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Cape Liberty Cruise Tips

Liberty of the Seas
Cape Liberty is home to Liberty of the Seas. Credit: Wikimedia
The Cape Liberty cruise port doesn’t hold the same status as Miami, but it has been the starting point for more than 300,000 people going on cruises.

The port opened in 2004 on The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor in Bayonne, New Jersey. It is a former naval base located 15 minutes from the Newark Liberty International Airport and seven miles south of Manhattan.

It is the home port of ships from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises that sail to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Canada, New England, eastern Caribbean and southern Caribbean.

The Peninsula At Bayonne Harbor is in the middle of a transformation from an abandoned military base into a 430-acre, mixed-use development including retail, dining, entertainment and the cruise facility.

The facility opens at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the cruise. All passengers must arrive at least 90 minutes before boarding time. Terminal doors will close 90 minutes before departure. Anyone arriving later will not be able to board the ship.

Passengers should complete their online pre-registrations at least six days before departure. Anyone who does not complete pre-registration must arrive at least two hours before departing or else will not be allowed to board.

Upon arrival, passengers must have passports or government IDs ready for security clearance.

More information about the port is available at its Web site. The address is www.cruiseliberty.com.

Attractions and Shore Excursions


Because of its location, it has views and easy access to the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor in addition to Manhattan.

The fact that the Statue of Liberty is viewable from the cruise port makes it an obvious attraction for anyone with a car and some extra time on their hands. The statue is about seven miles northeast of the port via I-78 or major urban roads depending on traffic.

Otherwise, the port area doesn’t have any major points of interest or major attractions for anyone who wants to walk around. The closest attractions require a car to reach them.

For golfers they include the Bayonne Golf Club, about three miles away at 1 Lefante Road, and Liberty National Golf Course, about five miles away at 100 Caven Point Road.

Liberty State Park is just beyond Liberty National Golf Course. It is home to the Liberty Science Center and is also the access point to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Visitors take a ferry to reach the island and the statue. Tickets range from $18.50 to $58.50 depending on various levels of access to the grounds and statue.

Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Boulevard, is a public science museum with exhibits, a planetarium and other educational activities. General admission tickets are $24.99 for adults and $19.99 for children. Prices are subject to change.

Lower Manhattan is about 10 miles away and may take about 30 minutes to reach. It has the Soho District, Battery Park, the September 11 Memorial, World Trade Center site and Castle Clinton National Monument.

Midtown Manhattan requires a longer drive. But it offers several of the most famous attractions in New York, including the Empire State Building, Central Park and Times Square.

Terminal Location and Directions


Visitors can take one of three highway options: I-78 east from Newark Liberty International Airport, I-95 south to I-78 or I-95 north to I-78. Anyone taking I-95 to I-78 will go then go east to the New Jersey Turnpike.

Once on the turnpike, take exit 14-A off the turnpike and follow the signs for Route 440 South. Drive 1.5 miles and turn left into the Bayonne Ocean Terminal. The cruise terminal is two miles ahead.

The address is 14 Port Terminal Boulevard, Bayonne, NJ 07002.

Terminal Parking


The parking facility is located adjacent to the cruise terminal. Parking fees are $19 per day including state and local sales tax.

Travelers do not need to make reservations. The facility accepts cash, travelers cheques and major credit cards.

Cruise Weather


Cape Liberty has the kind of weather most people will expect for a location in New Jersey. It’s cold and snowy during the winter and warm during the summer. This is definitively a summertime cruise port unless a ship is going very south.

The average high temperature during the summer reaches into the mid 80s Fahrenheit or nearly 30 Celsius, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. Average highs in the winter drop into the low 40s Fahrenheit or single digits Celsius.

Precipitation -- both rain and snow -- stays within a tight range throughout the year. The total is about three to four inches a month. It rains about 10 days a month.

During the peak New England cruise season, the average daytime temperatures are about 75 degrees Fahrenheit in September and 64 in October.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: New England   

February 17, 2020
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