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Renting a Car in Houston to the Galveston Cruise Port

Getting from the Houston airports to the cruise terminal is without a doubt the biggest hassle about sailing from Galveston. It is the only thing that keeps the island from being a perfect cruise port.

We’ve compiled a lot of information to help you make sense of your transportation options, but we often get questions about renting a car in Houston to get to Galveston.

In fact, we’ve written about car rentals in the past, but it’s time for an update.

Here’s the low-down: Getting from the airport to the cruise port is expensive. Expect to spend about $200 at a minimum for round-trip service from a traditional shuttle service. That cost can go higher if you have more people or with the various options.

But if you rent a car, you could potentially save money. It all depends on the rate you can book and whether you can do a one-way rental.

One-way rentals: Currently, only Enterprise offers a rental car agency on the island. So if you want to pick the car up in Houston, and drop it off in Galveston, it’s Enterprise or bust.

Even so, one-way rentals with the company can be hit or miss. Sometimes cruise passengers can book a one-way rental from the airport, other times the company doesn’t offer them. Your best bet is to call the company directly or check on its website to see if you can book a one-way from the airport to Galveston.

You could also rent from other Enterprise locations in the Houston area, which will be more happy to accommodate a one-way rental. Keep in mind you may still have to pay for transportation to and from the rental agency.

Round-trip rentals: More than likely, you are going to have to book a round-trip car rental. This is convenient because you will have your ride back to the airport ready once you get off the ship. It is inconvenient, however, because you will have to pay for parking and the car rental while you are on your cruise. This extra cost is why is why the daily rental rates are so important to determining whether to rent a car or go with another transportation service.

We have seen times when daily rates for car rentals are as high as $60 for the cheapest option. But we have also seen rates for as little as $20 a day. At $20 a day, a 7-day rental plus parking would run about $200. That’s roughly the cost of the cheapest options from the Houston airports to the Galveston cruise terminal, but with the added benefit of having your own set of wheels.

Unfortunately, there is simply no universal best option for getting from Houston to the Galveston cruise port. The best option depends on the number of travelers, your personal schedule, and the current rental rates. But by knowing your options, you can be better prepared to save money and have a great vacation.

5 Responses so far.

  1. ness says:

    This was helpful but this page should probably be updated to include services like Uber. We priced the trip from IAH to Port of Galveston at about $94-$123 a ride. If you have more than one person, that is pretty cheap compared to the other options you have listed.

  2. Lilly says:

    I just wanted to inform you that Royal Caribbean charges $47 per person each way for shuttle service to and from the Houston International (IAH) and $32 per person each way from Houston Hobby (HOU)

  3. Glrounds says:

    Carnival Cruise also charges $47 per person each way for their transportation.

  4. Arturo says:

    Ness, what options do you know from Uber on the way back from the Port of Galveston to IAH? Does Uber provide service in the Galveston area? Thanks!

  5. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Uber does not currently operate in Galveston. You can find your options for transportation here: http://www.galvestoncruisetips.com/how-to-get-to-the-galveston-port-without-a-car/

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