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The Po River and Venice's Lagoon with 2 boats

Bike cruise in Italy

Stay in the middle of Venice's lagoon aboard Ave Maria or Vita Pugna and experience the Po River's great delta and the cycle route from Venice to Mantova, or vice versa. 

€6,698.00
In stock
Travel Code
KR-80
The Po River and Venice's Lagoon

On this amazing tour you will be able to experience Venice and the unknown Italy along the Po River. The route winds its way from Mantova along the rivers Mincio and Po to Venice - or vice versa, from Venice to Mantova. By boat and by bike, you travel through peaceful scenery to the Venetian lagoon. With the passing of time, this vast nature area around the wide Po River Delta by the Adriatic Sea has dried out. Now it’s surrounded by green pine forests that house the many different animal and bird species. Reclaimed land is interrupted by canals, where fishermen's huts hide between the reeds and small boats transport the residents around between the lagoon's small islands and coasts. The highlight of the tour is the 2 nights we spend in Venice's lagoon.

The tour is offered with 2 different boats: The small and charming MS Vita Pugna and the larger and completely renovated MS Ave Maria.


MS Vita Pugna - small, charming and cozy

After many years as a cargo boat, the MS Vita Pugna was transformed in the 1990's into a floating hotel ship to be used for sailing on the Dutch canals. But new adventures lured, and in 2008 the MS Vita Pugna arrived in Italy, where she has been sailing between Venice and Mantova with great success ever since.

MS Vita Pugna is 36 meters long and 5.4 meters wide. The boat can accommodate up to 21 people, divided between the 9 double cabins and a 3-person cabin.

All cabins have single beds (190-200 cm x 75-80 cm), private bath and toilet as well as a porthole.  
Breakfast and Dinner is served in the restaurant, where you can also relax with a glass of wine or the like.  Alternatively, you can spend time outdoors on the front deck, where the bikes are also stored when they’re not in use out on the route.  All common areas are air-conditioned, while the cool air in the cabins comes from the air-conditioned hallways.
A small movie about the MS Vita Pugna can be seen here.

Vita pugna Vita pugna Vita pugna
MS Ave Maria - new, tasteful, top class - something very special

The MS Ave Maria is a former sand dredger boat, which was completely renovated in 2011.  An Italian architectural firm was hired, and the result is impressive: warm colours, soft lines and good materials give the ship a very special and sophisticated look.  Every detail has been considered wisely, from the design of the cabins to the comfortable common room.

MS Ave Maria is 41 meters long and 7.5 meters wide.  The boat can accommodate up to 40 people, divided into 10 standard double cabins, 3 superior double cabins and 4 single cabins (below deck).

All cabins have separate beds (200 cm x 80 cm), private bath and toilet, large windows and air conditioning.  The superior cabins are located above deck and have slightly larger windows than the standard cabins that are found below deck. There is room for an "extra bedding" in a few of the double cabins.  There is a discount on cabins with bunk beds.
The common room is air-conditioned and is divided into 2 sections: a restaurant with 3 large dining tables and a comfortable lounge area.  In addition, there are 2 sun decks, a special area for the bikes, 2 computers with internet connection, free Wi-Fi and a large 52" television.
See more about the MS Ave Maria here.

Ave Marie Ave Marie Ave Marie
On board MS Vita Pugna and MS Ave Maria

The guests on board come from many different countries.  This provides a fun and enjoyable atmosphere on board, both during the various meals and at the bar, when the day's experiences are exchanged in many languages between new and old cycling friends.
There is an English-speaking guide on board the whole tour, so each cycling day allows you to choose between a guided bike ride in a group, cycling on your own guided by the provided map and tour description, or enjoying the day on board while the beautiful scenery slowly slides past.
The tour is with full board, which means breakfast buffet, self-made packed lunch for the bike ride and dinner on board in the evening. 

Itinerary

START FROM VENICE:

Day 1. Arrival in Venice  
Welcome aboard MS Vita Pugna / MS Ave Maria. The cabins are available from 16.30h and a welcome meeting with the bike guide and crew takes place at 18.30h.  

Day 2. Guided city tour of Venice and free time
Enjoy waking up to the wonderful view of the lagoon. After breakfast there is a guided city tour of Venice. After this, you have the day at your disposal. The night we again spend on board with a view of the lagoon. 

Day 3. Venice - Chioggia, cycling approx. 30 km
This is a really exciting cycling day, as you'll be cycling on 2 islands that form a border between the sea and the lagoon - first it's the sophisticated "Lido" where the Venice Film Festival is held.  After a short ferry ride to the authentic, elongated island of Pellestrine, you'll experience the fishermen's colourful houses and boats.
In the little oasis of Ca' Roman, MS Vita Pugna / MS Ave Maria awaits you and from here you'll sail to the lively town of Chioggia, where the boat moors.  Chioggia is a charming fishing village - also called "Little Venice". Here are picturesque houses, narrow streets and alleys and a lively folk life unfolding along the canals, especially.

Day 4. Chioggia - Porto Viro - Adria, cycling approx. 40 km 
A morning visit to the fish market is a must.  In the streets, the old men sit and arrange their yarns by the fishing boats with their mottled sails and catch of known and unknown fish of all kinds.  If there's time, visit the world's oldest bell tower and enjoy a breath-taking view of the whole area.  

"Little Venice" is left behind as you cycle south along the Po-Brondolo canal, that connects Venice's lagoon with the Po River. You cycle along the breath-taking nature park of the Po Delta with a fantastic bird life, including herons and flamingos.  You'll stay overnight in Adria, an ancient Greek port town.

Day 5. Adria - Ferrara - Zelo, cycling approx. 35 km + 35 km by bus
After a short boat trip, today's cycling stage goes through farmland and small villages to Ferrara, where the city centre is still surrounded by the ancient city walls.  Ferrara was a city state that attracted many influential architects and artists. The many cycle paths and the widespread use of bicycles have given Ferrara its current nickname, "city of bicycles". In the afternoon there is a bus transfer to Zelo, where we berth for the night.

Day 6. Zelo - Mantova, cycling approx. 50 km 
After a short bike ride, you'll reach the village of Bergantino where you can make a stop and visit the Tivoli Museum, before continuing along the Po River to Ostiglia, a small village with a nice medieval castle. At the Governolo Lock we leave the Po River to follow the Mincio tributary all the way to Mantova, where the boat moors.

Day 7. Mantova - round trip, cycling approx. 35 km
Today you'll experience Mantova and the surrounding area by bike and on foot.  Mantova is a lovely city, beautifully situated on the Mincio River. The city is almost surrounded by water, as the Mincio River has formed the lakes: Lago Superiore, Lago Inferiore and Lago Mezzo. The city's cosy and lovingly restored historic centre is found around Piazza Sordello, in front of the impressive Ducal Palace and the cathedral. Late in the afternoon, a local guide will show you some of the city's highlights.

Day 8. Departure Day
Departure after breakfast, or you can stay for a few days in Mantova. 

 

START FROM MANTOVA:

Day 1. Arrival in Mantova
Welcome aboard MS Vita Pugna or MS Ave Maria, moored in Porto Catena, not far from Mantova's pleasant city centre. The cabins are available from 16.30h and a welcome meeting with the bike guide and crew takes place at 18.30h.

Day 2. Mantova - round trip, cycling approx. 35 km
Today you'll experience Mantova and the surrounding area by bike and on foot.  Mantova is a lovely city, beautifully situated on the Mincio River. The city is almost surrounded by water, as the Mincio River has formed the lakes: Lago Superiore, Lago Inferiore and Lago Mezzo. The city's cosy and lovingly restored historic centre is found around Piazza Sordello, in front of the impressive Ducal Palace and the cathedral. Late in the afternoon, a local guide will show you some of the city's highlights.

Day 3. Mantova - Governolo - Zelo, cycling approx. 50 km 
You sail to Governolo, where the day's cycling stage begins. You cycle along the Po River to Ostiglia, a small village with a nice medieval castle. From here to Bergantino and on to Zelo, a fun little hamlet by the Bianco Canal.

Day 4. Zelo - Ferrara - Adria, cycling approx. 50 km and 60 km by bus 
After mounting the bikes, it's onwards to Ferrara, where the city centre is still surrounded by the old city walls. The many cycle paths and the widespread use of bicycles have given Ferrara its current nickname, "city of bicycles". At the end of the day there is a bus transfer from Ferrara to Adria, where the boat is waiting. Adria, known as Polesine's gem, is an ancient Greek port, famous for its trade in amber.  

Day 5. Adria - Porto Viro - Chioggia, cycling approx. 40 km 
First a boat trip to Porto Viro. Today's cycling stage runs between the Po Delta and the Adige River estuary.  You cycle along the Po-Brondola canal, which connects the Po River with the Venice Lagoon. Overnight stay in "Little Venice", as Chioggia is also called.

Day 6. Chioggia - Venice, cycling approx. 30 km
An early morning visit to the city's fish market is a must. MS Vita Pugna / MS Ave Maria will bring you to the peaceful island of Pellestrina, where we'll cycle along the lagoon, following the new cycle path to the "harbour".  After a short boat ride (not included), we continue cycling on the island of Lido along the "Murazzi" (wall), which protects the island from the sea. Along the way, we visit Malamocco, one of the oldest settlements in the lagoon, and here at the old harbour, the land, lagoon and sea meet. From here the boat sails us to Venice and our berth.

Day 7. City tour in Venice and free time
After waking up to a wonderful view of the lagoon, a local guide will show you around Venice. Afterwards, you have the day at your disposal.  The night we again spend on board with a view of the lagoon.

Day 8. Departure Day
Departure after breakfast, or you can stay for a few days in Venice. 

Subject to change without notice depending on the water levels, lock traffic and weather conditions.

Travel Info

Start days in 2018, MS AVE MARIA:
From Mantova:
March 31st, April 14th and 28th, May 12th and 26th, June 9th and 23rd, July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th, September 1st, 15th and 29th, October 13th.
From Venice:
April 7th and 21st, May 5th and 19th, June 2nd, 16th and 30th, July 14th and 28th, August 11th and 25th, September 8th and 22nd, October 6th and 20th.

Start days in 2018, MS VITA PUGNA:
From Mantova:
April 7th and 21st, May 5th and 19th, June 2nd, 16th and 30th, July 14th and 28th, August 11th and 25th, September 8th and 22nd, October 6th.
From Venice:
April 14th and 28th, May 12th and 26th, June 9th and 23rd, July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th, September 1st, 15th and 29th, October 13th.

Gratuity/Tipping. On cruises, it standard to tip the crew. The level is approx. 5% of the price of the tour, and in your cabin, you will usually find an envelope already prepared for tips, or the tips can be put in a glass at the bar.

Degree of difficulty (1) and maps

The tour takes place in a terrain entirely without climbs. Day stages between 30 and 55 km, mostly along canals and rivers on peaceful small roads and cycle paths.  You will receive various practical information about 3 weeks before the start of the tour. Tour description and maps will be handed out at the information meeting on board the boat.
Every day you can choose to either cycle with the guide, on your own or stay on board.

 

* We note that the map is indicative and therefore does not contain precise route information.

Bikes and cycling equipment

It's possible to rent unisex bikes with 27 gears, equipped with a rear rack bag, water bottle and lock. If you wish to cycle on your own, you can ask for a bar bag / map holder and a small repair kit per 2 bikes.

It’s also possible to rent an electric bike.

Helmets can be rented, but these must be booked and paid from home.

It is advisable not to bring your own bikes on this tour, as it’s very difficult and expensive to transport bikes to and from the boat in Venice.

How to get there?

You must make your own way to the starting point. Both when travelling by plane and train, it's advantageous for you to travel to the starting city and home from the city where the tour ends.  This will save you the return journey to the starting point.
If you travel by car, you yourself must arrange the 8 days of parking and the transfer back to the starting point by train.  Names of possible places for parking will be provided in the travel information sent out approx. 3 weeks before the tour starts.

Any return transport Mantova-Venice or vice versa takes approx. 2.5 hours by train. There are about 15 departures a day, and you have to change trains in Verona or Monselice. Price between approx. 10 and 40 EUR depending on the type of train.

Links to trains and flights: 
Momondo
SAS
Ryanair 
Norwegian  
Deutsche Bahn (German rail service)
Trenitalia

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Practical information

Cabins are on request. Select your desired week and we'll check if there's availability.

Prices include: 

  • 7 nights in a shared double cabin with private bath and toilet
  • Full board (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner)
  • English-speaking bike guide
  • Detailed route description and maps
  • Cleaning of the cabin in the middle of the week
  • Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo / Ferrara-Adria
  • Guided city tour of Mantova and Venice
  • Visit to a cheese factory and tasting of Grana Padano
  • Visit to the Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
  • Port fees
  • Coffee and tea on board

Prices do not include:

  • Drinks on board  
  • Gratuity (tips)
  • Entrance to museums and additional fees
  • Public transport tickets in Venice

Supplements:

  • Bike: 91 EUR
  • Electric bike: 207 EUR
  • Single cabin: 315 EUR 
  • Superior cabin on Ave Maria: 147 EUR per person
  • Bike helmet: 16 EUR
  • Gluten-free / vegan diet: 50 EUR (to be paid from home)

Discount:

  • Ave Maria: cabin with bunk beds: 105 EUR per person

Extra nights incl. breakfast for double/single room, respectively, price per person: 
(Does not include local tourist tax to be paid locally - usually a couple of euros per person per night)  

  • Mantova 3* hotel: 49 / 80 EUR
  • Mantova 4* hotel: 91 / 132 EUR
  • Mestre 3-4* hotel: 69 / 90 EUR
  • Venice 3-4* hotel: from 95 / 160 EUR 

 

Terms & Conditions:

Ruby is the agent and intermediary for this tour. The organizer is Girolibero, and the tour takes place according to the organizer's terms & conditions.
See terms & conditions and read about Girolibero here www.girolibero.com.

Your tour is still covered by Ruby's membership of the Danish Travel Guarantee Fund, member no. 206.

Ruby has a price match guarantee, so we'll match the price if it is cheaper with another provider at the time of booking.  

And remember - you can always take advantage of our expertise and guidance.

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