Port of Los Angeles Parking Tips for Cruises
The Port of Los Angeles, in addition to being a major commercial port, is also one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and even Carnival all call the World Cruise Center there home. If you’re leaving on a cruise of the Pacific, odds are good that you’ll be leaving from Los Angeles.
With such a major cruise port, most travelers will be flying in from other cities and states. For these people, the cruise lines offer shuttle services that pick them up at the airport and take them right to the cruise terminal, then on their return pick them up at the cruise terminal and take them straight back to the airport.
But Los Angeles is a huge city in the middle of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country. That means there are plenty of people taking cruises from Los Angeles who won’t be flying in to the city. While you could take public transportation- Los Angeles has extensive train and bus systems- hauling all of your luggage onto and off of trains and buses is a huge hassle, both for you and for the other passengers.
Having friends or family drop you off and pick you up is also an option, and for many people this is the preferred way to get to and from your cruise. It just won’t work for everyone, though. Getting people to pick you up and drop you off means you have to find people with the time to drive to the Port and back. Los Angeles is a huge city, and if you live in the suburbs the drive is even farther. It may be difficult to find someone with the time to do that.
Uber and Lyft could end up being expensive, too, since the drive may be long and the traffic is usually terrible. Both services charge by time and by distance, so bad traffic makes any ride more expensive. Not to mention that you don’t know if your luggage (or your family) will fit in the car until it arrives.
If you live in the area, or in a nearby city, driving your own car may be the easiest, most convenient way for you to get to and from the Port of Los Angeles for your cruise. The only question left for you is what to do with your car while you’re on the cruise. Fortunately for you, this is a major Port in a city known for it’s car-centric lifestyle. There are plenty of parking options available near the Port for you.
We’ll cover each of the parking options you can choose from in detail so that you can choose for yourself which one is best for you.
Parking at the World Cruise Center
The Port of Los Angeles is a working commercial Port, and there are residential neighborhoods right next to it. That leaves little room for parking, unlike most ports. Still, the World Cruise Center has managed to carve out an area for its own parking.
The parking lot for the World Cruise Center has plenty of spaces, and you should have no trouble finding a spot there. There is security provided for this lot, too, so you should feel perfectly comfortable leaving your vehicle here.
Parking here costs $17 per day, or $32 per day for oversized vehicles. It seems like a steep price at first, but it’s actually very reasonably priced compared to most cruise ports. You can pay in cash or with a card, and you don’t pay until you’re leaving.
Note that this parking lot is not covered. In Los Angeles, that’s not usually a problem- the weather is rarely bad enough that your car needs to be covered while you’re cruising. Still, if leaving your car for a week in an uncovered parking lot makes you uncomfortable, this lot may not be your first choice.
You also can’t reserve a parking space in advance here. All parking is first come first serve. It’s a big enough parking lot that this isn’t likely to cause problems.
Located right next to the World Cruise Center Parking lot, the parking lot at the Battleship Iowa Museum is free for the first hour, and then costs $2 per hour after that, with a maximum cost of $19 per day.
The pricing is similar to the World Cruise Center pricing, and it’s right next to it. Also, like the Cruise Center lot, there are no reservations. You just show up, find a spot, and park. Payment is via cash or card upon exiting the lot. If the parking lot for the Cruise Center is full, this is a great backup option.
Catalina Sea and Air Terminal
Located directly across from the Cruise Center, the Catalina Sea and Air terminal mainly offers transportation to and from Catalina Island. It also has a very large parking lot, however, and that lot is open for any public use, whether you are using the terminal or not.
Like the parking at the Battleship Iowa, the parking at the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal is free for the first hour, and then costs $2 per hour after that, with a maximum cost of $19 per day. This parking isn’t as conveniently located as the Battleship or Cruise Center parking, but it’s still well within walking distance of the Cruise Center. If the closer parking lots are full, this is an excellent option.
The price of parking at the Port of Los Angeles is pretty reasonable, it does still add up. For a week-long cruise, you’ll be paying at least $120 for parking on top of all the other expenses for your cruise. If you’re staying in Los Angeles for an extra day or two before or after your cruise, your hotel may help you out.
A lot of the hotels near the Port offer deals to cruise-goers who book with them. You can park there for free for the duration of the cruise as long as you book at least one night in one of their rooms. If you’re already planning to spend a night in a hotel in Los Angeles for the trip, this is a no-brainer. The hotel will shuttle you to the Port for your cruise and pick you up on the day you get back.
Normally, these hotels will charge a bit extra for that service. If you’re taking a shorter cruise, it may not be any cheaper to use the hotel’s parking than it is to use the Port’s parking. It could still be much more convenient, though, if you’re already going to need a hotel room.
DoubleTree San Pedro offers parking and a shuttle service to the Port of Los Angeles, but they will not shuttle you to the Port of Long Beach. The Crowne Plaza Harbor LA offers valet parking for up to fifteen days, two welcome drinks, and two free breakfast buffets along with their parking and shuttle service. This is great for couples, but not so good for families.
The Sunrise Hotel offers a shuttle service and continental breakfast as part of their parking package. Best Western Plus San Pedro includes seven days of parking and charges $10 for each additional day, if needed. Depending on when you book with them, they may require you to book a minimum of two nights to qualify for the parking package.
Make sure that the hotel you book with will shuttle you to the right port. Some hotels will only shuttle you to the Port of Long Beach, not the Port of Los Angeles. It’s also worth your while to look at the cost of getting a package deal at the hotel and compare it to the cost of parking at the port for the duration of your cruise. For longer cruises, the hotel is probably cheaper, but for shorter cruises that may not be true.
Hotel parking in general is only a good idea if you are already booking a hotel to stay in Los Angeles before or after your cruise. No matter how long the cruise is, the cost of the hotel plus the cost of their parking and shuttle service will be more expensive than the cost of parking at the Port. You only save money with hotel parking if you were booking a hotel anyway.
Free Parking Options
The parking options we’ve covered already are excellent- they offer convenience and security, but they can be expensive. For the budget-minded traveler they can easily be too much. Fortunately, there are plenty of free parking options available, if you know where to look.
Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles
Crafted is a market specializing in handmade goods from local artisans. They also offer classes from those artisans. It’s best feature, though, is its free parking. You’ll have to walk a bit to get from the parking lot here to the cruise terminal, but the payoff is that you won’t be paying for parking at all.
If you prefer not to walk, you could simply park here and take an Uber, Lyft, or taxi up to the Cruise Center. It’ll still be cheaper than paying for parking.
San Pedro Fish Market
For free parking much closer to the Cruise Center than Crafted, head to the San Pedro Fish Market. This world-famous seafood restaurant is perfect for parking before your cruise because you can also grab a delicious lunch before boarding your ship.
While this is much closer to the Cruise Center than Crafted, it’s still not all that close. Walking is definitely doable, but you may still want to consider getting a ride.
22nd and Miner Streets Lot
If you feel a little nervous about using a business’s parking lot while you’re away on a cruise, check out the parking lot at 22nd Street and Miner Street. This is a free public parking lot operated by the City. It’s further from the Cruise Center than the other options, but it has easier access to public transportation. You will definitely want to get a ride from here to the Cruise Center.
On most days, this lot is free. If there’s a major event happening in the area, there may be a $5 fee for that day, but you would only be charged if you enter the lot on that day.
If you’re driving yourself to the Port of Los Angeles for your cruise vacation, there are plenty of parking options to choose from. The World Cruise Center has its own parking lot, and that lot is hands-down the most convenient option. It’s right there at the cruise terminal, making it as easy as possible to get from the car to the ship, and then from the ship to the car when you return.
When you’re returning home from a trip, exhausted and ready to get home as quickly as possible, nothing beats the convenience of stepping off the ship and having your car right there, waiting for you. However, parking spots here can’t be reserved and may fill up before you arrive.
If that happens, the Battleship Iowa Museum, located next to the cruise terminal, also has a parking lot that you can use. The pricing is similar to the cruise terminal’s parking lot and, while you’ll need to walk a little bit further, the distance isn’t all that different.
If both of those lots are full, you can park at the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal across from the Cruise Center for the same price as the Battleship Iowa parking. It’s less convenient, but it’s still an easy walking distance to the cruise terminal.
Of course, all three of those lots cost money, and that price can add up quickly. For a week-long cruise you’re looking at least $120. Free parking is available, but the trade-off is that none of the free parking lots are within easy walking distance of the Cruise Terminal.
The San Pedro Fish Market parking lot is the closest of the free parking lots, and has the added benefit of being the parking lot for a world-class seafood restaurant. You can grab a great lunch before your cruise. Crafted is the next closest, but it’s pretty far away. You’ll definitely want to get an Uber or Lyft from that parking lot to the cruise terminal.
The lot at 22nd Street and Mariner street is usually free ($5 on days when there are events nearby), and it’s slightly farther than the lot at Crafted, although not by much. Again, you’ll want a ride from here to the Cruise Center.
The free parking lots are really going to be free for you- you’ll need to pay for a ride from there to the Cruise Terminal. Still, that ride will cost less than the paid parking would. For travelers on a budget, these might be a good choice.
Finally, if you’re already planning to book a hotel room in Los Angeles for a night before or after your trip, choose one that offers a parking package. These hotels will allow you to leave your car in their parking lot, as long as you’ve booked a room with them. They’ll shuttle you to and from the cruise terminal, too. Just pay attention when booking- the parking isn’t free, and several hotels have a limit on how many days you can leave your car there. For shorter cruises, you likely won’t save any money this way (though it might still be more convenient), but for a weeklong cruise, it’s definitely a good choice.
Also Read: Full Guide on Long Beach Cruise Terminal Parking
As you can see, there is plenty of parking in or near the Port of Los Angeles. The parking lot you choose all depends on the duration of your cruise, your budget, and your overall vacation plans.
Frequently Asked Questions on Port of Los Angeles Parking
That depends on which parking lot you choose. The parking lot at the San Pedro Fish Market is in the Port, and it’s free. The World Cruise Center parking lot is $17 per day. Parking at the Battleship Iowa or the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal is $19 per day.
The World Cruise Center is home to Norwegian, Princess, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Cunard, Crystal, and Celebrity Cruise lines all sail from the Port of Los Angeles. Until recently, Carnival cruises sailed exclusively from the Port of Long Beach, but as they’ve expanded they now sail from the Port of Los Angeles as well.
The World Cruise Center Parking lot is the closest parking lot to the Port of Los Angeles. The parking lots for the Battleship Iowa and the Catalina Sea and Air Terminal, in that order, are the next closest.
The paid parking lots all have security guards to make sure that your vehicle is safe while you’re on your cruise. The hotel parking lots do, as well. The free parking lots don’t have dedicated security guards, but they are well-lit and break-ins or vehicle theft are rare.
No, there is no covered parking available at the Port of Los Angeles. All of the paid parking here is uncovered, and so is all of the free parking. Some of the hotels offering room and parking packages may have covered parking available, but you would need to check with them first. Fortunately, Los Angeles rarely has the sort of weather that requires covered parking.
No. All of the parking lots, both paid and unpaid, operate on a first come, first serve basis. You cannot reserve a parking spot in any of them. The only way to be guaranteed a parking spot is to book a room with a hotel that includes a parking spot for the duration of your cruise.
Yes, every parking lot has ADA/Handicapped parking available. If you require these parking spaces, you are advised to park only at the World Cruise Center. In each lot, these parking spaces are located closest to the entrance for the business/attraction the lot is primarily intended to serve.
For instance, in the Battleship Iowa parking lot, the ADA/Handicapped parking spaces will be closest to the entrance to the Battleship Iowa Museum, which places them and the opposite end of a very large parking lot from the World Cruise Center.
The Catalina Sea and Air Terminal, along with any of the free parking lots, would also be poor choices if you need to use the handicapped parking spaces, as they are not close to the cruise terminal.
No. You are responsible for getting your luggage from your car to the cruise terminal. Once in the terminal, some cruise lines will provide stewards or stevedores to carry your luggage onto the ship for you, but they will not meet you at your car.
That depends on which parking lot you choose, as well as what time your cruise leaves. The best advice is to park as early as possible. The World Cruise Center parking lot is first come, first serve, as are all the other paid parking lots, so the only way to be sure of getting a good parking spot is to arrive early.
If you’re parking in one of the free parking lots, arriving early is even more imperative. For any of the free lots, you’ll need to get a ride from the parking lot to the cruise terminal, and that will take extra time.
Yes. The San Pedro Fish Market is in the Port, and there are dozens of restaurants nearby.