Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where did you get your gondolas?
A: In Venice, Italy.
Q: How is gondola pronounced?
A: Europeans say GON′-dб-la, and Americans say gon-DŌ′-la. Both pronunciations are correct – same word, same meaning. The root word translates as “a basket that carries things.”
Q: Is there a motor in the gondolas?
A: No. Our gondolas are authentic boats brought to Minnesota from Venice, Italy. We row them in the traditional way – with one gondolier using one oar. Some companies give gondola rides in motor boats that are made only to look like a true gondola – a totally different experience than the rides we offer.
Q: How many people will a gondola hold?
A: Up to six passengers.
Q: Will my cruise be private?
A: Any booked cruise is a private cruise, reserved just for your party. Unscheduled walk-up rides are public rides.
Q: How long is a gondola?
A: Approximately 36 feet long and 4 feet wide.
Q: What are the gondolas made out of?
A: The gondolas are made out of 8 different kinds of wood, all for a specific reason. 1. Larch. 2. Fir. 3. Oak. 4. Elm. 5. Cherry. 6. Mahogany. 7. Lime. 8. Walnut.
Q: Are gondolas safe?
A: Yes. These boats have evolved over 1,000 years – and when a style of boat is around for that long, any problems are worked out! The gondola will not flip over like a canoe – it will always right itself due to its asymmetrical design.
Q: How do you steer a gondola?
A: Steering a gondola is very much like steering a canoe. For example, if you paddle a canoe from the back and on the right side, the canoe drifts to the left. At the end of each stroke, you do a J or C stroke to pull the canoe back to the right. In a gondola, the gondolier pushes the oar back for power, and on the return stroke he keeps the oar in the water. The amount of resistance put on the oar on the return is the equivalent to a J or C stroke that pulls the gondola back to the right.
Q: Can we bring a picnic or a beverage on our ride?
A: Yes. You are invited to bring food and beverages to enjoy on your ride. You are permitted to bring an alcoholic beverage to the Stillwater location.
Q: What is your season of operation?
A: By appointment, evenings May through October, weather permitting. Walk-up rides are available as our schedule allows.
Q: What are your hours?
A: Evenings, 4:00 pm to1 a.m., 7 days a week, by appointment. Daytime hours are also possible. Check our on-line booking or call 651-439-1783. Walk-up rides are available as our schedule allows.
Q: Are gift certificates available?
A: Yes. To order, call 651-439-1783 or book them online.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Once booked, all reservations are non-refundable. You may change the date and time of your scheduled ride up to 72 hours before. No changes are allowed after 72 hours before the booked ride because your ride is guaranteed.
However, the gondolier will decide if rain or unsafe weather should be a factor in canceling a ride. If Gondola Romantica cancels a ride, we will re-book it at the earliest opportunity or issue a gift certificate good for one year.