Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
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Jacksonville Cruise Port Guide

Carnival Fascination
Carnival Fascination docks at Jacksonville. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
The Jacksonville Florida cruise port may have one of the coolest names of any port that takes travelers on Caribbean cruises.

JaxPort also is the smallest cruise port in Florida after Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Tampa.

In fact, it is mainly known as the home port for just one ship, Carnival's Fascination. Fascination goes only to the Bahamas on some trips and the Caribbean on others.

JaxPort is a convenient cruise port for many travelers because Jacksonville is on the northern tip of Florida's east coast. Its location is much closer for drivers from the north than other Florida cruise ports. JaxPort is 353 miles north of Miami's port.

Nearby Attractions

Travelers who use the above directions will see that Zoo Parkway is a common route to the cruise terminal. It is named Zoo Parkway because it also leads to one of Jacksonville's biggest attractions -- and one of the closest to the cruise terminal. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Parkway, has 2,000 animals and 1,000 varieties of plants.

Cruise travelers with more time on their hands will find that Jacksonville's beaches are the biggest attraction in the area. The city has more than 20 miles of them. Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach are a 30-minute drive southeast of the terminal.

The Jacksonville Museum of Science and Industry, which was formerly the Jacksonville Children's Museum, has a planetarium, seven permanent exhibits and various temporary exhibits. Also known as MOSH, the museum is at 1025 Museum Circle or about 13 miles southwest of the cruise terminal.

Jacksonville Landing on the St. John's River in downtown Jacksonville is a waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment district. The district, which offers about 350 events every year, is located on Independence Drive about 12 miles southwest of the cruise terminal and near the MOSH museum.

The city's Riverside Avondale Neighborhood has more than 5,000 historical buildings, an arts market and an art museum. It is located at the southwestern edge of Jacksonville.

Terminal Location and Directions

JaxPort is at 9810 August Drive near the northwest corner of Dames Point. It is bordered by Heckscher Drive and I-295.

Visitors coming from the north should take I-95 south to the I-295 south exit. Go on I-295 for six miles and get off at exit 41. Turn right onto Zoo Parkway, cross New Berlin Road, go about a half mile and turn left into the cruise terminal entrance.

Visitors coming from the south should take I-95 north to exit 337, merge onto I-95 north and go 18 miles. Take exit 41 and turn left onto Zoo Parkway. Cross New Berlin Road, go about a half mile and turn left into the terminal entrance.

Jacksonville International Airport is located 12 miles to the northwest of JaxPort. The airport doesn't have rental car companies on the property, but several are located nearby. The cruise port has franchised taxi and shuttle service that transfer passengers from the airport.

Terminal Parking

The parking lot opens at 10:30 a.m. on cruise days. Reservations are not required.

Travelers can pay with cash or credit card on site or go to the JaxPort Web site at to pay in advance.

Parking costs $17 per day per vehicle and $34 a day for oversized vehicles that require two spaces.

Local Weather

Jacksonville is in Florida, but that doesn't mean warm temperatures year round. It is the northernmost Florida cruise port, so winters are a bit cool.

Average daytime temperatures range between the mid 60s Fahrenheit during the winter to the high 80s in the summer, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

Like the rest of Florida, it has a distinct dry season from November to May with average rainfall of about three inches a month. The rainy season goes from June through October with average rainfall of about six to seven inches a month.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Florida   

February 17, 2020
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