Updated October 10, 2019
Cruise Terminal Address
711 12th Avenue
(between W. 48th and W. 52nd streets)
New York, NY 10019
New York City's Manhattan cruise terminal is located on the city's west side in an area commonly referred to as Hell's Kitchen. It is right on the Hudson River and, because cruise ships must sail under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty every time they arrive at or depart from the port, it makes for phenomenal photographs.
There is parking at the port itself. The parking lot is atop the terminal and is fairly pricy at $40 per night (up to 10 nights). Payment is due upon arrival into the parking lot. There also is plenty of parking available at independent garages all throughout the west side of Manhattan. Two of the biggest players in the area are Icon Parking ($17 - $32 per day), which has garages on W. 57th, W. 54th and W. 53rd streets, and Park Whiz (about $35 per day), which has garages on W. 51st and W. 57th streets.
Getting There by Public Transit
The Manhattan cruise terminal is not located particularly close to any subway stations, though it is fairly close to the M57 (get off at 57th Street) and M32 (get off at 57th Street and York Avenue) bus routes. The subway station closest to the port is Columbus Circle, which is serviced by the A, C, B, D and 1 trains. From the station, walk south on 8th Avenue, and turn right on 52nd Street. Continue down 52nd to 12th Avenue, where you'll see the terminal. A little farther afield is Port Authority/42nd Street, which is serviced by the A, C and E trains. From Port Authority, walk west on 42nd Street until you reach 12th Avenue, turn right, and head north until you see the terminal on the other side of the highway.
Getting There from the Airport
New York Airport Service provides daily transportation service from JFK and LaGuardia to Port Authority Bus Terminal from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. From JFK, service runs every 15 minutes; from LaGuardia service runs every 30 minutes. Approximate travel time is 60 minutes, depending on traffic. Newark Liberty Airport Express Bus provides daily transportation every 15 to 30 minutes from Newark International Airport to Port Authority Bus Terminal. From Port Authority, a short taxi ride to the cruise terminal is required.
Getting There via Amtrak
Amtrak offers service to New York City along the Northeast Corridor from Boston, Providence, Hartford, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. to New York's Penn Station. From Penn Station, you'll need to take a taxi to get to the port.
If arriving at the port by taxi, the driver can either drop you off across the street or drive up the ramp to the second level. (The entrance to the second level is on 55th Street.) Check-in is on the second level, so you'll need to take the elevator down.
When departing the port by taxi, you'll need to cross the street to a dedicated taxi stand. During peak disembarkation hours, taxis will be lined up waiting for fares. There is a flat fare of $52 plus tolls, as well as $0.80 in tax surcharges from Manhattan to JFK; there is no fixed rate between Manhattan and La Guardia or Newark International Airport.
What Time to Arrive
Cruise ships that regularly homeport at the Manhattan terminal (namely Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line) depart around 4 p.m. and arrive back at 7 a.m. Embarkation typically begins around 11:30 (unless there's a delay). Your best bet is to arrive around 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. to avoid the biggest crowds.
There are two cruise piers at the Manhattan Port (Pier 88 at 48th Street and Pier 90 at 52nd Street). When only one cruise ship is in port, it will embark or disembark from Pier 90. Check in for both piers is on Level Two; there is only one entrance for each. Unless you've been dropped off on Level Two, you will need to take the elevator up from street level or down from the parking level.
Once inside, terminal employees will guide you to the appropriate line. Lines are divided by loyalty program membership level, as well as cabin category. (Suite passengers have their own VIP line and waiting area.)
Baggage Pick Up/Customs
You'll be picking up your bags and going through customs on the street level of the Manhattan cruise terminal. As with all cruise line disembarkation, you'll find your luggage by the color-coded tags you were given on the last night of the cruise. Once you've found you bags, make your way through customs. If you're being picked up by a private car, you'll need to go up one level to the pick-up/drop-off zone.
There are no wheelchairs available from the terminal. If you will need a wheelchair and are not bringing your own, you must request one from your cruise line ahead of time.
Where to Grab a Bite or Last Minute Essentials
There is a small coffee/snack shop inside the terminal. Selection is very limited. For last-minute essentials like toiletries or soda and water, you'll need to head west to Walgreens on W. 49th Street and 9th Avenue. You also can grab a bite to eat or select last minute items at the United We Stand Deli & Grocery on 10th Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.
Porters are available on street level in front of the elevators to take your bags.
Where to Sit
Before going through security, there are limited seat options, but once through security and past check-in there are plenty of banks of seats. During the busiest hours (noon to 1:30 p.m.), you might have trouble finding a seat.
There are plenty of bathrooms within the Manhattan cruise terminal.
There is no Wi-Fi at the Manhattan cruise port, though installation of Wi-Fi servers is underway.
There are no storage lockers for luggage at the terminal.
Watch Out For
The Manhattan cruise terminal is located alongside a busy highway. Watch out for cars and speeding bicycles when you cross the street, as you'll need to cross a bike path -- and the highway -- to get to the terminal.