Take an amorous adventure aboard the classic vessel of romance with today’s Groupon: for $40, you and your sweetheart will experience la dolce vita sans passport with an hour-long Pasaporto Cruise for two from The Gondola Company, an $85 value. You can also choose to upgrade to a sunset cruise by paying $14 extra upon arrival.
Bring your Italian-fairytale fantasies to life without enduring the cost and chaos of the international flight. From your gondolier (decked out in the requisite striped shirt and ribbon-trimmed hat ensemble) to the Italian music playing on board, every detail is designed to simulate the boot-shaped country’s most romantic tradition. It'll be like a postcard come to life, but without the frightening metaphysical implications.
You’ll depart from Loews Crown Isle Marina, and glide through the exquisite canals and waterways of the Coronado Cays with the gentle pulse of the Pacific lapping against the sleek, black Venetian vessel. Take turns popping complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries into each other’s mouths, or opt for an appetizer plate of sliced Italian meats, mozzarella, and olives, as you snuggle under the blankets to fend off the serene nautical breeze. You can also bring your own bottle of bubbly, and The Gondola Company will provide an opener, glasses, and an ice bucket.
If your relationship has mainly consisted of Facebook pokes and sweet tweets, now’s your chance to redeem yourself by surprising your significant other with a taste of old-fashioned courtship. Take a cue from the cinematic formula for romance so beautifully exemplified by The Notebook, Boat Trip, Jaws: being at sea makes people fall madly in love. Get this Groupon to celebrate an anniversary, re-spark a flame, or as an inventive date-night alternative to dinner and a movie. It also makes a magical gift for Sweetest Day, the autumnal version of Valentine’s Day, coming up on October 17.
Yelpers give The Gondola Company 4.5 stars:
- I surprised my husband with a gondola ride for our anniversary and he was quite pleased with my choice of dates since it also brought back memories of our gondola ride in Venice! – Janet D.
- I originally wanted to go during the sunset (they were already booked) but I'm glad we did night because its [sic] so quite [sic] and calm on the waters. Also you can see all the beautiful lights of San Diego. – Cynthia C.
- The gondolier was so nice and he had an amazing voice. Music was beautiful. That's when my man knew that he had to marry me, ha! – Kennya W.
The Gondola Company
Perhaps with the exception of a high-school prom, The Gondola Company can put almost any romantic event on the water. Its vessels ferry passengers across the canals of the Coronado Cays on several types of cruises, all of which spark a romantic ambiance with Italian music and BYOB amenities. The classic 50-minute Pasaporto jaunts depart for relaxing voyages day and night. As an optional add-on, a live mandolin or violin player can tag along to strum charming, traditional melodies.
The gondoliers do not exclusively transport small groups; they also pilot Venetian caorlinas, larger boats that can accommodate up to 14 people during family-style celebrations. For even grander gatherings, a fleet cruise dispatches as many as six separate gondolas, which can smoothly support entire wedding parties atop the water. Other specialized cruises treat passengers to more than scenic views and the melancholy mating croons of wild sturgeons. On a wine-tasting cruise, a sommelier lectures on a flight of six libations. Alternatively, a Voga massage cruise lays two beds inside the boat, permitting massage therapists to coax tension from couples' torsos and limbs as they skim along the canal surface.