Ravenna Italy Cruise Port Guide
Ravenna is not on most people’s radar when it comes to a cruise port or cruise destination. In fact, it’s relatively new that the city has been chosen as a departure/arrival port since Venice has banned large cruise ships (for the most part). The Ravenna cruise port is primarily used by Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises at the moment but is expected to accommodate more cruise lines in the near future.
We made our way down to the Ravenna cruise port via Florence and spent several days exploring the city as well as documenting everything possible about transportation options, hotels, and things to do for cruise passengers (both departing and arriving). If you have any questions about the cruise port or city, let us know below in the comments!
Quick Tips for the Cruise Port in Ravenna, Italy
A few things to know right away about Ravenna & the cruise port:
- The city center is about 20 minutes from the actual location where cruise ships dock
- The city has less than 20 taxis, plan transportation in advance (more on that below)
- The Ravenna train station is only a 7-minute walk to the city center +/-
- Make sure you have WhatsApp installed on your phone to communicate with hotels & car services. This is the preferred method of contact for most local companies.
Where is the Port of Ravenna (Porto Corsini, Italy)?
Ravenna sits on the east coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea only about 1 hour from Bologna and 2 hours and 20 minutes from Florence by train. So many people ask: is Ravenna Cruise Port in Venice? The first thing I have to say, this is NOWHERE NEAR VENICE! I hate the fact that Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines call cities like Ravenna “Venice”. When I see cruises advertised as a cruise from Venice, it just drives me insane.
In fact, it’s so far from Venice that oftentimes people book flights into Marco Polo airport (Venice) and realize they still have another 3-hour bus ride to the cruise ship. Ravenna is located closer to Bologna and Florence than Venice. Look at a map, I beg you. THEN make your flight arrangements. Unless you really want to spend time in Venice before or after a cruise, do NOT book flights to Marco Polo Airport.
The actual port which is Porto Corsini is slightly outside of the city.
About the Ravenna cruise terminal
The cruise terminal which is actually Porto Corsini is a 20-minute drive from the city center. The terminal itself is basically just a tented building that accommodates only 2 ships at a time keeping the city from being completely overrun by tourists. The terminal is primarily used by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
How far is Ravenna city center from the cruise port?
It’s important to know that the cruise terminal in Ravenna, Italy is not really in the city. It’s about a 20-minute drive by bus, car, or taxi from Ravenna city center to the actual cruise ship dock.
How to get to the Cruise Terminal (Porto Corsini) from Ravenna
This is the single most important bit of information we can share. There are very few taxis to just ‘flag down’ and get to the cruise terminal, so planning ahead is ESSENTIAL.
The cruise lines are really bad at communicating how to get to the ship from the city.
Some hotels will offer a private car for about 50 euros but do not RELY on this without having booked this directly with your hotel, or knowing if it’s even an available option with the hotel of your choice.
Otherwise, the VisitRavenna website is available to book a minivan with designated time slots and pickup points (most common hotels). The starting price is 20 euros per person or 30 if you have extra luggage (per person). See the Minivan transfer option here.
Ravenna Cruise Port Shuttle
If you arrive at the Ravenna train station on the day of your cruise departure, there are representatives from the cruise line guiding guests to a paid shuttle bus. If you’ve not made arrangements for transportation, you can get on one of these buses for approximately $15 per person, usually billed to your shipboard account. The attendant (in a yellow vest with a cruise sign) will take your details and pass them to the ship for billing.
IMPORTANT: Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are horrible with providing information about getting to the cruise ship from the city or train station! In fact, when we called Celebrity Cruises asking about how to get to the ship from Ravenna, we were instructed to go to the Bologna airport and pay for one of their very expensive bus rides BACK to Ravenna. They had zero information on a shuttle service from the train station. Mind-boggling.
A good tip is if you are staying in Ravenna before your cruise and are staying near the train station, just walk over and get on one of their buses. It’s really easy unless you have a lot of luggage, which brings me to other local bus arrangements.
Additionally, the tourism authority of Ravenna has created a booking system to schedule pickups from several popular hotels including the NH Hotel for only 20 Euros. This is a larger shuttle bus that makes only one stop at Grand Hotel Mattei and then directly to the port. To book in advance, visit the shuttle transfer booking page.
Taxis in Ravenna
Do not rely on a taxi to get to the cruise port in Ravenna. There are so few in the city that they are basically unavailable on cruise days unless prior arrangements have been made (which is usually only done through the hotels).
What to do in Ravenna
Staying in Ravenna before or after your cruise? We think it’s a great choice for a day or two!
With mosaics, mausoleums, and basilicas everywhere you look, the Italian city of Ravenna is full of history and culture. The city is small and quaint but with a surprising amount of activity and things to do. The city is primarily known for its stunning mosaics dating back hundreds of years. Additionally, the food and cafe scene is vibrant with no shortage of local dining options. If you’re spending a day or two in Ravenna before or after a cruise, the best option is to take that time and soak up the history with a mosaics tour (self-guided).
Tour the magical mosaics of Ravenna, Italy
Ravenna is known for its enchanting & well-preserved collection of ancient mosaics, which are considered some of the most stunning in the world. The mosaics can be found in several UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites across the city, including the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. These magical mosaics date back to the 5th and 6th centuries and are intricately designed with vibrant colors and intricate patterns depicting biblical scenes, portraits of saints, and mythological figures.
The level of detail and artistry in these mosaics is truly astonishing, and they provide a unique window into the religious and cultural life of the time. Visitors to Ravenna can marvel at the skill and craftsmanship of these ancient artisans, and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the mosaics firsthand. The magical mosaics of Ravenna continue to captivate and inspire all who have the opportunity to see them in person.
RAVENNA EXCURSION TIP
Cruises will often offer this type of tour as a shore excursion, but you can save a LOT of money by just purchasing a ticket locally or online.
Don’t waste money paying for a cruise shore excursion to see the mosaics (they often charge 100 euros or more per person!). You can get a 12.50 euro ticket here.
Additionally, tickets are sold at the bookshops in these locations:
Basilica San Vitale (Book Shop Argentario 22)
Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
To see all the monuments, it’s only 12.50 euros per person! This includes the following:
Valid for 7 days from the day of issue – one admission per monument.
Admission to the Diocesan sights will be allowed only by previous booking of your entrance time in each monument included in the ticket.
You can visit:
Basilica of St.Vitale
Basilica of St. Apollinare Nuovo
Archiepiscopal Museum (St. Andrew’s Chapel and Ivory Throne)
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia*
* € 2.00 additional charge for the entrance to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and Neonian Baptistery to be added to the price of the inclusive ticket. Mandatory booking in advance.
TIP! For some of the locations, you are requested to show up at a specific time or timeframe so they can manage traffic in the smaller spaces! Pay attention to the time on your ticket. While they were not very strict at the entry points, it may have been because it was not as busy as in peak season.
Important! Dress Code and Etiquette
When visiting Ravenna’s religious sites, such as the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, it’s important to dress modestly out of respect for the sacred nature of these places. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and ensure their shoulders and knees are covered. This applies to both the interiors and exteriors of these religious sites. Basically NO SHORTS and NO TANK TOPS.
Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. Italians value politeness and respect. Greetings are typically warm and accompanied by a handshake. Remember to use “buongiorno” (good morning) or “buonasera” (good evening) when entering shops, restaurants, or interacting with locals. Learning a few basic Italian phrases, such as “grazie” (thank you) and “prego” (you’re welcome), can also go a long way in showing appreciation and respect.
The top Attractions (and Shore Excursions) in Ravenna
When visiting Ravenna, Italy, there are several remarkable attractions to explore that showcase the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. From stunning basilicas to ancient mausoleums, here are some of the top attractions you won’t want to miss:
Basilica di San Vitale
Basilica di San Vitale is a masterpiece of Byzantine art and architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its intricate mosaics that adorn the walls and ceilings. The stunning mosaics depict biblical scenes, emperors, and saints, transporting visitors back in time to the 6th century. The Basilica di San Vitale is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. FWIW: This was my absolute favorite on the mosaics tour.
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a small yet extraordinary building known for its exquisite mosaics. Built in the 5th century, this mausoleum houses the tomb of Galla Placidia, a Roman empress. The mosaics inside feature vibrant colors and intricate designs, depicting biblical themes and symbolizing the resurrection of Christ. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a true gem of Ravenna’s artistic heritage.
Ravenna is also the final resting place of the renowned Italian poet, Dante Alighieri. Dante’s Tomb, located in the beautiful Basilica di San Francesco, is a place of pilgrimage for literature enthusiasts. The tomb is adorned with a statue of Dante and serves as a reminder of his significant contributions to Italian literature.
Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra
For a unique archaeological experience, visit the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of Stone Carpets). This ancient Roman villa showcases remarkably well-preserved mosaic floors, providing insight into the daily life of the wealthy inhabitants of Ravenna during the Roman era. The intricate mosaics depict various scenes, including mythological figures, animals, and geometric patterns.
The Arian Baptistery
Another impressive site to explore in Ravenna is The Arian Baptistery, located near the Basilica di San Vitale. This baptistery is one of the most important Arian Christian monuments in the world. The interior is adorned with beautiful mosaics that depict scenes from the life of Christ and biblical figures. The Arian Baptistery is a fascinating testament to Ravenna’s religious history.
Even if you’re not a religious person or come from a different faith, the monuments are as much art and history as they are religious.
Local Cuisine and Dining Options in Ravenna
While exploring Ravenna, be sure to try the local cuisine, which is known for its simplicity and rich flavors. Traditional dishes to try include piadina, a thin Italian flatbread filled with various ingredients like cheese, cured meats, and vegetables. Seafood lovers can savor delicious Adriatic seafood specialties, such as risotto ai frutti di mare (seafood risotto) and brodetto di pesce (fish stew).
Ravenna is also famous for its sweet treats, particularly the tasty ciambella (ring-shaped cake) and pastarelle (almond cookies). Pair your culinary adventures with a glass of local wine or the region’s renowned sparkling wine, Lambrusco.
Don’t forget to discover the popular Piazza del Popolo which is home to sidewalk cafes and little back streets with shopping, gelato, coffee shops & more.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Many restaurants close in the afternoon between lunch and dinner service! Don’t be stuck starving when the restaurants are closed (Generally around 3pm to 6:30pm). Otherwise, you’ll be surviving on fast food or gelato!
How to get to Ravenna
Getting to Ravenna by train from any major city in the region is simple and affordable. From Bologna central train station to Ravenna, it’s only 8 euros and from Florence, it’s less than 50 euros per person (and that was using the high-speed / more expensive train between Florence and Bologna).
Additionally, cruise lines set up paid shuttle service from the main airports (Bologna and Venice).
Transport between Venice Airport and Ravenna
If you are traveling between Venice Airport and Ravenna, there are several transportation options available to you. The easy choice is to take a direct cruise shuttle from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Ravenna, which typically takes around 2-3 hours. Another option is to take a train from Venice to Ravenna, which involves a transfer to either Bologna or Ferrara. The train journey takes around 2-3 hours as well. If you are spending time in Venice before a cruise that departs in Ravenna, you will likely end up having to return to the Marco Polo airport to get a cruise-provided shuttle. Otherwise, you’ll be on your own to get to Ravenna.
Ravenna to Venice Marco Polo Airport – Cost & Time
Venice Marco Polo Airport is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Ravenna. It is one of the busiest airports in Italy, offering a ton of domestic and international flight options. When traveling from Ravenna to Venice Marco Polo Airport, you have several transportation options, including private car hire, taxi, shuttle service, and public transportation.
|Transfer Option||Travel Time||Cost (Approx.)|
|Car/Taxi||2 – 2.5 hours||€200 – €250|
|Shuttle Service||2.5 – 3 hours||€30 – €40|
|Public Transportation (Train)||3 – 4 hours||€20 – €30|
The travel time from Ravenna to Venice Marco Polo Airport by car or taxi is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. The cost for this option is usually around €200 to €250 (budget $300USD for this, just to be safe). Cruise company-arranged shuttle services are also available, offering a more affordable option with a longer travel time of 2.5 to 3 hours. **NOTE** That these shuttles are usually only available the DAY OF THE CRUISE. The cost for a shuttle service is typically between €30 and €40.
If you prefer public transportation, you can take a combination of trains, which will take approximately 3 to 4 hours and cost around €20 to €30. We’ll be making a video of the train travel process soon! Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when this video is released.
Transport between Florence Airport and Ravenna
If you’re planning to travel between Florence Airport and Ravenna, the best transportation option to make this journey is by taking the train, which offers a comfortable and efficient travel experience. The train journey from Florence to Ravenna takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, and the trains depart regularly throughout the day (with a change in Bologna). Expect to spend 45-50 euros per person for the best schedule & most comfortable trains.
Ravenna to Florence Airport – Cost & Time
Florence Airport, also known as Amerigo Vespucci Airport, is approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Ravenna. It serves as a gateway to the beautiful city of Florence and the surrounding region. When traveling from Ravenna to Florence Airport, you can choose between private car hire, taxi, shuttle service, and public transportation.
|Transfer Option||Travel Time||Cost (Approx.)|
|Car/Taxi||1.5 – 2 hours||€150 – €200|
|Shuttle Service||2 – 2.5 hours||€35 – €45|
|Public Transportation (Train)||3 – 4 hours||€15 – €50|
The travel time from Ravenna to Florence Airport by car or taxi is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. The cost for a private car is usually around €150 to €200. Shuttle services are available as well, offering a more economical choice with a travel time of 2 to 2.5 hours. The cost for a shuttle service is typically between €35 and €45. Cruise company shuttles will only be available on the day of the cruise. If you prefer public transportation, you can take a combination of trains, which will take approximately 3 to 4 hours and cost around €15 to €25. Expect a transfer in Bologna. We’ll be making a video on the Italian trains and how to get between cities soon! Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when this video is released.
Transport between Bologna Airport and Ravenna
Transport between Bologna Airport and Ravenna is convenient and easily accessible. Bologna Airport, also known as Guglielmo Marconi Airport, is the closest major airport to Ravenna, located approximately 80 kilometers away. There are several transportation options available for travelers looking to make the journey between the two locations. The most popular and efficient mode of transport is by taking a direct shuttle bus from Bologna Airport to Ravenna. The shuttle service operates regularly throughout the day, making it convenient for travelers to catch a ride to their destination. The journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. For those looking for a more private and convenient option, hiring a taxi or arranging a private transfer is also a viable choice. The taxi ride from Bologna Airport to Ravenna takes approximately 1 hour and can be a more flexible and comfortable option for travelers with specific timing or preferences. Additionally, there is a train service available from Bologna to Ravenna, with the journey taking around 1.5 hours. (This is our personal choice, as it’s easy and inexpensive)
Arriving at the Bologna Airport? Take the airport Monorail (Marconi Express) from the airport to the central train station. The monorail runs every 7-8 minutes with a cost of 11 euros or a family ticket for up to 2 adults and 3 children for 22 euros (one way).
Then board a train to Ravenna! (Tickets can be purchased at the station or in advance)
Ravenna to Bologna Airport
Bologna Airport, also known as Guglielmo Marconi Airport, is approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Ravenna. This is a great option to fly in and out of for a cruise to/from Ravenna! Unless you have a real desire to go to Venice, look at Bologna Airport as the arrival or departure for your cruise. Trust me on this! It’s so much easier and more convenient. The journey from Ravenna to Bologna Airport can be easily completed by car, taxi, or shuttle service.
|Transfer Option||Travel Time||Cost (Approx.)|
|Car/Taxi||1 hour||€80 – €120 (haggle!)|
|Shuttle Service||1.5 hours||€25 – €30|
|Train||1.25-1.5 Hours||€20 or less|
If you prefer the convenience and privacy of a car or taxi, you can expect a travel time of approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions. The cost for this transfer option is usually around €100. You’ll be quoted €120-€150 – don’t be afraid to haggle, you’ll usually get the ride for about €100. Alternatively, shuttle services are available, providing a more affordable option with a slightly longer travel time of around 1.5 hours. The cost for a shuttle service is typically between €25 and €30. The best choice is to use a cruise company shuttle for this transfer.
If you’re arriving before the cruise or staying after a cruise and spending time in Ravenna, the best option is using the train system. It’s direct, comfortable, and easy to navigate. We’ll be making a video on the Italian trains and how to get between cities soon! Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when this video is released.
Ravenna, Italy cruise port map
Where to stay in Ravenna
Ravenna is quite small with most accommodations being Bed & Breakfast style hotels. If you prefer a more corporate or chain hotel, there is an NH Hotel within a minute’s walk of the train station and a few minutes from the center of town, however the area immediately around the hotel is not as “nice” as staying more central.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ravenna & The Cruise Port
What is The Best Time to Visit Ravenna
Ravenna experiences a Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and hot summers. The best time to visit is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasant and crowds are smaller compared to the peak summer months. This allows for a more relaxed exploration of the city’s attractions. We were fortunate enough to embark on one of the last cruises from Ravenna in Late October and experienced perfect weather.
Is Ravenna a disappointment as a cruise port?
This was the first question I had when planning our recent trip. I was worried about having nothing to do for 2 days prior to the cruise. But in reality, there is so much to see and great little cafes to visit that 2 days flew by fast. Even as just a port on an itinerary, it’s worth going into the city and visiting a few of the cultural sights. Definitely don’t skip Ravenna!
How long is the transfer from Venice to Ravenna cruise port?
Organized transfers through the cruise line usually take an additional 3 hours from Venice to the port of Ravenna.
How far is Ravenna cruise port from the city center?
The ships dock 20 minutes (about 8.5 miles) from the city center
How to get from Ravenna to Venice?
Coming soon – we’ll have detailed information on how to get between these two locations
Is Ravenna the port for Venice?
Venice has its own port, but has stopped allowing large ships in the lagoon / center – so Ravenna has been chosen as an alternative (as well as Trieste, Italy for some cruise lines)
Is Ravenna close to Venice? How far is Marco Polo Airport from Ravenna cruise port?
Venice is Not at ALL close to Ravenna! It’s 3 hours away by shuttle bus and train – Marco Polo Airport is about 150 miles from Ravenna.
How far is Ravenna cruise port from town? Can you walk to/from Ravenna Port?
The port of Ravenna is about 8.5 miles (14km) from the city center, through an industrial area on busy streets, so it’s not walkable. The cruise lines provide shuttles, sometimes at no charge or nominal fee.
Is Ravenna worth visiting
Absolutely! The history, art, culture, and mosaics make this a great day (or two) trip.
Are there taxis at Ravenna Cruise Port
Don’t count on it, but you may be able to get one if a taxi is dropping someone off. There are fewer than 20 taxis in the city, which is why the cruise companies run shuttles between town and the port.
How far is Ravenna Cruise Port from the train station
It’s about 20-25 minutes and 8 miles +/-
Does Royal Caribbean (and Celebrity) have a shuttle bus transfer from the airport in Venice to the port?
Yes, you can book transfers on the day of the cruise.
How safe is Ravenna, Italy cruise port?
I want to preface this by saying, you should remain aware no matter where you are in the world. But Ravenna has relatively little crime. You’ll see people wandering the streets going from pub to pub or restaurant until late in the evenings.