Arriving in Rome by cruise ship

How to get to Rome from the port of Civitavecchia

A map of the Civitavecchia cruise ship terminal in relation to the train station
A map of the Civitavecchia cruise ship terminal in relation to the train station. (For more details, click on the interactive map over the right.)

First of all: the port of Civitavecchia ( is not even remotely near Rome.

Civitavecchia is 80km (50 miles) north of the city of Rome on the coast.

It takes more than an hour to drive between Rome and Civitavecchia the train takes anywhere from 40 minutes (express) to 60–80 minutes (local).

Civitavecchia fun facts
  • Though Civitavecchia is not close to Rome, it is nearly as ancient. Civitavecchia was founded as a port in the 2nd century AD under emperor Trajan, who called it Centumcellae.
  • Escalating pirate attacks led Pope Julius II to order a fort built in the 16th century. To design the fort, the pope tapped the same man he had hired to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling: Michelangelo.
  • Between cruises and ferries, nearly 2 million passengers pass though each year, making this the third busiest port in the entire Mediterranean.

Getting to Rome from Civitavecchia

All cruise lines will offer a direct transfer to Rome on a bus, but at a steeply inflated rate (things like this are where cruises really make their money).

The good news is, you can get to Rome on your own—cheaper, and sometimes even faster.

In fact, with the train station only about 15-minute walk from the port and the fast trains making the trip to Rome in 45 minutes, you can easily beat the folks taking the overpriced cruise shuttle to Rome.

  • By cruise ship shuttle - Priciest option (though rates vary line to line). Takes about 60–80 minutes.
  • By private car - A private transfer still takes 60–80 minutes, but will often be cheaper than the cruise line's service. Book one via our partners at for $30 (€29).
  • By tour - If you're just in port for the day but still want to see Rome, you don't have to sign up for the ship's crowded tour bus; consider a private tour of Rome in one day offered by our partners at
  • By train - There are two to three direct trains every hour between Civitavecchia and Rome's main rail station, Roma Termini. Most local trains take 60–80 minutes and cost €5 each way (in second class; always ride in second class). Hourly Frecciabianca trains take 40–45 minutes and cost €9–€15. You still have to get from the Civitavecchia train station to the cruise terminal at the port; see below.
  • By taxi/limosine - If you have the €125–€150 for a private transfer, please just book the same exact service for €30 from and then send me the extra €100 that is clearly burning a hole in your pocket.

Getting between Fiumicino (Rome's airport) and Civitavecchia

Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci airport at Fiumicino is about 50km (31 miles) south of Civitavecchia. If your cruise doesn't include airport transfers (or charges an arm and a leg for them), you have three options:

  • By private car - A private transfer will often be cheaper than the cruise line's. Many airport car services charge exorbitant fees (€90 and more). Book a private car to the port via our partners at and it only costs €29 per person.
  • By taxi - Only if you are made of money. It'll cost about €120–€150.
  • By train - You'll have to take a shuttle train first into one of Rome's three central stations (~30 min.), where you change to a connector train. The total transit time is about 90–120 min. This is the cheapest option (only €11–€29), but also way more time-consuming and complicated, especially with luggage, since you'll have to walk that final 15 min. from the station to the port. Not advised.

How to get between the Civitavecchia train station and the port/cruise terminal

If Civitavecchia is your embarkation or debarkation port (as opposed to a port of call), you'll have all your luggage and might not want to haul it along the five-block walk betwen the port and the train station (detailed below). In that case, it can be well worth the €9 to €15 for the quick taxi ride (price varies depending on how many people/bags there are; the local taxi stand's phone number is tel. +39-0766-26121).

If your cruise ship happens to dock, not along the long skinny pier, but rather across from it on the mainland alongside a giant parking lot, congratulations: you're at Nuova Banchina Commerciale 24 or 25—and the walk to the train station is a whole lot 30 minutes. You'll want to plump for a €15 taxi ride instead.

There are sometimes shuttle buses between the train station and the port, but those are usually timed to coincide with local ferries to Sardegna, not cruises.

If you do choose to walk: Head to the base of the loooong pier, around the Renaissance castle that serves as the port authority, and through the exit (this can be quite a ways as the dock is insanely long; ask about the public shuttle bus along the pier to the uscita). Cross the street to turn right down Via Garibaldi. The train station will be on your left after about a five-block, 10-15 minute walk. Here's a map showing the route.

Tips & links

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How long does Rome take?

Planning your day: Rome wasn't built in a day, and you'd be hard-pressed to see it in that brief a time as well. Still, you can cram a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Eternal City, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, three, or four days to spend in Rome. » Rome itineraries

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