the early Renaissance artists and their impact on Western art.
- Ferrara - A UNESCO Gem: Ferrara invites you with its Renaissance history and a UNESCO-listed city center. The Estense Castle and the Cathedral of Saint George are just a short walk from the port, offering a dive into the city's illustrious past.
- Polesella - The Gateway to Bologna: Polesella serves as the perfect stop for a day trip to Bologna, known for its exquisite cuisine and medieval cityscape. The port itself is quaint, providing a more laid-back experience.
- Polesella and the Po Delta: The river delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The diverse ecosystems here are as beautiful as they are important for local flora and fauna.
Po River Cruises Travel Tips
- Make sure you are wearing a comfortable pair of walking or hiking shoes, as you will do a great deal of walking. Plus, many of the stopovers require climbing of steps and navigating uneven pavement.
- Make sure all your travel documents are in order and that they contain the correct information. They should be in easy reach.
- Italy uses the Euro, so ensure you have some cash for small purchases, though most places accept cards.
- Bring only what you need on your trip. Don't over-pack.
- Carry your clothes and items in up to two travel bags, preferably a carryon and a wheeled duffle bag with an adjustable handle.
- Carry a universal power adapter so you can stay connected during your trip.
- Pack a lightweight sweater or windbreaker for added comfort and protection against chill breezes or unexpected rain or winds.
- Pack a small umbrella, as well as a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially when traveling in the spring or summer.
- To read the menus and signs, download Google Translate for making any needed translations.
Po River Cruises Things To Do
Most Po River cruises include Venice on their itineraries. This smaller Italian city gives you a chance to acclimate yourself to the Italian scenery rather quickly. Its canals and well-known gondolas offer you a chance to see some incredible architectural styles and immerse yourself in Italian culture and history.
Best Time To VisitU.S. News World travel slates the best times for visiting Venice lies between September and November when the tourist traffic dwindles down. Temperatures range between 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the highs and low temperatures. Therefore, it helps to wear layers while traveling at this time. Fewer crowds and better sight-seeing opportunities make this a preferred travel period for anyone seeking a more relaxed pace and lower river cruise pricing.
You Should KnowThe center of Venice, St. Mark's Square provides a place for visitors to watch people, enjoy a quick repast, or feed the pigeons. One of the best places to view Venice from up high is at the top of the Campanile di San Marco. You can reach the observation area by elevator. Be aware that the tower normally will be closed if the weather gets too cold or windy.No trip to Venice is complete unless you take a Gondola ride. Before you embark on your trip, you will need to set a price. Gondoliers will charge extra if you want them to sing. Built in Gothic and Venetian architectural designs, the Doge Palace is a Venice museum. The former residence of Italy's chief of state also provides excellent views of the city.
An island of Venice, Burano sits on the Venetian Lagoon. Noticeably colorful, the town displays homes with vibrantly painted facades that highlight window-boxed blooms in the spring and summer months. Walk beside or boat over the town's slow-moving and serene green waters.
Best Time To VisitThe best time to avoid high waters and see the town at a slower pace is September. During this time of year, most of the crowds have left the area, which gives you more time to sail over the waterways or visit some of the out-of-the-way shops or eateries.I
You Should KnowThe town is known locally and internationally for the making of lace. Burano is in close proximity to Venice. It takes just under an hour to travel from Venice by boat. The Lace Museum can be found in the Podesta of Torcello in Galuppi Square. The structure once was used to teach students the fine craft of making lace. According to locals, Burano's colorful houses are painted in bright colors so fishermen can spot the town in a fog.
A small island, near Venice, Murano is known for its glass-making industry. If you want to learn about the history and tradition of glass-making in Italy, Murano is the place to go. Many of the town's residents had ancestors who were involved in the glass-making trade. Murano is a place that allows you to escape and see Italy, as people lived in the early days.
Best Time To VisitVisit Murano in September when it is more peaceful and there are fewer crowds. Many of the glass-making plants shut down in August because it is too hot to run the furnaces.
You Should KnowBecause Venetians feared fire, glassmakers were forced to leave Venice in 1291 and settle on Murano. During this migration, they set up their glass-making furnaces to make many desired works, including glass beads, goblets, mirrors, chandeliers, and fine crystal. Visit a glass-making facility in Murano to discover and learn more about how glass is made traditionally. Some of the sites allow visitors to participate in glass-making activities. Most of the glass-makers shut down their furnaces and sites in August because it is too hot to make glass in the plants.
If you love seafood, a visit to Chioggia will give you the opportunity to sample a variety of fish. Chioggia, which is one of the oldest fishing hubs in Italy, features all types of seafood selection. Not only does the town serve as a base for the wholesale selling of fish, it offers a large seafood selection to its retail customers. Located next to the Adriatic Sea, many visitors say the town is like Venice. However, it is not quite as busy.
Best Time To VisitIf you wish to see the town when it is less crowded, plan on a visit to Chioggia in September or October.
You Should KnowChioggia features a canal system of travel and is connected to Italy by a causeway. It is located on a group of small and linked islands. The beach in Chioggia is a must-see at nightfall when its black sand gleams in the fading light of day. You can get to the beach by taking a bridge from the center of town.
Ravenna, which lies within Italy's Emilia-Romagna area, serves as a showcase for buildings with Byzantine and Roman architectural designs. The city's Basilica di San Vitale, which is found in the center of town, is known for its stunning mosaics.
Best Time To VisitSee the sights in Ravenna at a less-hurried pace in the autumn.
You Should KnowTake a bicycle to get around town and see the sights. The pedestrian-friendly city is also a good place to walk. In Roman times, Ravenna, which was known as Classe, was a naval fortification and an imperial port. Buildings to see for their original and beautiful mosaics include the Mausoleum of Galla Placida and Basilica di San Vitale, which sit across from one another in town.
Located in Rovigo Province, Polesella is a commune in Italy with a population of around 4,000. Two of the popular sites include the Palazzo Grimani and the picture-postcard perfect Villa Morosini. An excursion to Polesella also includes visiting the attraction's quaint eateries and shops.
Best Time To VisitTake a trip to Polesella in September when the weather is temperate and there are fewer people.
You Should KnowVisit Villa Morosini's lovely garden and admire the building's intricately designed facade. Pietro Morosini first built the Palazzo Grimani, which later was rebuilt by Doge Francesco Morosini in the 17th century. The building features a stairway that formerly was used to access the shore of the Po River.
Once a well-known port, Ferrara sits in northern Italy in the Emilia-Romagna area. Take a stroll through the Parco Massari and enjoy the landscape or explore the display of architecture featured by many of the city's historical buildings, including the Diamanti Palace.
Best Time To VisitA trip to Ferrara in September or October is always a welcome experience.
You Should KnowOne of the main attractions of Ferrara, Saint Michael Castle is a fourteenth-century medieval fortress with its own moat. It sits on an isle in Old Town. The Cathedral of Saint George, or Ferrara Cathedral, boasts both Renaissance and Romanesque architectural styles. The cathedral's domes, walls, and ceiling feature elaborate frescoes, reliefs, and artwork by Renaissance artists.
The city of Bologna is well-known for its Italian cuisine, especially its meats, pasta, and cheeses, as well as its fine wines. Pedestrian-friendly, the city is a sight-seeing mecca of historical and cultural sites. To see sweeping views of Bologna, plan a trip to the Asinelli Tower by way of Piazza Maggiore.
Best Time To VisitAdd Bologna to a September or October Po River cruise schedule.
You Should KnowThe markets in Bologna feature fresh-made bread and cured Italian meats, such as Italian sausage. The Quadrilatero is the main shopping area of downtown Bologna. Visit upscale brand retailers, such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, in Bologna's Galleria Cavour mall.
Po River Cruise Packages
- Getting There
The Po River winds through Northern Italy, and reaching the starting point of your cruise is straightforward. Most cruises kick off from Venice, a city that's well-connected by air and land. If you're flying in, the nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport, located just a short ride from the cruise terminals. For those traveling by train, Venice's Santa Lucia Station is your gateway to the port, with clear signs guiding you to the water's edge. Once at the port, you'll find your cruise ship waiting to embark on the iconic river journey. From there, the Po River's extensive network of waterways is easily navigable, allowing ships to voyage through the picturesque Italian landscape with ease.
- The Perfect Time for a Po River Cruise
The Po River in Italy offers a delightful river cruising experience, particularly during its climate sweet spot from April to October. The spring months of April and May bring mild temperatures and the awakening of lush landscapes, creating a picturesque backdrop for river cruising. This period is ideal for those who prefer a more tranquil journey, as the tourist crowds are fewer compared to the summer months.
The summer season, particularly July and August, sees warmer temperatures, making it a favorite time for sun lovers and those who enjoy a vibrant atmosphere. River cruising during these months allows for ample sunbathing and enjoying the lively ambiance of Italian summer. However, this is also the peak tourist season on the Po River, so expect more company and a bustling environment.
For those who wish to avoid the summer heat and crowds, late September to October is an excellent choice for a Po River cruise. The weather becomes cooler, and the riverbanks are adorned with the stunning colors of autumn. Additionally, cruising during this time offers the benefits of the off-season, such as lower prices and more space to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
To achieve the best combination of favorable weather and fewer tourists, targeting late spring or early fall for a Po River cruise is advisable. These months provide comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds, allowing for a more peaceful and enjoyable river cruising experience. You'll be able to savor the beauty and charm of the Po River without the intensity of the summer tourist rush.
- Experience the Flavors of Italy
Italy's cuisine is as rich and varied as its landscapes, and a Po River cruise brings these flavors to your table with every stop. In Venice, seafood reigns supreme, with dishes like 'risotto al nero di seppia' - a creamy risotto tinted with cuttlefish ink. As you drift inland, the fare shifts to hearty 'ragù' over 'tagliatelle' in Bologna, the heartland of Italian pasta. Don't miss trying 'prosciutto di Parma' and 'Parmigiano Reggiano' cheese in their birthplace, where their flavors are a testament to the region's culinary pride.
No meal is complete without a sip of local wine. 'Valpolicella' and 'Lambrusco' from the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions are both must-tries. For a truly immersive experience, join a food tour or a cooking class offered in many of the cities along the river. This is a chance to dive into the local culture through its tastes and cooking traditions.
Dining in Italy is more than just eating — it's an experience. From the bustling 'osterias' to the quaint riverside 'trattorias,' each meal is an opportunity to savor the local ambiance. Remember, the key to enjoying Italian cuisine is to take your time, savor each bite, and enjoy the company you're with.
- Immerse Yourself in Italian Culture
Italian culture is a feast for the senses, steeped in traditions and vibrant festivals. Throughout the year, Italy bursts into life with events like Venice's illustrious Carnival, where masks and elaborate costumes fill the streets in a celebration of history and culture. In Ferrara, the Palio di San Giorgio is an annual medieval-style horse race that echoes the city's ancient spirit. Local customs are also a delightful encounter, from the daily 'passeggiata'—an evening stroll through the town's piazzas—to the expressive hand gestures that are as much a part of the conversation as the words themselves. Italy's strong family values shine at meal times, where food and company are equally cherished. Here, every gesture, festival, and interaction is a dance with history, inviting you to step in and become part of the living art that is Italian culture.
- Why Book a Po River Cruise?
Booking a Po River cruise is your ticket to an all-in-one Italian vacation that offers exceptional value for money. Imagine unpacking once and waking up to a new destination each day, ready to be explored. Cruises provide a unique vantage point, presenting Italy's picturesque coastline and serene river landscapes that you just can't get from land-based travel. The convenience of a cruise is unmatched, with transportation, accommodation, and delicious Italian meals all taken care of. Moreover, a river cruise can often grant you exclusive access to ports that are less frequented by the larger ocean cruise ships, allowing for a more intimate and authentic experience of Italian culture. You'll have the chance to delve into hidden gems of the region, visit secluded estates, and participate in private tastings of regional specialties. Plus, the inclusive tours and cultural activities curated by knowledgeable guides enrich your journey, connecting you with the essence of the local lifestyle. All these factors combine to make a Po River cruise not just a trip but an immersive Italian adventure.
- Ready to Book Your Po River Cruise?
If you're seeking a vacation that combines leisurely travel with cultural enrichment, a Po River cruise is the perfect choice. Picture yourself gliding through Italy's stunning landscapes, docking at historic ports, and stepping straight into the heart of vibrant cities and tranquil countryside. With a mix of on-board comfort and onshore adventure, you'll discover Italy's famous cuisine, iconic architecture, and warm hospitality. From the bustling markets of Venice to the serene beaches along the river, this journey promises an authentic Italian experience.
So, why wait? Booking your Po River cruise is your first step towards an unforgettable adventure where every day is a new chapter in your Italian story. Start planning now and prepare to be captivated by the charm of Italy.
Po River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What Are Po River Cruises?
Po River cruises feature Italian ports that are regarded for their historical and cultural significance, such as Venice, Bologna, and Murano. The river cruises typically span 7 to 14 days, on average, and include luxury accommodations and daily off-ship excursions.
- What’s Included on Po River Cruises?
You receive three free meals per day, complimentary beverages, and free Wi-Fi and Internet service for all-inclusive Po River cruise travel packages. Built-in gratuities, professional guided tours with English-speaking guides, and airport and hotel transfers round out the package.
- What Is the Best Cruise of Po River Cruises?
The best cruise of the featured Po River cruises is the river cruise that meets your criteria with respect to the price, itinerary, and your individual interests. Talk to your travel representative about customizing your river cruise so it meets with your expectations.
- What Is the Cost of Po River Cruises?
Po River cruises run, on average, around $500 per person during September or October. Ask your travel representative about the unpublished discounts offered by some river cruise companies, or plan your trip far in advance to save more money.
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