Are you flying into New Orleans for your cruise? Or maybe you simply don’t want to worry about driving and parking in the Big Easy? No matter your reason, there are plenty of ways to get to the cruise terminal without driving your own car.
As a tourist destination, there is a large industry the revolves around getting out-of-towners around New Orleans. Whether you want to come in and head straight to the cruise ship or if you want to arrive early and experience all that New Orleans has to offer, there are transportation options that have you covered.
Below, we cover all the major ways to get around the city, with a focus on getting from the airport to the cruise port.
Location of Port of New Orleans
Before we dive into your best options for getting around, it’s helpful to have a lay of the land and understand the port’s location to the rest of the city.
The cruise terminal is located near the center of New Orleans, just a short distance from downtown and the French Quarter.
Coming from the airport? Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport is about 15 miles from the cruise port. It will take you about 25 minutes to get there.
Here is a map showing the cruise terminal in relation to the airport to give you an idea of the location:
So how should you get around New Orleans? As we said, there are a number of ways to get to your destination…
Uber & Lyft (Recommended)
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are approved in New Orleans, offering a great alternative to taxis. We have a full write-up on the services here. Uber and Lyft are wonderful options for convenience and low prices.
Simply pull up the app on your phone, request a ride, and you can be on your way within minutes. Coverage includes everywhere in the greater New Orleans area, including the airport.
So how much does it cost? Estimated fares for either service are about $35 each way between the airport and the cruise port.
Given the location of the cruise port near downtown and the French Quarter, roughly the same rate will get you to those popular spots as well.
Keep in mind that this is a rate is for up to four people, unlike taxi fares. Taxis have a flat rate of $36 for up to two people, or $15 per person for more three or more passengers (see below). Thus, a family of four would expect to pay about $35 using Uber/Lyft to get to the port from the airport, versus $60 for a cab.
If you are already in the area (not the airport) and want a ride, we’ve rounded up some estimated costs depending on where you are in the city:
The bottom line is that depending on your level of service and the number of passengers, these services can be cheaper than taking a cab. Read more about Uber/Lyft here.
If you’re looking for simplicity, a taxi is a good bet. You don’t have to reserve ahead — just hop in and go. And given their reasonable flat rates from the airport, we think taxis are fairly economical if traveling with two or fewer people.
Taxi rates are $3.50 plus $2.00 per mile ($0.25 per one-eighth mile) thereafter. There is also an additional charge of $1 per passenger after the first passenger. However, taxis charge a flat fee to get to the Central Business District from the airport.
If catching a cab from the airport, expect to pay $36 to get to the cruise terminal or the Central Business District for one or two people. If more than two people ride, the fare is then $15 per person. So for a family of four, expect to pay around $60 one way. A couple traveling would pay $36, which is roughly on par with Uber and Lyft.
Cruise Line Shuttles
If you like, you can also book a shuttle provided by the cruise line to take you from the airport to the cruise port. When it’s time to debark after your cruise, the same shuttle can take you back to catch your flight.
If you want to take a cruise line shuttle, it must be booked in advance. While some people opt for this service, we find it expensive and cumbersome.
Instead of going when you’re ready like Uber or a taxi, the shuttles will wait for passengers and are shared vehicles. As well, the shuttles only travel to the cruise port and are only available on cruise day. So if you arrive in town the day before your cruise, then you can’t use the cruise line’s shuttle.
As well, we find the shuttles pricey. Unless you are traveling solo, expect to pay more for a cruise line shuttle than a taxi. For example, Carnival charges $23.99 one-way ($48 round-trip) per person. So a family of four would pay $96 one-way to the cruise port. Norwegian charges $20 per person.
If you’re still interested in learning more about cruise shuttles, simply click on your cruise line below:
There is a shuttle service that specializes in runs from the airport to the cruise terminal. Airport Shuttle New Orleans serves as the official ground transportation for the airport and can get you to any hotspot around the city — including the port.
So if you are flying in early and need a ride, this could be an option. The shuttle charges a flat fee of $24 one-way to just about any destination and $44 for a round-trip ride.
While that is about the same price as the cruise line shuttle, it is still more expensive than a taxi. A family of four would pay $96 one-way.
Want to arrive to the port in style? Or maybe you are traveling with a large group and need a big vehicle like a passenger bus? In that case you might be interested in a private car service.
There are a number of private companies that offer everything from limousine rides to luxury sedans to vans to shuttle buses. In other words, no matter what sort of ride you need, you can get it.
One thing to keep in mind is that these services are going to be a bit more expensive than just getting a taxi or Lyft to the cruise port. Below we’ve listed a few options for car services in New Orleans.
- Big Easy Limos — Offers everything from a vintage Rolls Royce to vans to shuttle buses
- A Regal Limousine Service — Get a ride to the port in a luxury sedan, or an SUV, a limo bus or even a stretch Hummer
- Audubon Limousine — Offers buses, limos, sedans, and SUVs to get your to the cruise port fashionably
Hotels With Shuttles to the Port
One of the nice perks about a city with a booming cruise industry is that hotels in the area roll out the red carpet to cruise passengers. That includes perks including transportation to the cruise port for hotels guests. Not every hotel offers this, but we’ve dug through and found a number of hotels in the area that do.
These shuttles can provide you a convenient ride without headache and hassle.
For more details and a list of New Orleans hotels with shuttles to the cruise port, read our article here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the least expensive way to get a ride to the port?
Looking to save money? If you plan to stay at a hotel the night before your cruise, then we suggest the least expensive way to get to the port is to stay at a hotel with a cruise shuttle.
Not staying at a hotel? In that case you’ll usually find Uber/Lyft to be the least expensive way to get to the port. It’s about $35 for a ride to the port from the airport for up to four people.
What time should I get a ride back to the airport after my cruise?
Most cruise ships arrive back into port early in the morning, often as early as 6-7 a.m. But before you book that flight home, remember that it can take some time to actually get to your flight.
First, it’s normal for it to take 2-3 hours for the entire ship to debark and get through customs and immigration. From there, it’s about half an hour to the airport, not accounting for time waiting for your ride. For that reason, we suggest not booking your departing flight before noon.
What about public transportation options?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to get from the airport to the cruise port using public transportation. Major lines around the city require one or more transfers — or 15+ minutes walking in New Orleans’ famous heat and humidity — to get from a stop to the terminals. The “E-2” Airport Express does run from the airport to downtown, but from there you will still need to find a way to the actual terminals.
More on Cruising From New Orleans
New Orleans Cruise Parking — Parking at the port? We’ve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.
New Orleans 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.
New Orleans Park & Cruise Hotels — Looking for a hotel that offers cruise parking while you set sail? We have you covered.