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San Juan Cruise Port - Guide for Cruisers

San Juan, Puerto Rico is the hottest cruise port in the Caribbean…

The San Juan Cruise Port is host to an estimated 500 cruise ships (approx. 18 different cruise lines), and nearly 2 million passengers travel to Puerto Rico through this port – every year.  Most Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruises include a stop in San Juan offering travelers an opportunity to experience a little bit of the magic of this extraordinary city.  Many cruisers eventually return to spend a few more days in San Juan in order to explore the city in more detail, and we think you will want to do it as well once you get here and experience the magic of San Juan. 

Keep reading for more information about the cruise piers and terminals, a map, related cruiser guide links, answers to frequently asked questions from potential cruisers (FAQ), booking a cruise, and cruise lines frequenting San Juan.

The Piers at the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Cruises to Puerto Rico - FAQ's

The San Juan Cruise Port is the largest and busiest cruise port in the Caribbean.  There are 4 cruise ship piers and 2 modern terminals along the southern shores of historic Old San Juan with a total capacity to accommodate 7 ships at once.  The strategic locations of these piers give tourists easy walking access to Old San Juan and its many attractions.  In addition, just 1 mile southeast, across the San Antonio Canal, are 2 more large modern cruise ship terminals at the Pan American Pier, which can hold 2 more cruise ships.  

San Juan Cruises - Old San Juan Port

In order to plan your stay or day in San Juan, be sure to inquire about which pier your ship will be docking at or departing from.  Although we provide some information below on piers used by certain cruise lines, be sure to contact your booked cruise line or call the San Juan Cruise Port at 787-723-2260, Pier (Muelle) 4, in Old San Juan in order to verify the arrival or departure pier location.  By being informed you can prepare for whether you’ll need transportation (taxi), find a nearby hotel, and plan adequate travel time for getting to or from the ship.

Home Port cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Princess) often use San Juan as their departure port, thus cruises embark from San Juan.  Transit ships are those docking for a day or two originating from another homeport.  See the map below for pier locations.

Old San Juan Piers & Terminals

Old San Juan Cruise Port - Puerto Rico

The Old San Juan Cruise Ship Piers are the most convenient for cruisers, at arrival all visitors have to do is cross the street to begin exploring the treasures of Old San Juan.

  • Pier 1 – Modern passenger terminal (2-ship capacity) used by various cruise lines
  • Pier 3 – Reconstructed pier for transit ships only (2 ship capacity), managed by Royal Caribbean
  • Pier 4 – Modern passenger terminal (2 ship capacity) used & managed by Carnival for arrivals & departures
  • Pier 6 – Wharf at Bahia Urbana (1 ship capacity) only used on heavy cruise traffic days

As soon as you get off your ship, you can easily walk the 7 blocks magical city of Old San Juan and enjoy the top attractions on foot.  The most convenient hotel to stay at near the cruise terminals is the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino, just across the street from the piers.

Top Rated Hotels Near Pan American Cruise Port – San Juan

Pan American Pier & Cruise Terminals

Pan American Pier - San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Pan American Pier has two modern two-tiered passenger terminals (I & II), located in Isla Grande, next to the Isla Grande Airport and near the Puerto Rico Convention Center.  Two mega-ships can dock at the Pan American Pier terminals.  Depending on your cruise line and cruise ship traffic, your ship may arrive and dock here for the day and will most likely embark from here if San Juan is the home departure port.  The only thing within reasonable walking distance is the Isla Grande Airport, Puerto Rico Convention Center, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, and the Hyatt House Hotel.  You will have to take a taxi or book a tour in order to visit the historic Old San Juan or New San Juan.  It is a 10-15 minute ride into Old San Juan and will cost you $10 if your cruise line does not pay for it.  The most convenient hotels to stay at near the Pan American Pier terminals are the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, Aloft San Juan, Hyatt House, and Hyatt Place.

Top Rated Hotels Near Old San Juan Cruise Port – San Juan

Top Rated Transfers to/ from - Cruise Terminals

Capital City of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Map of San Juan Cruise Port & Piers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the closest airport to the San Juan Cruise Port?

Do I need a Passport for a cruise to / from San Juan, Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and individuals born on the island are U.S. citizens.  You do not need a passport if flying from the U.S. to Puerto Rico or vice versa. You only need a government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license. If you are a U.S. citizen, and you board a cruise ship at a U.S. port (which includes San Juan), travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship, you will most likely NOT need a passport unless you enter a foreign country as part of the cruise itinerary. A U.S. or Puerto Rico driver’s license should suffice.  For children under 16, a birth certificate is typically required. However, check with your cruise line to be absolutely sure what documentation is needed.

Getting the Most from a Short Stay in San Juan Before / After your Cruise.

If you’re arriving in San Juan on a cruise and you only have a day, you could hire a tour operator to take you to interesting places around San Juan.  If you’re able to extend your stay and you’re the adventurous type getting a car rental is an awesome way to get a taste of the real Puerto Rico.  Since you’re short on time, the following is a list of the best places to visit near the cruise port, a map to get your bearings, as well as most convenient car rental agencies nearby.

Best Places to Visit near the San Juan Cruise Ports

  • Old San Juan Historic District – The most interesting, colorful, and cultural spot of Puerto Rico is within walking distance from the Old San Juan cruise port.
  • Escambron Beach – Best beach in San Juan, you can take a short taxi ride there.
  • El Yunque National Rainforest – One of the top three attractions of Puerto Rico, just 45 minutes from San Juan.  Booking a tour guide is recommended to make the most of your time.
  • Icacos Cay – Many tour operators offer transport to and from the tourist districts of San Juan.  Drive to Fajardo takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  A tour guide is recommended.

Car Rental Locations Near Cruise Port

  • Old San Juan PierHertz has a rental location inside the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel, located across the Old San Juan cruise piers.
  • Pan American Cruise PierHertz and Enterprise have car rental kiosks at the Isla Grande Airport.  Avis has a rental location in the nearby Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.
  • Port transfer services
  • Car rentals near cruise terminals

What pier will my cruise ship dock at or embark from in San Juan?

In general, arriving transit ships that are day-docking for one afternoon/ evening in San Juan usually dock at the Old San Juan Piers (Muelle 1, 3, 4, 6), so you can walk right out into Old San Juan and avoid taking a taxi.  We believe an exception to this rule to be Celebrity Cruises which typically day-dock at the Pan American Pier.  Cruises that start in San Juan (home departure port) usually leave from the Pan American Pier Terminals I or II.  However, Carnival cruises embark from the Old San Juan Pier 4 terminal if San Juan is the home departure port.  Again, be sure to contact your cruise line or call the San Juan Cruise Port at 787-723-2260 to verify the arrival or departure pier location.

Is there parking available at the San Juan Port Cruise Terminals?

Old San Juan Cruise Piers

There are numerous, safe overnight parking garages in Old San Juan around the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino, which is across from the Old San Juan cruise piers. 

  • The Covadonga Parking Garage offers cruisers special parking rates, is nice, safe, and conveniently located across from pier 4 behind the bus terminal and police station.  Call them at (787) 722-2337 or (787) 721-6911 for special rates and reservations. 

Pan American Pier

  • Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino offers overnight parking for $16 per day. 
  • Isla Grande Airport –  there’s a limited number of outdoor lot spaces available at the Isla Grande Airport for $8 per day.
  • Park & Cruise with “Estaciona y Vuela” – offers transport services and low long-term parking rates.

For more detailed information see Parking Guide – Tourist Districts in San Juan.

Is there a beach close to the San Juan Cruise Port?

Yes – there are a number of beaches within a mile or so of the cruise piers. 

See Map of Best Beaches near the Cruise Port in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Are there places to shop and eat within walking distance of the San Juan Cruise Port Terminals?

Old San Juan Cruise Pier

If your ship docks at an Old San Juan pier, you can walk just a few blocks into Old San Juan streets of San Francisco, Calle del Cristo, and Fortaleza where you can also find a number of great restaurants and cafes.

There is a large CVS store/pharmacy which has a large variety of food, drinks, and other necessities directly across from Old San Juan piers 1 & 2 and only 1/4 mile west of piers 3 and 4. 

Pan American Pier

You’ll have to take a taxi into Old San Juan for $10, or to the Condado fashion shopping strip on Ashford Avenue for $12 where the best stores are across from Ventana el Mar Park.  You can also take a taxi for $14 to the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Americas, located in nearby Hato Rey, San Juan. 

Places to Eat – There are many places to eat at Distrito T-Mobile next to the Puerto Rico Convention Center, right in between Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino and ALOFT San Juan.  

Are there places to store luggage in San Juan before or after a cruise

  • If you’re staying at a hotel in Old San Juan (near Old San Juan Cruise Piers) or the Puerto Rico Convention Center District (near the Pan American Pier), they will typically hold your luggage before check-in or after check-out for a few hours.  See map of hotels near cruise port.
  • Some tour operators offering sightseeing tours will hold your luggage
  • In addition, the following restaurant will hold your luggage, please call to confirm this service is still offered. – Barrachina Restaurant – 104 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan.  Storage is free (try to drink or eat something there & leave a tip) | Storage hours: 9 am – 5 pm, 7 days/week.  ph. 787-725-7912.  Note: It is a 1/2 mile uphill walk from Old San Juan Pier 4, and a 1/4 mile walk from Pier 1.
  • The San Juan International Airport offers luggage storage daily from 7 am to 10 pm on the 2nd level of Terminal D.  For more information call 787-791-3371 

Which cruise lines visit or embark from San Juan, Puerto Rico?

Following is a list of 18 cruise lines that visit or embark from San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Azamara Club Cruises
  • Carnival
  • Celebrity
  • Costa
  • Cunard
  • Delta Queen Steamboat Co.
  • Disney
  • Holland America
  • Mediterranean Shipping Cruises
  • Norwegian
  • Orient Lines
  • Princess
  • Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Seabourn
  • Silversea
  • Viking River Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises