Reviews, Press and Testimonials

You can read all of our excellent customer reviews by clicking here.

People love us on Yelp!

“Lovely! Everything about this experience was great from reservation to ride. Making a reservation online was pretty easy and the girl who checked us in was really friendly.

The gondola was actually from Venice, and so was the gondolier, who sang in Italian during the ride.

They let you bring wine, beer, (insert your beverage here) on the boat… you can even get a drink from the Lake Chalet bar to take on board. They supply blankets and the seats are really comfortable.

Fun times. Highly recommend for a romantic sunset date.”

New York Times Article


We were so excited to get a mention in this article in the New York Times from July 31, 2012.

“You can take a gondola — yes, gondola — ride from the Lake Chalet restaurant on Lake Merritt, which serves as a relaxing oasis near downtown. Also at the lake are paddle or other boat rentals, restaurants and cafes…if you have small children in tow, take in the mild thrills of Children’s Fairyland, an amusement park for the pint-sized set.”

– from “The Other Side of San Fran Bay: Discover Oakland”

October 29, 2011

April, i just wanted to take some time and send you a little note to thank you so much for being so helpful and accommodating to me and my love. The Gondola experience was one that we will never forget. Alessandro was fantastic. We love our wine glasses. You were so sweet and understanding and that is very rare in this world. We truly appreciate all that you did and how you did your best to make our experience a great one. We had a wonderful and romantic time on the Gondola. It was better than we imagined. Thank you so much for such a beautiful and unforgettable memory.

I wish you all the luck. I have already started telling friends and family about the great Gondola ride we did. And I will surely do it again.

Thank you…

Take care!


Just wanted you to know that we had a lovely time with Alessandro in the Gondola on Lake Merritt last night! It was such a peaceful ride and we got to know a lot of things about Italy.

So thankful that you all are doing a wonderful service for Oakland and for us! Have a great summer!

Judi Fabrizio

Dear April,

Just a note to let you know what a fabulous time I had with my partner, my mom and especially my dad (on Fathers’ Day) riding the gondola on Lake Merritt.

In case no one has ever told you, we loved Alessandro! He was very informative, accommodating, funny and a fabulous vocalist! He really made me forget I was in Oakland! I told my friends that if they ever wanted to go to Venice and back I know just the place to go.

In these times I have to say that customer service has been a lost art. I am so happy to just write to you and say my experience with you from the beginning and Alessandro to the end was truly exceptional.

I am a Store Manager for a local business on Lakeshore. My partner and I just moved into this area recently and this has been one of my favorite experiences I’ve had in Oakland.

With Gratitude,

P.S. We will be back.