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victory2020

Venice Gondola weight limit?

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I just booked  an independent private gondola tour for 4 of us. Just went on the Holland site to look at their gondola tour & they said weight limit was 230lbs. I believe one in our party weighs more than that. Is there a chance we will be denied boarding? Two of us are pretty small.

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13 hours ago, victory2020 said:

I just booked  an independent private gondola tour for 4 of us. Just went on the Holland site to look at their gondola tour & they said weight limit was 230lbs. I believe one in our party weighs more than that. Is there a chance we will be denied boarding? Two of us are pretty small.

A chance?  You will be in Italy so anything can happen :).  The boats can certainly handle the weight, but it is up to your gondolier if he is OK with the weight.  Given that most gondoliers will carry even 6 adults I would expect you will have no problem.  If so, you can simply walk over to any gondola and make a deal.  In Venice there is really no need to book or reserve a gondola as there are plenty located at various gondola piers around the city.  Anyone can simply walk up to a gondola and negotiate a deal although the prices are relatively fixed.  When we have "negotiated" with gondoliers we focused on the time of the ride and the route.  While 40 minutes is the norm, everything is negotiable and your success depends on your skill as well as supply/demand factors.  The last time we hired a gondola I agreed to the normal price but managed to negotiate a 60 min ride..mostly through the quieter secondary canals.  This gave us more then enough time completely relax and enjoy our decent bottle of Italian wine (which we brought aboard).

 

Hank

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6 hours ago, Hlitner said:

A chance?  You will be in Italy so anything can happen :).  The boats can certainly handle the weight, but it is up to your gondolier if he is OK with the weight.  Given that most gondoliers will carry even 6 adults I would expect you will have no problem.  If so, you can simply walk over to any gondola and make a deal.  In Venice there is really no need to book or reserve a gondola as there are plenty located at various gondola piers around the city.  Anyone can simply walk up to a gondola and negotiate a deal although the prices are relatively fixed.  When we have "negotiated" with gondoliers we focused on the time of the ride and the route.  While 40 minutes is the norm, everything is negotiable and your success depends on your skill as well as supply/demand factors.  The last time we hired a gondola I agreed to the normal price but managed to negotiate a 60 min ride..mostly through the quieter secondary canals.  This gave us more then enough time completely relax and enjoy our decent bottle of Italian wine (which we brought aboard).

 

Hank

Thanks, I booked in advance as there are 4 ships in port that day. Didn't want any surprises. It is cancellable so I figured I have nothing to loose. Pre pay was $132 for 4 or 6 so I thought it was fair enough deal.

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29 minutes ago, victory2020 said:

Thanks, I booked in advance as there are 4 ships in port that day. Didn't want any surprises. It is cancellable so I figured I have nothing to loose. Pre pay was $132 for 4 or 6 so I thought it was fair enough deal.

That is a reasonable price.  The last time we hired a gondola we paid 90 Euros (the number in the gondola is not really relevant).  The prices do vary depending on the time of day.  Hiring a gondola at 11 am is cheaper then hiring a gondola at 5 pm.  But you raise another issue which is about the number of cruisers in Venice.  While they do add to the total tourists, they are actually only one part...with the major bulk being day trippers (who stay elsewhere in the region).  On our many visits to Venice we have never noticed any shortage of gondolas, no matter how crowded the city.  I think (and this is a guess) that a majority of visitors simply do not want to pay the price for a gondola.  

 

My personal view, based on many visits on cruises and driving trips, is that the gondolas are an amazing tourist trap :).  That being said, taking a gondola is one of those things that folks should do at least once in their travel life.  We have done it a few times, although there is no way we would share a gondola with others (like on many tours).   Gliding through the back canals is one of the most romantic things we have done (in more then forty years of extensive travel).  DW and I prefer to hire our own gondola, bring our own wine (with plastic wine glasses) and savor every moment.   We think the worst way to take a gondola ride is on a cruise line excursion where they pack 4-6 in a boat (often strangers) and often have one gondolier who sings.  Speaking of singing, we always have fun with our gondolier about him singing.  Most will make it clear they do not sing or have an awful voice.  But we once lucked out and hired a gondolier who thought he was Luciano Pavaratti (not even close).  But he did balk when I suggested he sing Nessun Dorma.

 

Speaking of wine here is our personal tip.  Stop at a local establishment that sells wine and pick up a bottle of decent (or at least half decent) Italian ride (preferably red).  Ask the shop to sell you a couple of plastic wine glasses (sometimes given free with a purchase) and have them pull the cork (and then partially reinsert).  Once in your gondola bring out the "glasses,"  pull the cork, and enjoy!   The last time we did this we did offer a drink to our gondolier but he declined...saying in pretty good English, "I do not drink and drive."

 

Hank

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16 hours ago, Hlitner said:

That is a reasonable price.  The last time we hired a gondola we paid 90 Euros (the number in the gondola is not really relevant).  The prices do vary depending on the time of day.  Hiring a gondola at 11 am is cheaper then hiring a gondola at 5 pm.  But you raise another issue which is about the number of cruisers in Venice.  While they do add to the total tourists, they are actually only one part...with the major bulk being day trippers (who stay elsewhere in the region).  On our many visits to Venice we have never noticed any shortage of gondolas, no matter how crowded the city.  I think (and this is a guess) that a majority of visitors simply do not want to pay the price for a gondola.  

 

My personal view, based on many visits on cruises and driving trips, is that the gondolas are an amazing tourist trap :).  That being said, taking a gondola is one of those things that folks should do at least once in their travel life.  We have done it a few times, although there is no way we would share a gondola with others (like on many tours).   Gliding through the back canals is one of the most romantic things we have done (in more then forty years of extensive travel).  DW and I prefer to hire our own gondola, bring our own wine (with plastic wine glasses) and savor every moment.   We think the worst way to take a gondola ride is on a cruise line excursion where they pack 4-6 in a boat (often strangers) and often have one gondolier who sings.  Speaking of singing, we always have fun with our gondolier about him singing.  Most will make it clear they do not sing or have an awful voice.  But we once lucked out and hired a gondolier who thought he was Luciano Pavaratti (not even close).  But he did balk when I suggested he sing Nessun Dorma.

 

Speaking of wine here is our personal tip.  Stop at a local establishment that sells wine and pick up a bottle of decent (or at least half decent) Italian ride (preferably red).  Ask the shop to sell you a couple of plastic wine glasses (sometimes given free with a purchase) and have them pull the cork (and then partially reinsert).  Once in your gondola bring out the "glasses,"  pull the cork, and enjoy!   The last time we did this we did offer a drink to our gondolier but he declined...saying in pretty good English, "I do not drink and drive."

 

Hank

Thank you, very informative! First time in Venice so yes, even though it's a tourist trap - must do a gondola!

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6 minutes ago, victory2020 said:

Thank you, very informative! First time in Venice so yes, even though it's a tourist trap - must do a gondola!

For us it has been such a delightful experience that we continue to get "trapped"  :).   Those gondolas are very interesting boats which are hand-made and very expensive.  A gondola can easily cost $50,000 and the gondoliers need to cover the cost of their boat (assuming that they are the owner) and also make a decent income to handle the high cost of living in the Venice area.

 

Hank

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If you negotiate make sure to "firm"  there is clearly stated prices for day / evening and time, they really negotiate on price?   I can believe that you can discuss routes and ask for changes but then you might have to talk to a few of them.

 

The three days were there market economics suggested you need to walk around to find where there were lots of them but fewer customers, clearly at a few of the narrower places we saw many line ups, and others lots gondollas just waiting.

 

As to wine and a narrow and deserted canal, excellent advice,  as almost all the gondolas I saw were going narrower but very busy in the sense of tourist on the side/bridges, then the isolated, they didn't look at that clean and the one next to our AirBnB smelled terrible, LOL

 

I was certain me and the wife would do it, after two days we each decided it was throwing money away, YMMV.

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230 pounds sounds ridiculous. Our gondola had 3 and we definitely exceeded 230 pounds in total weight. 

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I was well over 250 when doing this two years ago , no mention on weight.

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On 7/10/2019 at 10:07 AM, dogs4fun said:

230 pounds sounds ridiculous. Our gondola had 3 and we definitely exceeded 230 pounds in total weight. 

 

The OP said it was a requirement posted for the ship-sponsored gondola ride.

 

I could see where weight may come into play in that case, as for these excursions they generally fill each gondola with as many people as it will seat -- sometimes 6 people.  If they had 6 individuals all weighing more than 230 pounds, it could be a problem. 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

The OP said it was a requirement posted for the ship-sponsored gondola ride.

 

I could see where weight may come into play in that case, as for these excursions they generally fill each gondola with as many people as it will seat -- sometimes 6 people.  If they had 6 individuals all weighing more than 230 pounds, it could be a problem. 

Ah, I thought that the total weight limit could not exceed 230 pounds. I weigh 99 pounds - nowhere near 230 (yikes!) but the 3 of us exceeded a total weight of 230 pounds.

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I remember well our 2nd trip ( a cruise outta Venice ) and we saw both on Tripadvisor and some other tour consolidators where they offered sunset gondola on the grand canal with singer.   I think NCL Star was offering that as pre/post package as well.

 

While we were having a very touristy dinner at sunset on grand canals ( yes another silly expensive but fun ), we saw a flotilla of between 4-6 gondolas packed 6 full and on one of them the singer, looked very romantic.

 

Do the math, if you DIY you can secure a gondola and negotiate evening for 100E and have only your party, route and some control.  Do a tour and you are locked in, expect to be in a full gondola with little control of time and route.

 

Good luck

 

BTW I am sure the weight limit is per/person, similar to the helicopter weight limits in Alaska.

Edited by chipmaster

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