Uber Offers New Way to Explore European Cruise Ports

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While cruisers may be quite familiar with hailing a taxi or summoning an Uber to drive them around their destinations, most travelers likely haven’t thought of getting around popular ports by boat.

But thanks to Uber Boats, cruisers will have a new way to navigate European destinations beginning this summer – just in time for the peak of the 2024 European cruise season that typically spans from April to October. 

While Uber Boats have been around for a while – with Uber Yacht launching in Dubai, UAE, in 2016 and Uber Boats offering $30 rides between the East Bay and San Francisco, California, as early as 2013 – Uber Boats are still a fairly new concept in Europe.

Uber Boats
Uber Boats

The transportation company first launched its boat program in Mykonos, Greece, last year, in the summer of 2023 – which was met with much success. 

In order to cater to the demand, Uber is expanding its Uber Boat services across Europe, starting with Ibiza, Spain – a beloved island in the Mediterranean Sea

Beginning in August 2024, cruisers will be able to pre-book a private yacht experience for up to 8 passengers at least 24 hours in advance using Uber Reserve in their Uber App, with reservations first becoming available later this month on July 26. 

For €1,600 (euros), or approximately $1,732 (USD), guests will get an 8-hour tour of the White Island onboard a luxurious Sunseeker Yacht with a personal (and knowledgeable skipper), complimentary champagne, and gourmet snacks sourced from local artisans. 

Considering other private tours can range from $1,200 upwards to $3,000 or so, sometimes for shorter 4-6 hour tours or group experiences, this is a pretty good deal. Plus, any required transportation to and from Ibiza Town Marina, where the tour embarks, are also included in the price of the experience. 

Uber Boats Expands Throughout Europe

The coast of Ibiza isn’t the only place where cruisers can catch a lift from an Uber Yacht or boat. 

The program is also coming to Venice, Italy, beginning this month – July 2024 – in the form of “limo boats.” 

Despite placing a ban to limit cruise traffic that took effect in August of 2021, the City of Canals is still one of the most popular cruise ports, welcoming upwards of 30,000 to 40,000 visitors on the busiest days. 

To help cruisers make the most of their day in port, Uber will offer Limo Boats on demand from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week, starting at €120, or about $130, per trip. 

Similarly, Uber Boat will expand throughout Greece by the end of July. In addition to Mykonos where the service first launched, Uber Boat will also expand to Athens, Corfu, and Santorini.

MSC Cruises in Venice
MSC Cruises in Venice (Photo Credit: Don Mammoser / Shutterstock)

Considering Greece is another country that is so overwhelmed by cruise tourism that the southeastern country is looking into enacting cruise ship restrictions of its own, the new way to get around will likely help handle the peak season crowds. 

In 2023, the Greek ports welcomed more than 7 million cruise passengers across over 5,000 ships – a record breaking 9.41% increase in ship calls and a 51.26% surge in passenger numbers. 

Prices will vary by location and demand, but interested guests can book boat rides via the Uber app starting at around €200, or $216.54. 

Read Also: Discussions Begin on Daily Cruise Cap and Future at Greek Destination

That said, not all Uber Boat experiences will cost a significant chunk of change. This summer, guests visiting Paris, France, are invited aboard all-electric boats to take a free, one-hour cruise down the River Seine. 

Throughout the hour, guests will pass by famous landmarks like Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. 

The Paris tours will be available from July 12 to August 3, 2024, coinciding with the start of Summer Olympics, which will be held in the City of Light from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

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