Sailing from Galveston offers a lot of convenience. The port is relatively small compared to places like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Parking is affordable. And navigating Galveston is nowhere near the challenge of larger port cities.
But there is one area that sailing from Galveston is inconvenient — getting to the port if you are flying in for your cruise. While tens of millions live within a few hours of the port and can drive on cruise day, many people fly to area airports to sail.
The issue is that both of the major airports serving the Galveston area — Hobby and Intercontinental — are located in Houston. Hobby is roughly 45 miles away and Intercontinental is about 75 miles. That means even after your flight, you have to figure out how to get to the port.
While we’ve covered all your options on getting to Galveston here, our top recommendation on getting from the airport to the cruise port is to take an Uber or a Lyft. You can also use them to get to the port from anywhere in the Houston/Galveston area. These services offer the best mix of convenience and value on getting to your cruise.
Cost & Time for Uber/Lyft to the Port of Galveston
Uber and Lyft are available at both airports in Houston, and both offer service out to Galveston. So whether you are flying into Hobby or Intercontinental, or whether you prefer to use Uber or Lyft, you’ll find that any combination will work to get you to the port.
So how much will you spend to get to the port? And how long will it take?
The length of the trip will vary based on the airport you use and traffic. The Houston area is notorious for terrible traffic and construction. However, if you aren’t traveling during rush hour, then the impact should be less. In general, plan for at least 45 minutes from Houston Hobby and 75 minutes from Intercontinental. Times can be longer due to construction and traffic.
As for cost, we’ve listed the prices for each service below (one way) based on estimates from the Lyft and Uber websites.
Estimated fares for Uber and Lyft are around $50 from Houston Hobby to the cruise port each way. The estimated cost is $80 for a ride from Bush Intercontinental to the Galveston port.
Keep in mind that the fare is for the car, not per person like many other shuttle services. Up to four people can ride for that price. So a family of four flying into Houston Hobby would spend about $100 round trip for a ride to/from the cruise port.
As well, according to the Port of Galveston, Lyft is allowed to access the port with a $2 per trip fee. Uber is not permitted to access the port directly, but currently can drop you off nearby.
Returning to the Airport After Your Cruise
Whenever your trip is over, getting back to the airport follows a similar cost and time. There is an important difference, however. When it’s time to head to the port when flying in, people are coming from all over the area to the cruise ship. But when it’s time to head home, everyone is leaving from a single place. That means the port can be crowded.
That’s why if you’re using one of the services like Uber or Lyft, then we suggest actually walking out of the port area and then using the app to get your car. Trying to catch a ride on the apps while in a crowd can be difficult. It’s tough for the driver to navigate and for passengers to make their way to the car.
Instead, it’s a smart idea to simply walk a block or two out of the port. Then, you can more easily get your ride without you or your driver having to fight the masses of people.
Advantages of Uber/Lyft Versus Other Methods of Transportation
As mentioned, there are a number of options to get to the cruise port in Galveston, including taxis and shuttles. So why do we suggest Uber or Lyft? To us, they offer several advantages:
Personal Ride: Instead of having to wait on others and share a ride like with a typical port shuttle, rideshare services offer a personal vehicle for just your party.
Flexibility: We also like the flexibility of using Uber/Lyft. There is nothing to reserve. You simply open up the app when you are ready for a ride and request a pick up at any time. You can also go to other places like a hotel or a grocery store instead of only being able to head directly to the port.
Cost: We wouldn’t say that using these services is cheap, but there is not an inexpensive option for transportation between Houston and Galveston. While shuttles can be cost-friendly, you pay on a per-person basis. Rideshare services charge per the car and multiple people can ride for one fare, making it affordable compared to some other methods.
For more on using these services — and others — to get to the cruise port, visit our page on Galveston cruise port transportation.
More on Cruising From Galveston
Getting to the Port of Galveston — Transportation options from airports and the Galveston area to the cruise port. Everything you need to know to get to the port and start your vacation.
Galveston Cruise Parking — Driving to the port? Not sure where to park? We prices and profiles of all the lots near the cruise terminal.
Galveston Park & 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, including those with park and cruise packages.
we are with 4 people and 4 carry on bags what size vehicle do we need and what would the cost be to go 1 way to Galveston pier from Houston inter airport ? this would be on April 9th 2023
I’d suggest Uber XL or Lyft XL. Prices vary, but expect it to run about $120-150.
What is the typical wait time for uber/lyft from port to IAH airport, if it is a busy time with a ship docking and others using these services around the same time? What could I expect the longest wait to be?
We’re not sure on that, but we wouldn’t expect it to be too long. If it is, try walking a couple of blocks to where there is less of a crowd.
HI, we are 8 people at IAH an we have to go to Galveston pier on July 28 around
9:00 AM, we are going to return on August the 4th around Noon time from Galveston, remember we have lugage , return to IAH to take the plane back home, can you please give the best opcion and price????????
For that many people, we’d suggest looking at an independent shuttle service. You can find a few companies in the area on this page: https://cruzely.com/how-to-get-from-the-houston-airport-to-the-galveston-cruise-port/