Homeport Destination Guide: Port Canaveral, Florida
Ranked as the world’s 2nd busiest cruise port for multi-day embarkations, Port Canaveral is home to Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line. The port is a bustling location for cruisers and is growing and expanding to accommodate additional ships and passengers.
Situated in Central Florida, just a little over fifty miles from downtown Orlando, Port Canaveral is a great location if you want to add a pre-/post- cruise vacation. It’s 58 miles from Walt Disney World and 53 miles from Universal Studios Florida, making it a dream family travel destination for a duo cruise and theme park adventure.
Port Canaveral’s location on the sunny beaches of Florida is also a great perk if you are looking to add some beach time to your cruise vacation. The region is nicknamed the ‘Space Coast’ for its deep ties with NASA and the space exploration industry. Kenedy Space Center is located in Port Canaveral, not far from the cruise terminal. Here you can see space rockets up close, learn about the history of NASA, or even catch a real-life shuttle launch if you are lucky!
In preparation for your upcoming cruise vacation, the following will help you make the most of your time in the Central Florida and Port Canaveral areas.
Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal Address: 9005 Charles M Rowland Drive, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Addresses of Nearby Airports:
Orlando International Airport (MCO): 1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827
Orlando Samford International Airport (SFB): 1200 Red Cleveland Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773
Melbourn Orlando Airport (MLB): 1 Air Terminal Pkwy, Melbourne, FL 32901
Time Zone - Eastern Time Zone
Climate - Warm year-round. Humid in the summer months.
Fun Facts - Space exploration first began from Cape Canaveral when the first spacecraft departed on May 5th, 1961! The name "Canaveral" (aka Cañaveral in Spanish) means "reed bed".
Car travel is primarily the best option for getting around the Space Coast area. However, if you don’t have a vehicle for your visit, there are several options for getting around the region:
- Cabs/Rideshare Options - Uber and Lyft are inexpensive options for getting around the area. Several local cab companies service the area as well.
- 321 Transit - This public bus system services Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and Port Canaveral areas. Explore maps and more details here.
When selecting accommodations, consider the hotel’s proximity to the cruise port. If you are thinking of adding a day or two pre-or post-cruise to explore the greater Port Canaveral area, look for hotels in other areas that are near some of the sites you want to see. If you’re going to spend some additional time in the Orlando area, consider the proximity to the places you wish to visit.
The following are recommended hotels near the cruise ports, airports, and popular are attractions in the greater Port Canaveral area.
- Hotels in Port Canaveral Area
- Hotels Near Theme Parks:
- Universal Studios
- Disney World
- Sea World
- Suggested Greater Orlando Area Hotels
The Port Canaveral area boasts activities for space enthusiasts, beach-goers, nature lovers, theme park enthusiasts, foodies, sports fanatics, and more. From Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and a plethora of outdoor activities unique to the Sunshine State, it’s easy to fill a day, two, or more pre or post-cruise.
Here are some of our top picks of Port Canaveral excursions:
- Food & History Walking Tour
- Visit Merrit Island Wildlife Center
- Surfing Lesson at Cocoa Beach
- Space Coast Segway Tour
- Kennedy Space Center Tour
Spending some extra time in Orlando? Check out these fun excursions:
Had unexpected surprise in getting to see a launch! - Donnamac
We loved Cocoa Beach area, very close to the port. The port was easy to enter and exit. So far this has been the most organized port that we have been to. - iverycrew
This was a neat port to sail in and out of. Smaller than PortMiami. A little farther drive from Orlando airport but was a nice change. - emittenschultz
Port Canaveral is always smooth and easy for boarding and disembarking. - USNCV66
There are three airports within an easy drive of the cruise terminals:
Orlando International Airport (MCO) - Ranked as the 9th busiest airport in the US and the #1 in Florida, MCO serves numerous domestic and international airlines worldwide. The distance between MCO and the Port Canaveral cruise terminal is approximately 45 miles.
One direct highway, State Road 528 (aka Beachline Express), runs between the airport and cruise port. Therefore, we recommend factoring in extra travel time between the two destinations for traffic in the greater Orlando area.
Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MEL) - Melbourne Airport is approximately 28 miles south of Port Canaveral. This airport services domestic destinations via Delta Airlines, Allegiant Air, and American Airlines.
Orlando Samford Airport (SFB) - SFB airport is 67 miles north of Port Canaveral and offers a variety of domestic destinations served by Allegiant Air.
Options to get between the Central Florida airports and Port Canaveral cruise terminals are:
- 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 shuttle services operate between all Central Florida airports and the cruise terminals. These options can sometimes be less expensive than transport services from the cruise lines.
- Rideshares - Using Lyft or Uber is an easy way to take a private ride between the airports and cruise terminals. Estimated rideshare costs between airports and ports (note, these prices may vary on timing/driver demand):
- MCO Airport to Port Canaveral ~ $40
- MEL Airport to Port Canaveral ~ $40
- SFB Airport to Port Canaveral ~ $60
- Taxi - Taxis are available right at the airport to take you to the cruise ports. There are no flat fees for travel between the airports and Port Canaveral.
- 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 help with luggage transport.
Are you driving right to the port for your cruise? Port Canaveral offers on-site parking and offsite options at a reduced rate.
On-Site Parking Information:
- Port Canaveral’s official cruise parking area is directly adjacent to each of the cruise terminals. Travelers can park at the terminal's designated parking area and simply take a short walk to the ship. Oversize parking for RVs and buses is also available at each terminal.
- Parking is $17.00 per day (vehicles and RVs). This includes the day of arrival and the day of departure.
- Read more on driving directions and other details from Port Canaveral’s website here.
Off-Site Parking Options:
There are several independently-owned parking lots near the cruise terminals at Port Canaveral. These options are sometimes less overall cost than the Port’s official parking lots but will require a shuttle ride and more additional time needed to travel. Suggested off-site parking options to explore include:
- Park Port Canaveral - Parking as low as $8/day. The closest off-site lot to all the cruise terminals with a shuttle bus between the lot and terminals.
- Parkway Parking - Rates start at $11.95/day. Located 4.5 miles from the terminal, and operates a shuttle for all guests.
- Cruisetime Parking - Rates start at $9/day. Offers 24/7 secure parking with a shuttle to the cruise terminal.
- Park N Cruise - 2 miles from the cruise terminal with 24/7 secure parking and a shuttle to the port. Rates start at $11.95/day.
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