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Closest Airport to Port Canaveral Information and Tips

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Port Canaveral is the naval gateway to Orlando, holder of the undisputed “Land Of Entertainment” title. Surrounded by amusement parks and thrill hubs in the vicinity, Port Canaveral itself is no less exciting in terms of fun and recreation. Head to the piers, set sail on charter boats, a Disney Cruise or lounge on the seaside. You’ll feel the energy in the air as soon as you set foot here, with plenty of things to do in Port Canaveral!

There are amazing entertainment services for visitors at Port Canaveral. In fact, the port offers more facilities than all other Floridian ports combined! If you’re arriving by sea, you’ll be walking right into the excitement and thrill on the piers.

However, if you’re arriving by other means and not by waterways, the first task at hand is to get to the port. The most preferred mode of arriving in Orlando is by flight. If that’s the case for you too, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are more than a few airports around Orlando to pick from and even more options for getting to Port Canaveral from them. 

Vacations are meant to be fun and relaxing, not stressful and confusing, which is why we’ve put together this guide on the best way to get from Orlando to Port Canaveral. Keep reading for details on the closest airport to Port Canaveral, Port Canaveral shuttle services, how to make your way to your hotel easily, and more. We cover it all!

Airport to Port Canaveral

Best Way to Get From MLB to Port Canaveral (Orlando Melbourne International Airport)

Located about 27 miles away, MLB (Melbourne International Airport) is the closest airport to Port Canaveral, perfect if you are heading there to pick up your cruise. Furthermore, the airport is located only about an hour off from Florida’s most famous thrill hubs, which makes it is a preferred arrival point for visitors.

It’s the smallest of the major airports in the area, which means you’ll be able to skip the long trudges to baggage claim and cab pick-up points. The coastal location of the airport gives it extra points for its scenic views. The amazing drive along the shoreline that leads up to Port Canaveral is just the cherry on top.

With travel options under $2 and the fastest ones taking a little over 45 minutes, it’s the perfect airport at which to land. Choose whatever transport works for your family’s convenience, schedule, or budget, and be on your way.

Transport From The Closest Airport to Port Canaveral: Buses

Even though there are no direct bus shuttle services between the airport and the port, boarding a connecting bus from MLB is one of the cheapest options for getting to Port Canaveral. You will need to board 4 different buses – Line 29, Line 1, Line 4, and Line 9. Buses arrive every few hours with a travel time of about 4 hours to reach Port Canaveral. 

While this is a good option for the slower-paced solo traveler that enjoys savoring the journey, it’s a tedious one for families on a schedule. However, for those of you who aren’t time bound or are perhaps traveling with older kids who do not get cranky as easily, this can be a thrifty choice. Don’t forget to check timings and routes prior to your visit.

Transport From The Closest Airport to Port Canaveral: Cabs and Rideshares

Cabs remain the most popular choice of commute from the airport for visitors. Why? Because they’re convenient, private, and accessible. The only downside compared to shuttle services and local bus routes is the price, but even that can be reduced by opting for Lyft or Uber over conventional cabs. Plus, they’re faster and easier to avail with just a few taps on your phone.

If you’re insistent on going old school and hailing a taxi, cabs, and rideshare services are made available by local cab operators like Palm Bay Taxi and Transport as soon as you exit the airport. The journey will take less than an hour (yes, a quarter of the time spent on a bus) and will end right at the doorstep of your hotel.

All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the view of the coastline as your driver handles all the traffic for you. The one drawback if you have a large family is that you’ll be in for a little bit of a squeeze if you take a cab. You might even end up needing to take more than one cab since the drive to Port Canaveral isn’t the shortest.

Before boarding your cab, make sure that your cab driver has reset the meter. It is a good idea to book your cab only after you have completed all the airport procedures and are at the pick-up point to avoid additional charges. Also, make it a point to enquire about car seats beforehand as those are mandatory (more on this below).

Transport From The Closest Airport to Port Canaveral: Rental Cars

Are you the kind of person that likes an adventure when you travel? If driving yourself along Orlando’s beautiful coastline with your family in tow is your idea of a fun time during vacation, then booking a rental is sure to be right up your alley. 

A skim through MLB’s website will show you their car rental partners, including Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, and many more. Contact them prior regarding your various requirements, from vehicle pick-ups, and drop-offs, to vehicle choices, and be assured of a seamless experience after you land. All that’ll be left to do is take the wheel and soak in the sights of the beautiful shoreline as you make your way to your hotel. 

The best part about the old port town is that all the destinations and must-see sights are within a walkable distance. This means you don’t necessarily need the luxury of a rental car to take you around, especially since it will only add the exorbitant costs of paid parking and tolls to your budget.

Nevertheless, if you’re traveling with infants, grandparents, or disabled people in the group, a rental car may work out well for you. It’ll help you save time and give you the added benefit of complete privacy.

As with cabs, remember to make booster seat requests if you are traveling with toddlers as these are mandatory.

Best Way to Get from MCO to Port Canaveral (Orlando International Airport)

The Orlando International Airport, previously known as the McCoy Air Force Base, is Florida’s largest airport and ranks in the top 10 busiest airports in the United States altogether. Security wait times can go from anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes, depending on the rush, so be prepared for queueing up with the little ones.

However, what the MCO does have is a vibrant selection of eateries and nearby park-themed stores that are packed with merchandise and other souvenirs to peruse and kill time.

As for traveling to Port Canaveral, you have rentals, rideshare services, cabs, and buses to choose from, depending on how you want to spend your time and money. Check out all the options and their details right below.

Shuttle Services

Popular chains such as Radisson, Hyatt, and Hampton Inn provide airport shuttles as part of their packages for their guests. Contact your hotel at Port Canaveral to enquire if it provides shuttle services to the airport.

If not, you will still have the option to use one of the many shuttles and line buses that run all the way up to Cape Canaveral. Check out Go Port Canaveral for even more convenient rides that take you right up to the port. Cocoa Beach Shuttle is one such ground transportation partner of MCO that provides shuttle services from right outside the airport.

The airport also has shuttle vans on the Ground Transportation Level in both terminals. These are handled by Mears and are charged per person. Contact Mears for additional details such as children’s rates and round-trip fares.

Buses

The shortest local bus route involves boarding 3 buses, resulting in a total journey time of 3 hours. If you’re up for the adventure, look for shuttle buses that head southbound as soon as you exit the airport. These will take you to the beautiful Cocoa Beach.

Once at Cocoa Beach, get on the Line 8 bus until you reach Center Cocoa, followed by the Line 4 bus to reach Port Canaveral in no time. The journey will cost you between $60 and $70, which makes it a pricey option to choose. But, if smaller cabs aren’t spacious enough for you, the kids, and your luggage, then getting on a bus with the whole bunch can be a more comfortable ride to the port for some families.

There are other bus options, but they involve a lot of changes and travel times of more than five hours. Overall, taking the bus isn’t advised if you’re time-bound because the fastest drive in a cab or a rental will take you less than an hour tops, so definitely weigh out your options before you choose.

Cabs and Rideshares

Taxi cab services are available from both A-Side and B-Side of the Terminal. Taxis may carry up to 9 passengers and have metered rates, not flat rates. Diamond Cab, Quick Cab, Town & Country, and Mears are local cab partners at MCO.

Check out the airport’s website for contact details of these companies and to find out their exact location on the airport premises. Other operators, such as Wheeler Taxi and Rapid Transportation also service this route and may cost you anywhere between $130 and $160.

Don’t want to burn a hole through your pockets as soon as you arrive? Lyft and Uber are always the cheaper options if you’re looking for cabs. UberX is available at around $64 while UberXL is estimated at $86 (the perfect choice for a family of 4).

Do remember that these estimates are not adjusted to surge pricing, and so, actual rates may vary depending on the season and your visit times. Uber also gives you the option to choose booster seats if you require them, allowing you to forget the hassle of finding one yourself while traveling.

Rental Cars

Renting a car may seem like an extravagant choice but in fact, it is the cheapest way to travel from MCO to Port Canaveral, especially for larger groups. Located only about 48 miles away, you’ll be able to reach Port Canaveral in less than an hour.

Although fuel costs will likely be under $15, your preference of vehicle type will be what determines the rest of your cost. Splurge on a limousine or choose a spacious SUV for the whole family; one-way rental cars can be found as cheap as $60 a day.

Bored with the ordinary? Enterprise presents its Orlando Exotic Car Collection at the Orlando International Airport, complete with the most sporty icons of the automobile industry. Petrolheads can choose from an exciting list of brands, such as Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and even the savvy Tesla! Shift the gears on your conventional vacation and drive down the coast in style with these amazing rides.

Keep in mind that renting a car involves inviting the costs of tolls and parking fees. You could choose roads that avoid tolls but this means you’ll be taking more time than you would otherwise on toll roads.

From the MCO, roads that avoid tolls add about 15 miles to your trip, which increases your travel time by almost half an hour. So, remember to check all your options and your budget before you set out on your journey.

Airports In And Around Orlando

Sanford International Airport (SFB)

Earlier known as Naval Air Station Sanford, SFB was originally built as a military base for carrier-based attack and reconnaissance aircraft. The airport is located away from the city and is much less crowded compared to the other ones within Orlando.

The Sanford International Airport is roughly 60 miles away from Port Canaveral, which means it will take you a little more than an hour to reach by car.

Aside from cabs, local buses, and rideshares, shuttle services are also available at the SFB Ground Transportation Stand to take you all the way to Port Canaveral. You will find many private service providers with different rates for one-way and round trips too.

For a hassle-free landing experience, contact agencies such as Port Canaveral Quick Shuttle to book your rides in advance. You can also book private transport online, such as through Jayride Private Transfers, to eliminate any stress of finding a ride upon landing.

Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)

The Daytona Beach International Airport is a state-of-the-art, award-winning airport that provides direct and connecting flights across the globe. The drive from DAB to Port Canaveral is a short 1-hour drive via the I-95 S.

While there are no direct local bus options to get to the port from the airport, the ones that do exist take too long and are too expensive, especially if your family is big. The easiest option is to pick a rental for the whole group.

Fuel costs will average at roughly $20 and you can enjoy a fun drive as a family, all in an hour’s time, whereas choosing a bus means multiple stops and long, tiring hours.

Check out the website for more details on the airport’s ground transport facilities and partners.

Car Seat Law in Florida

Car seat laws vary not only around the world, but from state to state. Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.

Children ages 0 through 3 must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat. This includes Ride-Shares, so do expect Ride Share drivers to check if you have one, unless you have specifically requested your taxi/rideshare to bring a car seat.

Minnie Van service at Disney World
Lyft Disney Minnie Van

Lyft have Minnie Van as an option for transport between Walt Disney World properties and attractions. These come with 2 child safety seats that Disney Cast Members can install for you. Minnie Van service operates from 6:30 AM to 12:30 AM daily and can fit 6 passengers.

  1. Open the Lyft app within Walt Disney World Resort, and enter your destination.
  2. Confirm your pickup location. Lyft will provide a fare estimate, and your payment will be processed directly through the app.
  3. Tap “Select Minnie Van”; if Minnie Van service is not the default vehicle type displayed, you will need to scroll through your vehicle options until Minnie Van service is displayed.
  4. The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route—along with an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car.

Even if you are on a short trip, on vacation or holiday from a non USA place to the USA, if your child requires a car seat, it must be federally approved.

*To be clear, an EU/UK car seat is not legal in the USA and vice versa as shown below in answers to queries to the US National Transport Agency and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in 2022.

* Information on this website does not constitute legal advice and does not take the place of professional legal advice. Any action based  on the information provided would be at your own risk.  I am not a legal expert, this information is from my own research to the official parties with the screenshots shown below. Please ensure you check with your insurance and legal representatives for the most up to date information and to ensure you are complying with the laws of the country and state you are in, before you visit.

US Car seat law
Florida state car seat law

Booster Seats

Florida law makes it mandatory for kids aged 5 and below to be in booster seats during car journeys. Be it on a shuttle van or a cab, it’s compulsory to make sure your little ones are strapped in for your journey from the airport to Port Canaveral.

Lyft and Uber generally, you will need to bring your own booster seat for your journeys as it’s not guaranteed a driver will have one suitable.

The same rule applies to shuttle vans in the state, which require visitors to bring along their own booster seats for kids up to the age of 8.

Consider carrying with you a travel seat or a simple seat belt adjuster as these are handier and the next best alternative to a full-sized booster seat. You can also look into rental options that are usually made available to visitors right at the airport. 

For local cabs and rental cars, contact the service provider well ahead of time to check if you need to pack one for your trip. Some private service providers do provide booster seats for no additional charge, so be sure to look into all the options before you book your mode of travel.

Closest Airport to Port Canaveral: FAQ

1. Does Orlando Airport have shuttles to Port Canaveral?

Hotels near Port Canaveral usually provide shuttle services in their packages for easy pickup and drop-off. The airport also has shuttle service providers in its ground transportation system so enquire ahead.

2. How long is the ride from MCO to Port Canaveral?

Rides from MCO usually take around an hour to complete. Most shuttle vans and cab services take the easiest routes down to the port while bus rides may take considerably longer, owing to the many stops they make.

3. Is there a shuttle from MLB to Port Canaveral?

There are no bus services that provide single shuttles between the two places. However, private shuttle van services, such as Go Port Canaveral, Port Canaveral Quick Shuttle, and Lux2 Transfer are available at the airport’s ground transportation. Hotels may provide shuttles on request as well.

4. What is the cheapest way to get from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral?

If you want to save money on bus expenses for large groups, booking your own rental car is a great way to do that. Take a look at ground transportation facilities and agencies that provide rentals at very low prices. It will depend on the amount of money you will be spending on parking and tolls, however, so be sure to take all that into account before choosing the mode of transport that works best for your family’s size.

5. Can I get an Uber from Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral?

Uber is available from Orlando Airport to get to Port Canaveral and is also the cheaper alternative to regular cab services that are available on the ground. Remember to book your cabs online only after you get out of baggage claim and customs to avoid waiting charges.

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