Figuring out how to get to the New Orleans cruise port terminal doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. It all boils down to where you are coming from, how many people you are traveling with, and how much money you are willing to spend to get you and your group there.
You do want to take into account what the traffic and weather could be like, and how that will affect your traveling plans. New Orleans is a bright and busy city, and the traffic around the airport and cruise terminal can get a little testy, especially if you’re new to the area.
Below we’ve compiled everything you need to know about how to get to the New Orleans cruise terminal. This includes travel tips, transportation options, and various costs that you should consider.
Address & Directions
First, address and directions. If you’re driving your own car, a rental, or paying someone to drive you, you will at least need to know where the terminal is located and a basic of idea of how to get there.
The New Orleans Cruise Terminal is located on the Mississippi River, close to the center of New Orleans. It is near both The French Quarter and the Garden District of New Orleans.
The airport closest to the New Orleans cruise port is the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Driving from the airport to the cruise port will take anywhere between 25-40 minutes, depending on how bad traffic is.
Directions from the airport to the cruise terminal:
- Exit the airport and follow signs for I-10 East
- Take exit 234A to U.S. 90 W
- Take exit 11C to Tchoupitoulas. This is the last exit before crossing the Mississippi River, so if you cross the river you went too far.
- Follow the ramp down, and turn right onto Tchoupitoulas Street
- Turn left onto Henderson Street
- Proceed 2 blocks, then turn left onto Port of New Orleans Place (after the railroad tracks)
- You’ll come up to the Erato Street Cruise Terminal first. The Julia Street Cruise Terminal is just beyond that.
Erato Street Cruise Terminal (Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line)
Located at 1100 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130, Erato Street Cruise Terminal is the first one you’ll see when arriving at the port. If this is your terminal, there is no need to go any further.
The parking garage is located on top of the terminal, and there is an access ramp to get there just beyond the terminal drop-off area. Parking is $20 per day from August 1st through March 31st and $22 from April 1st through July 31st.
Inside the terminal you will find check-in kiosks, a spacious waiting area, baggage area, an elevated loading ramp, customs, and a souvenir shop.
Julia Street Cruise Terminal
If your cruise is shipping from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal (Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruises only), the address you’ll need is 920 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130.
Parking is available at the adjacent lot, and it costs $20 per day year round. The parking lot is secured, lit, and patrolled 24/7 by security guards.
Inside the terminal are check-in desks, ATMs, souvenir stands, a refreshment stand, elevated loading ramp, and a baggage area.
Additional Parking Information
The cruise terminal does also provide parking for oversized vehicles like RVs or buses. This lot is located behind the Julia Street Terminal Parking lot, and is $40 per day.
Parking right at the port is probably the most convenient option, but if you’d rather spend a little less on parking, we recommend security a spot through either New Orleans Parking ($10 or $12.50 per day) or New Orleans Cruise Ship Parking ($14 per day). You’ll still be super close to the port, you’ll get a shuttle from the parking lot to your cruise terminal, and you’ll save money on parking costs.
Renting a Car
After flying into New Orleans, probably the easiest way to travel to the cruise terminal is by renting a car. You don’t have to worry about waiting for someone to come pick you up, worry if they’ll help you with your luggage or not, and you’ll have full control over your drive. Renting a car can also be a great option if you’re traveling with your family and just want to keep things as simple as possible.
The only downside is that renting a car can also be the most expensive travel option from the airport to the cruise port.
After your flight lands, make your way over to the airport’s rental car facility, located just outside the West Terminal Baggage Claim area, and is within walking distance from all concourses.
For renting a car that will take you to the New Orleans Cruise Terminal, you will want to choose one of four options: Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, or Budget. These are the only rental car companies located near the cruise terminal.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to car rental prices is that whether you have a car for just an hour or two, or a full 24 hour period, you will be paying the same price. So, to get the most out of your car rental, we recommend arriving at least a day before your ship leaves.
Also, the New Orleans airport is a high demand area when it comes to obtaining a rental car, so you should book your car in advance to avoid any issues.
Enterprise is one of the most popular rental car companies around, and as such there are more than a dozen locations in and around New Orleans. The one that is closest to the cruise port is on 1019 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70113, and their phone number is 504-593-9068.
Prices are going to vary depending on the time of year you are traveling and the type of car you choose. Be prepared to spend anywhere between $80 and $120, including taxes and fees.
Hertz has a location in New Orleans that is literally within walking distance of the Erato Street Cruise Terminal. Located at 901 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70130. Drop your car off here and then simply walk to your terminal if you wish. If you have a lot of luggage, though, you should be able to call a cab or Uber easily enough to drop you off at your terminal.
Once again costs will vary. Including fees you may be looking at a total cost of $100 and up.
If Julia Street is your terminal, Avis is a good choice as they have an office at 2 Poydras Street, just down the road from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.
Avis is also the cheapest option so far, compared to Enterprise and Hertz. Including taxes and fees, the total cost for our estimate came out to $60.59. As with the others, prices can vary depending on the time of year. However, if you’re not looking to spend a fortune on a rental car, Avis would be an excellent choice.
The Budget location by the cruise terminal is actually in the same building as Avis, at 2 Poydras Street. You can easily walk to either cruise terminal from here, or get on the light rail streetcar at the Poydras Street stop and take that directly to Julia Street.
Budget is just a little bit cheaper than even Avis, and give you the option to prepay online and save money. The only prepay price we found for an economy car, including taxes and fees, was $52.10 ($56.79 to pay at pickup).
Getting a taxi to take you where you need to go is probably one of the most common modes of travel between the airport and the cruise terminal.
And the best thing is you can pick one up right as soon as you land. No need to book ahead a time or call anyone. Just make your way to the taxicab booths, which are located outside of baggage belts 1 and 14. Depending on how busy it is, you may have to wait in line to get a taxicab.
The cost for a taxi from the airport to the cruise terminal will be $36 for up to 2 passengers, including luggage. If you have 3 or more needing a ride in the taxi, you’ll be paying about $15 per person.
Taxis may be the most convenient way to travel from the airport, but it can be a bit expensive when compared to ridesharing options like Uber or Lyft.
The beauty of getting a ride with Uber or Lyft, is that you just have to download the app to your smartphone and book a ride through there. New Orleans and the airport is a busy enough area that you will have no problem finding a ride.
The minimum cost for an Uber from the airport to the New Orleans Cruise Terminal is $34.65 and is good for up to 4 people (unlike getting a taxi). Lyft can cost anywhere from $32 to $36 for their basic service.
So, if you’re travelling with 3-4 people and you stick with the basic car services from either Uber or Lyft, you’ll be saving money with them as opposed to taking a cab.
Shuttles can be hit or miss when it comes to cost and convenience, and it all depends on what shuttle service you choose. We’ll provide you with all of the options available, and let you decide which would be best for your group.
Cruise Line Shuttles
The four major cruise lines that ship out from the New Orleans Cruise Terminal all offer shuttle service for passengers cruising with them. To secure a spot, you must make arrangements with your cruise line ahead of time, and the shuttles are only available the day of the cruise. They will pick you up from the airport and bring you directly to your cruise terminal, and they will even assist you with your luggage.
Cruise Line Shuttles can be extremely convenient for cruise travelers, but the price is where most people decide to go a different route.
For example, Disney charges $25 one way per guest, or $50 round trip. Norwegian charges $20 per person one way, and Carnival is $23.99 per person one way.
If you are cruising by yourself or with one other person, these prices really aren’t that bad, and is much cheaper than taking a cab or even an Uber.
But for a family or four or more, you’re looking at paying almost $200 or more round-trip, just for shuttle transportation to and from the cruise port. If that’s the case for you, we recommend choosing something else.
Also Read: Big Easy Guide on New Orleans Cruise Parking
So, much like the cruise line transfers, the airport shuttle is only going to save you money if you’re travelling with just yourself and maybe another person.
The airport shuttle will take you to anywhere you need to go in New Orleans, including the cruise port, for $24 per person, one way. This includes no more than 3 bags per person.
If you happen to be training with an insanely large group (50 or more), you can get a special group rate for the airport shuttle, but you will need to call ahead of time to get more information about that. The phone number is 1-866-596-2699.
If a shuttle is really what you need, but you don’t want to be paying per person prices, why not try independent shuttle companies. Many of them will give you rates for the amount of people you’ll be traveling with, which can save you money on large groups of 5 or more people.
Here are a few suggestions to look into:
Once you’re at the SuperShuttle website, you’ll be presented with a form where you’ll input your travel details. Where to be picked up, dropped off, your arriving and departing flight dates and times, and the amount of people traveling.
Click submit, and you’ll be presented with a list of options. Some options may be a shared ride, where you and your group will share the shuttle with others going the same way, or a non-stop ride that takes you directly to your destination with no interruptions.
Of the options we were given with the details we used, the cheapest was a shared ride. The round-trip cost for a group of 4 people came out to $91.20. So, depending on how many people you have traveling, and the options presented to you, expect to pay between $90 and $140 for a round trip booking.
SuperShuttle also has an app you can download for either Android or iOS. If you create an account, you can earn rewards for your choice of airline every time you book a ride with SuperShuttle.
NOLA Airport Shuttle
NOLA Airport Shuttle offers one-way transportation either from or two the airport. They have flat rate prices no matter where you need to go.
Those prices are:
- 1 person: $24
- 2 people: $18 per person
- 3-6 people: $16 per person
- 7 or more: $15 per person
You can book a shuttle online, or by giving them a call at 504-377-8146.
GO Airport Shuttle
GO Airport Shuttle is a lot like SuperShuttle. The offer shuttle service from just about any airport and will take you anywhere you need to go. They also have an app for android or iOS, and if you become a Frequent Rider, you can earn rewards for either American Airlines AAdvantage or United MileagePlus.
The prices come out to be $24 per person, no matter how many people are in your group, which is right on par with the cruise line transfers. As such we suggest you go with someone else unless you’re traveling alone.
AirportShuttles.Com offers some very decent prices for cruise travelers trying to get a ride to the cruise terminal from the airport. You can select a car to come pick you up, or a limo, or a shuttle, whichever you want. But you can get an economy sedan that will hold up to 4 people, including luggage, for $68 one way. Or you can get a van that holds up to 6 people, luggage included, for $94 one day.
Just book your car ahead of time, and they’ll meet you at the airport when your flight gets in. If you decide to make it round-trip, they’ll also be waiting at the cruise terminal for you when your ship comes back, ready to take you back to the airport so you don’t miss your flight home.
Travel Tips to New Orleans
Here are some tips for traveling to New Orleans for your cruise. Follow these suggestions should help eliminate a lot of travel stress so that you can fully enjoy your vacation:
- Know ahead of time how you plan to get to the cruise port, where you plan to park (if driving yourself), and where you plan to stay if you arrive in town the night before.
- Have a backup plan in mind, just in case something goes wrong. Even if that means having extra money in your travel budget for contingencies.
- Always know where your identification is, and always have it at the ready. You will need it at the airport, at the hotel, and at the cruise terminal. You will also need to have your cruise information (proof of purchase) readily available.
- If you arrived a day early, take some of the extra time to explore the city a little. There are various city tours that help you be able to see a lot of the city in a very short amount of time.
- No matter what you do, HAVE FUN!
FAQ for Transportation to New Orleans Cruise Port
How far is cruise port in New Orleans from airport?
The airport and cruise port in New Orleans are only about 15 miles apart from each other. On a good day with light traffic, it will only take about 25 minutes to drive the distance. In heavy traffic, however, you may be looking at a 35-40 minute drive. Be sure to plan accordingly when choosing flight times.
What’s the cheapest way to get to the Port of New Orleans?
The answer to that question is contingent on how many people you will be travelling with. If it is just yourself, and you are cruising with one of the four major cruise lines (Norwegian, Disney, Royal, or Carnival), arrange to be picked by their cruise transfer.
For 2-4 people, the cheapest way to get to the Port of New Orleans, if travelling from the New Orleans airport, is by Uber or Lyft. You can get a cheap ride for up to 4 people, including luggage, and there should always be drivers available.
If your group consists of 5 or more passengers, you have a few options. You could book separate Uber or Lyft rides (which might be the easiest option), or you can plan ahead and book a shuttle. SuperShuttle or NOLA Airport Shuttle have decent prices for large groups.
When should I arrive in New Orleans for my cruise vacation?
For any cruise, we highly recommend arriving at least a day before your cruise leaves. This gives you a buffer of time just in case there are any flight delays or cancellations. This can also keep you from getting caught in heavy traffic between the airport and the cruise terminal and missing your boat.
Additionally, having an extra day also gives you time to sightsee a bit, maybe even visit Mardi Gras World which is right next to the cruise port.
Also Helpful: 26 Ideal Hotels Near Port of New Orleans
Conclusion on How to Get to the New Orleans Cruise Terminal
Hopefully, after reading this article you have a better idea of the options available to you for transportation to the New Orleans Cruise Terminal. Though it is up to you how you get there, our top recommendation is riding with Uber or Lyft. It’s the most convenient, is cheap, and can easily cater 2-4 people and their luggage without a problem.