San Juan cruise port is located on the north coast of Ruerto Rico. It is the largest city and the capital of the island. San Juan is the second-oldest, after Santo Domingo, capital that the Europeans established in the Caribbean. Originally the island was named San Juan and the port – Ciudad de Puerto Rico. They swapped over time.
San Juan cruise port schedule has booked ships operating mainly on Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries leaving roundtrip from Florida ports. However, it is also a homeport for several major cruise line vessels operating roundtrip cruises leaving from Puerto Rico. Among the most popular Caribbean island destinations often combined with Puerto Rico are the Windward Isles (St Lucia, Dominica, St Vincent, Barbados, Tobago, Grenada), the Leeward Isles (St Maarten, Guadeloupe, St Kitts), the Dutch Antilles (Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba).
All Puerto Rico beaches are open to the public. However, public beaches (served by lifeguards and with facilities) are called here balnearios. They are free of charge (no entry fees) but charge for parking, as well as lockers and showers. The most popular are El Escambron and Isla Verde.
In early April 2017 was announced the (RCCL) Royal Caribbean's prtnership with Puerto Rico Ports Authority (government-owned corporation) for improving the port's cruise pier "Pan American Wharf 2". The decision followed RCCL's announcements about homeporting Freedom of the Seas in port San Juan (starting May 2018). To needed development investments will optimize the port's cruise docking infrastructure. The works will include boarding bridge improvements, safety checkpoints improvements, restrooms improvements, mooring improvements, new passenger registration desks, building improvements, enlarging the terminal's the baggage inspection area, also dredging in the pier's ship docking area.
- During season 2015-2016, RCCL / Royal Caribbean ships alone brought to Port San Juan 574,140 passengers. During season 2017-2018, this number reached 700,000.
- All tour operators in San Juan provide guides trained through "Aquila's Center for Cruise Excellence". This is a staff training program that helps cruise port destinations and local tour operators to achieve highest standards of service.
- The cruise port's popularity is increasingly rising. The port was visited by 6,8 million cruise passengers in 2008-2009, 7,9 million (2014-2015 and 1,5 million (2015-2016). Cruise ship tourism contributes around 7,1% to Puerto Rico's economy.
- To be able to handle the world's largest cruise vessel, Port San Juan invested around USD 8 million in building a 3rd dock.
- On December 28, 2016, the port was visited by the world's ever largest cruise vessel - Harmony of the Seas (max capacity 6314 pax / 2300 crew).
Highlights: El Morro Castle, Rainforest
San Juan cruise terminal
San Juan cruise port terminal has three piers – Old San Juan piers (Pier 1, 3, 4, 6), Navy Frontier Pier and the Pan American Pier (wharf 2).
Old San Juan Piers
They are located at Marina Street, the center of Old San Juan. All the major sightseeing places are withing easy walking distance.
- Pier 1 has a modern terminal building with facilities like shops, baggage gangways, parking and elevators.
- Pier 3 mainly serves Royal Caribbean line and transit cruise vessels.
- Pier 4 is located at the north shore. Carnival Cruise Lines manages the terminal.
- Pier 6 is a marginal one. Its in 1,196 ft long.
In 2014, Pier 3 was expanded to allow berthing of the world's largest cruise vessels (RCI's Oasis-class).
In 2016, on Pier 3 (port's 3rd cruise dock) started the construction works for a new, 2-story terminal building housing restaurants, galleries, entertainment venues and a large duty-free shopping complex. The USD 8 million project was an investment by Duty Free Americas (travel retail stores chain with over 180 shops). The port additionally invested USD 1 million for security equipment. RCI / Royal Caribbean also participated in the project, which completion was scheduled for 2018.
Frontier Pier has only one berth. It serves cruise liners and also commercial (cargo) ships.
Pan America Pier
Pan America Pier is located to the south of Old San Juan. The modern San Juan cruise ship terminal building at Pan America Pier is in Isla Grande. It serves larger cruise vessels.
Port San Juan also has drydock facilities (used for ship repairs and refurbishments) located between Pier 15 and Pier 16.
San Juan tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- El Morro Fort: the huge fort dates from 1539. It main service was to protect Port of San Juan from pirates. It is named after the Spanish patron – saint King Phillip. The full name of the fort is Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
- San Cristobal Fort: dates from the 18th century.
- La Fortaleza: dates from 1540 and it is the most ancient fort in San Juan. It used to be the governor’s official residence.
- Cathedral de San Juan: dates from 1592. The neoclassical cathedral is situated on Calle Cristo.
- Paseo de la Princesa and Paseo de la Muralla: take a walk along the old walls of the city. Both paths are to the waterfront.
- Escambron Beach: spent a leisure day at that beautiful beach. Enjoy breathtaking views along all the coastline (including El Morro Fort).
- Shopping: there are a lot of stores in Old San Juan. The main shopping streets are Fortaleza, Cristo and San Francisco. You can buy souvenirs, arts, fashion and jewelery from the craft markets at the Plaza de la Darsena and on Paseo de la Princesa. Located close to San Juan cruise port (Pier 1).
Hotels near San Juan cruise port terminal
- Hyatt Place San Juan (City Center), Hyatt House San Juan - both are located within 3-5 min from the cruise port
- La Terraza de San Juan
- Condominium San Ildefonzo
- San Juan Park
- Villa Herencia Hotel
- Caleta 64 Apartments
- Posada San Francisco
- Ciqala Luxury Suites
- Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center Hotel & Casino, Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino
- The Gallery Inn
- Hotel El Convento
- CasaBlanca Hotel
- Hotel Milano
- SJ Suites Hotel
- Calle San Jose Apartments
- Hotel Plaza De Armas
- Caribe Hilton, Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton
- Hotel Miramar, Courtyard San Juan Miramar
The San Juan cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near San Juan, Puerto Rico.
If you lose the San Juan location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port San Juan cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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