Many of us have looked at cruises that either begin or end in Civitavecchia/Rome. The thought of visiting Rome for a few days either before or after a cruise is very exciting, however, potential cruisers may not realize that Civitavecchia is about a one hour drive from Rome and about 1/2 hour drive from the airport. Passengers taking cruises in and out of Rome should review all of their transportation options and select the one that best fits their needs and budget.
Cruise Line Transportation
Most cruise lines offer some sort of transfers or even a transfer with a panoramic tour for their passengers arriving at the Rome airport the day of the cruise. Often if the passengers are staying in Rome pre or post cruise, the cruise line can arrange transfers to and from the hotels as long as the cruise line has made their hotel bookings and flight arrangements. Passengers who have booked those options independently are usually not eligible to book the cruise line’s transportation. In our case, we have booked both our air transport and Rome accommodations independently, so we must also book our own transfers during our stay in Rome.
The most economical way to get from the Leonardo da Vinci/ Fiumicino International Airport (Rome Fiumicino, code FCO) to Rome or from Rome to the port, is taking the train. It is also possible to take a train to Rome and then from there to Civitavecchia, but there is no direct rout between the airport and cruise port, so the journey could be long and tedious. I can imagine that carting around cruise luggage would add to the frustration. The cost of the train runs from 5.50 Euros for the regular train to about 11.00 Euros for the Leonardo Express into Rome according to the website Traveler’s Toolkit for Rome. That site, also, lists other methods of shared transport including the hotel shuttle bus which runs about 19 Euros per person. This site doesn’t mention it, but the shared transports generally restrict passengers to one regular suitcase and one carry-on size bag. These shared transfers are only for transportation into Rome and to do not take passengers to the cruise port.
Another option for shared transportation is to privately book a large touring coach to transport a group from their hotels to the cruise port. One of the ladies on the Cruise Critic Roll Call for our upcoming cruise arranged this type of transportation from Rome to the cruise port for herself and other passengers who will be joining us on this cruise. Cruise Critic is on of the largest and most popular websites that allows cruisers and perspective cruisers to share information with others. On their message board, members can join a Roll Call for a particular cruise that allows fellow passengers to meet and chat online before the cruise. Another benefit is the ability to do just what the earlier described member did, and set up a group transfer. Each passenger, who wants to share the coach with her and other passengers, has signed up with her and then will pay the driver cash for their percentage of the total the day of service.
Taking a taxi into Rome or the cruise port is probably the simplest way to go for parties of one or two people. A typical taxi sedan can more probably handle the luggage for two people and the price for transportation into the city walls of Rome is fixed at 40 Euros plus one Euro per suitcase. Fares to Rome locations outside the old city wall would be according to the meter and most likely less than the standardized 40 Euros but possibly a little more depending on the distance. I’ve had a little trouble determining the standard taxi fare from FCO to the cruise port. According to the website World Taxi Meter the fare should be around 56 Euros. I used this website for taxi fare calculations prior to my trip to Barcelona, and found the site to be very accurate. However, I am not sure that this accuracy extends to longer distances and that it included any extra fees or tariffs for traveling from one municipality to another.
For transportation from Rome to Civitavecchia, I used the same World Taxi Meter site to estimate cab fare to Civitavecchia, but again I was troubled as to whether or not it reflected any charges for traveling outside the regular service area. According to World Taxi Meter, the price would be about 74 Euros, however when I contacted several regular taxi companies, they all quoted me about double that price at 130 euros for a transfer that included a mini van for 4 passengers and luggage. I have inquired several places to see if it is possible to just flag down a regular taxi for transport to Civitavecchia, and I have not gotten any affirmation that this practice is possible, so I think it must be best to pre-arrange this transfer rather than plan on hailing a regular taxi.
Several websites also warn against “Fake” taxis. Wikitravel’s page on Rome states the following in a sidebar on Taxis.
Some private citizens dress up their cars to look like cabs. These people strategically locate themselves at airports and railway stations waiting for travelers. Beware of operators who don’t display a licensed meter and ID. Use only authorized taxis (white vehicles with a taximeter) that are available in the arrivals areas of the terminals. Also, some airport employees may direct you to a ‘Taxi’ driver if you ask where you find them when you are inside the airport terminal. The ‘Taxi’ could end up being a Mercedes limo, costing you double the fare of a real taxi, and a tricky situation to get out of as your luggage is locked away in the limo’s trunk. ”
Private or Prearranged Car
Many companies in Rome provide private transfer to/from the Leonardo da Vinci/ Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) and to/from the cruise port. We have elected to use this option because we will be traveling in a party of 4. We have yet to select a provider but price range from 45-55 Euros from the airport into Rome and 110-165 Euros for the Rome to Cruise Port transportation. I found most of these companies by typing “Rome to Cruise Port Transfer” or “Rome to Civitavecchia Transfer” into an internet search engine. Hotels and apartment rental agencies can also arrange for a driver, but they will charge a higher fee than what your can get quoted directly from the companies. Most of the time, passengers make a reservation with the company in advance giving their last name and arrival flight information. The company meeting passengers at the airport will monitor the flight information and meet the passengers in the airport with a sign outside of the customs area bearing the name of the party that they are meeting. They use the same process when meeting passengers at the cruise port. When picking up passengers to go from Rome to Civitavecchia they will meet passengers at their hotel or other prearranged address at a reserved time. In all cases, no prepayment or deposit is generally required and in most cases passengers simply pay cash to the driver upon completion of services. The main advantage that we for see in using a prearranged transfer is that we can request a mini-van in advance to accommodate all 4 passengers and our luggage. Prearranged cars can be booked both through both the standard city taxis and private limo companies. Make sure that you keep you quoted price with you and that you research customer satisfaction with others who have used the same company before you book.
If any of our readers have stayed in Rome before or after their cruise and have some transportation wisdom to share with us, we invite you to share your experience with our readers.