Sailing from Galveston — while easy once you get there — can be a headache for cruise passengers who are flying into the area.
That’s because unlike cruise ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or even New Orleans, the nearest airport to Galveston isn’t even in the same city. If you plan to fly in for your cruise, then you’ll have to fly into one of the Houston-area airports. Houston’s airports are between 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half from the island, depending on which airport you choose and traffic.
Of course, once you arrive, then you still need to figure out transportation between the airport and Galveston island. Thankfully, a cottage industry has sprung up to provide cruise passengers reliable transportation between the two points. However, while there are a number of options including taxis, shuttles, Uber/Lyft, etc., they all charge different amounts.
To help you figure out the most affordable ways to get from Houston to Galveston, we’ve rounded up the cheapest options below.
Cheapest Options From Houston Airports to Galveston
The cheapest transportation option we’ve found, Galveston Limousine offers regularly scheduled service between both Houston airports and the Galveston cruise port. Services run every 1-2 hours, depending on the day of travel. If you book online ahead of time, the rate is $40 per person round trip for service to/from Houston Hobby and $50 per person round trip for Houston Intercontinental service.
Another independent shuttle service that is helping to get passengers back and forth from the ship to the airport, Cruise Connection offers some of the cheapest fares around. The passenger vans are a shared shuttle service (meaning you’ll be riding with others) and cost just $44 for a round trip ride from Houston Hobby and $64 per person for a ride to and from Intercontinental. Yes, that’s more expensive than Galveston Limousine, but not by much.
Galveston Express was one of the original companies offering low rates for transport between the Houston airports and the Port of Galveston. Today, you can get a ride for $50 round trip from Houston Hobby and $60 per person round trip for Intercontinental service. There is an extra charge for rides during “prime” hours (Sunday morning). The company also offers a discount for seniors and children.
One note about shuttle services — they all charge on a per-person basis. Therefore, if you are traveling with more than a couple of people, rideshare companies (which charge per car instead of per person) become a better deal.
Uber and Lyft operate at both airports and will give you a ride to the cruise port and back. The prices run about $110-120 round trip (per car, not per person) for service between Houston Hobby and Galveston. Expect to pay $180-$200 for round trip to Houston Intercontinental. (Your price may differ depending on traffic.)
The good thing about rideshare services is that you don’t have to wait for a scheduled departure time. It’s ready whenever you are. As well, you don’t have to share your car with anyone else, unlike an independent shuttle.
Note: If you are a first-time Lyft user, we’ve arranged for FREE ride credit for your first rides. Sign up here to claim your credit now. (Please keep in mind we receive a small commission through this link.)
For more on getting from Houston to the Galveston port, read our port transportation page.