However, cruise line transfers can be somewhat restrictive and expensive if paying for more than one person. Some don’t provide transfers except on cruising day. So if you fly in a day early, you will be without a ride. Meanwhile, they are also priced on a per person basis. So if a family of four is looking for a transfer, the costs can add up quickly. A $70 per-person round-trip ride from Houston’s Hobby Airport would cost $280… and that’s before you even step foot on the ship.
For that reason, we suggest other modes of transportation to Galveston, unless you are traveling in a small group.
Independent Shuttles – There are other shuttle services to and from the airport, namely SuperShuttle – the big blue vans you always see around airports. Renting a van runs about $175 round-trip for up to 10 passengers if going from Houston Intercontinental. Rates are about $125 from Houston Hobby. If you don’t have as many passengers, you can also reserve a smaller car for up to 3 people at a slightly lower rate.
Galveston Limousine offers daily scheduled service from the Houston airports to the island as well. Rates run $100 round-trip per person from IAH ($70 for senior citizens) and $80 round-trip from HOU ($60 for seniors). The shuttles depart only three times daily, so you might be waiting for some time at the airport before leaving with this option.
Cool Tours offers a shuttle between Houston airports and the Galveston cruise terminal as well. Right now the rides are private shuttles, but may expand to offer scheduled shared service. Rides from Hobby airport cost $145 round-trip for the first passenger and $35 for each additional adult (kids under 12 are $15, seniors 55+ are $25). Rides from Bush Intercontinental to the cruise terminal are $255 round-trip for the first passenger and $35 for each additional adult (kids under 12 are $15, seniors 55+ are $25).
Private Car Services –Private car services can often be your best bet getting to and from the airport. These services can meet just about any budget and accommodation level.
We can’t list prices here because there are actually so many options. Many of these companies run regular shuttles from the Houston airports to Galveston on cruise days. They also have a range of services from shuttle vans to private limo rides.
While still a little pricey, private rides will offer a comfortable car, personal driver, and can pick you up/drop you off at nearly any time. You also don’t have to share a car with anyone you don’t want to.
There are dozens of services in Houston that provide private cars, and costs can range from $150 round-trip to several hundred dollars, depending on the car you wish to use. While the headline price may be higher, it is often cheaper to go this route when dealing with larger parties.
We can’t list all of the private services, but what follows are some of the more popular ones. If you search around, you might find others that have lower prices for the specific level of service you’re looking for.
Companies offering transfers from Houston airports to the Galveston terminal: Galveston Shuttle, Karr Limousine, Action Limousine (Note: All of these companies have “Limo” in the name, but offer more options than pulling up to the port in a stretch limousine!)
Always be sure to get a complete “out the door” price quote from any car service so that you aren’t hit with any unforeseen charges.
Taxi — Taxi fare round-trip from the airport to the Galveston cruise terminal can cost upwards of $250-300 from Bush Intercontinental Airport and $150-200 from Hobby Airport. (Rates vary depending on traffic.) That’s on the expensive side, but remembers that usually up to four or five passengers can ride for that price. That makes the cost cheaper per person than the cruise line shuttles. Plus, with a taxi you don’t have to reserve ahead and you can leave whenever you are ready, instead of waiting on a shuttle to fill up.