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My Escapes Italy Venice Floating Worlds - Venice, Murano, Burano, Torcello Spotting Boats, Ships, Gondolas

Spotting Boats, Ships, Gondolas

December 6, 2013

I spotted vehicles in and around Venice. This time it was different from any previous vehicle spotting experience that I've had...
These are all water vehicles. I enjoyed the vintage motor boats and the romantic gondolas.

Apart from a water taxi immortalized in the Torcello water channel, all other boats, ships I "caught" inside and the immediate vicinity of Venice.

Let's take a look together, shall we?

Beautiful gondola

Beautiful gondola. "Parked" empty, floating lonely...

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Of course, the gondolas are above all, the most beautiful water vehicles in Venice.

I observed the fine decorations and the beautiful interiors (notice the seating on the photo below).

Gondola tail fins

Iconic gondola tail fins. Unparalleled shapes!

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Despite the fact that gondolas are very expensive, most gondolas I saw were full!

The number of gondolas in Italy is between 400-500. And, as I heard - there's only a single female gondolier!


Notice how the gondolier in the front is pushing the boat away from the building wall with his left foot

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I was amazed to watch the movements of the gondoliers.

On narrow channels they often push the boat away from the walls with one foot, while relying solely on their other foot to maintain equilibrium.

Old gondola

Old black gondola in the courtyard of the Doge's Palace

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In the past, there were as many as 10,000 gondolas in Venice. Whereas now they're a mere tourists' attraction, in ancient times they were used as common transportation.

Water taxi in Torcello

Water taxi in Torcello

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The water taxis are small motor boats. They generally accommodate 4-5 persons, but there are larger ones capable of transporting 8-10, even.

Not all of them have this Hollywood movie-like fine polished wooden finish.

Large water taxi

Large water taxi in front of the Doge's Palace

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Don't take a water taxi without 100 EUR in your pocket (of course, depending on the distance, traveling in these may cost way more)!

Obviously, taking a Venetian water taxi can be a fantastic experience. For groups it's a lot more affordable!

Vaporetto in Venice

The vaporettos are the water buses of Venice

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Because Venice sits on water, the ambulance service is ensured by motor boats!

I reckon, these motor boat ambulances (as a paradox) are even more efficient than cars, because they slide super fast, there's no road congestion.

Water ambulance in Venice

Ambulances too are motor boat-based. They can reach almost everywhere in the city!

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Small cargo boats criss-cross the channels of the city, there are lots of these everywhere. In fact - I saw more cargo boats than passenger boats. Which is strange.

Most of these a single person-operated. Some even have their own crane to lift the cargo.
They transport cargo boxes, but I even saw some carrying entire pieces of chopped wood.

Small cargo boats

Small cargo boats on the Canal Grande. Venice is full of these!

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The Canale della Giudecca is the widest after the Canale San Marco. This is very close to the cargo port and it's large enough to allow heavier ships to pass through.
A lot of small and large cargo ships can be seen on this (Giudecca) canal.

Cargo boat

Open-top cargo boat on the wide Canale della Giudecca

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While riding the waves aboard a vaporetto, I spotted the Lürssen Carinthia VII super yacht (see below).

According to the Super Yacht Times facts, the boat has a length of 97.20 m and operates under Austrian flag.
It has a staggering strength of 39,000 hp (delivered by its 4 engines)!

But despite being so immense, it only carries 12 guests and 15 crew. It's hard to imagine what takes up so much space. I suppose it must feel "empty" with so few people while aboard and sailing!

By the way, the luxury yacht even has a helicopter landing pad!

Lürssen Carinthia VII

The almost 100 m long Lürssen Carinthia VII super yacht docked, waiting...

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I encountered lots and lots of heavy boats. Various cargo boats, from bulk carriers to ferries.

Below you can see a red-white ferry that came from Greece...

Minoan Lines ferry boat

Greek ferry boat belonging to Minoan Lines

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Seconds later, a grey Actv light ferry passed in front of the Minoan Lines boat.

The heavy ship traffic here at the edge of Venice is surprisingly intense.

Actv ferry

Actv's ferry boat

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I saw 4 cruise ships while in Venice. The often pass through the Canale della Giudecca and then further across the Canale San Marco.

Tourists arrive from all corners of the World. Venice is a major stop-over point for cruise ships.

Boats in Venice

Another depiction of the Canal Grande - small ships along the banks

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Venetians are dependent upon their ships and boats. Quite an unusual World out there...

If you're curious about transportation in Venice, then do check the getting around section.

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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