While Naples remains a bit overlooked when it comes to cities people tend to visit in Italy, it is home to one of the country’s major cruise ports – so even if you’d be nervous about going to Naples on your own, if you book a Mediterranean cruise you’re likely to end up there at some point. And this? This is a very good thing. Because Naples is awesome.
Naples, like Venice, is right on the water – so the cruise terminal is within easy reach of the fascinating historic city center. You can get there and back easily within the timeframe required by your cruise ship, and you can even do a DIY trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum if you plan it right. But first, you’ve got to get your bearings.
This article will show you where the Naples cruise terminal is in relation to the rest of the city, help you figure out how to get there, and also how to get into the city (or any other day trips you want to do) from your cruise ship.
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Location of the Naples Cruise Port/Terminal of Naples
As mentioned, the Naples cruise port is near the historic city center. In fact, since Naples is right on the water, much of the waterfront is taken up by docks for various ships – everything from cargo to small ferries and hydrofoils to cruise ships. The bulk of the passenger ships, however, are in the same general area.
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This map shows the location of where most of the cruise ships dock, as well as the city’s main train station, and the excellent archaeology museum. The airport and Sorrento/Amalfi Coast aren’t on this map, but there are also arrows indicating which direction they’re in. The historic center of Naples isn’t marked with an arrow, but you’ll see it labeled on the map between the cruise port and the archaeology museum with the words “Centro Storico.”
Passenger traffic is concentrated at an area of the waterfront called Molo Angioino (where the arrow is pointing in the map above), with some of the smaller boats also at Molo Beverello. In particular, boats to Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and the islands in the Bay of Naples generally depart from Molo Beverello.
How to Get to the Naples Cruise Port from the Naples Airport
Naples’ airport, commonly called Capodichino, is very close to the city center. The Metro system in Naples isn’t terribly robust, and although there’s talk of running a Metro line out to the airport at some point, there’s no guarantee of when (or if) that’ll ever materialize. In the meantime, your options for getting to the Naples cruise port from the airport are public buses or taxis.
- Public Bus – ANM operates an Alibus line that departs from the airport in front of arrivals. These buses stop at both Piazza Garibaldi (in front of the main train station) and Piazza Municipio (near Molo Beverello at the port). A one-way ticket is €3.00, and the bus leaves from the airport roughly every 20 minutes between 06:36-23:45 Monday-Friday and 06:36-23:56 Saturday-Sunday. Consult the official schedule for exact departure times. You can buy tickets right on board the bus. The trip from the airport to the port takes about 15 minutes.
- Taxi – Because the airport is so close to the city, a taxi trip isn’t as expensive as you might think an airport taxi would be. Not only that, there’s a fixed rate for taxi trips between the airport and the Molo Beverello port. These fixed rates can and do change, but they must be posted in the taxi. At the moment, the fixed fare between the airport and the port is €19.00. You must tell the driver you want this fixed rate before you get into the taxi. If you don’t see the list of fixed fares or a working meter inside the taxi, don’t get in – there are plenty of illegal taxis around ready to swindle unsuspecting visitors out of much more than the appropriate fare.
How to Get to the Naples Cruise Port from Napoli Centrale Train Station
As is the case with transportation to and from the airport, your transportation options to and from the train station in Naples are limited to buses and taxis.
- Public Bus – Naples’ main train station, called Napoli Centrale, is next to Piazza Garibaldi and is a major hub for public buses in the city. This also happens to be a stereotypically bad “around the train station neighborhood” (some don’t live down to their reputation, but this one is just blech). If you’re up for an adventure, some interesting people-watching, and you’re on a budget, you can get city bus R2 – it starts at Piazza Garibaldi and one of its early stops is the Piazza Municipio (near the port). There’s also the Alibus (listed above under transport from the airport to the port), which runs between the airport and Piazza Municipio, with a stop at Piazza Garibaldi. An Alibus ticket is €3.00 (which you can buy right on the bus), and a ticket for the R2 is €1.20 (which you need to buy from an automated machine at the train station or from a tobacco shop or newsstand before you board).
- Taxi – Piazza Garibaldi and Napoli Centrale aren’t just a major hub for city buses, they’re also a big stop for the city taxis. It seems there’s a long taxi queue in front of the station all the time, so if you want to hop in a cab it’s easy to get one as soon as you walk out of the station. As mentioned above, you want to make absolutely sure the taxi has a working meter and a posted list of the fixed fares, or you run the risk of it being an illegal taxi that might ask for an exorbitant rate. The fixed rates to the port from the train station can and do change, but at the moment it’s €11.00 one-way. You must tell the driver you want this fixed rate before you get into the taxi.
The website for the Port Authority of Naples isn’t as useful for practical passenger information as one might hope, but it does have an English version.
Naples cruise port photo is from the Port Authority of Naples website
Photo by: Tim Milkins