72 Bowne Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
A cruise from Brooklyn will uncover a part of the city with equal parts attitude and pride (and arguably better sailaway views than Manhattan or Bayonne). Opened in 2006, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal has just one cruise quay (Pier 12) but handles nearly 50 cruise ships and 250,000 passengers annually. A voyage from Red Hook (a neighborhood along the Buttermilk Channel in East Brooklyn) might take you to Canada and New England or across the Atlantic. While the terminal location is more than a tad industrial, there's plenty to do with a day in town. We've compiled what you need to know about cruising from Brooklyn, one of New York City's most famous outer boroughs.
All cars enter the cruise terminal from the Bowne and Imlay Street intersection.
Take the Battery Tunnel (I-478-E) into Brooklyn. Continue onto the westbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278-W) and immediately take the first exit on the right: Exit 26 -- Hamilton Avenue -- onto the service road. Stay to the left and make a left U-turn at the intersection of Hamilton Avenue with Clinton Street/9th Street, then continue west along the westbound Hamilton Avenue service road. Continue on the service road to its end at Van Brunt Street. Turn left at Van Brunt Street, travel two blocks and then turn right onto Bowne Street to enter the terminal.
Take the Long Island Expressway west to the westbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278-W, just after Exit 18 Maurice Avenue) and take Exit 26 -- Hamilton Avenue -- onto the service road. Follow directions above.
Take the New Jersey Turnpike north to Exit 13. Cross the Goethals Bridge to I-278, Staten Island Expressway, and cross the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn. Continue north on Gowanus/BQE and exit at Exit 26 (Hamilton Avenue). After the exit, go down the ramp all the way to Van Brunt Street, make a left turn on Van Brunt and travel two blocks, turning right onto Bowne Street to enter the terminal.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), La Guardia Airport (LGA) and Newark International Airport (EWR) are the closest airports to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Taxis are readily available from each airport. Allow at least an hour of travel time from the airport to the cruise terminal -- LaGuardia is roughly 40 minutes away; Newark is about 45 minutes and JFK is closer to 55 minutes from the terminal. Always factor in additional time if you're traveling during rush hour.
Taking public transportation still involves walking (in a pedestrian-unfriendly area), so be aware of that before you choose to hop on the bus or subway. Either combination requires both a subway and bus ride from most major hubs. Most cruise lines will offer shuttle service to the cruise terminal, or if you're traveling with a group, you might find it more cost effective to take a cab.
From the Port Authority Bus Terminal Station on 42nd Street in Manhattan, take the A or C train to Jay Street/MetroTech Station. Walk two minutes to the corner of Jay and Fulton Street to pick up the B61 (Park Slope 20 St.) bus. Ride for 13 stops (about 18 minutes) until the Van Brunt/Verona St. stop. Walk 0.4 miles (seven minutes) to the cruise terminal. This takes about an hour, not considering traffic.
Take the F train toward Coney Island (from midtown, you can pick this up at the 42nd Street/Bryant Park subway station) 13 stops (25 minutes) to the Smith/9th Street station. Change here to the B77 bus. Take the bus to Conover and Dikeman Street. The walk is then approximately six (long) blocks to the terminal entrance.
Penn Station and Grand Central Station are the closest Amtrak train stations from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. From either Penn or Grand Central, expect a half-hour cab ride (or an hour on public transit) to the cruise terminal.
Public transportation is plentiful in NYC, but if you're looking to rent a car while staying in the Red Hook area, the nearest car rental location to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is Avis at 211 Atlantic Avenue (between Court Street and Boerum Place). For a NYCruise passenger discount, use location code "XB4" and AWD# A427700 at Avis Brooklyn.
Parking at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is on the south side of the terminal entrance (Brooklyn Pier 12) at 72 Imlay Street, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. Arrive between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to ensure better parking availability. The daily rate for multiday parking is $20; there is no upcharge for sport utility vehicles. Handicap parking is available. Reservations are not required and taxes are included in the rates. The lot is outdoors, but is patrolled by security.
Keep your ticket with you during your cruise, and at its completion, take your ticket to one of the blue pay station machines. (These machines are located inside the terminal exit and at the pedestrian entrance to the parking lot.) Parking fees must be paid before driving to the exit gate. Payment is accepted in cash and by Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards.
Yellow Taxicab rates are based on distance and time. For a more detailed breakdown, visit the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) Rate of Fare. The fares for Livery Taxicab (town cars or other car services) should be negotiated in advance. Estimated Yellow Cab fares to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook (excluding tolls and tips) are about $28 to $38 from LaGuardia; $45 to $60 from JFK; and $80 to $100 from Newark Liberty. If you require a ride after typical drop-off/pickup hours at the port, the terminal website recommends calling Future Car Group at (718) 858-1234 and telling them to pick you up at Pier 12 near the guard booth.
Rideshare services are an alternative to cabs, shuttles or other trickier transportation to the port. These options are available for pickup from JFK and LGA; only Uber is available from Newark airport. Both ride services should be available from just about anywhere in the city, including a ride from a hotel or attraction to or from the cruise terminal. Rates vary during peak travel times (rush hour, weekends) but are generally cheaper than taxi fare.
Porters are available on-site to assist with luggage during embarkation and disembarkation.
Officials at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal recommend arriving 11 a.m. or later to board your cruise -- not before. Boarding times vary based on vessel arrival time and operations, but boarding generally begins between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Make note of the printed embarkation time on your cruise documents. Cruise lines are moving toward staggering arrival times.) Baggage processing begins no earlier than 9:30 a.m.
Passengers arriving by private car should be dropped off with their luggage at the terminal curb, (if possible, before proceeding to the parking lot).
Immediately upon entering the terminal, passengers will be directed toward security, passenger screening and check-in. Make sure to keep documents and special items like medication on hand during the check-in process, and not packed in your bags.
Wheelchairs should be requested via your cruise line agent, not the terminal.
The cruise terminal is located in an industrial are used for cargo shipping and ironworking. There's not much in the immediate area, although a few venues are within walking distance. Dunkin Donuts (289 Hamilton Ave.) is a 20-minute walk or a seven-minute drive from the port for a quick and commercial cup of joe. A five-minute ride or 15-minute walk away are the more authentic flavors of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (513 Henry St.) in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. Seaside restaurants abound with Red Hook Lobster Pound (284 Van Brunt St.) a seven-minute walk from port and tri-level shellfish shack Brooklyn Crab (24 Reed St.) boasting ocean views about 10 minutes from the cruise terminal. For gourmet groceries to take on your cruise, visit the Fairway Market Red Hook, an upscale market located on the 400 and 500 block of Van Brunt Street (a 15-minute walk). The closest drink -- Brooklyn Ice House (318 Van Brunt St.) -- is a six-minute walk away offering a laidback patio vibe, extensive beer list and casual eats.
To sate any need for serious shopping, head to Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St.) on the island of Manhattan -- a 15-minute car ride through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel -- for luxury brands and even ice skating. Plenty of other bars, restaurants and curiosities can be found in the nearby Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill neighborhoods.
Restrooms are available before entrance to the cruise terminal, prior to security screening and immediately after, prior to check-in and in the boarding lounge.
Currently, there is no Wi-Fi available at the Brooklyn Cruise terminal.
There are no storage lockers for passenger luggage at the Brooklyn (Red Hook) cruise terminal. Alternate facilities store luggage throughout the city.
The Red Hook boarding lounge is located directly after check-in with approximately 800 seats (this varies upon need) and concession services.
To find hotels closest to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, use 11231 as the search ZIP code.
Updated October 10, 2019