Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox

Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Cruise Port

Home > Ports > U.S.A. Cruises > Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Cruise Port
Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Sunset Over Bayonne Bridge
More Photos
Bayonne (Cape Liberty)Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Bayonne (Cape Liberty)Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Map
 Maps provided by

Got questions? Cruisers share about Bayonne (Cape Liberty).

Find U.S.A. cruise deals
View 55 port reviews of Bayonne (Cape Liberty) cruises

Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Overview
In 2004, Royal Caribbean, looking for an alternative to New York's overcrowded and under-efficient cruise terminal, moved its two Manhattan-based ships -- Empress of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas -- across the Hudson River to New Jersey. The cruise line set up shop at the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal (which has now been renamed the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor), on a 430-acre man-made point of land. And so Cape Liberty Cruise Port got its start.

The new cruise port offers outstanding views of the harbor, the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. But Bayonne itself is primarily a residential community rather than a hot spot for tourism. And truth be told, the port is rather drab and industrial looking. Indeed, Bayonne's best asset is its proximity to bustling communities like Hoboken, Jersey City and, of course, the Big Apple, only seven miles (or a 10-minute drive) away. For most folks, the port is close enough to Manhattan to take advantage of all that the city has to offer -- for more info, read our New York port profile.

Want to stay close to port? There are still some tourist-worthy diversions, like the city of Hoboken, birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball -- at least, that's what the sign says when you enter the city limits; the latter claim has been hotly contested through the years. Hoboken is also known as the "square mile city" because it is only one square mile. It's a pedestrian's dream, with shops and restaurants located within walking distance of the city's train station and ferry terminal (thank goodness for that, because parking in Hoboken is no picnic).

While Hoboken has become an "in" place for young urban professionals to settle (or at least rent overpriced apartments in aging brownstones), droves of other Jerseyans -- and New Yorkers! -- come in the evenings and on the weekends to eat, drink and enjoy the postcard-perfect view of the Manhattan skyline from the waterfront. Another waterfront garnering major attention is that of Jersey City, the gateway (on the New Jersey side, anyway) to two of New York's most important sites: Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Liberty Island is of course home to Lady Liberty herself, and the main building on Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of immigration.

Don't turn a blind eye to Bayonne, though -- major plans are in place to develop the port area for tourists. The future of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor promises a flashy new cruise terminal, a nature and river walk, an aquarium, and extensive recreational and park areas.
Print the entire port review.
Other U.S.A. Cruise Ports:
BaltimoreBayonne (Cape Liberty)BostonCharlestonFort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)GalvestonHonoluluHoustonJacksonvilleKey WestLos AngelesMiamiMobileNew OrleansNew York (Brooklyn, Red Hook)New York (Manhattan)NorfolkOrlando (Port Canaveral)PhiladelphiaPort CanaveralPort of Palm BeachPortland (Maine)San DiegoSan FranciscoSeattleSt. LouisTampa
Quick Facts
Best Souvenir
Language
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
Where You're Docked
Hanging Around
Getting Around
Watch Out For
Don't Miss
Been There, Done That
Lunching
Accommodations
Staying in Touch
For More Information
 
Best Souvenir
A Statue of Liberty figurine.
Top  

Language
English is spoken.
Top  

Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The currency is the U.S. dollar. International visitors will find it easy to access cash at numerous ATM machines. Exchange bureaus so common in Europe are not in the U.S., but major banks do provide exchange services.
Top  

Where You're Docked
The currency is the U.S. dollar. International visitors will find it easy to access cash at numerous ATM machines. Exchange bureaus so common in Europe are not in the U.S., but major banks do provide exchange services.
Top  

Hanging Around
The Cape Liberty Terminal is in a remote location, and it is neither possible -- nor permissible -- to walk anywhere. The terminal has food services, telephones and bathrooms.


Top  

Getting Around
Cape Liberty Cruise Port is accessible from Newark Liberty International Airport, via the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95). Guest parking is available adjacent to the cruise terminal. Check their Web site for parking information and pricing. Direct buses, arranged by the cruise line, operate between northeastern cities and the pier on cruise days.

Once at Cape Liberty, cruisers can take the NJ Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail via the Bayonne station, which connects to Amtrak, PATH trains and ferry service to/from New York City via Hoboken Station. The rail station is about three miles from the port, but RCI provides a complimentary shuttle to and from the station on cruise days. The light rail connects Bayonne to Hoboken and Jersey City. Taxis are also readily available on embarkation and debarkation days.

There are no rental car companies set up at the port, but there is an Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Bayonne (1347 Kennedy Blvd.; 201-436-9814). Enterprise centers are generally willing to provide pick-up and drop-off service, but be sure to call for more information in advance.

Go Airlink NYC provides transportation to the cruise terminal at Cape Liberty for local travelers and passengers from Maryland, Delaware, Pennyslvania and New Jersey. Cost varies depending on pick-up location. They also offer private tours of NYC. (1430 Broadway, Ste. 507, NYC; 212-812-9000/ 877-599-8200)

The port is accessible from three N.Y.C.-area airports -- Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Taxis are readily available at all airports, and fares are either fixed or metered, not including tolls; fares from Newark Airport to Cape Liberty Cruise Port are approximately $35, from JFK approximately $65 (plus tolls) and from LaGuardia approximately $70 (plus tolls).
Top  

Watch Out For
You can't walk to the cruise terminal from public transportation, but must drive in, take a cab or shuttle bus.

In the past, some cars parked at the cruise terminal have received some damage from paint spraying in a nearby shipyard. The company that operates the parking lot has worked with the car owners to get compensation for the damage and they are making efforts to keep it from happening in the future. Read The Lido Deck report on the most recent incident.
Top  

Don't Miss
The inside of the Statue of Liberty closes October 28, 2011, for upgrades that will last about a year. Liberty Island will remain open. Lady Liberty was intended as a gift of international friendship from France to commemorate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1876. There was initially a joint effort wherein America would build the pedestal and France, the statue. Lack of funds on both sides delayed the project until Joseph Pulitzer (the creator of the Pulitzer Prize) successfully urged the American people to provide funds (France used public fees, entertainment and lotteries). The statue was finally completed in 1884, and, in 350 individual pieces that occupied 214 crates, was transported across the Atlantic Ocean. Dedication took place in 1886 -- a centennial gift that, ultimately, was 10 years late. Ferry service from Jersey City's Liberty State Park to the Statue of Liberty is available throughout the year, every day 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (weather permitting) except for Christmas Day. Be prepared for security screening similar to airport security procedures. For ticket reservations, go to www.statuecruises.com or call 877-523-9849.

Ellis Island was the gateway through which more than 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954 (including Irving Berlin, Bob Hope, Knute Rockne and the von Trapp family) in their search for freedom. You can hear oral history interviews; see films and live theatrical productions; and view hundreds of photos of immigrants and exhibits of items they brought with them. The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, the longest wall of names in the world, commemorates more than five million first-generation Americans. (Some sections will be closed until June 2012.) A computer allows you to see if your last name appears anywhere on the wall. You can also have easy access to ship passenger manifest records through a searchable database. If your search is successful, you'll get a reproduction of that manifest. Ferry service from Jersey City's Liberty State Park to Ellis Island, www.statuecruises.com or 877-523-9849, is available throughout the year, every day 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (weather permitting) except for Christmas Day.

At Liberty Science Center, in Jersey City's Liberty State Park , you'll find exhibits on The Invention Floor, The Health Floor and The Environment Floor. Highlights include a rock wall and insect zoo (kids will love a meet-and-greet with Central American cave cockroaches or millipedes from Kenya). There is also an IMAX theater and a changing variety of seasonal exhibits. Open daily during spring and summer 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Fall and winter hours are Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays. (222 Jersey City Blvd.; 201-200-1000)

For More: Virtual Tourist's Things to Do in New York City
Top  

Been There, Done That
If you've been to New York before and want some ideas that are a little more off the beaten path, plan an itinerary with Laura at Trip Trotter. She'll concoct a custom day of activities for you -- from pizza crawls to perfume studio visits -- based on your interests, preferences and schedule.

For the best shopping on the Jersey side of the Harbor, and a lovely near-port daytrip, take the light rail to Hoboken. Exit the train station (the light rail platform is at street level just south of the NJ Transit trains) and head left for Washington Street. The city's mile-long main drag is littered with charming boutiques selling cutting-edge clothing and handmade handbags, kitschy florists, posh salons, long-standing bakeries and more.

Shopping Highlights: Sparrow Wine & Liquor Co. (126 Washington Street, Hoboken; 201-659-1500) was founded (as Sparrow Cigar Company) during prohibition in 1922, and is one of the top wine and spirit retailers in the state, offering hard-to-find vintages and neat accessories. They also host tasting events throughout the year at The Brass Rail, a popular restaurant in town owned by Sparrow. Big Fun Toys (602 Washington Street, Hoboken; 201-714-9575), the hippest toy store in town, features toys for kids of all ages -- and a "joke of the day."

Chief John T. Brennan Fire Museum (often referred to as the Bayonne Firefighters Museum or Brennan Fire Museum or, even still, the Bayonne Fire Department Museum) was first used as a firehouse in 1870, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Visit for a glimpse of more than a century's worth of fire-fighting history. To set up a visit, contact the Deputy Fire Chief at 201-858-6064 or 201-858-6199. (10 West 47th Street, Bayonne)

Hoboken Historical Museum & Cultural Center, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the history of Hoboken, maintains a growing archive of artifacts and books, and has a really nifty gift shop -- stop by, pick up a map and take a self-guided walking tour of the city. Open Tuesday – Thursday 2-7 p.m., Friday 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon – 5 p.m. Nominal admission, free to children. (1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken; 201-656-2240)

If you've got a penchant for bridges -- or just general construction -- it may be worth your while to take a ride over the Bayonne Bridge. The bridge, which spans the Kill Van Kull to link New Jersey with Staten Island, is the third-largest steel arch bridge in the world (behind New River Gorge in West Virginia and the number one pick, the Lupu Bridge, in Shanghai). The Bayonne Bridge was awarded the prize for the most beautiful steel arch bridge in 1931 (the year it was finished) by the American Institute for Steel Construction.
Top  

Lunching
For a burger, pizza or snacks, Kuhl's Tavern is a local, family-owned spot. Parking is easier here than many other places in town. (53 Prospect Ave., Bayonne; 201-858-9469)

Piccolino Ristorante offers Italian fare and has a tavern-like bar, as well. Lunch specials may include eggplant cannelloni filled with ricotta, prosciutto and spinach at a reasonable price. Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (552 Broadway, Bayonne; 201-436-8800)

Local Hobokenites go crazy for lazy Sunday brunches -- just about every pubby, clubby restaurant in the city offers a "prix fixe" brunch buffet, many with free bellinis, bloody Marys and mimosas. Don't miss the creme brulee French toast at The Madison Bar & Grill, a hip and trendy eatery. Open daily at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. (1316 Washington St., Hoboken; 201-386-0300).

Even the Zagat-rated Mexican favorite, Baja, offers a Sunday brunch menu featuring huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos and more. Opens daily at noon. Sunday brunch is noon – 3 p.m. (104 14th St., at the far end of Washington, Hoboken; 201-653-0610/ 117 Montgomery St., Jersey City; 201-915-0062)

Not in town for Sunday brunch? Liberty Lounge & Grill is an "upscale" sports lounge (think big-screen televisions surrounded by funky lights and a neat mural of the New York skyline) featuring soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pastas and pizzas. Three-hour parking validation with minimum purchase at 15th Street and Park Lot. Open daily at 11 a.m. (61 14th Street, Hoboken; 201-222-6322)

Sushi House of Hoboken is also a local BYOB favorite (try the madame butterfly roll -- eel and avocado topped with shrimp tempura). Opens daily at 11 a.m. (155 1st Street, Hoboken; 201-656-7788)

Or, if you missed out on the experience onboard Voyager of the Seas, stop into Johnny Rockets for feel-good food and oldies tunes. Open daily at 8 a.m. (134 Washington Street, Hoboken; 201-659-2620)
Top  

Accommodations
Close to the Port: Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson is located on Jersey City's Harborside Financial Center pier, overlooking the New York Harbor and facing Wall Street. The hotel features a fitness center, indoor lap pool and an in-house steak-and-seafood restaurant called Vu. (2 Exchange Place, Jersey City; 201-469-1234)

Editor's Note: For more places to stay, check out our New York port profile.
Top  

Staying in Touch
Carpe Diem Pub & Restaurant is open weekdays at 4 p.m., weekends at 11 a.m. (1405 Grand Street, Hoboken; 201-792-0050)

Panera Bread has free Wi-Fi and many locations. (310 Washington Street, Hoboken; 201-876-3233)

Starbucks is a Wi-Fi hot spot for laptop users. (51 Newark Street, Hoboken; 201-222-2491)
Top  

For More Information
Visit www.hobokennj.org
Visit www.cityofjerseycity.com
Visit www.bayonnenj.org
Cruise Critic Message Boards: United States
The Independent Traveler: New York Exchange

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, updated by Jodi Thompson, Cruise Critic contributor

Image of sunset over Bayonne Bridge appears courtesy of Jack Grasing and www.bayonnenj.org. Image of New York skyline appears courtesy of www.bayonnenj.org. Image of Liberty Science Center appears courtesy of Wolfgang Hoyt and the Liberty Science Center. Image of the Statue of Liberty is copyright Jeff Greenberg/NYC & Company, Inc. Image of residential Bayonne street appears courtesy of Fianna Reznik and www.bayonnenj.org.
Top  

About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.