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Bayonne (Cape Liberty) (Photo:mandritoiu/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

In 2004, Royal Caribbean, looking for an alternative to New York's overcrowded and under-efficient cruise terminal, moved its ships 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 manmade point of land. And so Cape Liberty Cruise Port got its start.

About Bayonne (Cape Liberty)


Pro

With the New York City skyline in your rear view, Bayonne offers spectacular sail-aways

Con

After following a long, isolated road to the port, you'll notice that nothing else is around

Bottom Line

Cape Liberty is a great drive-to embarkation option, but don't plan to spend the night


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In preparation for the arrival of RCI's Quantum-class vessels, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Bayonne's Cape Liberty cruise facility underwent renovations to both accommodate the larger ships and to make passenger traffic flow more smoothly.

The 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. 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.

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's 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 a museum dedicated to the history of immigration.

Where You're Docked

Cape Liberty Cruise Port Terminal:
14 Port Terminal Boulevard, Bayonne, NJ 07002

Your ship will be docked at the Cape Liberty cruise terminal, located in Bayonne, New Jersey, just seven miles outside of New York City. Although the old terminal building still stands, a new one has been constructed next door, offering less space but a more efficient experience. (In theory, passengers go from curb to cruise in 10 minutes with expedited check-in via a cell phone app.)

Parking is available at the port for $20 per day ($7 for a pre-approved day pass only) and $40 for oversized vehicles like campers or RVs.

Good to Know

You can't walk to the cruise terminal from public transportation; you'll have to drive in, take a cab or shuttle bus.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar. International visitors will find it easy to access cash at numerous ATMs. Exchange bureaus so common in Europe are not in the U.S., but major banks do provide exchange services.

Language

English is the language spoken.

Shopping

Anything New York-themed makes a great gift. Head into the Big Apple for your pick of souvenir shops that sell everything from Statue of Liberty figurines to "I [Heart] NY" T-shirts.