Complete Guide to Cruising From Cape Liberty (New York)

In a city that’s the biggest in the United States, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a single cruise port isn’t enough. After all, the New York area has multiple baseball, football, and basketball teams. Why not multiple cruise ports?

Wake of a cruise ship from New York

In fact, New York has three cruise ports that offer sailings — Cape Liberty, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Of course, with three ports there’s a lot of things to know about each specific terminal.

If you are sailing from Cape Liberty, then odds are that you are sailing aboard Royal Caribbean. While the port serves multiple lines, it’s dominated by Royal Caribbean, which operates the single terminal at Cape Liberty. It sails one of its large Quantum-class vessels from Cape Liberty to the Bahamas and Caribbean year-round.

To help those passengers sailing from Cape Liberty, we’ve created this guide to tell you everything you need to know about sailing from the port.

Fast Facts

  • Distance from Newark Airport: 10 miles
  • Number of Terminals: 1
  • Passengers Carried Each Year: ~500,000
  • Cruise Lines Served: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Mein Schiff

Cape Liberty Location

Cape Liberty is actually located in Bayonne, New Jersey, just southwest of Manhattan. Only about 12 miles from the open waters of the Atlantic, it’s a relatively convenient location to start a cruise as it only takes a short time to get out to sea.

Map of location of Cape Liberty
Map data: Google

Newark Airport is by far the closest airport to the cruise port (about 10 miles). It’s just about a 20-minute car ride from the ship.

Driving the port? Then you’ll want to use this address:

4 Port Terminal Blvd, Bayonne, NJ 07002

Of course, many people fly into the New York area to spend some time before their cruise. And with millions of people living in the metro, still more drive to the port. If this applies to you, here are the distances and expected drive times to get to Cape Liberty:

  • Newark Airport: 10 miles | 15-25 minutes
  • LaGuardia Airport: 20 miles | 35-60 minutes
  • JFK Airport: 28 miles | 45-75 minutes
  • Brooklyn: 16 miles | 45-65 minutes
  • Manhattan: 15 miles | 45-60 minutes
  • Queens: 25 miles | 45-65 minutes
  • The Bronx: 28 miles | 45-65 minutes

Cruise Terminals at the Port

Cape Liberty is served by a single terminal, operated by Royal Caribbean. Updated just a few years ago, it is now a 125,000 square foot terminal designed to handle some of the cruise line’s largest ships.

The terminal is at the end of the roughly mile long pier, next to the famous Tear Drop Memorial that serves as a monument to the September 11 attacks.

Transportation options can drop you off right at the terminal, and there is also on-site parking available (details below)

Getting to the Port (Transportation)

In a large metro area like New York, there is no shortage of ways to get around. Whether you plan to drive yourself to the port, take a cab, catch an Uber, or a shuttle, you have a number of options.

We’ve covered all of the ways to get to Cape Liberty (whether coming from the airport or points elsewhere) here. Below, we have some highlights of the most common ways to the ship.

Driving to Cape Liberty
If you live in the area, then you might be able to simply drive to the port, or have a friend/family member drop you off.

Driving to the port also offers the most flexibility of any option. You can arrive when you want and also head home as soon as you get off the ship. There is no need to wait for a ride. If you do drive and need to park, Cape Liberty has a parking garage onsite, right next to the cruise terminal.

Uber/Lyft
Flying in for your cruise? Or maybe you live in the area and don’t have a car… or just don’t want to pay for parking. Uber and Lyft are a convenient way to get to the cruise port and get back once your cruise is over.

If you aren’t familiar with these apps, you simply download them to your phone and then you can order a ride from just about anywhere. The entire transaction is handled through your phone. We have more details on using Uber & Lyft to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port here.

Estimated rates from points of interest are below. Uber and Lyft charge an $20 fee for rides that originate in New York and end in New Jersey (or vice versa). To avoid this extra cost, you can take public transportation from New York to New Jersey and then catch and Uber/Lyft to the port within the state. That can save you considerably.

Keep in mind that these rates are for the car, where up to four people can ride.

  • Newark Airport: $15-18
  • LaGuardia Airport: $105-120
  • JFK Airport: $120-140
  • Times Square: $77-84
  • Brooklyn: $90-105
  • The Bronx: $90-105
  • Queens: $100-110

Taxi
New York’s taxi cabs are famous and yes, they can get you to and from the cruise port. However, you should know that taking you to points outside of New York is at the cab driver’s discretion.

According to NYC.gov, “The Driver may choose whether to take such trips. The fare must be mutually agreed upon before the trip may begin.”  If hailing the cab in New Jersey, there will be no issues with them getting to the cruise port.

Estimated fares are below, but keep in mind that they can vary depending on what you negotiate. Above all, we’d suggest not paying more than the Uber/Lyft rates listed above:

  • Newark Airport: $40
  • LaGuardia Airport: $88
  • JFK Airport: $115
  • Times Square: $69
  • Brooklyn: $69
  • The Bronx: $91
  • Queens: $103

For more transportation options, see our article here.

Parking at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port

Of course if you drive to the cruise ship then you will need somewhere to park your car. Fortunately, parking is extremely convenient at the port. While we have full details of all your parking options here, we think most people will opt for the official port parking.

Official Port Parking
Cape Liberty features an onsite garage, as well as an open-air lot for large vehicles. The parking rate is $22 per day. Oversized vehicles are allowed, but they are charged double the daily rate.

No reservations are needed. The Cape Liberty port guarantees passengers a parking space. You’ll pay once you arrive and the garage accepts both cash and credit cards.

Hotels with Cruise Parking
Given the location of Cape Liberty near the Newark-Liberty airport, there are a number of hotels that feature parking packages designed for people driving to the airport for their flight. However, you can use these same packages to park at the hotel and then head to the cruise port.

These hotels will give you a night’s stay and parking as part of a package. Often you pay only $40-50 more for a night to book the package, saving you a considerable amount of money over parking at the port.

See our full list of Cape Liberty “Park and Cruise” hotels here. We also have a few options below, with links to reviews on TripAdvisor. (Keep in mind you’ll want to book any packages through the hotel website, linked on TripAdvisor.)

Hotels Near the Cape Liberty Cruise Port

Need a place to stay before your cruise? The area right around the cruise port is a relative desert when it comes to hotels. There aren’t many places to stay within a couple of miles.

Instead, your best option is to stay near Newark International Airport. The airport is about 10 miles away, making it relatively convenient to the port. As well, if you are flying in and out of Newark, many hotels nearby have shuttles to the airport.

Here are a number of hotels closest to the port with high ratings:

For more hotel options, see our listing of hotels near the Cape Liberty cruise port.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to get to Cape Liberty?
The best way to Cape Liberty depends on where you are coming from. If coming from Newark airport or somewhere else in New Jersey, then we’d suggest getting an Uber/Lyft. They are relatively cheap and quick to get you where you need to go.

If coming from New York, then we’d suggest taking public transport to get to New Jersey, and then taking an Uber/Lyft to the port. There is no public transportation that drops off at the terminal and it’s expensive to take a taxi/Uber/Lyft from New York to New Jersey due to the congestion charges.

Instead, take a train to New Jersey and then Uber/Lyft the rest of the way avoid these extra charges. More details can be found here.

What time should I schedule my flight back home from Cape Liberty?
Most cruises from Cape Liberty will get you back to the port early in the morning (6-7 a.m.) to get the ship ready to turn around to sail again. After porting, however, you have to wait for customs and immigration to process the passengers. It can be anywhere from about 8:30-10:30 a.m. before you get off the ship.

As well, you have to factor in the time it takes to get to the airport. Newark is only about 20 minutes away, while JFK International and LaGuardia can be up to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic. Then factor in security time and getting to your gate.

For that reason, we suggest the following times as the earliest you want to schedule your flight home. Yes, you could fly earlier, but this gives you plenty of time so you don’t have to stress:

  • Newark-Liberty: 12:00 p.m.
  • JFK International: 1:30 p.m.
  • LaGuardia: 1:30 p.m.

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