5 Easy Ways to Get From LAX (And Other Airports) to the Cruise Port

Looking for transportation between a Los Angeles airport and the cruise port? We have you covered.

While Los Angeles is known for its love affair with the car, the convenience of having one certainly comes with a price. 

Parking will set you back roughly $120 for a week-long cruise (rates vary depending on which port you are sailing from). That’s not to mention the cost of renting a car if you are flying into an area airport for a cruise. Then there is the added hassle of navigating through LA traffic to get to the cruise terminal.

Thankfully, there are a number of options available to get you back and forth from Los Angeles International (LAX), the Long Beach Airport (LGB) or other points in the area to the cruise terminals at the World Cruise Center (Port of Los Angeles) and the Port of Long Beach.

Map of Los Angeles cruise ports
Map data: Google

Before we get to your options, one thing to keep in mind when planning your trip is the time it takes to get from point to point in the area. Below we’ve listed some average drive times from points of interest to the cruise ports.

Ride Times to Port of LA | Port of Long Beach:

  • Los Angeles International (LAX): 30 min | 40 min
  • Long Beach Airport (LBG): 25 min | 20 min
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA): 45 min | 35 min
  • Downtown: 40 min | 45 min
  • Beverly Hills: 1 hour | 1 hour 15 min
  • Pasadena: 55 min | 55 min
  • Santa Monica: 60 min | 1 hour 10 min
  • Anaheim: 45 min | 40 min

Be sure to consider this time to get from point to port when planning your schedule on cruise day. (Wondering which airport to use? See our article on the best airports to fly into for your Los Angeles cruise.)

Uber/Lyft (Recommended)

When it comes to the combination of convenience and cost, it’s tough to beat Uber & Lyft.

With just a few clicks on a smartphone app, you can call up a ride that’s usually much cheaper than a traditional taxi. The rideshare companies are everywhere in the southern California area, meaning that you can get a ride anywhere you are.

Drop Off/Pick Up at Airports
Catching a ride from the area airports is simple. Each airport in the area now allows Uber and Lyft to operate. You’ll simply open the app, request a ride, and follow the instructions on where to be picked up.

To give you an idea of what the fare would cost, here are some estimates for Uber & Lyft from various spots in the city. Keep in mind that these prices are per car, not per person. 

Standard Uber and Lyft rides are quoted as a ride for up to four people, but consider your luggage as well. If you don’t think your entire party can fit in a small four-door sedan, this it’s best to select an “XL” ride (fits up to six adults) or take two separate cars.

Chart of estimated fares for Uber, Lyft, and taxi from airports to the Los Angeles and Long Beach cruise ports.

For more on riding with Uber and Lyft in Los Angles to the cruise ports, visit our page dedicated to the services.

Taxis

Want to take a traditional cab? If coming from an airport where there are dedicated cab station, it’s not a bad choice as there should be cars waiting for you. If you are anywhere else in the city, expect to wait at least a few minutes for your ride. Be sure to call early.

Above, we’ve listed the estimated taxi fare from popular areas to the cruise ports. Note that these are estimates, but they are usually much higher cost than taking an Uber or Lyft.

For that reason we recommend using a rideshare service over a cab.

Cruise Shuttles

If you are flying into Los Angeles then you can also use transfers supplied by the cruise line to get to the port. These transfers leave at set times from the airport on the day of sailing, and can also give you a ride back from the cruise ship to the airport.

For example, Carnival provides transportation between Los Angeles International or Long Beach Airport to the Port of Long Beach. The cost is $30 per person each way from LAX and $24 from Long Beach Airport.

Norwegian Cruise Lines offers transfers between LAX and the Port of Los Angeles, costing $20 per person each way.

If you’re interested in one of the cruise lines transfers, you’ll need to contact your cruise line directly (you can often book through your online account as well).

For a couple of reasons, we usually suggest going with another option than a cruise shuttle transfer.

First, it is expensive. The rates shown above are per person. So a family of four is paying $30 each ($120) just to get from LAX to a Carnival cruise. Other options like Uber and taxis price based on the car, not the number of occupants.

Second, cruise transfers are extremely limited. In this case, they run only from LAX to the cruise port… and only on the day of sailing.

So if you come in early, are flying into an airport other than LAX, or are staying at a hotel in the area, then the cruise line transfer isn’t a viable option.

Independent Shuttles/Car Services

Sign for shuttle to the airport from cruise ship

If you are traveling with a larger group to port, or you simply want to travel in style, then your best bet is likely to look for an independent shuttle or private car service.

These providers can offer private service to the port, sometimes for less per person than a taxi or other service, assuming you have five or more passengers.

To be frank, the number of shuttles and car services in the Los Angeles area is extremely high. That means we can’t list them all here. Instead, we’ve rounded up a sample list of area companies to give you a good start to go from. (Note: We have not personally used these services, so be sure to research before you book.)

The prices quoted by these companies can vary widely depending on what sort of service you need and exactly where you are coming from. However, as a general rule expect it to be a better value the larger a group you need to transport. Be sure to shop around before selecting a service as it can save you considerable money.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the prices you are quoted won’t include gratuity, which can add on another 15-20% to your fare.

Hotel Shuttles

If you are staying in a nearby hotel before your cruise, ask if they have a shuttle. Many hotels, especially those that offer parking packages, usually have shuttles that can take you to nearby points of interest. Best of all, they are usually free to guests.

More on Cruising From Los Angeles

Los Angeles Cruise Parking — Parking at the port? We’ve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.

Dropping Off at the Port — Dropping off passengers for their cruise? Not sure where to go once you get to the port? We have turn-by-turn directions to find your cruise terminal.

Los Angeles Cruise Hotels — Getting in late? Leaving early? Simply need a place to rest your head? We’ve rounded up the options for places to stay near the port.

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Tanner is the founder of Cruzely.com. Having grown up on the coast and sailing on everything from a 50' pleasure craft to the newest cruise ships, he's drawn on his experience to write hundreds of articles about every aspect of cruising. He has been quoted in The Washington Post, USAToday, and CBSNews, along with dozens more publications and websites. His homeport is Galveston, but he's visited and sailed from ports all around the country, including Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Seattle, Los Angeles and more. You can contact him by emailing [email protected]

3 COMMENTS

  1. Can you suggest a way to get from the Port at San Pedro to the Burbank Airport? My understanding is Princess Cruises does not offer a transfer to that airport. Thank you.

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