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Long Beach Cruise Port Tips

Queen Mary is a prominent attraction at the Long Beach cruise port. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Queen Mary is a prominent attraction at the Long Beach cruise port. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
The Long Beach cruise port is the embarkation point for many cruises to the Mexican Riviera and other destinations.

The cruise terminal, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, is about 35 minutes south of Los Angeles International Airport and 20 minutes from Long Beach Airport, 4100 Donald Douglas Drive. Parking is available for about $20 a day.

We have learned after many cruises the benefits of spending some extra time in departure ports such as Long Beach to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. City planners have learned to make the areas around the cruise ports more attractive to keep visitors there longer (and spend more money there).

It’s just a matter of time and budget. Cruise planners with a little extra time and money can enjoy the best that Long Beach has to offer in only an extra day or two. It also avoids the stress of rushing between the airport and cruise terminal.

Hotel Tips


Cruise passengers who plan to spend at least one night before or after their cruise will find at least a dozen hotels within about a mile of the cruise terminal. Several line Queensway Bay within walking distance or a quick shuttle ride to the terminal at the Port of Long Beach. They are a good choice for visitors who don’t plan to spend much time in Long Beach.

Most of the others are across the water in the city. The hotels in the city have the best access to local attractions and free downtown shuttles. They are an ideal choice for anyone with extra time to explore the city.


Attractions and Shore Excursions


Alamitos Bay sunset
Alamitos Bay sunset; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
The cruise terminal is right next to the famous Queen Mary, the 1936 ocean liner which is now a hotel and spa with overnight room accommodations.

Anyone with more time to spare, especially a day or two, may want to start by visiting a visitor information center of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. These information centers are scattered throughout the waterfront and downtown areas. The Bureau also has a concierge desk in the lobby of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, 301 E. Ocean Boulevard. It is about two miles north of the cruise terminal. The concierge desk has area brochures, maps and guides along with staff who can answer questions and offer advice.

Otherwise, anyone who has a half day available can walk or take a taxi to some nearby attractions.

The Harry Bridges Memorial Park is a half mile away. It is the site of occasional special events.

Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way at Shoreline Aquatic Park, is more than one mile away for either energetic walkers or anyone with a car. It features more than 11,000 sea creatures in more than 50 exhibits.

Beach lovers will find a pair of decent beaches near the cruise port. Alamitos Beach is just beyond Shoreline Aquatic Park. The beach is also the home of the Long Beach Museum of Art. It runs into Junipero Beach, which is also known as Cherry Beach. It runs parallel to Bluff Park and Bixby Park.

Other major attractions require more travel time. One of the most famous in the world is Disneyland Park, which is 27 miles east of the cruise terminal.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a bit more challenging by car at 35 miles to the north.

Anyone who is not visiting Catalina Island as part of a cruise could take a one-hour ferry ride.

Transportation / Getting Around


Metro Link is a light rail transit system that goes from 7th Street to downtown Los Angeles. Long Beach Transit is an inexpensive bus, shuttle and water taxi service. Destinations such as Alamitos Bay and Belmont Shore are $1.25 for a one-way fare.

The Passport Shuttle is free throughout the downtown area. During the summer, visitors can take water taxis between Queen Mary and Alamitos Bay.

Cruise Weather


The average daytime temperature ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 Celsius in the winter to 84 Fahrenheit or 29 Celsius in the summer, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

The area has distinct wet and dry seasons. It rains on average about two to four inches a month during the winter but less than an inch per month in the summer.

May is one of the best months of the year for low risk of rain and warm but not uncomfortable temperatures.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: California   Coasts   Cruise Ports   

November 07, 2019

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