Why go to Norfolk?
Norfolk is rich in maritime history, arts and culture; area attractions include historic Williamsburg and Jamestown
Gnarly traffic makes getting to Virginia Beach unpleasant in high season
Norfolk is a convenient embark port for Virginians, and an interesting and historic port of call on coastal cruises
Norfolk Cruise Port Facilities?
Norfolk Cruise Port Address:
1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23150
Ships use Norfolk's Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, which is located walking distance from downtown. Parking for embarking passengers is available downtown via Cedar Grove Parking, located on Monticello Avenue between Virginia Beach Boulevard and Princess Anne Road. Complimentary shuttles provide transportation from the Cedar Grove facility to Half Moone.
Parking lots closer to the terminal might offer overnight parking, but will be more expensive; check before you go as many are closed to cruisers. Alternatively, look for "stay, park and cruise" deals at area hotels; the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel sometimes offers one.
The Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center does not have any amenities worth noting. However, the cruise ship pier is adjacent to Nauticus is a maritime-focused science and technology center, which includes the Battleship Wisconsin. There's a gift shop and small cafe in the lobby of the Nauticus, if you need to grab something before embarkation begins.
Good to Know?
The port is used mainly by Carnival as a seasonal homeport for cruises to the Bahamas and Cuba cruises; a handful of other ships make one-off port stops here on repositioning cruises.
Traffic around the port can get hairy on cruise ship turnaround days, especially if there's a festival on at the adjacent Town Point Park. Plan accordingly, and consider getting dropped off or picked up a short walk from the terminal.
On Foot: Many of Norfolk's best-known attractions -- including Nauticus, downtown and the Waterside District -- are within walking distance of the pier.
By Taxi: Taxis are available at the pier if you want to venture further, say to the artsy area known as Ghent. You can also use Lyft and Uber here to get a ride where you need to go.
By Bus: Hampton Roads Transit bus service, light rail and ferries link destinations in the greater area. The MacArthur Square stop is an easy walk from the cruise terminal.
By Car: For excursions beyond the downtown area, a car is necessary. There is a Hertz office downtown and an Enterprise in the Neon District, but they are offices and not lots, so you'll need to reserve in advance, and they'll have a car waiting for you.
By Bike: Norfolk is bike friendly with waterfront trails (like the Elizabeth River Trail) and plenty of bike parking downtown. Pace Bike Share offers a bike-sharing program; download the app if you want to rent bikes to explore the city.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Currency is the U.S. dollar. There are ATMs scattered throughout downtown Norfolk, including directly across from the cruise terminal on Boush Street.