While they would never be mistaken with the world’s most popular cruise ports like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and Long Beach are still heavily trafficked cruise ports.
More than half a million passengers each year sail from the Port of Los Angeles, not even including the Long Beach Cruise Terminal a few miles away that serves Carnival Cruise Lines.
Today, you can have your choice of cruise lines in the area, from Carnival to Princess to Norwegian to Royal Caribbean. Meanwhile, itineraries have expanded beyond simply the well-known Mexican Riviera trips to include coastal California cruises, trips through the Panama Canal, and even cruises to Canada.
Los Angeles & Long Beach Cruise Port Locations
Both ports are located just a few miles of each other, with one in San Pedro and the other in Long Beach.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, these cities are both part of the greater Los Angeles area and are about 25 miles south of downtown LA. If flying in for your cruise, expect the trip from Los Angeles International (LAX) to take at least 30 minutes and possibly more due to traffic.
Which port you cruise from will depend on which cruise line you sail, as they each have their designated spots To help you find your way, we’ve covered each port in detail below.
Sailing From the World Cruise Center (Port of Los Angeles)
The Port of Los Angeles is the busier of the two ports. A number of lines, including Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity depart from the port.
The port features three berths (91-93). Expect it to take about 30 minutes to an hour to get to the port from the Los Angeles International Airport. It’s about the same time coming from downtown.
Getting to the Port of Los Angeles (World Cruise Center)
Southern California is known for its car culture. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that the most convenient way to get to the cruise ship is to take an Uber/Lyft. These services provide access from all major airports in the area. And you can be picked up anywhere else in the area to get to the ship on your own schedule.
Expect the ride to cost at least $30 for a car from LAX to the cruise port. Higher rates will apply if going a longer distance or during peak times.
Estimated ride times from major points of interest are below:
- Los Angeles International (LAX): 30 min
- Long Beach Airport (LBG): 25 min
- John Wayne Airport (SNA): 45 min
- Downtown: 40 min
You can read more about all your options on getting to the ship (including shuttles) and pricing on our Los Angeles cruise transportation page.
Parking at World Cruise Center
Of course, if you live in the area — as millions do — then you may be interested in simply driving and parking at the port.
The good news is that there is ample parking right at the port. You can park practically at the terminal and walk right in. While the convenience is nice, it does come at a cost. Rates are $20 per day for most vehicles. So over the course of a weeklong cruise, you can expect to spend $140.
For more details on parking, see our Los Angles cruise parking page here.
Want to park cheaper? If you are traveling from farther away and plan to stay at a hotel in the area, then look for a hotel with a park and cruise package. With these deals you can get your hotel and have parking (and often a shuttle) included.
See our list of Los Angles cruise hotels with parking deals.
Where to Stay for a Los Angeles Cruise
Flying into Los Angeles for a cruise? It’s always a good idea to plan to arrive into the city the day before. That way if there are any delays, you aren’t scrambling to make it to the port — or have any worry about missing the ship.
So where should you stay? The area around the port (San Pedro) offers a number of hotels within just 1-3 miles of the ships. This includes some right on the waterfront and some that offer a shuttle service to get guests to the cruise terminal.
You can see a list of nearby hotels to the World Cruise Center here.
Sailing From the Long Beach Cruise Terminal
Los Angeles — while far from being the biggest cruise departure port in the country — offers two different cruise ports. The Long Beach terminal is a short distance from the Port of Los Angeles (about 15 minutes via car). It serves Carnival Cruise Lines, which primarily sails shorter trips to the Mexican Riviera.
Visitors will also recognize the historic Queen Mary, which is docked permanently at the port. As with the Port of Los Angeles, expect it to take about 30 minutes to an hour to get to the cruise port from the LAX airport, depending on traffic. If flying in, Long Beach Airport is much closer, reducing travel time.
Getting to the Long Beach Cruise Port
As with the World Cruise Center in San Pedro, your best bet for getting to the port if you need transportation is with an Uber or Lyft. These services are widely available, including offering rides from the major airports.
Prices will vary depending on where you are coming from. For reference, you can expect to spend around $30 for a ride from Los Angeles International to the Long Beach cruise port. Prices will vary based on traffic.
Here are some estimated commute times from certain points:
- Los Angeles International (LAX): 40 min
- Long Beach Airport (LBG): 20 min
- John Wayne Airport (SNA): 35 min
- Downtown: 45 min
You can read more about all your options on getting to the ship and pricing on our Long Beach cruise transportation page.
Parking at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal
For many people, they don’t have to worry about a ride to the port. Roughly 20 million people live in the greater Los Angeles area that includes Long Beach. That means many people are able to simply drive to the cruise ship.
Of course, if you are driving, then you will need a spot to park. The port offers ample parking in a garage that’s right next to the terminal. However, that convenience comes at a cost. The port charges $23 per day for parking. Over the course of a weeklong cruise, expect to spend upwards of $160.
For all the details on parking, see our Long Beach cruise parking page here.
There are also hotels in the area that offer cruise parking for guests. Stay a night and you can leave your car while you sail — for a reduced cost versus parking at the port. If you plan on staying in a hotel the night before your cruise, this deal can save you a nice chunk of change.
See our list of Long Beach cruise hotels with parking deals.
Where to Stay for a Long Beach Cruise
Flying into the area before your cruise? Or maybe you want to be able to relax before you sail, instead of having to drive to the cruise ship on the morning of your trip? No matter the reason, Long Beach offers a number of hotels that are within just a short distance of the terminal.
As well, the terminal is right across from the city of Long Beach itself. That provides a lot to do right near the ship. For example, you can stay the night before, visit the Aquarium of the Pacific or The Pike (an outdoor shopping mall with restaurants and entertainment options), or even spend some time on the beach.
The good news is there are plenty of options within just a few minutes of the port. You can see a list and details of nearby hotels to the Long Beach cruise port here.