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How to Get to US Cruise Ports via Amtrak

Updated: Apr 24

Embarking on a cruise is an adventure, and getting to the cruise port should be just as exciting. Did you know that you can trade the hassle of flying or driving for a relaxing and enjoyable journey on an Amtrak train to reach cruise ports across the USA? Join me as we explore the pleasures of taking an Amtrak train to set the stage for a perfect cruise vacation.

Picture this: arriving at an Amtrak station just 45 minutes before your train departs, bypassing the chaos of a busy airport. As you check your baggage, you eagerly await the familiar call of "All Aboard." Once on the train, you'll find yourself in a spacious sleeping compartment or a wide reclining seat – a stark contrast to the cramped cabins of an airplane.

With over 500 Amtrak stations across 46 states and Washington, D.C., there's a good chance there's a station near your cruise ship's homeport. 

Amtrak to Florida Cruise Ports Escape the conventional options and hop on Amtrak for a journey to Florida cruise ports. Two daily overnight trains operate between Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C., extending all the way to Miami. The Silver Star, one of the trains, takes you through Jacksonville, Orlando, Winter Park, and Miami – serving cruise ports like Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami.

Consider stepping off the train in Winter Park for a charming experience rather than bustling Orlando or Kissimmee, especially if you're cruising from Port Canaveral. Arrange a car rental or pre-book a shuttle service from Winter Park, offering a convenient one-hour drive to Port Canaveral, ensuring a seamless transition to your cruise vacation.

Los Angeles Area Cruise Ports on Amtrak For those eyeing the captivating cruise ports in Long Beach and San Pedro, Amtrak provides an overland adventure. Connect in Chicago for an epic ride aboard the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles, enjoying breathtaking scenery along the way. The California Zephyr is another option with a stopover in Sacramento, allowing you to explore the California State Railway Museum before continuing to Los Angeles.

Arriving at the splendidly restored Los Angeles Union Station is an experience in itself, setting the tone for the delights that await you at the cruise ports. Taxis are readily available outside the station, offering a seamless transition to your oceanic escape.

Amtrak for Cruises from New Orleans, Galveston/Houston Whether you're on the west coast, east coast, or the Midwest, Amtrak makes it easy to reach the Ports of New Orleans, Houston (Pasadena), and Galveston. The Sunset Limited, originating in New Orleans and Los Angeles, departs three days a week, providing a convenient option for cruisers from the west coast.

Embark on the famous City of New Orleans train from Chicago for a swift overnight journey to the Big Easy, where cruise ships set sail to the Caribbean and even embark on Transatlantic crossings to Europe. Connecting seamlessly, Amtrak ensures you arrive at your cruise port ready to board your awaiting vessel.

All Aboard Amtrak for a Mississippi River Cruise Imagine embarking on an Amtrak train to reach New Orleans for a delightful Mississippi River cruise. Cruise ships departing from the Port of New Orleans aboard authentic paddle wheelers promise a journey back in time. Alternatively, hop on the Empire Builder from Chicago to St. Paul, MN, starting a southbound cruise on the Mississippi from there or even from Memphis or St. Louis.

Amtrak to Cruise Ports in Seattle and Vancouver For those with Alaska cruises in mind, Amtrak offers a picturesque journey from New York to Chicago, where you can transfer to the Empire Builder, providing one of the most scenic train rides in America. As the Empire Builder ventures through Glacier National Park, a stop at one of the National Park Lodges adds an extra layer of exploration to your journey.

The Amtrak Cascades train connects passengers to Vancouver for Alaska cruises. Southern Californians can also board the historic Coast Starlight for a captivating overnight ride to Seattle, enjoying Pacific Coast views and the comfort of private lounges and dining cars for first-class passengers.

Tips For Taking Amtrak to a Cruise Port

  • Always arrive a day before your cruise, mirroring the precautionary approach taken when flying.

  • If you're in coach, consider bringing a light travel blanket and a small pillow for added comfort.

  • First-class sleeping compartments include complimentary bottled water, juice, sodas, and all meals in the dining car, eliminating the need for a packed picnic.

With Amtrak's generous luggage policies, you can carry on two bags up to 28" tall and up to 50 lbs per person. Additional checked bags are also accommodated, providing flexibility for cruisers with diverse packing needs.

Taking an Amtrak train to your cruise port offers an opportunity to commence your vacation before you even set sail. Arrive refreshed, relaxed, and ready for the adventure that awaits. While Amtrak might not be the solution for everyone, especially those in regions without train service, for most of us across America, there's an Amtrak station within a half-day's drive.

Let the journey to your cruise port be as memorable as the cruise itself – take the train and make every moment count. 🚄⚓ #RailAndSail #CruiseAdventure #AmtrakJourneys

Thinking train travel might be the way to get to your next cruise? Let’s talk! Click here to schedule a quick hello call with me.

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