How to Get to the Galveston Port Without a Car
Flying into a Houston airport for your cruise? Or maybe you simply don’t feel like dealing with the hassles of driving and parking. No matter the reason, there are plenty of options for reaching Galveston without having to take your car.
Getting from Houston Airports to the Galveston Port
Thousands of people every year fly into Houston-area airports (Houston Hobby or Bush Intercontinental) to cruise out of Galveston. So what’s the best way to get to the terminal? Luckily, there are plenty of options…
However, cruise line transfers can be somewhat restrictive and expensive if paying for more than one person. Some don’t provide transfers except on cruising day. So if you fly in a day early, you will be without a ride. Meanwhile, they are also priced on a per person basis. So if a family of four is looking for a transfer, the costs can add up quickly. A $70 per-person round-trip ride from Houston’s Hobby Airport would cost $280… and that’s before you even step foot on the ship.
For that reason, we suggest other modes of transportation to Galveston, unless you are traveling in a small group.
Independent Shuttles – There are other shuttle services to and from the airport, namely SuperShuttle – the big blue vans you always see around airports. Renting a van runs about $340 round-trip for up to 10 passengers if going from Houston Intercontinental. Rates are about $280 roundtrip from Houston Hobby. If you don’t have as many passengers, you can also reserve a smaller car for a slightly lower rate.
Galveston Limousine offers daily scheduled service from the Houston airports to the island as well. Rates run $100 round-trip per person from IAH ($70 for senior citizens) and $80 round-trip from HOU ($60 for seniors). The shuttles depart only three times daily, so you might be waiting for some time at the airport before leaving with this option.
Cool Tours offers a shuttle between Houston airports and the Galveston cruise terminal as well. Prices change regularly, but can be affordable compared to other options — especially if traveling with a larger group.
Private Car Services –Private car services can often be your best bet getting to and from the airport. These services can meet just about any budget and accommodation level.
We can’t list prices here because there are actually so many options. Many of these companies run regular shuttles from the Houston airports to Galveston on cruise days. They also have a range of services from shuttle vans to private limo rides.
While still a little pricey, private rides will offer a comfortable car, personal driver, and can pick you up/drop you off at nearly any time. You also don’t have to share a car with anyone you don’t want to.
There are dozens of services in Houston that provide private cars, and costs can range from $150 round-trip to several hundred dollars, depending on the car you wish to use. While the headline price may be higher, it is often cheaper to go this route when dealing with larger parties.
We can’t list all of the private services, but what follows are some of the more popular ones. If you search around, you might find others that have lower prices for the specific level of service you’re looking for.
Companies offering transfers from Houston airports to the Galveston terminal: Galveston Limousine, Galveston Shuttle, Karr Limousine, Action Limousine, Elite Limousines, Aim Limousine, Lady Bird Limousine
(Note: All of these companies have “Limo” in the name, but offer more options than pulling up to the port in a stretch limousine!)
Always be sure to get a complete “out the door” price quote from any car service so that you aren’t hit with any unforeseen charges.
Car Rentals — The good news about car rentals is that you will have your own wheels if you want to explore the area before or after your cruise. The bad news is that you will likely have to pay for the rental and parking while you are on your cruise.
Enterprise is the only rental agency on the island, and the company is finicky about allowing one-way rentals from the airports. Instead, they want you to book a round-trip rental. However, you can rent from Enterprise locations away from the airport and book one-way rentals. Keep in mind that rental rates can vary dramatically based on season. We’ve seen rates as high as $60 per day to as low as $20. For more details on car rentals, visit this link.
Uber/Lyft — These rideshare services may be unfamiliar to some, but can offer a cheaper way to get to the cruise port. You simply download the app to your phone, and request a ride. A driver will then pick you up in their personal car.
The city of Houston has approved Uber/Lyft use in the city, but the word is still out on their use in Galveston. Still, if you can find a driver willing to take you to the port, these services can offer a discount of 15-25% off of taxi rates. We have more details here.