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Cost of gondola ride on RS tour


Reading reviews of the RS Venice/Florence/Rome tour, I see that many people loved the optional evening gondola ride. Can anyone who's been on this tour say what the cost was? I know there are other threads on the forum discussing gondola rides, but I'm not quickly seeing any discussion of the cost with the tour group, and I know it depends on how many people are doing it. Just looking for a rough estimate here.

We're signed up for this tour May 19-28 next year.


Posted by
8201 posts

Margaret, no its not included because, many people don't want to do it, and its relatively expensive. Its an optional thing to do during free time.

stoutfella, we did it in 2012 and it was I think 100 euro for the two of us. We had a large enough party (about a third of the tour group), so we had 2 gondolas, plus one for a singer and musician. So it was the whole nine yards. You can always book one yourself during free time and negotiate, but 80-100 was the general price range as I recall.

It was worth it.

Posted by
16893 posts

The price per person will normally be lower if more of the group participates. Although you need more boats, the cost of the musicians is divided by a larger number. It may be as low as €25 per person with a group of 28.

Posted by
361 posts

Our Best of Italy tour group unanimously elected to take the optional Gondola tour with musicians included. The musicians were what made it special. We all traveled along the Grand Canal singing "Volare" at one point with many onlookers photographing us from the bridges above. Our bus driver Bruno was the best singer in the group. I especially appreciated that our guide Mary negotiated with the musician and singer to entertain us with Italian songs instead of Broadway show tunes. The tours usually begin in side canals before entering the G. C. The cost in 2007 was 25 euro per person.

Posted by
3500 posts

When I took the Best of Italy tour last October, the cost of the gondola ride was €30 per person for a fully loaded gondola. Everyone in our tour group, including the guide, took the ride and we took several gondolas for all of us. Did not ask for singers or any additions.

There was a couple who wanted to ride alone and they paid considerably more each for the private ride, but I still think we all got a good discount over a standard walk up rate because the guide set up the ride.

Posted by
1071 posts

I was on the RS Venice, Florence & Rome tour in May of this year and because 26 of us wanted to go it only cost $29. We also had a accordion player & a singer, it was a wonderful experience that we'll always remember.

Posted by
5697 posts

We took an afternoon gondola ride in May -- €80, which for four people was €20 each. No reservations, no special discounts.

Posted by
2693 posts

Seeing Venice from the water is a unique and unforgettable experience. I frankly could do without the music and group chit chat and just enjoy doing this with my wife, the sights and sounds of the water and the shouts of the gondoliers, but that is me. Yes, that is the costly way to go, but when I look back on these sort of experiences, I often say this to myself: had I not done that would I be on my death bed saying "I'm sure glad I didn't spend that money on a gondola ride in Venice". Really, think about it. You are traveling nearly half way around the world to a city like no other. What's another $100 or so?

Posted by
101 posts

There were 4 of us and in hindsight I would have done it on my own rather than the group.

Posted by
985 posts

Last year on the BOE the cost was 24E per person. Sixteen-eighteen of us rode in three gondolas. Even if the price had been 50E pp I would have wanted to do it as it was an experience I was unlikely to have again.

Posted by
6100 posts

On our BOE trip in 2011, just about everyone in the group joined in. I think the cost was about €28; it was high enough that I almost declined, but low enough that DH convinced me to come. As I recall, someone in the group provided Prosecco as well! It was fun, but I don't know that I'd do it again. Depends on whether or not there's alcohol.

It was a magical experience, I will say that.

Posted by
786 posts

Thanks again for the info. It's definitely something we intend to do. I just wanted a clue what it might cost since I've seen comments that the gondola rides are very expensive. 28 euro for a "magical experience" sounds pretty cheap to me.

Posted by
1059 posts

On our Best of Italy Tour, the cost per person was equivalent to $30 per person and included music. If you are traveling with a significant other, you might try to get on a gondola with the people on the tour that are traveling as singles. That way, you have a better chance of getting the two chairs that are facing forward and are next to each other. We were able to do that.

Posted by
61 posts

In October, 2014 most of our group went and it was around 25-30 euros.

Posted by
416 posts

The gondola ride on our Best of Italy in 2013 was a wonderful memory. Now, anytime I hear Volare or a particular Sinatra song... I'm instantly transported to the canals of Venice on that magical evening. We shared it with a whole group of our newest "best friends".
You might have confused the gondolas in Venice with the gondola that takes you up a mountain at a ski area. We took the gondola up to the Shilthorn last year on the GAS tour and it was pricey. I think it was about 65 francs per person. We saw the mountains for about 5 minutes and then it was covered in clouds. Same name, totally different vehicle.

Posted by
14 posts

We went on to Venice after finishing our tour, and one of the big things we wanted was an evening Gondola ride. We paid 150 Euros for the two of us,8 o'clock in the evening, 45 minutes through beautiful quiet and enchanting canals,gliding under pretty bridges, soft lights in the windows, stars above and a highly skilled soft spoken Gondolier, worth every Euro, a memory for a lifetime. Extremely romantic, Do it!

Posted by
458 posts

On our recent BOE14 tour it was $30 Euros a head for the Gondola ride. I unfortunately had a slight accident; cobble stones, heels not always the best combination. So I missed the ride. Then the next day pretty late at about 10 PM a Gondolier offered us a ride at the day time rate. (Night is $100 day time is $80. That is Euros not $$ but can't figure out the Euro sign on my laptop. ) It was a great time to go. The canal was pretty empty as were the side canals. It was great and almost made up for me missing the music and the rest of the tour group. I did feel bad since the group had two less people to divide the cost among. My kids went on both rides and they said we got to see different things on the second one and because it was only the 4 of us and no other boats and no music our Gondolier gave us a tour and pointed out some of the buildings.

The only downside this late at night is that on some of the deserted side streets we did happen to see some of the 4 legged long tail animals running around. Once my daughter pointed one out I was a little squeamish each time we went down a new canal and on the walk back to our hotel my son and husband had a field day telling us they were around every corner. Yikes! (We did not see any more once we were off the boat and on the main streets) But still....

I wasn't going to pay for that second boat ride after missing the first but so glad we did . Really when are you going to be back in Venice? I can't ever imagine regretting going on a Gondola.

Enjoy your trip.

Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
3 posts

We just came back home from our 10 day tour of Venice/Florence/Rome the last week of September. Wow... it was great. As for the gondola rides the cost....depends. Basic cost at the time we were there was 80 euros, and went up as the day turned to darkness.
Our whole group (28 persons + Graeme our guide + accordion player and vocalist) went in five gondolas. The whole thing was just fantastic and final cost for each was 20 euros each.

if a number in the group do not wish to go, our RS guide said he would negotiate the best price he could - but everyone ended up going. The music and vocalist were really cool going down the narrow canals with the three to four story buildings compacting the music and voice - it was enchanting. Then we got out onto the Grand Canal and people on the canal banks were applauding the vocalist and it was cool. Well worth the cost.

If you want to go for a late night ride, do as Rick advises in his Venice book - negotiate a price first, then go for it. A great experience.

Posted by
786 posts

Grazie mille to all for the recent replies. Our tour isn't until May, but I'm really looking forward to everything, including the gondola ride.

Cin! Cin!

Posted by
7209 posts

"...frankly could do without the music and group chit chat" - that made me laugh! But you're so right. There are always those people who are uncomfortable with quiet - who think every quiet moment is an opportunity for babble. Just because you arrive into Venice as a group doesn't mean you have to be joined at the hip with them your entire time.

You know, you could also take a traghetto across the Grand Canal for about 2Euro. The ride is much shorter and no pillows to sit on - but it's a lot cheaper and you still get to see Venice "from the water" as someone said - and in a gondola, no less ;-)