Of course before you start your cruise, you have to figure out how to get to the ship. One of the most popular cruise ports in the world, Port Canaveral sees millions of passengers sail annually. Whether you want to sail Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Norwegian, or Disney, they all offer service from the port.
While Port Canaveral is often referred to as “sailing from Orlando,” it’s actually a decent distance from the city.
If you’re coming in for a cruise, chances are you will arrive via the Orlando International Airport. The airport is 45 miles due west of the cruise terminal.
Of course, if you’re not sure where you’re going or how best to get there, that distance may as well be an ocean. Below, we’ve rounded up all the information on transportation options to help you get to the port and start enjoying your cruise.
Location of Port Canaveral Relative to Orlando
To give you an idea of where the port sits relative to the city and airport, take a look at the map below. Getting to the port typically means heading out State Road 528 (often referred to as the “Beachline Expressway.”
The Beachline Expressway is a toll road. The tolls vary based on payment method, and where you enter and exit the road. In general, expect to pay between $3-6 in tolls when driving from the airport to the cruise ships.
The easiest address to use for the port is 9005 Charles Rowland Drive, Port Canaveral, Florida, 32920.
If coming from the Orlando airport, take the North Exit from the airport, staying to the right, to State Road 528 East. You will take S.R. 528 about 45 miles directly to Port Canaveral.
Transportation Options From Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral
If you are flying in for your cruise, there are several options for getting there without your own car. In general, we recommend a shuttle to the port due to cost and convenience. There are a number of services that offer rides out to Port Canaveral from the airport and points around Orlando. Another good option is a hotel shuttle if you plan to stay somewhere the night before your cruise. Rideshares like Uber/Lyft are also a good choice.
One thing to note is that while many of the options are pricey, keep in mind you won’t have to pay for parking as someone who drives to the port.
Independent Shuttles (Recommended)
If you want your cheapest option (and to help the local economy), then we suggest an independent shuttle service. There are numerous companies that can do the job and usually at rates below that of a taxi or Uber/Lyft.
Rates and service level can vary from company to company and will fluctuate. There are a number of companies in competition and some run specials from time to time. The cheapest rates we’ve found are $36 per person round trip by Orlando Cruise Line Connection. For most of the other shared shuttle services, expect to pay about $50-60 and more per person for round trip service. All of these shuttles run from the airport to the port.
You should note that this is shared shuttle service that may be on a schedule. Typically there are several departure times from the airport, and you will ride to the port with other cruise passengers.
- Go Port Canaveral
- Cocoa Beach Shuttle
- Cortrans Shuttle
- Port Canaveral Quick Shuttle
- Orlando Cruise Line Connection
- Port Canaveral Transit
- Airport Canaveral
Hotel Shuttles (Recommended)
Orlando and Port Canaveral are meccas of tourism. Between theme parks, cruises, and beaches, there is an amazing amount to do and see. In addition, there are tons of hotels all competing with each other for business from tourists.
As a perk to get your business, many hotels offer extras such as shuttles between Port Canaveral and the Orlando airport and/or the cruise port. The good news about these services is that they are perfect if you are flying in the day before your cruise. The hotel shuttles will pick you up, take you to the hotel, and then to the port the next day.
Now if you are flying in the day of your cruise, then hotel shuttles won’t work for you. As well, if you don’t plan to stay at a hotel the night before, then it’s not worth the extra cost of the room just for the shuttle.
To help you find a place offering a shuttle, we have a list of hotels with Orlando airport and cruise port shuttles for Port Canaveral.
Uber and Lyft have made getting rides easy no matter where you want to go. With just a few taps on your phone you can have a car waiting on you. The rideshare services do offer service to Port Canaveral from the Orlando airport and other points in the area, but it can get pricey. Expect the ride to be about $60-$70 per car (not per person), each way or ~$140 round trip. That means with two people it can be about the cost of a shuttle.
While up to four people can ride in a regular Lyft or Uber, with luggage, that would mean a tight squeeze. We’d suggest a max of three in a regular car. If you need more space, look for the “XL” services offered by the companies.
One great thing about these services is that they offer a private ride. It’s a good option if you don’t want to share a shuttle ride with lots of other people.
A one-way trip from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral by taxi is estimated at $115. Keep in mind that multiple passengers can ride for the price of one. For that reason, taxis can make sense for families, but are somewhat expensive for just one or two passengers. If you want to take a cab, rides are always available at the airport whenever you land. You will have to pay again for a ride back to the airport, so expect more than $200 for a round trip ride.
Car Rentals (Good for Exploring)
While you might be heading in just to cruise, many people come to Orlando to sail but also enjoy other attractions like Disney, Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center and more. If you plan to spend time exploring the area before or after your cruise, then a car rental might make sense. It can also be less expensive to rent a car for a day versus getting a ride or shuttle, depending on prices during your dates.
But there is also the cost of parking if you plan to rent it during your cruise. If you want to rent one-way, there are agencies available in both Orlando and Port Canaveral. So you could theoretically pick up a car in Orlando and drop off near the port.
Rates can vary widely depending on when you rent. Expect to spend about $50 a day at a minimum, however. One-way rates are likely to be higher.
You can search rental rates via KAYAK in the search box below:
Cruise Line Shuttles
The cruise lines will be happy to offer you a shuttle ride, if you’re willing to pay the high price. For example, at last check Carnival’s official shuttle charged $72 per person for a round-trip transfer from Orlando to Port Canaveral and back. That translates to $288 for a family of four. Frankly, there are cheaper ways to get to the ship.
In addition, cruise line shuttles only offer direct service to the ship and only on your cruise day. If you want to make stops before your cruise or you are flying in early, then these shuttles are not an option. For that reason, we prefer other modes of transportation.
Want to feel like a rock star? Simply want to travel a little more comfortably? Then you may want to hire a private car or limo. There are dozens of companies that offer this sort of service, including many of the ones who operate shuttles. And if you are traveling with a larger group, the per-person cost can be surprisingly affordable.
Limos run about $150-$200 each way (often with a discount for round-trip service). As a rule of thumb, if you are in a group of six or more, then definitely look into a private car or limousine to save some cash.
If you’re looking for a private car or limo, then we suggest browsing this list of companies approved to pick you up at the Orlando airport.
Getting from Miami/Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral
While most people fly into the Orlando airport for their cruise, sometimes airfare is cheaper to Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Or sometimes people simply want to explore southern Florida.
If this is the case, you should realize that your options are somewhat limited in getting to Port Canaveral. There is no quick and easy shuttle that we know of. Instead, we recommend looking into one-way car rentals. This way you can drive to the port (it’s about 215 miles from Miami) and not have to worry about parking.
One-way rentals can be a bit expensive for what is essentially one day of car rental. Rental rates seem to be slightly cheaper if traveling from Port Canaveral back to Miami.
More on Cruising From Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral Cruise Parking — Parking at the port? We’ve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.
Port Canaveral Park and Cruise Hotels — If you plan to stay in the area the night before your cruise, look at this list of hotels that offer cruise parking with a one-night stay.
Port Canaveral Hotels with Cruise Shuttles — Staying at a hotel with a cruise shuttle can make it easy to get to the port on embarkation day.