- Can I purchase a gift certificate?
Absolutely – gondola cruises make wonderful gifts!
You can purchase a gift certificate or a gift card for any type of cruise we offer.
Just scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the red button that says Gift Card. Your gift is sent in an electronic gift-card format. If you wish to send it as a custom certificate with your specific cruise selection, please contact us via phone or email.
- Do you provide wine or champagne? Can I bring my own?
All of our upgraded cruises come with a complimentary bottle of sparkling cider, sparkling water, or plain bottled water. We do offer the purchase of a bottle of wine (merlot, chardonnay, moscato, pinot noir pinot grigio, or cabernet) or Champagne as an upgrade to the beverage provided. Guests must be over 21 to purchase alcohol. Because we offer wine and champagne as an amenity on the gondola, you will find our prices to be pleasantly competitive. Click here for current brands and prices. If you would like to bring your own bottled beverage, we provide you with a silver bucket, ice, and real glassware. There is a small corkage fee.
- Do I need to make a reservation?
All of our cruises are by reservation, so please call us or click on Choose Your Cruise to make your reservation.
- When is the best time to cruise?
Although the most popular time to cruise is during sunset, the best time to cruise can really only be determined by you. Consider a romantic picnic lunch cruise on the water. A late afternoon cruise is a great way to start off your evening before a dinner reservation, or you may want to take dessert to go with you after the sun has already set for a moonlight ride. You can find Newport sunset times here.
- Are your cruises just for romantics?
On the contrary, we frequently host family cruises (for birthdays, holidays, or Mother’s Day). We’ve hosted business lunches on board the gondolas. Our lunch cruises are a delightful way to break the ice or conduct business informally during a pleasant midday cruise. We can accommodate two to six people on one boat or larger groups in several boats cruising in close proximity.
- Can I cancel my cruise?
All of our cruises are non-refundable, but they are transferrable. Once you make a reservation, that date and time are held specifically for you. If you are unable to make a scheduled cruise, we suggest having a friend or family member cruise in your place instead of letting the gondola sit empty for your reservation time.
- Do I need to arrive early for my cruise?
While we suggest giving yourself a safety cushion of time so as not to be hurried, early arrival doesn’t necessarily mean you depart early. The gondolier may be preparing the boat, especially if he has had a cruise prior to yours. Your cruise departs at the appointed time.
- What do I do if I'm running late?
We row by reservation, so your gondola and gondolier’s time are blocked specifically for your cruise. If you are running late, your gondolier will be waiting for you by the gondola (for at least 45 minutes into an hour cruise and 90 minutes into a two-hour cruise). Depending on the gondolier’s schedule, your cruise may need to pull in at the scheduled end time. Because all of our cruises are non-refundable, please still plan to arrive if you are running late so at least you can enjoy a portion of your cruise.
- How do I submit a bottle message?
Please send bottle messages to [email protected] and put your event number, last name, and date of your cruise in the subject line. Please consult your receipt for your event number.
If you don’t have the event number handy, please at least include your last name and the date of your cruise so we can be sure to get the right message to you on your cruise.
- Will my written bottle message get wet while it's floating in the water?
Absolutely not! Our bottle messages are presented on beautiful parchment paper, rolled tightly and tied with a ribbon, placed all the way into a brand new clear glass wine bottle, and sealed tightly with a cork. The cork keeps the message 100% dry until the guest of honor retrieves it from the water, and removal from the bottle is accomplished by simply popping the cork and tugging on the ribbon.
- What if it rains? What about inclement weather?
Our policy for inclement weather is that we issue a rain check/gift certificate to the guest, who can redeem it at a time of their convenience within a year.
All of our cruises are non-refundable. In case of inclement weather – if it is raining or too windy to cruise – we will contact you and either reschedule as soon as possible or issue you a gift certificate valid for one year from the original cruise date.
- Will there be anyone else on the boat besides my date and me?
Our cruises are private charters. That means that the boat is yours for the time you reserve it. Only if you bring other friends along will you be sharing the boat. In fact, the boats are a unique way to relax with friends over a glass of wine before dinner or just to catch up. It’s a great way to impress out of town friends or guests.
- Can I bring my children on the gondola? What is the price?
You can bring your children aboard our gondolas. Children under 5 are free. The maximum guest count on any gondola is 6 passengers (regardless of age), due to Coast Guard regulations.
- Can I request a specific gondola?
Yes, you may ask for a specific gondola. We do our best to accommodate you, but we cannot guarantee that all requests will be met (guests who do not receive their specified gondola will not receive a full or partial refund).
- What should I wear?
While some guests prefer to dress up for the occasion, especially if they are going to dinner or a show after their cruise, we always recommend that you dress comfortably and seasonally appropriate (for example, dress warmly in winter, although we do carry blankets on board). We find our guests generally dress in a nice but casual fashion, as they would to go to a restaurant. Ladies with heels: remember you will be walking on a dock to board the gondola, so we advise against stilettos.
- What about music? Do your gondoliers sing?
Gondola Adventures is one of the only companies in the country fully licensed to sing and play recorded music on the gondolas. All of our gondoliers play romantic music (jazz, Sinatra, classical, opera, etc.) on the cruises – each gondolier has a different selection. Some of our gondoliers sing, again all with different selections (opera, Italian, French, Spanish, original compositions – we have crooners, opera singers, and singers of soft melodies).
If you would like a singing gondolier, please note it in your comments or ask your reservations specialist (please be advised requests cannot be guaranteed).
- Are beverages served in plastic or glassware?
We have specialty glass flutes, which have a wide base for stability, and we also offer plasticware for beverage service. With our casual cruises, cruises with children, and with larger groups, we will often provide plasticware instead of glass, but if you prefer glass, just ask your gondolier!
- Do the gondolas have life jackets aboard?
All of our gondolas have life jackets under the deck. If you would like to wear one or would like any children aboard to wear them, please advise us in advance so we can have them ready for you. Please know that the gondolas are very safe and we’ve never had occasion to use any life jackets.
- Can we smoke on the gondola?
No. Some of our gondolas are made completely out of wood, and some have many wood and flammable elements.
- Can we bring our own food?
We don’t allow outside food on the gondola, but we do have all sorts of different food options — lunch cruises, appetizer cruises, dessert cruises, and dinner cruises — as well as specialty enhancements adding lighter snacks on our non-meal cruises.