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Italy Bike & Boat / Veneto
Tour Dates: April through October

This Veneto bike tour (from Venice to Mantova) is entirely in the low lands and the daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic.

2017 Price on Vita Pugna Boat:
(Capacity 21 guests in 10 Standard Twin Cabins – 1 cabin can be a triple)
All cabins with twin beds, en suite bathroom, portholes that open for fresh air.  Corridor is air-conditioned, but the cabins do not have air conditioning.
€875 standard cabin (value season: April 1 – 22)
€1025 standard cabin (standard season: April 29 – Aug 19 and Oct 7 – 21)
€1095 standard cabin (high season:  Aug 26 – Sept 30)

2016 Price on Ave Maria Boat:
(Capacity 40 guests – 4 superior double cabins above deck, 2 cabins can accommodate 4 people with 2 bunk beds,  10 standard double cabins below deck – 3 of these can accommodate 3 people with a twin and a bunk bed,  3 double cabins with a bunk bed below deck – also available as a single cabin)
All cabins have en suite bathroom and air conditioning, sizable windows but only the superior cabin windows open.
€1030 standard cabin, €1170 superior cabin (value season: April 1 – 22)
€1230 standard cabin, €1370 superior cabin (standard season: April 29 – Aug 19 and Oct 7 – 21)
€1400 standard cabin, €1540 superior cabin (high season: Aug 26 – Sept 30)

Supplements:

€300 single cabin

€75 hybrid bike rental, €170 Electro-bike rental, €15 Helmet rental

Price Includes:
  • 7 nights on boat
  • full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
  • sheets and towels
  • detailed route description
  • maps and info-pack
  • tour leader on board and on bike
  • harbor charges
  • tea and coffee available on board
  • mid week service of cabin cleaning and towels change
  • Guided visit in Venice and Mantova
  • Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
  • Price does not include: International flights, beverages, museums and extras in general, local taxes to be paid when you arrive, One ferry-boat stage in Pellestrina (about 9 €).
Extra Hotel Nights

(local taxes to be payed on site) (prices are approximate & dependent on availability:

  • 3* Hotel in in Mantova: Double room: €45 per person/per night. Single room: €75 per person/per night. Breakfast included.
  • 4* Hotel in in Mantova: Double room: €85 per person/per night. Single room: €125 per person/per night. Breakfast included.
  • 3/4* Hotel in in Mestre: Double room: €65 per person/per night. Single room: €85 per person/per night. Breakfast included.
  • 3/4* Hotel in in Venice: Double room: €90 per person/per night. Single room: €150 per person/per night. Breakfast included.
Guided or Self Guided Option

The price remains the same for both options. This tour offers the chance to choose if pedaling alone (taking advantage of a very detailed route description) or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour you need to specify which option is chosen (i.e. if Guided or Self guided).

Tour Difficulty

This is considered an easy tour entirely in the lowlands. The daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedalling is along rivers and canals on asphalt cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. The boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages.

  • Difficulty: Relatively Flat
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid

Tour Highlights

  • Fabulous scenery
  • Cultural heritage
  • Incredible food and wine

Tour Overview

Starting from Venice, one of the most beautiful towns in the world, this itinerary winds its way along the Mincio and the Po, following the natural course of the longest Italian river. After a wonderful trip from the countryside of the Po Delta the tour finishes in the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantova.

The tour is entirely in the low lands and the daily cycling stages vary from 30 km to 55 km. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on asphalt cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. The boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages.

The route has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantova to the Adriatic Sea. A few weeks in the year, when the waters of the Po are favorable, the barge will navigate along the Po river. This means that some of the overnight stays will be modified. As the water levels change, we will modify some of the daily stretches or embarkation points. These decisions are taken by the boat’s captain.

This s a floating hotel with high quality meals served on board. The typical wooden cabin area and the comfortable air-conditioned living room will welcome you for a well deserved rest after a day on bike.

Tour Map

Day 1- Venice

Welcome on board! Ave Maria is moored at the Giudecca island, not far from St. Mark’s square. The cabins are available from 4 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, at 7 p.m.

Day 2 - Venice

Free day at disposal. After waking up to a wonderful view over the lagoon, the tour starts with a whole day at your disposal, discovering the wonderful historical centre of the capital of the “Repubblica Serenissima”, or its wonderful islands.

Day 3 - Venice – Chioggia (approx. 30 km)

This is the most exciting day of the tour, riding along the two little narrow islands, which build the border between the sea and the lagoon. From Lido, one of the most impressive resorts and site of the cinema exhibition of Venice, you ride up to Malamocco, the first seat of the republic of the Doges. A short boat ride will then take you to the isle of Pellestrina with its nature reserve of Ca’ Roman and after the final few kilometers the boat leads you to the lively fishing harbour of Chioggia.

Day 4 - Chioggia –Albarella (approx 35 km)

You will leave the so called “small Venice” going south along the Po-Brondolo waterway and through the mouth of the River Adige. Pedalling between the wonderful nature reserve of the Po Delta, with its incredible number of bird species, you will then approach the island of Albarella.

Day 5 - Albarella–Porto Levante–Adria (approx 55 km)

You go deep into the maze of the Po Delta, pedalling in the heart of nature. The destination today is Adria, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic.

Day 6 - Adria–Ferrara–Zelo (approx 35 km by bike + 35 km by bus)

After a short navigation in the morning, you start cycling in the middle of the nature towards Ferrara, “the town of the bicycles”, still surrounded by the spectacular old city walls. In the afternoon a short bus transfer will bring you up to Bergantino, for a visit of a cheese factory and a short tasting session, before reaching Zelo.

Day 7 - Zelo –Mantova (approx 50 km)

A short stretch of navigation brings you to Torretta on the Fissero/Bianco canal. You cycle following the Po as far as Ostiglia, a small village with the ruins of a medieval fortress. After a few kilometres you finally reach Mantova, one of the most beautiful Renaissance towns of Northern Italy. A guided visit of the town will let you discover its famous jewels.

Day 8 - Mantova

End of services after breakfast if you haven’t booked any extra night.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions Bike Tour?

You can expect a spirited mixture of singles and couples in their 20′s to 70′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. The experience range within most groups spans from novice through experienced recreational riders. All seem to share the common bond of an appreciation for the outdoors and an active lifestyle. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.

The Boat

  • 40 guests max, SIZE: 41 m x 7.5 m
  • Cabins: 17 cabins: 4 double superior cabins (2 of these can become triple or four bedded cabins with a bunk bed) above deck, 10 double standard cabins (3 of these can become triple cabins, with a bunk bed) below deck, 3 bunk bed cabins (each of these can be sold as single cabin) below deck
  • Beds: Bed size is 1,90/2 m x 0,75/0,80 m
  • Living Room: Air conditioned living room, measuring 11 x 7,5 m and divided into two areas: the restaurant (33 seats), the lounge (up to 28 seats).
  • Additional Features: two sundecks, dedicated bike parking (for approx. 40 hanging bikes), internet point with two computers, free wi-fi, large 52” screen TV in the lounge

Guided vs. Self Guided

This tour offers the chance to choose if pedalling alone (taking advantage of a very detailed route description) or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour you need to specify which option is chosen (i.e. if Guided or Self guided).

Bicycles

Different frame sizes of unisex bikes with 27-gears Shimano Deore will be available on board. They are fully equipped with 1 side-bag, 1 water bottle, 1 padlock per bike, 1 map holder/front bag (only for Self-Guided) and 1 repair kit per couple (only for Self-Guided). Due to high transportation costs of the bikes in Venice and logistical issues it is advised not to bring your own bikes.

Meals

Delicious Italian dinners and breakfasts will be served on the boat. Each day you will pack your own lunch from a buffet on the boat.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro. You will need Euros for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Italian guide and boat crew. We suggest starting with a minimum of $150US (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Language

You do not need to be able to speak Italian, but it can be lots of fun, and our bilingual guide can always help you with the finer points of the language. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro. You will need Euros for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Italian guide. We suggest starting with a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Tipping

On the tour: we suggest $125 per guest to cover our local guide and various service people at the lodges during the tour. On your own: most restaurants include a service charge, but an additional 5-10% for exceptional service is always appreciated. We suggest a small amount for baggage and taxi service.

Cash & Credit Cards

US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Passport

U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!

Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.

Additional hotel lodging

Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in Italy either before or after the tour.

Travel Information

his trip begins in Mantova or Venice and ends in Venice or Mantova. Venice is the most convenient major international airport for both the beginning and ending of the trip. You may also fly into Milan or Rome and take the train to the start of the trip.

Train Schedules

Check out European Train Schedules. You do not need to make advance train reservations.

Travel Delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Veneto

Veneto – Latin: Venetia; Venetian: Vèneto; more specifically Venezia Euganea) is one of the twenty regions of Italy. Its population is about five million, ranking fifth in Italy. The region's capital and largest city is Venice.

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