Homeport Destination Guide: Galveston, Texas
Galveston, Texas is one of the most popular cruise ports in the United States. The coastal town is just a little over an hour away from Houston, making it an easy destination for travelers to access with multiple international airports and close proximity to several major highways. Galveston offers 32-miles of Gulf Coast beaches, making it a great spot for a pre-or post-cruise vacation destination.
Cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian, have all made a home at the Port of Galveston. Most cruises from the destination follow Caribbean itineraries, with port stops in Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Belize, and more. Galveston’s location being closer to these international ports means that cruise lines can offer both shorter sailings, or pack more destinations into longer 7+ night cruises.
If your next voyage sails from Galveston we recommend doing your planning before you travel. To help you get ready for your vacation, we’ve shared some of our top recommendations for all aspects of travel of going on a cruise from the Port of Galveston.
Port of Galveston Address -
Terminal Number 1
2502 Harborside Dr.
Galveston, TX 77550
Terminal Number 2
2702 Harborside Dr.
Galveston, TX 77550
William P. Hobby Airport Address (HOU) - 7800 Airport Blvd, Houston, TX 77061
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) - 2800 N Terminal Rd, Houston, TX 77032
Time Zone - Central Time Zone
Climate - Warm most of the year. Humid in the Summer months. Coolest January - March with highs in the 60’s.
Fun Facts - Galveston was the first city in Texas to have gas lights, the first to have electric lights, and the first to have a telephone. The area is home to three National Historic Landmarks, including the Tall Ship Elissa, East End, and The Strand.
If you are not arriving by car and plan on spending time in the Galveston Island area, there are several ways to get around:
- Cabs/Rideshare Options - If you are spending time in Galveston before or after your cruise, rideshare options like Uber and Lyft are inexpensive options for getting around the area. Several local cab companies service the island as well.
- Rail Trolley - This travel method runs on the weekends on Galveston Island and goes from downtown all along the Seawall to 25th street. This is a fun, inexpensive way to sightsee the town.
- Island Transit - The public bus service is a way to reach all areas of Greater Galveston Island. For route and fare information, visit https://www.galvestontx.gov/393/Transportation.
When selecting accommodations, you will primarily want to consider the hotel’s proximity to the Port of Galveston. If you are thinking of adding a day or two pre-or post-cruise to explore the Lonestar State, you can also look for hotels in other areas that are near some of the sites you want to see.
We’ve shared a selection of some recommended hotels near the cruise port, airports in Houston, and popular accommodations in the greater Houston area.
- Hotels in Galveston
- Hotels Near the Houston Airports
- Houston Area Hotels
While most cruisers don’t typically think of Galveston and Houston as a destination for shore excursions, there are several options available for those spending time in the area pre or post-cruise.
- Historic Downtown Houston Pub Crawl
- Galveston Haunted Cemetery Tour
- Houston Heights and Underground Walking Tour
- Galveston: Historic Port, Pirates and Architecture Tour
- Houston Outlets at Conroe
We spent the entire two days in Galveston prior to boarding. We walked and shopped in the Strand historic district and visited Moody Gardens. Since we rented a car, we were able to explore most of the available attractions that Galveston had to offer. There were many fine restaurants in the downtown area which we enjoyed. - Cruiselovers70
Galveston is easy to navigate. Our favorite thing is to drive all the way to the Seawall when coming on the island via 61st Street, enjoying the drive down the Seawall to about 28th street - then turn back toward the port. You can usually see the ship from that far end of the island and watch it growing bigger as you drive straight toward her. - OTown4
Came in a day before the cruise and stayed at the Hilton along the Seawall. Galveston was surprisingly a very nice area. We would actually go back there for a mini-vacation. People were very friendly and it has a small town feel to it. - RenzR
We try to get to Galveston the night before, the people of Galveston are awesome, enjoyed walking around downtown. - ididit
Houston Hobby International Airport (HOU) is the closest airport to Galveston, at 40 miles away. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is situated 70 miles from the Port of Galveston. Depending on the traffic, it can take between an hour to two hours to get between the two destinations. We recommend you factor this in when selecting your flights between the two locations if you plan to go directly between the airport and cruise port.
These are the recommended options to get between the airports in Houston and the Port of Galveston:
- Use a pre-arranged transport service from the cruise line - This option must be pre-arranged with your cruise line before you travel. Generally, you will have a driver waiting for you at the airport with a sign at the baggage claim area.
- Independent Shuttle Services - Several companies provide shuttled service between the Houston airports and the cruise terminal. These services offer both private and shared travel options and are an easy way from getting directly from point A to B. Galveston Express, and Island Breeze Shuttle are among some of the options for this travel method.
- Ride Share - Using Lyft or Uber is an easy way to take a private ride between the airport and cruise terminal. Fares run between $70 - $90 for a ride between Bush Intercontinental and Port of Galveston and between $40 - 60 between Hobby Airport and the cruise port.
- Taxi - Taxis are available right at the airport to take you to the cruise port. This method can be much more expensive, as there are no flat fees for taxi services to the cruise port and any Houston airport.
- Private Car Service - Pricing for this option will vary. Many travelers choose to arrange a private car service as there is a guarantee that they will be at the airport/port on time and will have help with luggage transport.
Driving right to Galveston for your cruise? Here’s what you need to know about parking logistics for the port.
Driving yourself to the cruise terminals? Follow these instructions to the Port of Galveston:
- Coming from West/North: https://www.portofgalveston.com/90/From-the-North-West
- Coming from the East: https://www.portofgalveston.com/89/From-the-East
On-Site Parking Information:
- Port of Galveston recommends all travelers driving to the port and parking in the official on-site parking lot to enter the following into their GPS:
- Parking Lots - 33rd Street and Harborside Drive
- About: Port of Galveston offers a multi-level parking garage which is just across the street to the cruise terminals. Parking is available for all cruise lines and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are two levels of covered parking and one lot of uncovered parking.
- Rates: Pricing varies on the amount of time a car will be staying in the lot and the type of parking selected. For current rates, visit https://www.portofgalveston.com/91/Cruise-Parking--General-Information.
- Explore a map of all on-site parking lots at Port of Galveston: https://www.portofgalveston.com/DocumentCenter/View/22/Terminal-Map?bidId=
Off-Site Parking Options:
Several privately-owned lots offer inexpensive parking right near the Port of Galveston. These lots include features such as a shuttle to the port from the lot and monitored security. Here are a few off-site parking options:
- Port Parking - Prices range for the amount of time parked and the type of parking selected. Rates start at $65 per day and go up from there.
- EZ Cruise Parking - Two blocks from the cruise terminal. Rates start at $65 per day.
- Galveston Park N Cruise - Secure, indoor parking close to the cruise port. Rates start at $60 and go up based on the time parked.
As of November 2021, the CDC currently has issued an order that requires the wearing of masks by people on public transportation on the premises of transportation hubs to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID. This order says, “All passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships*, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States (including U.S. territories) as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances), regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth. However, unless otherwise required by the operator, or federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local government, people are not required to wear a mask when located in outdoor areas of a conveyance (if such outdoor areas exist on the conveyance).”
Join the discussion
Have you ever cruised from Galveston, Texas?