Port of Ravenna, Italy – the essential guide

The Italian port of Ravenna, is now home to many cruise ships that previously were starting their cruise itineraries to the Mediterranean or to the Greek Isles from the Port of Venice.

Why? Well, Venice is known as the floating city. And much has been reported about how the water level is rising and that the ancient streets are at risk of crumbling. Congestion in port traffic has therefore resulted in some cruise ships being moved from docking at Venice.

And that has given the Port of Ravenna time to shine.

Previously unfamiliar to cruise guests, Ravenna has gained a lot of attention recently when Royal Caribbean was awarded a contract to build a brand new terminal there. The plan is that this new cruise port terminal will be in operation in 2024. Until then, both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are using the existing terminals in Ravenna to dock their ships bound for the Mediterranean or the Greek Isles, and beyond.

So, what if you want to spend time in Venice before you cruise from Ravenna?

It is vital that you check with your cruise line which of the ports you need to head to, before you book your flight and transfer arrangements. Have you booked a cruise from Venice or are you now leaving from Ravenna? Most cruise guests are eager to spend time in Venice before they cruise from Ravenna. And so you should.

The good news is that getting to Ravenna from Venice is not difficult, it just takes a bit of travel time and you should allow for this. There will be a transport cost of course, and you should allow for this in your vacation budget. There are a few different options, at different price points.

Historic and charming Ravenna

Ravenna, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, is a quaint, historic city located 150km south of Venice on the Adriatic Sea. It takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to travel between central Venice and Ravenna (or vice versa).

Proudly home to eight Unesco World Heritage monuments, the historic center of Ravenna is a charming maze of small streets packed with museums, parks, local cafes, restaurants and local boutiques. Shop the main streets of via Cavour, via Diaz, and via Cairoli to find small artizan shops, local wines and food.

Ravenna is the old capital of the Roman Empire, and it is worth booking a tour with a local guide to really appreciate the history of your surroundings. You can contact the offical tourism board for more information and prices here.

With 35km of coastline along the Adriatic seas, Ravennas best beaches and lidos include Papeete Beach and Lido Adriano, but they are quite a drive from the city, at least 30 minutes by car.

How to get there

The best way to get to Ravenna from Venice is by train. If you are staying on Venice island, purchase train tickets travelling from Venezia S.Lucia train station to Ravenna, changing trains at Ferrara.

Trenitalia is the main train operator in Italy. They have the high speed Frecce trains that connect you to major cities in addition to numerous regional trains. You can book tickets directly on their website from about 3 months within your travel date. Just change the language on the upper right corner of the website from Italian to English if you need to.

Alternatively you can purchase train tickets directly at the train station. The cost of a single journey between Venice island and Ravenna for an adult is around 25 euros per person.

Outside of the train station in Ravenna there are taxis to take you to the port. The price is about 21 euros and the journey time is about 15 minutes. If it’s a national holiday or evening/night journey the price will be around 26 euros.

Where to stay in Ravenna

We actually recommend at least one hotel night in Ravenna before your cruise starts to ensure you get there in time. It really is a charming city. Ideally you will arrive in time to spend at least one day in Ravenna before your start your cruise.

Here are our top 3 hotel recommendations for your stay in Ravenna:

Palazzo Bezzi Ravenna

Situated on Via de Roma in the historic heart of Ravenna, Hotel Palazzo Bezzi is an elegant 4-star hotel with nicely designed rooms, excellent restaurant and a large roof terrace. Choose between standard, superior and executive class rooms, or a junior suite that offers an additional sofabed if you are more than 2 guests traveling together. This intimate hotel has only 32 rooms so book early if you are visiting in peak season to avoid disappointment.

Hotel NH Ravenna

Another great NH hotel in the NH chain of hotels which you find across Europe. This cosmopolitan hotel is a great choice, located between the historic district and Ravenna railway station. Indeed if you are arriving by train the hotel is a short 5 minute walk away. Expect 4-star standard and an excellent, friendly concierge service. We recommend that you sign up for the NH Rewards Program. It is free of charge to sign up and you can start earning points for every night you stay at a NH Hotel. The more points you have the greater the discounts and free upgrades!

Exclusive Hotel Residence La Reunion

This private hotel opened its doors to guests in 2003 and since then have offered well-priced suites with fully equipped kitchens. The high standard of accommodation is perfect for families who want to self cater, but who also want the convenience of a hotel. It’s possible to include breakfast in your booking and the hotel offers organically grown local produce. Plus you are right in the heart of the city and walking distance to the UNESCO Byzanthine Monuments.

Airports close to Ravenna

If you prefer to skip visiting Venice and fly straight to Ravenna, the closest airports are Rimini (60km) and Bologna International airport (80km). Book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Ravenna in advance with a trusted provider such as Viator.

Alternatively you can hop into a taxi at one of the official taxi stands outside of the arrival terminal. The journey time is around 1hr and 20 minutes and will cost you about 150-180 euros.

A much more cost effective way to travel is by train from Bologna to Ravenna. You will need to get the airport shuttle train (Marconi Express) or a taxi to Bologna central train station, 6km from the airport. From the train station there is a direct train to Ravenna. The journey time by train is a little over one hour and costs around 8 euros per person.

If you are flying into Rimini airport, take a taxi to the main central station. From there you can get a direct train to Ravenna. Journey time is just under one hour and a one way ticket costs around 5 euros per person.

How to get to the port of Ravenna from the historical center

Once you are checked into your hotel, ask the hotel concierge to arrange for a taxi to take you from your hotel to the port on the morning of your cruise.

The journey time is around 15 minutes. Check your cruise ticket but you will most likely be starting your cruise from the cruise terminal located in Porto Corsini. Porto Corsini is a small seaside resort located about 11km from the center of Ravenna. There are local buses from the central train station in Ravenna if you prefer, and you can find more information and a pdf of bus times on our page here.

Check the price with the concierge and confirm this with your driver before you leave the hotel. We really wouldn’t recommend any other way. Remember you have your cruise packing and luggage with you, so the quickest and easiest route from A to B makes sense.

Need more help? We’re here to help!

Still in the planning process and need help deciding on the best cruise for you and your family? The linked articles below will help you along the way. They packed full of good advice and travel tips to help you book the perfect cruise.

Mediterranean cruise from Rome – Royal Caribbean International

Italy cruise package – combine Venice, Florence and Rome

Cruise from Venice – the essential guide

Best cruise deals and how to get them

Top tips for booking a cruise and avoiding common mistakes

Essential tips for a first time cruises

Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..