The Gondola ride at the Venetian is one of those 'must do' proper tourist activities when you visit Las Vegas. I did the outside one *think The O.C when I was little & remember it being really good! I love the man singing at the head of the boat & having to duck down under all the tiny low bridges.
I remember floating then in & through the quaint but impressive looking shops of the Venetian & I feel like it last quite a while. On my most recent trip to Vegas, we were in The Venetian for a friends birthday dinner so decided to have a go on the Gondola's as, the friends I was with hadn't been on it before either. It was late so the outside ride was closed, but I thought it would be fun to do the inside one as something different anyway. There was barely a line at this time of night too which was a huge bonus!
It cost's $24 per person, or $96 for a private gondola if you don't want another couple/group to join you, which honestly is pretty pricey for one 'ride' by most peoples standards, but Vegas tends to make up the money it gives away in cheap hotel rooms, in activities, food & gambling. You start & finish at the same point, at the end of one of the canals on the second floor of The Venetian just down from 'St Mark's Square'. The architecture of the canal shops is honestly amazing & the Gondola ride is an great way to see it. The atmosphere is beautiful, the lighting & sky ceiling adapts with the time of day & its all pretty magical.
As you float through the canal the Gondolier sings traditional song to you & it's every bit as surreal as you can imagine, I seriously recommend, fully embracing it & looking around at how crazy it is, that a little Venice has been created in the middle of a hotel, in the middle of the desert. The only issue is, just as you're getting into it, you kind of pause at the opposite end of the canal & then turn around & head back.
While appreciating the incredible creation that is The Venetian, if you're doing Vegas for the great food, the gambling & the night life, I would leave this one off your list. If you are looking for more a more activity based trip, I would suggest going for the outdoor ride, but book in advance as lines can quickly grow during the day. It's a fun experience, but is quite a lot of money for the time you get, which I would guess is around 5 minutes of actual floating, with pauses along the way.
Have you done the Gondola ride before? What is your favourite thing to do in Vegas?