Los Angeles, California, may be known for the glamor of Hollywood movies and the laid-back culture of Venice Beach, but the city is also home to one of the most important cruise ports on the West Coast of the United States – the Los Angeles Cruise Port. 

Situated in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, this major cruise port serves as a gateway to some of the world’s most highly visited cruise destinations, including the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and more. 

Today, we will examine everything you need to know about the port and its two terminals, including detailed breakdowns of port facilities, terminal locations, and the best ways to get to them. We will also explore some of the nearby attractions cruise passengers can visit during their time in this famous Los Angeles cruise port.

Los Angeles Cruise Port actually consists of two dedicated cruise terminals – the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center and the Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal. Both terminals fall under the umbrella of the Port of Los Angeles, which is the collective name for the main seaport for the City of Los Angeles. 

Address: Berth 91-93, 100 Swinford Street, San Pedro, California 90731, USA 

The Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center is by far the larger of the two terminals. It was initially constructed to act as a passenger terminal for ferries and other passenger vessels, but it was converted into a dedicated cruise ship facility in the 1990s.

Port of Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

Following a significant renovation and improvement project in 2003, Los Angeles World Cruise Center emerged as the largest dedicated cruise port on the West Coast. Covering 18 acres of land and offering over 1,500 feet of space for cruise ships to dock, it remains one of the largest cruise ship ports in the United States. 

The cruise port is situated in the city’s San Pedro Bay, offering clear views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The location is ideal for cruise ships and easily accessible from some of the city’s major highways, making it ideal for visiting passengers.

Address: 100 E Swinford Street, San Pedro, California 90731, USA 

Reserved for overflow and additional docking during peak cruise season, the Outer Harbor is significantly smaller than the World Cruise Center Terminal. Located directly across the water beside the Vincent Thomas Bridge, it offers far less sophisticated facilities than the state-of-the-art Los Angeles World Cruise Center, making it a much less desirable embarkation point.

Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal (Photo Credit: Underawesternsky)

Since Los Angeles World Cruise Center is the homeport for four cruise lines and Harbor Cruise Terminal is only used for spillover and situations where port traffic is overly busy, there is a much higher chance that your own cruise will depart from the former.

Still, it is worth understanding that there is a second terminal and double-checking your itinerary to make sure that your ship is actually at the Los Angeles World Cruise Center. 

Los Angeles World Cruise Center features two primary terminals, each designed for different purposes. Although the port is based around a single pier, it is long enough to handle two ships at any given time. To help with organization, the pier is divided into two berths, each with its own terminal building.

Berth 91 is the first, and it is used primarily for the disembarkation process. The other, Berth 92, is used mostly for embarkation. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for passenger convenience, including a highly organized passenger processing area that is over 100,000 square feet in size.

Los Angeles Cruise Port Terminals (Photo Credit: Underawesternsky)

The two terminal buildings at Los Angeles World Cruise Center offer everything from passenger information booths to cruise line help desks. The building at Berth 92 even features an expedited US Customs security clearance zone and baggage inspection system. It is far more efficient than you would typically expect at a cruise terminal and almost acts more like a well-organized airport than a cruise port. 

The Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal operates as a single pier with basic facilities, which explains why it is only used for smaller vessels and spillover when Los Angeles World Cruise Center can’t handle the volume of cruise ships. 

When the Los Angeles World Cruise Center was upgraded in 2003, the main intention was to provide passengers with a comfortable and seamless experience, so, unsurprisingly, the port boasts some awe-inspiring facilities. 

Numerous well-maintained bathroom facilities are scattered throughout the port. The entire Los Angeles World Cruise Center is fully ADA-compliant, offering ramps, elevators, and parking spaces for passengers with accessibility needs. Although the port itself does not provide wheelchairs, cruise lines that use it as a home port can usually assist passengers directly. Consider contacting your cruise line ahead of time.

Discovery Princess in Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

There are plenty of air-conditioned seating areas within the terminal buildings, which is not always true with some less advanced cruise terminals. Unfortunately, Los Angeles World Cruise Center does not offer free public Wi-Fi, but most visitors find mobile reception reasonable throughout the port.

For American travelers, you should be able to access mobile data without any issues. If you require Wi-Fi, there are several restaurants a short distance from the port that offer it.

Los Angeles World Cruise Center offers overnight parking close to the port. The parking lot is patrolled with overnight security, so your vehicle will be safe as you enjoy your cruise.

The port also operates a courtesy passenger shuttle from the parking lot to the terminals. There are several drop-off and pick-up zones, and parking is complimentary for the first hour.

Parking at Port of Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell)

Although there are over 2,500 spaces, booking ahead is a good idea, especially if you are traveling during peak season. Parking rates are $20 per day, but they can vary for oversized vehicles. Remember, this is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, so you’ll want to plan ahead if you need overnight parking

One of the Port of Los Angeles’s main appeals is its close proximity to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Even with Los Angeles’s notorious traffic issues, the 20-mile drive from the airport to Los Angeles World Cruise Center takes roughly 35 minutes. If you are driving yourself, use the following directions: 

From LAX, take the 405 South, then the I-110 South. Exit at Harbor Boulevard., continue straight through the intersection, and turn right into the gate for Los Angeles World Cruise Center. 

As a major commuter city, LA has many transportation options for visitors. Taxis at LAX are plentiful, with flat rates of $50 and a 30 to 45-minute drive; depending on traffic, it is a straightforward option.

Rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, are also widely available. While they are slightly cheaper, you can usually save time by just getting into the taxi line at the airport.

Entrance to Parking and Drop Off at Port of Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell)

For those wanting a more streamlined experience, private shuttle services can be booked ahead of time through Prime-Time Shuttle and SuperShuttle. Individual cruise lines also operate direct shuttles between the airport and the terminal, but you should contact your cruise line ahead of time to ensure they are offered and available. 

Although public transit exists, it can take hours and several transfers, so most cruise passengers avoid it. However, if you want to save money, you would take the Metro Line from LAX to the Green Rail Metro C Line, then transfer to the Gray Bus on the Metro J Line, which has a drop-off outside the port. 

At nearly 24 miles, the downtown core of Los Angeles is a little bit further away from the cruise terminals than LAX. You also have to contend with more traffic as you commute through South Los Angeles, so you will want to give yourself at least an hour to be safe.

Interstate 110 South, Los Angeles (Photo Credit: trekandshoot)

If you are driving, use the following directions: Get on the 110 South, exit at Harbor Blvd., continue straight, then follow the signs for the Los Angeles Cruise Center and turn right into it. 

As mentioned, Los Angeles Cruise Port is one of the busiest in the United States, so it is no surprise that it is used by many of the most well-known cruise lines. Here is where you will find the majority of them within the port: 

World Cruise Center Terminal Berth 92 is a homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. The Cruise Center Terminal Berth 93 caters to Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises 

Check with your cruise line beforehand to ensure you know which terminal and berth your ship will embark from. 

If you plan to spend time in LA before or after your cruise, you will want to pack for the weather. Remember, conditions can be drastically different if your cruise takes you to somewhere like Alaska than they will be in California, so it’s essential to have the proper clothing to make the most out of your time in both locations.

USS Iowa and Discovery Princess Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Robert V Schwemmer)

Daytime temperatures tend to be between 79° and 85°F, and there is plenty of sunshine. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing, and do not forget to pack sun protection, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. 

Temperatures drop to roughly 65° to 80°F, making for mild and pleasant outdoor weather. Rainfall is limited throughout the year, so you should be OK with light layers and comfortable footwear. You may want a jacket for the evenings. 

While winter is the coldest time of the year in Los Angeles, temperatures remain pleasant between 55° and 70°F. Sweaters and jackets are recommended. You may want to check the weather for signs of showers before you go, but they are still relatively uncommon.

Temperatures rise to between 60° and 75°F. LA sometimes experiences brief showers in the spring, so you may want to bring a waterproof jacket, but you should be okay without one. 

Los Angeles is home to some genuinely iconic attractions and sights. If you have several days to explore the city, you can visit Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and countless other points of interest.

Read Also: Ideal Hotels Near the Los Angeles Cruise Port

On the other hand, if you are limited on time and you are just looking for something to do close to the Los Angeles World Cruise Center, you’re also in luck, as there is a myriad of amenities, attractions, and places to eat within close proximity: 

Located almost exactly 3 miles south of the cruise terminals, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a family-friendly place to spend an afternoon. View marine species that are local to the waters of Southern California and experience numerous interactive exhibits the aquarium offers.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (Photo Credit: Steve Cukrov)

Highlights include a fully stocked touch tank and the aquarium’s aquatic nursery, where visitors can watch live laboratory work carried out by real marine biologists. 

As a bonus, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is only footsteps away from Cabrillo Beach and its iconic lighthouse. Combine visiting the aquarium with breakfast at the Pacific Diner and an afternoon on the beach! 

Located just outside the Los Angeles World Cruise Port, the USS Iowa Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in naval history or even just looking for a way to kill time before boarding their cruise ship. Given its proximity, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the museum before returning to your cruise terminal.

Battleship Iowa and Norwegian Joy cruise ship (Photo Credit: Underawesternsky)

The floating maritime museum is built directly into the famous battleship that gives it its name. Visitors can learn about the ship’s storied past while exploring the decks and interior. Take a tour or explore for yourself.

The Museum offers entertainment for the whole family, including child-friendly interactive exhibits that break down naval history in ways that are enjoyable for people of all ages. 

Tickets are less than $40, and it only takes a few minutes to walk from the main cruise terminal building to the entrance of the USS Iowa, so it is well worth a visit. 

While you may want to take a taxi the 3.5 miles to the park, it is a great place to take in California’s famous sunshine. Located near the southern entrance of Los Angeles Harbor, the oceanside cliffs of Point Fermin Park provide stunning views of the ocean and Santa Catalina Island.

Point Fermin Park and Lighthouse (Photo Credit: P Charles Fisher)

Children will enjoy exploring the tidal pools along the waterline, and if you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a whale. The part is also home to the Point Fermin Lighthouse and the Korean Friendship Bell, both worth seeing as you stroll around the 37-acre park. 

Grab a takeout lunch at the nearby Lighthouse Café, and enjoy a picnic in the park before you set sail on your cruise adventure. 

This iconic seafood restaurant and market is less than a mile from the Los Angeles World Cruise Center, making it easily walkable. Opened in 1956, it’s a must-see attraction for seafood lovers. Enjoy a tray of its famous fresh shrimp while taking in a view of the ocean from the numerous waterfront tables and benches.

Read Also: Seattle Cruise Port – Terminals, Transportation and What’s Nearby

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience the live music. Even if you don’t like seafood, have a cold beer on the patio and take in the atmosphere. You can also just take a quick look around, then walk up West 7th Street to the ever-popular Raffaello Ristorante for a delicious plate of pasta. 

As a bonus, it is only a few steps from the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

Most cruise ships leaving Los Angeles depart from the Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro, California.

Numerous privately owned shuttle buses offer direct transfers between LAX and the Los Angeles World Cruise Center. That said, transportation is not guaranteed, and it is worth booking ahead of time. We recommend checking if the cruise line you are traveling with operates its courtesy shuttles. 

Royal Caribbean uses the Los Angeles World Cruise Center Terminal at Berth 92 as its homeport. If you travel on a Royal Caribbean International vessel, you will almost certainly depart there.

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