Compare Italy’s Lake Garda with the Venetian Lagoon
Experience the sublime beauty of Lake Garda and the Venetian Lagoon on this two-centre holiday. Beginning with a three-night hotel stay in the countryside close to Peschiera, you’re perfectly placed for boat trips on the lake. Continue to the enchanting island city Venice for a four-night lagoon cruise. Here you can marvel at architectural masterpieces, venture to the outlying islands and perhaps explore the canals further by gondola.
3 nights in a hotel, 4 nights aboard the ship
17 meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners/
Free bar open 12 hours a day on board ship*
- Boat tour of Lake Garda
- Medieval city of Padua
- Boat trip to Murano and Burano
*Free bar excludes champagne, branded spirits and drinks from the wine list. Bar opening times may vary subject to the daily programme on board.
UK to Lake Garda
Fly to Verona and transfer to the locally rated 4-star Hotel Desenzano (4Q) or Hotel Poiano (4Q) depending on your departure date, where you’ll stay on a half-board basis for the first three nights.
Lake Garda boat tour
Bask in the serene beauty of Lake Garda on an included full-day independent boat tour. You will be given tickets to explore the southern part of the lake (which doesn’t include Riva), by catamaran, public boat or ferry. Admire the dramatic mountains, and the clusters of villages that perch on the lake’s banks. After dinner, you can enjoy a leisurely evening relaxing at your hotel.
Spend today at leisure exploring the shores of Italy’s magnificent Lake Garda. From Hotel Desenzano it’s only a five-minute walk to the old centre of Desenzano del Garda. Historic streets connect the castle on the hill with the pretty harbour area, and there are good transport links from the town if you wish to explore further afield – Garda is one kilometre away. From Hotel Poiano you can catch the free shuttlebus into Garda, which is two kilometres away.
Lake Garda to Venice
Depart from your hotel this morning and stop at Vicenza for some free time. Vicenza is one of the wealthiest cities in Italy and boasts an abundance of fine art galleries, impressive museums and designer boutiques. Stroll the Piazza dei Signori, overlooked by the recently-restored Basilica Palladiana – a masterpiece attributed to the architect Andrea Palladio. Make the most of a leisurely lunch in Vicenza; there’s no shortage of choice, whether you head to a family-run osteria or a gourmet ristorante. Depart Vicenza this afternoon and drive 86 kilometres (approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions) to Venice, where you’ll board the MS Michelangelo for your four-night, all-inclusive river cruise. On arrival you can look forward to a welcome cocktail reception served in the ship’s lounge. Enjoy dinner on board before a free evening in captivating Venice, savouring the intimate atmosphere of this island city.
ou’ll have some free time to explore Venice this morning or you may like to join an optional trip to Doge’s Palace and the famous St Mark’s Square. Look forward to an afternoon cruising the Venetian Lagoon, rich in wildlife and tradition. Join a sightseeing boat trip to the island of Murano, famous for its glasswork, and the island of Burano, famous for its lace. There’ll be dinner and dancing on board before mooring overnight in Venice.
Private sightseeing trip by boat | half day
Aboard a small private boat, you will set out with a local guide who will pick you up aboard the MS Michelangelo. You will head for the island of Murano, one of the largest islands in the lagoon, famous for its glasswork. Here you will attend a demonstration at one of the largest glassworks. You will then move on to the island of Burano, famous for its lace. Here you’ll enjoy some free time on the island.
Guided visit of Doges Palace and famous St Marks Square | half day
You will meet the guides on the boat. The tour will begin with an historical and artistic introduction to Venice with St Mark’s Square, then you will be able to see the exterior of St Mark’s Cathedral. The Byzantine facades of the Cathedral – one of the most magnificent in the world – will immediately draw your attention. The exterior, with its domes, pinnacles and wooden horses, contrasts with the shining golden mosaics of the interior. The tour continues with the Doge’s Palace, the residence of the Dukes of Venice previous seat of the Venetian government. A visit to the top of the famous Golden Staircase will enable you to admire the paintings of Tintoretto and Veronese, to walk through the Grand Council Chamber and out onto the balcony, with its fantastic view. You will walk over the famous decorated Bridge of Sighs, which leads to the prison. The bridge, known in the past as the image of the destiny that awaited the prisoners, today has more romantic connotations.
Please note: It is advisable to wear sturdy shoes as this tour is entirely on foot and there are a lot of steps to climb at the Doge’s Palace.
Spend the day at leisure exploring this unique city. Perhaps join a morning optional visit to a gondola maker and Venetian mask manufacturer. No trip to Venice would be complete without a trip down one of the city’s picturesque waterways in an iconic gondola, or perhaps you’d like to experience three major sights in one square by standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco. After dinner on the ship, look forward to a free evening; perhaps sample perhaps sample some Prosecco or maybe the choice of local drinkers – Campari or Aperol – in a waterside bar.
Visit to a gondola maker and mask manufacturer | half day
Visit the workshops of local Venetian craftsmen to discover how the famous gondola is constructed and the history behind the carnival masks and how they’re made. Please be prepared for a reasonable amount of walking on this excursion.
Day 7 Venice to Chioggia
Breakfast this morning will be accompanied by beautiful views as you cruise across the Bay of Venice to reach the coastal town of Chioggia mid morning. A modest fishing port, Chioggia sits at the southern end of the Venetian lagoon. Lunch is served on board your ship. This afternoon, there’ll be an included excursion to Padua, known as the pilgrimage town of St Anthony. Following a visit to the ‘Santo’ basilica, dedicated to St Anthony, take a stroll through the historic town centre and discover the Pedrocchi coffee house, dear to the inhabitants of Padua. In the meantime, your ship will cruise back to Venice where you will join it this evening. Dinner on board will be followed be a gala evening.
You’ll disembark MS Michelangelo after breakfast and start your return journey to the UK, flying out from Venice.