If you are flying in for your cruise or just don’t want to deal with the headache and expense of dealing with parking your car, we have you covered.
The good news is that in a city with a mature transportation network like New York, you have a number of options in getting to the port. And if you’re overwhelmed with trying to get around the city, don’t worry, we’ll tell you exactly how to get to the terminal without dealing with driving.
As for convenience, it’s hard to beat transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. By downloading the app, you can call a car on demand, anywhere in the New York/New Jersey area. So even if you are flying into Newark or staying outside the city proper, you can still get a ride.
Unlike most cities across the country, rates for Uber/Lyft are roughly in line with their taxi counterparts, but it does depend on where you are coming from and where you are going. For example, if you are flying (or staying) in New Jersey and sailing from Manhattan, then you’ll be charged extra for your car going from New Jersey to New York. Uber charges $20 for going between the two states. Lyft charges $15 for passing between the two states.
Still, it’s hard to beat the convenience and high service level associated with these services. Below, we’ve listed their estimated prices from the areas around town to the Manhattan port. (Note that the taxi fares include a customary 20% tip. Uber & Lyft prices do not. Uber doesn’t use tipping. Lyft makes it optional.)
If you think you want to take a rideshare service, you can read more details about Uber & Lyft here.
When you think of New York, one of the most iconic images is of a person waiting on the side of a busy street hailing a yellow taxi. With around 15,000 taxis in the city alone, they are a popular (and highly visible) way to get around.
If you are coming from an area airport to the Manhattan Terminal, then picking up a cab at the airport is easy as they all have taxi stations where you can hop in. Elsewhere in the city you can have your hotel call you a cab or simply go out and hail one like a local.
Rates are typically a little higher than rideshare services. We’ve listed estimated rates in the table above. As you can see, you’ll spend a little (but not excessively) more to take a taxi.
One suggestion is to take a cab if you are coming from JFK International. The taxis have a flat rate of $52 from the airpot to anywhere in Manhattan.
The two most frequent visitors to the Manhattan Terminal are Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Both offer shuttle service to the port.
Carnival has the most offerings of any cruise line we’ve seen in the area, with shuttles that will transfer you from all three major area airports. Prices are reasonable if traveling solo or as a couple, but you can still find a better deal with a cab or Uber/Lyft. Here’s a look at Carnival’s transfer rates. Note that rates a per person.
Newark Airport One Way: $31.00 Round Trip: $62.00
LaGuardia Airport One Way: $32.00 Round Trip: $64.00
John F. Kennedy Airport One Way: $33.00 Round Trip: $66.00
Norwegian Cruise Lines also offers a shuttle, but only between New York’s LaGuardia Airport. If you are flying into JFK or Newark, you’ll need to use alternate transportation. The fare is $40 one way, per person.
For a couple of reasons, we usually suggest going with another option than a cruise shuttle transfer. First, it is expensive if traveling with more than just one or two people.. The rates shown above are per person. So a family of four is paying $31 each ($124) just to get from Newark Airport to the cruise port, or $248 round-trip. Other options usually price based on the car, not the number of occupants.
Second, cruise transfers are extremely limited. In this case, they run only from area airports to the Manhattan Terminal… and only on the day of sailing. So if you come in early or are staying at a hotel in the area, then the cruise line transfer isn’t a viable option.
Independent Shuttles/Car Services
If you are traveling with a larger group to the Manhattan port, 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, usually for less per person than a taxi or other service, assuming you have seven or more passengers.
To be frank, the number of shuttles and car services in the New York 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.
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.
Public Transportation (MTA)
If you want to use public transportation, the M50 bus runs east and west across Manhattan, along 49th and 50th Streets, dropping off right near the terminal. Bus fare is $2.75.
You’ll likely need to transfer to the bus from a subway, unless you are staying near the M50 bus route. Many major subway lines have a station on either 49th and 50th Streets, including the A, C, E, N, Q, R, B, D, F, and M. You’ll simply need to get off and then catch the M50 bus eastbound to the cruise port.
While cheap, riding public transportation can be a little confusing for first timers, and stressful when you are trying to carry your bags for a cruise. You can check out the information about the M50 route and riding the bus here to help you get your bearings.
Photo: Heather Paul
More on Cruising From Manhattan
Manhattan Terminal Cruise Parking — Parking at the port? We’ve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.
Manhattan Terminal 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.
I just wanted to thank you for the concise and seemingly complete info about travel from a New York airport to the port-of-departure for a cruise.
I am a first time cruising person. As a Canadian, I was unsure about booking my cruise departure location. I was worried about arriving in “New York, New York”
I am so very grateful that you have dispelled the myths about being unfriendly to visitors.
I’m sorry to have thought that I thought New York was an unfriendly place.
Your website is full of very informative stuff that I thought was just for “the ‘insiders’- ‘only for new yorkers’, etc.” .
New York city is seemingly, actually welcoming and understanding to visitors.
Thank you so very much.
just got off NCL Star and the food was fine. It’s not as fancy as some but perfectly good and attractive. The service can be excellent or good but rarely mediocre.
My family has been thinking about going on a cruise this fall. So, I liked that you pointed out that when we get off the boat there are several different transportation options. Personally, I think that a large shuttle or car service would work with our family.
Don’t go Norwegian, you will have more fees than anything. THe food is like slop and service is mediocre.