Transportation Options to the Houston (Bayport) Cruise Terminal
For most people cruising from Houston, getting to the port is simple. They simply hop in the car and drive over. But for out-of-town passengers, Houston’s car-centric culture can be a major roadblock. Luckily there are a number of ways to get to the Bayport terminal without a car.
This guide assumes that as an out-of-town cruiser, you will be flying into either Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU) or Bush Intercontinental (IAH). If you do, you should know that the city is big. Hobby (which serves Southwest Airlines) is the closer airport, and it is still about 20 miles away. Bush Intercontinental is the larger airport, but is about 45 miles from the cruise terminal.
To give you a sense of where the airports are in relation to the terminals, here is a map of the city with the airports and cruise terminal marked:
Getting to the Bayport Cruise Terminal Without a Car
So if you don’t have a car, how do you get to the terminal?
Taxi: Traveling by taxi to the cruise port is likely to be your easiest option. On the surface, the taxi fares seem rather high, but remember that multiple passengers can ride for the same price as one. If you are traveling with a group or family, taxis are quite reasonable on a per-person basis.
The fare from Houston Hobby to the Bayport Cruise Terminal is roughly $35-45 one-way ($70-90 round-trip).
The fare from Houston Intercontinental to the Bayport cruise Terminal is roughly $90-110 one-way ($180-220 round-trip).
When booking your flight, keep in mind that a round-trip taxi ride from Bush Intercontinental can be as much as $130 more than from Hobby. Even if it is slightly more expensive to fly into Hobby, it may be worth it to save on the taxi.
Cruise Line Shuttles: Most of the time we don’t even bother with cruise line shuttles. Because they charge per person, they are usually one of the most expensive ways to get to the port. In this case, however, there is a cheap option.
Princess Cruise Lines shows a transfer fee of $24 per person each way ($48 round-trip) from either Houston’s Hobby or Intercontinental airports. That’s a dirt-cheap rate if you are coming into Bush Intercontinental.
Norwegian Cruise Lines hasn’t yet released clear pricing on its shuttle service. We expect more details closer to the initial sail date.
Independent Shuttles: There are a number of independent shuttles that can get you to and from the airports to the Bayport terminal. You are likely most familiar with SuperShuttle, which operates the big blue vans you see all around the country.
SuperShuttle offers one-way service from Hobby to the cruise terminal for $40 for the first passenger and about $10 for each additional passenger. So for a round-trip ride for two people, expect to pay $100.
From Intercontinental the one-way charge is $60 for the first passenger and $10 for each additional rider. So a round-trip ride for two will run about $140.
Private Cars/Shuttles/Limos: There are also a number of local business offering transportation to and from the airport and cruise terminal. These services offer a more comfortable ride than a taxi and a personal ride that can take you anywhere you want to go, unlike a shuttle. While they can be expensive if traveling alone, private cars can make sense if traveling with a group or family.
(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. Rates can vary dramatically depending on the level of service you want.
Uber/Lyft: These rideshare services may be unfamiliar to some, but are gaining fans. 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. Uber estimates a fare from Houston Hobby to the Bayport Terminal will run between $42 – $55. That’s actually a little higher than the estimated taxi cab fare.