American Cruises From Jacksonville
The small ships of American Cruise Lines are ready to give you a unique experience out of the Jacksonville, Florida. The modern 100-passenger ships are small enough to travel calm inland waterways and dock at quaint ports.
Amenities on American Cruise Line include guest lecturers, musical entertainment, good food, complimentary cocktails, resort casual dress, comfortable lounges and large observation decks. Many of the spacious staterooms have private balconies.
Jacksonville Florida Cruise Port
During the 16th century, Northeastern Florida was a popular place repeatedly fought over by the French, Spanish and British. In 1513, Spain claimed Pascua Florida for the King of Spain. However, in 1562, Jean Ribault landed to claim it for the King of France. He constructed a stone monument honoring the event, and later established a colony after two years. It made the Spanish mad they demolished both the colony and the French fleet. Finally the inexperienced United States government attained the territory and put an end to the matter once and for all. On June 15, 1822, Jacksonville city was established, 23 years before Florida was granted Statehood.
Prior to the civil war, lumber was a key business in Jacksonville, tourism dominated in the 1880s when docks were constructed in the late 1890s the city became a vital port.
Jacksonville, or simply referred by the locals as “Jax”, is a beautiful urban atmosphere filled with nature and wildlife preserves. The city has the most public park space compared to any city in the U.S. The port is an ideal start or finish to a cruise to the Caribbean. The average high temperature in Jacksonville is 79 degrees.
The beaches in Jacksonville can compete with those of any tropical destination having soft white beaches and warm blue water ideal for relaxing and swimming. With numerous activities ranging from breweries to museums to entertainment complexes, your time in Jacksonville will be nothing but entertaining.
Jacksonville Tours Shore Excursions Hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: visit the JAX zoo and meet more than 20 mammals and reptiles species. Get close to 1600 animals in amazing landscape area.
- Fort Clinch State Park: it dates from 1847. The old seafront fort will guide you through the daily life of the Union Soldier in the era of the Civil War.
- Museum of Science and History: or MOSH. The exhibitions are interesting for visitor from all ages.
- Museum of Southern History: go back to the Antebellum period.
- Kingsley Plantation: if you visit this cotton plantation, you will feel like you are in the late years of the 18th century. This is the Sunshine States oldest plantation.
- Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens: along St Johns River you will find the amazing Ninah and Arthur Cummer artistick works collection. They shared the collection in 1961. Since then it rose from 60 to 5,000 works.
- Jacksonville Maritime Museum: great place to visit if you want to discover Florida naval vessels. There are a lot of interactive exhibitions and Titanic scale model.
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour: chose between guided tour or own walk in the beer brewing process. If you are over 21, dont miss the Tasting Room.
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Upgrade To Jaxport Cruise Terminal
It gets even better with a planned upgrade and passenger experience as part of the extended agreement. No details about the upgrade have been revealed but if the cruise line is to continue sailing from Jacksonville then we can expect a decent investment in the least.
Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said:
With Carnival Elation sailing year-round from Jacksonville, weve seen great demand from the area.
This agreement ensures we can continue to offer the great value, incredible service and the most fun our guests sailing from Jacksonville have come to expect from Carnival.
Carnival Elation will continue to offer cruises to the Bahamas year-round. Starting in May 2019 the recently refurbished 2,056 passenger Carnival Ecstasy will assume Elations 4-day and 5-day itineraries. Around 170,000 guests sail from the Florida port with Carnival Cruise Line and more than 2.2 Million travelers have sailed from JAXPORT during 15 years of service.
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Carnival Cruise Line Stays In Jacksonville
Even though the port in Jacksonville or officially named JAXPORT is not a major cruise home it is good to know that Carnival is committed and will continue offering cruises from there. The cruise line and port came to an agreement that Carnivals contract will be extended for three years with an option for three additional two-year renewals.
JAXPORT Chief Executive Officer Eric Green said:
We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Carnival into the next decade.
In addition to bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Northeast Florida, cruise service boosts tourism in our area and offers a platform to promote all that this region has to offer.
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Where Is Jacksonville Cruise Port Located
The official address for Jaxport cruise terminal facility is:
- 9810 August Drive
- Jacksonville, FL 32226
- Tel. 357-3302
The cruise terminal is located on the final bend of the St Johns River before it flows out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the commercial and military port and is considered a temporary cruise terminal. There are plans to build a dedicated cruise port terminal along the river in the near future, possibly at Dames Point.
From I-295 south, take exit 41 Zoo Parkway/Heckscher Drive. Turn left on August Drive and follow signs into the cruise terminal and onsite parking lot.
Carnival Cruise Line Delays Cruises From Jacksonville Until 2022
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Itching to go on a cruise? If you’re looking to sail out of Jacksonville, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.
Carnival announced last week that the restart of sailing for five ships operating out of U.S. home ports will be moved to 2022, which includes the Carnival Ecstasy based in Jacksonville.
Other ships that have been delayed to 2022 including the Carnival Liberty in Port Canaveral, Carnival Sunshine in Charleston, Carnival Paradise in Tampa, and the Carnival Sensation in Mobile.
In July 2020, it seemed as if cruises were going to be sailing again, with the company selling cabins for an Oct. 1. 2020 launch. However, the no sail order was once again extended by the CDC in mid-July which put a damper on people’s plans for embarkation.
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Bahamas Cruises From Jacksonville Florida
Why travel all the way to Miami or Orlando to begin your Bahamas cruise? If you live in the South or along Floridaâs Atlantic coast, thereâs a convenient option closer to home.
Carnival operates multiple ships out of the Jacksonville cruise port, located in the stateâs northeastern region. Ships leave this port to sail down Floridaâs coast and make two or three stops in the Bahamas, with trips lasting four nights or longer.
East Coast Inland Passage
This 14-night East Coast Inland Passage takes place on the protected Intracoastal Waterway and you’ll stop at Jekyll Island, St. Simon’s Island, and Savannah, Georgia. Next is South Carolina with stops in Hilton Head, Beaufort, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. North Carolina ports of call include Wilmington, Morehead City, and Kitty Hawk. Finally, you’ll visit Norfolk, Virginia, before ending your 14-night journey in Baltimore, Maryland.
This cruise takes place on the Independence ship, one of the ships with the most suites that have private balconies. It includes the same amenities as the Great Rivers of America cruise.
- Prices: Start at $7,710 for category A, $9,900 for a single, and $12,775 for an owner’s suite with private balcony
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Jacksonville Cruise Port Parking On
The official Jaxport Cruise Port Parking is available right next to the cruise terminal at Berth 10. The parking lot opens at 10.30 am on embarkation day. Convenient and secure with 24-hour monitoring, lighting and fencing, this is the easiest option.
You simply park your car and walk a few steps to the ship with your luggage. Porters are on hand to offer assistance. Book online ahead of time to be sure of a reserved parking space, although reservations are not essential.
Cruise parking prices for a standard vehicle including sales tax are $68 for a 4-day cruise and $85 for a 5-day cruise.
Oversized vehicles that require more than one standard size parking space are charged at $34 per day, which works out at $136 for a 4-day cruise and $170 for a 5-day cruise.
There is free cruise parking for disabled drivers or passengers complying with the necessary specifications outlined in detail below under the heading Jacksonville Cruise Port Parking for Disabled.
Handicapped parking spots are closer to the terminal but are limited in number. There are porters on hand and golf cart transport right to the ship, if required. Wheelchairs are also available for transfer to the ship.
- Address: 9810 August Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226
- Distance to port: onsite
- Shuttle service: No. Golf cart or walk a few steps to ship
- Cost: From $17 per day
- Tel: 357-3006
Florida Cruise Ships Could Sail Again By The Summer Desantis Says
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. A day after a federal judge heard arguments in Floridas request for a preliminary injunction against federal restrictions that have idled the cruise industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed optimism that he would be successful in court and cruise ships would set sail again by the summer.
If we are successful in the courts, Im willing to bet anyone that people are going to want to cruise from the state of Florida, DeSantis said during a Thursday news conference in Ormond Beach.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, backed by DeSantis, filed a lawsuit last month challenging limits imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moody argues that the CDC has violated a law known as the Administrative Procedure Act by issuing guidelines that have kept cruise ships from sailing.
We had a great hearing I think, by and large, reports I heard in Federal Court yesterday, DeSantis said. We think that we got our points across, we think the judge was receptive. I mean, well see what happens.
There is also an ongoing fight over so-called vaccine passports.
Recently, DeSantis signed a bill that makes permanent a ban on COVID-19 vaccine passports, putting him at odds with at least one cruise line.
The CDC said ships are able to sail for the first time since March 2020 if they can prove that at least 98% of the crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
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Why Cruise From Jacksonville Florida
Accessible, conveniently located, and full of things to do, Jacksonville is a great choice for your departure port.
Cruises from Jacksonville, FL include the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Elation, which will whisk you away to explore the sights of the Bahamas like never before. While youâre waiting to depart, you can get a taste of the island bliss to come â visit Jacksonvilleâs beautiful beaches or the scenic Southbank Riverwalk to enjoy waterside views. For another side of nature, check out Jacksonvilleâs extensive system of parks. Jacksonville has so much to offer any cruise traveler.
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Sailing To Destinations In The Caribbean
JAXPORTs location offers advantageous sail times for cruise line itinerary planners, including 0.8 days to sail from Jacksonville to Nassau, The Bahamas on an Eastern Caribbean trip or from Jacksonville to Cancun, Mexico in 1.7 days on a Western Caribbean sailing. Jacksonville also offers abundant amenities for port-of-call visits.
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What Cruise Lines Leave From Jacksonville Fl
The two cruise lines that depart from Jacksonville are Carnival Cruise Line and American Cruise Lines. One is a large ship and the other has small ships. And size isn’t their only difference. The ships are completely different in style and the places they go.
1. Carnival Cruise Line: the big ship makes 4- and 5-day cruises to the islands of the Bahamas from Jacksonville. Features include WaterWorks water park and Camp Carnival for kids. Adults will like the Serenity adults-only retreat, Spa Carnival, and live entertainment.
2. American Cruise Lines: these small ships offer 7-night “Great Rivers of Florida” cruises and 7-night “Historic South and Golden Isles” cruises out of Jacksonville. The ships may be small, but they have big staterooms, lounges, and observation decks. Other features include entertainment every evening, daily presentations about local topics, and complimentary cocktail hour. American’s ships are made in the USA, and carry an American crew.
Free Jacksonville Cruise Port Parking For Disabled
Free parking is available at the official port parking lot for cars with disabled drivers or passengers. Cars must have a state-issued disabled/Veterans license plate and/or a Florida toll Exemption decal.
Vehicles that are adapted for a disabled driver, such as a wheelchair ramp or modified hand and foot controls, are eligible for free cruise port parking with a disabled placard or official decal.
When parking at the port, there are dedicated disabled parking bays, porters on hand to assist with luggage and golf cart transport right to the ship. Wheelchairs are also available to the ship but cannot be taken onboard.
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Easy Access Attracts Passengers
With more than 98 million consumers living within a days drive of Jacksonville, JAXPORT is a growing drive-to cruise destination. The area also offers an international airport with dozens of daily flights.
A recent study conducted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council reported 60 percent of travelers cruising from JAXPORT cited easy access to the port as the primary reason for cruising from Jacksonville. JAXPORT has welcomed passengers from 40 states, the District of Columbia and overseas.
Great Rivers Of Florida
American Cruise Lines offers an eight-day/seven-night “Great Rivers of Florida” cruise that departs in Jacksonville from Amelia Island. On this journey, you’ll follow the route of 19th century explorers. You’ll start on the St. John’s River, an American Heritage River that flows north it’s one of the few north-flowing rivers above the equator. Next, you’ll travel to Palatka, known for its beautiful plantation homes, and the Ocala National Forest where you can observe manatees, alligators, and maybe even a see a bald eagle.
Green Cove Springs is another stop. The area is noted for its warm mineral springs believed to have medicinal qualities. The views along the Tolomato River on day five are stunning. Be sure to catch the onboard naturalist’s talks during this part of the cruise. Next is St. Augustine, a destination where oil tycoon Henry Flagler’s stamp is clearly noticeable. You’ll find historic ruins, interesting architecture, and the reminiscent vibe of the “golden era.”
This cruise takes place aboard the American Star. Accommodations range from single staterooms, ideal for solo travelers, up to the owner’s suite which offers a hotel-sized bathroom, sitting area, writing desk, closet, and a private balcony.
Prices include breakfast room service, free Wi-Fi access, complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner, evening entertainment, free cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres every evening, and more.
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Jacksonville Hotels Offering Park And Cruise Packages
Many hotels near Jacksonville cruise port offer short-term parking for those staying the night with a Park and Cruise package. The price includes a double room, shuttle transport and parking for the duration of your cruise. More details can be found in our article on Jacksonville hotels for cruise passengers.
Which Cruises Sail Out Of Jacksonville Cruise Terminal
Often referred to as Jaxport, Jacksonville cruise port currently serves as the home port for Carnival Cruise Line. The name Jaxport comes from the IATA code of the Jacksonville International Airport just 11 miles away.
Visitors may be surprised to learn that Jacksonville is the most populated city in Florida and by area it the largest city in the contiguous United States. It has a large deep-water port and is home to several military bases including the Naval Air Station and the Naval Submarine Base. Being just 450 miles from the Bahamas, it is a popular departure point for cruises to the Bahamas.
In 2020, the only cruise line operating out of Jaxport as their home port is Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival Ecstasy is a smaller cruise ship carrying 2,056 passengers on 4-day and 5-day cruises to the Bahamas. They usually sail year-round. Ports of call vary depending on the cruise itinerary but generally include Freeport, Grand Bahama Island Nassau, New Providence Island and/or Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Once youve chosen your cruise itinerary, you need to book your Jacksonville cruise port parking without delay.
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Bermuda Cruises From Jacksonville
Just one cruise to Bermuda was available out of Jacksonville. It was in the spring and included an overnight stay at the island.
Things to do at the Royal Naval Dockyard on Bermuda include Dophin Quest, where you can swim with the dolphins. The dockyard is also home to the National Museum of Bermuda featuring shipwreck artifacts, a giant mural, and fortifications history. Explore the crafts market and other shops. Enjoy the restaurants. Swim at Snorkel Park. Rent a jet ski.
From the dockyard you can catch a ferry to the historic towns of Hamilton and St George. Experience the nightlife on colorful Front Street. Walk the pink sand at Horseshoe Bay Beach and Elbow Beach. Ride a bike on the 18-mile Bermuda Railway Trail. April is a good time for whale watching in Bermuda.
Shore excursions offered by the cruise line at Bermuda include an island tour, ultimate catamaran sail, aquarium & caves, and snorkeling.