Port of Galveston Adds New Express Parking Lot for Cruise Passengers

The Port of Galveston has added a new parking lot for passengers, making it much easier to get to and from the cruise ship. The new Express Lot located at Terminal 2 opened in late August and means guests can get to their cruise without the use of a shuttle or crossing busy streets.

Port of Galveston Express Lot
Passengers using Terminal 2 in Galveston now have the Express Lot, with parking right next to the terminal. Photo courtesy of Port of Galveston.

Galveston has transformed into one of the busiest departure ports for cruises outside of Florida, serving more than a million passengers per year in normal times. In fact, when Carnival made its debut after the pause in cruising, its first cruise sailed not from Port Canaveral or Miami, but Galveston.

One reason for the popularity of the port is that tens of millions of people live within just a few hours’ drive of Galveston. Instead of dealing with the cost and hassle of flights, passengers can simply drive themselves to the port.

Of course, that means finding a place to park. Over the years, roughly a dozen different parking lots have sprung up near the port to cater to cruise passengers. In addition, the Port of Galveston also offers its own official parking lots.

Unlike other cruise ports, however, these lots are not right at the cruise ships. Parking at the port means means walking across busy Harborside Drive and the crowded port drop-off area, or taking a shuttle from the parking lot to the cruise ship.

Now, Galveston has unveiled a new option: the “Express Lot” that recently opened. This new lot sits adjacent to Terminal 2, putting passengers just steps away from their cruise ship. If sailing from Terminal 2, then it’s the absolute closest parking to the ship.

The new lot promises to be much more convenient than dealing with a shuttle, or having to navigate with luggage from outside the port grounds. As well, when your trip is over, you’ll be among the first back to your car.

Express parking lot map at Port of Galveston
Map data: Google

If sailing from Terminal 1, however, the port’s SMP Garage is a closer option than the Express Lot. This garage is across the street from the terminal.

Both the SMP Garage and the new Express Lot do charge a premium rate for their convenience. The 7-day parking rate at the port’s economy lots (which require a shuttle to get to the ship) runs $95. The price for the garage and the new lot is $120 for a 7-day cruise. In other words, if you’re wanting to save money, then there are cheaper spots to park. The location, however, can’t be beat.

So far, reviews of the new lot have been strong. Of the 35 reviews on Google, it earns 4.9 stars out of 5. One reviewer said he was “off the ship and on the road in 8 minutes” when parking here. Another wrote, “We used the new Express Lot on our recent cruise. It was fabulous! So convenient and easy. You are literally parked so close to both terminals and no hassle with a shuttle.”

It seems almost certain that as more cruise ships return and ships sail at full capacity, this lot (which is smaller than the economy lots offered by the port) will see a lot of demand.

If you know that you are sailing from Terminal 2 and want to park here for its convenience, then it would be a good idea to reserve your spot ahead of time on the Port of Galveston website.

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