Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Gig Harbor Gondola: A Magical Experience to Add to your Bucket List

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*This post is in collaboration with Gig Harbor Gondola. We received a complimentary ride in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

As mentioned earlier, I went on a trip to Italy last fall .  Most travelers who visit the beautiful city of Venice; dream of riding a gondola.  I had a moment of insanity ha, and decided to forgo the ride . The pricetag for 20 minutes was quite spendy.
Las Vegas is another city where you can have the "Venetian" experience.  I've been to Vegas many times, and never rode the gondolas there either.  There are select few U.S. cities where you can enjoy a ride, and one is right here in WA State!

 I never dreamed I'd be riding a gondola close to home. Gig Harbor is almost in my back yard; a short 30 min drive.

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Gig Harbor Gondola

Gig Harbor is a destination we visit at least once a week.  A few summers ago, I remember seeing a majestic boat gliding through the harbor.  I couldn't believe it was a gondola on the Puget Sound! I decided I need to try it.  It took a few years, but it finally happened last weekend.  All the regrets I had about not doing it in Italy, faded away.
John Synco is the owner and gondolier who runs Gig Harbor Gondola. He gracioiulsly agreed to collaborate with us to feature the gondola ride and his story.  John's journey to entrepreneurship and owning a gondola business is very inspiring!

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His life as a gondolier in the United States began in Southern California in Feb 2002.  His friend contacted him about a company looking for gondoliers.  Jobless at the time, he accepted the position.  Nine years later, John found himself  deeply involved in Venetian rowing . He travelled to Venice, Italy twice to observe and be involved in rowing competitions.

After returning home, he was inspired by his friends who started successful gondola businesses in the U.S. This was the catalyst that pushed him to follow his passion and start his business in Gig Harbor. The rest is history.  John and his biz partner bring the spirit of Italy alive everday to the waters the West Sound.

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What is a Venetian Gondola?

Gondolas are flat bottomed rowing boats, built especially for the Venetian lagoon in Italy. It may look like a canoe, but is narrower and more decorated than a canoe.  Gondolas were the main source of tranportation in the early days of Venice. They are designed to navigate tapered alleys and charming landmarks you can't reach on foot. The gondola we were on was delivered from Venice last August.

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What to Expect on a Gondola Ride

The ride in Gig Harbor is so magical!  John does his best to make the experience as authentic as possible. He can definitely sing, and seranades his guests with a rendition of " O Sole Mia."  You will also hear interesting facts about the history of the harbor and its beautiful homes. 

You may also bring food and drinks aboard to enjoy during the ride. The Gig Harbor General Store offers a great selection, and is closeby.    The Gondola is available year around, and even when it rains! Washingtonians all have webbed feet and  we don't let the weather stop us from having fun.

In regards to a safe and healthy ride during the pandemic, check out " Safe Start Washingtion" .

Have additional questions? Check out the FAQ's here.

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Where to get on the Gondola Ride

Currently, the the gondola ride is operating out of Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard. Parking is avaliable along the main street downtown. You may have to drive around a bit to find one.  Give yourself some extra time, as downtown is very busy in summertime. 

The gondolier will meet up with you behind the red trolley food truck on Harvorview Drive. This is where the marina is located.  

3117 Harborview Dr. Gig Harbor, Wa. 98335

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How much does A Gondola Ride Cost?

There are two options for rides.  You can book a one hour ride, which gives you a half tour of the harbor.  A full harbor tour is 1.5 hour trip.  Accomodations can also be made for larger groups.
  • Half Harbor: ( 1 hr) $85.00 for two people, $20.00 for each additional person ( up to 6 people)
  • Full Harbor: ( 1.5 hr) $115 for two people, $20.00 for each additional person ( up to 6 people)
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Stunning Puget Sound Views

Nothing compares to views of the Puget Sound from the water.  Get ready for eye popping views and panoramic eye candy from every turn.  Beautiful homes big and small line the shore. The gondolier navigates the lil coves and shares stories about old landmarks Gig Harbor is known for.

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Thanks to Gig Harbor Gondola for this amazing experience. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for exciting updates and stories from around the sound.  A gondola ride is a perfect way to celebrate Pacific Northwest beauty or a special occassion.

Have you rode a gondola yet? 
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