A Guide to Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port
With scenic waterways and shimmering canals, Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of the United States.
Its sandy beaches and sunny climate make it a popular destination for travelers looking for sun and surf.
From boating and deep-sea fishing to waterskiing and snorkelling, there are plenty of water-based activities to enjoy.
There is also lots to do on land, including hiking and wildlife viewing at the Everglades National Park.
Millions of cruise passengers travel through Port Everglades each year, making it one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Walk along Las Olas Boulevard, enjoy the sun and sand of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood beaches, see turtles and manatees at the Everglades, or cruise along the city’s scenic canal waterways during a stay before or after your cruise.
The city’s restaurants features some of the best seafood South Florida has to offer as well as renowned chefs celebrating cuisine from around the world. Fort Lauderdale is also home to world-class shopping experiences, from rare antiques to leading fashion labels.
With great beaches and the Everglades at its doorstep along with exceptional cultural experiences, it is no wonder that the city is a major tourist destination. I
f you stay overnight near Port Everglades, you will find plenty of hotels near Fort Lauderdale cruise port. From luxury options like the Ritz-Carlton and Westin to more affordable alternatives such as Fairfield Inn and Holiday Inn, the city offers hotel and resort options for every taste.
Port Everglades in Florida
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Terminals
Port Everglades is among the busiest cruise ports in the world serving nearly 4 million passengers each year. The port has eight modern and accessible cruise terminals with comfortable seating areas, snack and beverage machines, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Northport includes Terminals 1, 2 and 4 and Midport is home to Terminals 18, 19, 21, 25, 26 and 29.
Terminal 1 is dedicated for ferry services to the Bahamas, while cruises use the port’s other passenger terminals. For example, Terminal 2 serves cruise ships operated by Princess Cruises. Recently renovated, it accommodates the cruise operator’s Ocean Medallion service that enables passengers to use wearable technology to access enhanced services before, during and after their cruise. The terminal has a spacious 20,000 square foot waiting area.
Situated next to the convention center, Terminal 4 was renovated in 2015 and serves mainly Carnival Cruise Line ships. Royal Caribbean is based at Terminal 19, which welcomes the cruise line’s largest ships. Celebrity Cruises operates from Terminal 25, a sleek and modern terminal and home for the line’s Celebrity Edge.
Fort Lauderdale has several cruise terminals and they are:
- Terminal 2 – Princess Cruises (Carnival Corporation)
- Terminal 4 – Carnival Cruises
- Terminal 18 – Royal Caribbean, serves the largest ships in the world
- Terminal 19
- Terminal 21
- Terminal 25 – Celebrity Cruises
- Terminal 26 – Holland America Line
- Terminal 29
Getting to Port Everglades
There are three entrances for Port Everglades. Located close to shops and restaurants, the Northport entrance is found at the 17th Street Causeway at Eisenhower Boulevard.
The Midport entrance is at State Road 84 off U.S. 1 and is the closest entrance to most airport hotels. I-595 East leads directly to the port and serves as the entrance for Southport. If you are using GPS to guide you to the port, its official address is 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.
By road, the port is accessible from I-595, I-95 and I-75 as well as U.S. 1 and Florida’s Turnpike. The port is the only cruise port in the United States adjacent to an international airport, making it convenient located for cruise passengers traveling by air.
Miami International is also 27 miles south of Port Everglades, while Palm Beach International Airport is 50 miles to the north.
Port Everglades is just a 10-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. If traveling to the port by car, there are several routes depending on where you are arriving.
If you are renting a car, follow signs toward U.S. 1 North when leaving the airport’s car rental area before following signs for Port Everglades and Eller Drive directly to the port. From terminal’s 1 through 4, travel along U.S. 1 North before exiting on 17th Street and using the 17th Street Causeway to enter the port.
Taxi – Uber/Lyft
You can get to Port Everglades by taxi from anywhere in the Fort Lauderdale area, including the airport.
Most taxis accept major credit cards. Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also options from the airport and other points in and around Fort Lauderdale. Taxis generally cost between $15 and $20 each way between the airport and port, while ridesharing services are slightly cheaper with fares between $10 and $15.
Several airport shuttles link each airport terminal with the port. The Go Airport shuttle, for example, offers connections between the airport and port every 15 to 20 minutes using air-conditioned vans.
Tickets costs $11 (current as of August 2020) and can be purchased in advance or at the airport. Other options including for passengers arriving at Miami International Airport are Metro Shuttle Service, Florida Shuttle Transportation, Port of Miami Shuttle and the Florida Express Bus.
Some cruise lines also offer dedicated shuttles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as well as Miami’s airport.
Hotel shuttles link several accommodation options in the Fort Lauderdale area with Port Everglades. Many hotels near Port Everglades provide free shuttles to and from the airport as well as the cruise port if you are staying overnight at the hotel.
Public Transportation & Rail
Using public transit, the port is accessible using the Number 40 bus from Downtown Fort Lauderdale. This option is perfect for anyone staying in downtown hotels and cruising from Northport. The Sun Trolley also provides access to the port.
Fort Lauderdale is accessible by rail with Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) services from Miami and West Palm Beach. The Tri-Rail commuter train also connects the city with Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.
Nationwide trains operated by Amtrak also stop at Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale stations. If arriving by train, you can travel to the port area by taxi or ridesharing services.
Read more: Getting to Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Parking
The cruise port offers security-patrolled public parking close to ships. All parking lots are within walking distance of cruise terminals. The only exception is terminal 29, which does not have dedicated parking nearby. A free shuttle connects the terminal with the Midport Parking Garage.
All parking garages and surface lots have dedicated spaces for disabled passengers, providing barrier-free access to and from terminals via crosswalks and elevators.
Offering up to 4,250 spaces following a planned expansion, the Northport Parking Garage is next to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and serves terminals 1, 2 and 4. Terminal 4 also has its own 172-space parking lot.
The Midport Parking Garage hosts 2,000 spaces serving terminals 19, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 29. A 600-space surface parking lot is located outside terminal 18, while parking lot 19 provides 400 surface parking spaces between terminals 18 and 19.
Hourly and daily parking are available at all parking garages and surface lots, with maximum daily rates set at $15 or $19 for over-sized vehicles (rates current as of August 2020). Parking is $3 for up to an hour and $6 for up to 5 hours, with $1 charged per hour for each additional hour up to the daily maximum.
Best Time to Visit and Cruise from Fort Lauderdale Florida ?
For Lauderdale is at its best between December and April, so it is no wonder that peak cruise season runs from November to April. The weather is calm and pleasant, and you will find more comfortable temperatures during the winter and spring.
Temperatures are consistently between 60 and 80 degrees. The period is a popular time to visit, especially during the holidays, so it is important to book any hotel stays in advance.
Besides great weather, spring offers plenty to do in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. It is the start of the festival season when the region hosts the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Las Olas Art Fair, Tortuga Music Festival and more.
The winter is also filled with great events, including Christmas on Las Olas and the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade.
Although cruises depart Fort Lauderdale throughout the year, summer and fall months are most prone to rain. Hurricane season also stretches from June to November.
Summer months are known for their hot and humid summer weather, with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees. Between May and September is a great time to enjoy deep sea fishing, snorkeling, and other watersports.
While the period between May and November may not offer the most comfortable weather, you will find better hotel deals. There are also fantastic events, like the Wilton Manors Halloween Experience and the Hollywood Beach Latin Festival in August.
Where to stay near the port ?
With views of the Intracoastal Waterway, hotels in this area are close the 17th Street’s diverse collection of restaurants and shops. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port and Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina are within a ten-minute walk of Port Everglades. The area is also home to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale.
Hotels surrounding Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are ideal if you have an early flight home or arrive late, and if you are only planning to stay a night before or after your cruise.
Only a 15-minute drive from the beach and ten minutes from the cruise port, this well-connected area is also convenient for exploring the city. Options include the Crowne Plaza Hotel Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise, Hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport North, and Ramada by Wyndham Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port.
If you want to spent time along the coast, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a fantastic option. From affordable hotels to luxury beach resorts, all budgets are catered in the area. You are steps from world class activities on the water.
Known for its art galleries and nightlife, there family-friendly area also has a wide selection of restaurants and shops. Fort Lauderdale Beach is where you will find The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale, The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, The Atlantic Hotel and Spay, W Fort Lauderdale, and DoubleTree by Hilton Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Hollywood Beach is another destination where you can enjoy the sun, sand and water. Although the location is slightly further from Port Everglades, the cruise port is still easily accessible from this high-end neighborhood. Home to outstanding resorts with easy beach access and the Hollywood Boardwalk, the area also has excellent restaurants and a lively nightlife. A popular choice is the family friend resort Margaritaville at Hollywood Beach. Other options include the Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton.
The area around Las Olas Boulevard close to Downtown Fort Lauderdale sits between Hollywood Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Great restaurants and interesting shops are within walking distance of hotels.
From bars and clubs to movie theatres and canals, you are in the heart of ‘The Venice of America’. The neighborhood is also home to the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and Stranahan House Museum. Hotels in the area include the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Downtown/Las Olas, Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale and Riverside Hotel.
Read also: Best Hotels near Port Everglades
Where to shop near Port Everglades ?
Fort Lauderdale is a major shopping destination with shops catering to any taste and budget. Port Everglades is a short drive from many of the city’s top retail destinations.
Adjacent to the port area is 17th Street, offering convenient shopping if you are staying close to Port Everglades or if you want to make a last-minute shopping trip. Along with several hotels, 17th Street has several pharmacies, banks, restaurants, cafes and shops between Federal Highway and the Seventeenth Street Causeway Bridge.
Downtown is renowned for its shopping, and you will also find fantastic boutiques in Fort Lauderdale Beach and Hollywood Beach.
About a 20-minute bus ride or 15-minute drive north of the cruise port is The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale. This world-class destination houses great shops and restaurants, offering one of the city’s premier dining and shopping experiences.
Las Olas Boulevard is about ten minutes from the cruise port and is renowned for its independently owned boutiques, inviting cafes and acclaimed restaurants.
Both destinations are also accessible using the Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi system.
To the south is Dania, home to Antique Row. You will find more than 100 dealers along one square mile of Federal Highway selling every conceivable collectible and antique.
The Design Center of the Americas is also in Dania. At the intersection of I-95 and Griffin Road, the 775,000-square-foot center boasts interior designer studios, furniture showrooms and more.
Further afield, Westfield Broward in Plantation is within a 20-minute drive west of Port Everglades. The sprawling shopping center has over 80 shops and restaurants as well as a 12-screen ci.
A little further west is Sawgrass Mills, a popular destination for bargain hunters. With nearly 400 retail outlets and restaurants, the shopping mall is one of the largest in the United States.
Sights to see
Top destinations in Fort Lauderdale include:
Las Olas Boulevard: This popular shopping and dining destination is renowned for its tropical scenery and lively vibe. You will find welcoming courtyards lined with shops, galleries, clubs, bars and restaurants.
Fort Lauderdale Beaches: With 23 miles of sandy shores, there are plenty of beaches to choose from in the city including Hollywood Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Deerfield Beach and Hillsboro Beach. You can also don your swimsuit and go for a swim at Fort Lauderdale Beach east of Las Olas Boulevard or the less crowded Dania Beach near Port Everglades. Pompano Beach and its 18 shipwrecks is popular for diving.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens: A 1920s-era oceanfront property, you can step back in time at this historic home on Birch Road while enjoying art displays throughout the property. The gardens are one of the last examples of barrier island habitat native to South Florida.
Museum of Discovery and Science: With hundreds of interactive exhibits and live demonstrations, the museum is a must-see for families and anyone interested in science. One of the largest museums of its kind in Florida, the museum also has flight simulators and an IMAX theater.
Intracoastal Waterway: Stretching 3,000 miles, the waterway connects the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Meandering between the city and the Everglades, it also provides easy access to water activities and land-based attractions using a system of 300 miles of inland canals.
Sawgrass Mills & Recreational Park: Offering the typical Everglades experience, you can enjoy an airboat tour through alligator habitats and visit a reptile zoo at the recreational park. Sawgrass Mills is also a sprawling outlet mall with nearly 400 shops and restaurant, a bargain-hunter’s dream.
Best ways to get around Fort Lauderdale
With most of the city’s attractions close to Port Everglades, getting around Fort Lauderdale is easy.
Taxis and ridesharing services are a quick and inexpensive options to travel between destinations, and most local trips cost less than $20. Many hotels also offer free shuttlers to and from the cruise port and the airport as well as major attractions.
If you plan to spend a few days in Fort Lauderdale, renting a car is a great way to explore the area. You have additional freedom and will not be limited by public transit schedules. You can also experience more of South Florida, including Miami and West Palm Beach.
Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi system is a unique way of seeing the city and getting around. Water taxis travel along the Intracoastal Waterways and the New River in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
They stop at 14 points of interest, including The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale and the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. You can hop on and off throughout the day and water taxis run every 25 to 35 minutes. Tickets are $28 for adults and $14 for children aged 5 to 11, with reduced rates available for seniors and members of the military.
Sun Trolley connects downtown with the beach and Las Olas Boulevard. Most routes are free, although there is a $1 per ride fare for the Beach Link and Las Olas Link routes. A $3 day pass is also available for those routes.
Broward County Transit operates commuter buses in the city, including the Number 40 bus linking Port Everglades with downtown. Each ride is $2 for adults and $1 for children 17 and under. A day pass costs $5, or you can buy three-day, seven-day and 10-ride passes for between $12 and $20.
A fun way to get around Fort Lauderdale is by bike. Ideal for shorter trips, you can reserve a bicycle using the Broward B-cycle bike-sharing service. Stations are found in popular destinations including Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Central Beach. Rentals cost $5 for 30 minutes or $50 per day.
(Latest update August 14th 2020)
Please contact us if any information is incorrect or not up-to-date.