7 Ways from the Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral (2024)

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What are the best ways to get from the Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral?

sanford airport to port canaveral

Port Canaveral is the BUSIEST cruise terminal in the world. In 2022 alone, over 4 million passengers came through the port for their vacation.

With this many cruises leaving every week, LOTS of people fly into Sanford every day who need to get to Port Canaveral.

But, due to its smaller size, there aren’t as many transportation options at the Sanford Airport. At first glance, it can seem challenging to get from SFB to Port Canaveral. Especially since the cruise terminal is OVER an hour away!

Below, I will detail SEVEN ways you can go from the Sanford Airport (SFB) to Port Canaveral. No matter what your situation, you should be able to find an option that fits your needs. I tried to consider all scenarios, such as whether you need car seats, have a large party, budget options, private rides, etc.

Lastly, make sure to check out option #7 if you plan on getting to the Orlando area BEFORE the day you embark.

Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral:


Option #1: Take a shuttle from Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral

shuttle bus from sanford airport to port canaveral

One of the most popular ways to get to the cruise terminal is to use a shuttle service. Most companies either use a shuttle bus or a large van to get you from the airport to Port Canaveral.

The rates are charged per person. So, this option becomes more expensive as your group size gets larger.

One disadvantage of a shuttle is that you will be sharing a ride with other people. You will likely have to wait until your bus or van fills up before leaving. Or you will have to wait for a pre-determined departure time.

Unfortunately, since the Sanford Airport is fairly small, none of the cruise lines that operate out of Port Canaveral offer their own shuttles. That means you have to use a PRIVATE company. 

That’s really not a big deal. There are multiple shuttle companies that can get you from SFB to Port Canaveral.

  • Port Canaveral Quick Shuttle: The cost is $40 per person each way. They will take you to the cruise terminal or any of the nearby hotels if you come early.
  • Orlando Express Shuttle: $48 one-way or $86 round trip. They can take you to Port Canaveral or surrounding Cocoa Beach hotels.

Advantages:

  • One of the least expensive way to get from SFB to Port Canaveral
  • A shuttle can take you to the cruise terminal OR nearby hotels.

Disadvantages:

  • Since you are sharing the shuttle with many other people, the entire journey will take the longest compared to other options.
  • You have to wait until your pre-determined ride time. Even if your flight arrives early, you have to wait.
  • You may also make other stops on the way, such as dropping off other riders at their hotel.

If you have young children, just be prepared to keep them entertained!


Option #2: Hire a PRIVATE car service to Port Canaveral!

private car service from sanford airport to port canaveral

Do you know the people at the airport holding a sign for someone near the baggage claim? These are typically private car services waiting to take their clients wherever they need to go!

Before you skip this option as a way to go from the airport to Port Canaveral because it sounds too expensive, please keep reading. I think it’s a great solution for many families, but often ignored.

First, let’s go over a few of the advantages that most private car services offer:

  • No sharing! The vehicle is ONLY for your group. That means you don’t have to wait for other riders or a pre-determined departure time.
  • They will meet you directly at the Sanford Airport, often with a sign with your name on it, ready to take you DIRECTLY to Port Canaveral. No waiting for a shuttle, rental car, or taxi.
  • Help with your luggage.
  • FREE car seats! Most companies include at least one car seat in the package.

How much does a private car service cost from SFB to Port Canaveral?

It depends on which company you select and what type of car you want, but the average cost is around $200 one way. Typically, you will get a discount for booking roundtrip.

I don’t think a private car service is much more expensive than the other transportation options on this list. Especially if you consider some of the other benefits you receive and factor in the time you will save and the stress you won’t have. 🙂

Here are a few different private car companies that can take you to Port Canaveral from the Sanford Airport. Click the link to see their current rates for sedans, SUVs, and vans.


Option #3: Take a rideshare – Uber or Lyft – to Port Canaveral

sanford airport to port canaveral by uber or lyft

The most popular way to go from the Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral is to use Uber or Lyft. You can use a rideshare to get to the cruise terminal or any hotel in the Orlando or Cocoa Beach area.

This option has TWO big advantages:

Reason #1: The price!

Unfortunately, I can’t give you the exact price from the airport to Port Canaveral using a rideshare since the prices constantly change depending on the day and time.

But, in my experience, it usually costs less than $100 one-way! For example, on a random Friday morning, I tested the cost if you were to get a ride from SFB to Port Canaveral. You can see the results below for Uber.

Please consider how LARGE of a vehicle you will need, as you may have lots of suitcases you need to fit. If so, you must book an UberXL, which costs more.

Reason #2: Using a rideshare is the fastest way to Port Canaveral!

The other huge advantage of taking a ride share is that you won’t have to wait long for your ride. At almost any time of day, you should wait less than 10 minutes for your driver!

Where can I find the rideshare pickup at the Sanford Airport?

At the Sanford Airport, you can find the rideshare pick-up area across the street from Baggage Claim areas 1-3 on Level 1.

Once you walk across the street, you will see signs pointing you in the correct direction. You will eventually get to a designated zone for Uber and Lyft pickups.

The biggest disadvantage to using a rideshare is you can’t plan it ahead of time, and the cost isn’t fixed. You have to trust that once you get to SFB, you will be able to use the app to order a vehicle and find the correct pickup location. Also, the costs can increase on occasion due to “surge pricing.”

If you have never used Uber or Lyft, you have to be comfortable with a stranger driving you in their car that is not part of a traditional company.


Option #4: Take a traditional taxi from SFB to Port Canaveral

Some people trust a taxi more than a driver from Uber or Lyft since the taxicab is associated with a local company.

To take a taxi, you must head across the street from Baggage Claim areas 1-3 to the designated pick-up area. This is the SAME spot where you get picked up by Uber or Lyft.

sanford airport to port canaveral

Just so you know, the taxi driver can’t tell you the exact price to get to Port Canaveral, as flat fares are prohibited by law. All fares are determined by the meter inside the taxi, which depends on the total length of the trip. And the rate is the same, regardless of how many passengers you have (up to 9).

However, it’s estimated that a one-way taxi ride from Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral and the surrounding area will cost over $100.

A taxi is almost always more expensive than Uber or Lyft. But many taxis have car seats available, especially some of the bigger vans, so this is a great option if you have toddlers.

There should be plenty of taxis available when you arrive, but you can also try to schedule ahead of time if that makes you feel more comfortable. The Sanford Airport has a list of taxi companies you can contact to pre-arrange a ride.


Option #5: Rent a car!

sanford airport to port canaveral by rental car

If you don’t like any of the options above, you can always just rent a car to get to Port Canaveral!

One big advantage of renting a car is that you have complete freedom for your vacation to go wherever you want before and after your cruise. You should definitely consider a car rental if you plan to visit other places around Orlando, such as Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld.

Renting a car is probably the most EXPENSIVE option.

First, you have to consider the cost of the rental car per day. The rates change drastically depending on the time of year (Spring Break is very expensive) and the type of vehicle you rent (larger is pricier). $75 – $100 per day is an estimate.

Second, you must factor in the cost to PARK your car at Port Canaveral. On-site parking costs $17/day, including the day of arrival and departure.

There is also off-site parking, which has a cheaper per-day rate. These companies offer shuttles to transport you to and from the terminal.

You can also get a ONE-WAY car rental from SFB to Port Canaveral (and vice versa).

This means that you rent the car out at the airport and drop it off at the car rental facility at the cruise port. While this is convenient, you will pay extra for a one-way car rental.

You must also factor in the cost of getting BACK to the Sanford Airport. You will either need to do another one-way car rental or use one of the other options on this list.

Renting a car gives you complete freedom. I think it’s a great option if you plan on visiting the Orlando area before or after your cruise. I know many people will use one of the other options on this list to get to Port Canaveral but then rent a car after the cruise for a few days, dropping it off at the airport before they leave.

Honestly, the options to incorporate a rental car into your trip are endless. It just depends on your exact plans. 🙂

Since Orlando is one of the world’s biggest markets for rental cars, most of the major rental car companies operate at Sanford.

All of the carriers listed below are located DIRECTLY at the airport. This means you don’t have to deal with an additional shuttle to get your rental car! 🙂

  • Alama / Avis / Budget / Dollar / Enterprise / Hertz / National

Option #6: Ride in a party bus or limo from SFB to Port Canaveral!

Are you going on a cruise for a bachelorette party, wedding, or other celebration?

If so, why not start your trip the BEST possible way by taking a party bus or limousine? 🙂

sanford airport to port canaveral by party bus or limo

You can have one of these vehicles pick you up right at SFB. And if you have a large party, it’s not even that expensive if everyone splits the cost! Seriously, check out rates with a local company HERE.

It’s not even a problem if toddlers are in your group, as you can request car seats when you book.

What a fun way to start your trip!


Option #7: Take a shuttle from your HOTEL to Port Canaveral.

Whenever we go on a cruise, we ALWAYS fly in the day before the ship embarks. I never want to worry about our flight getting delayed and run the risk of missing our entire cruise.

Arriving a day or a few days early also lets you explore the Orlando area. There is no shortage of things to do with Disney World, Universal, and the Kennedy Space Center nearby.

Many hotels near Port Canaveral offer a shuttle to the cruise terminal from the hotel. This is a great option if you want to get to Orlando the day before and not worry about your flight on embarkation day.

Many hotels also offer overnight parking if you rent a car or drive yourself. So you can leave your car at the hotel and take the shuttle on the day your cruise leaves.

Here are just a few of the many hotels that offer shuttles and parking. Inquire directly to find out about their current “Park and Cruise” rates.

If you like this option, you just need to figure out how to get from the Sandford Airport to a hotel that provides a shuttle! Luckily, pretty much every option on this list should work.

  • 6 Ways to Go From Disney World to Port Canaveral. (Coming Soon!)

Frequently Asked Questions:


Do the cruise lines offer a FREE shuttle from SFB to Port Canaveral?

No, unfortunately, none of the cruise lines provide any way to get to Port Canaveral from the airport. You have to figure out transportation yourself using one of the options above.

If you fly into the larger Orlando International Airport (MCO), then each of the cruise lines can provide transportation.

Five cruise lines encompassing 15 ships operate from Port Canaveral: Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and MSC Cruises. 


What is the CHEAPEST way to get from the Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral?

The least expensive options typically come down to one of these two options:

  • Uber / Lyft (Option #3)
  • A shuttle you share with other passengers (Option #1)

Your final price depends on the number of passengers in your party, the size of the vehicle you require, and the current prices that Uber/Lyft are charging.


What is the BEST way to get from the Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral?

The best option depends on your unique circumstances.

  • Shuttle service: Cheapest option for solo travelers or small groups.
  • Private car service: Best for people who want a private ride that is waiting for you.
  • Uber/Lyft: Best for procrastinators who didn’t line up any other options. It’s also one of the least expensive options 🙂
  • Taxis: Best for people who don’t like Uber and Lyft!
  • Car rentals: Best for people staying in the Orlando area pre-cruise or post-cruise.
  • Party bus or limo: Best for celebrations or large groups!
  • Shuttles from hotels: Best for people who arrive before embarkation day.

How long is the drive from the Sanford International Airport to Port Canaveral?

The distance between SFB and Port Canaveral is approximately 61 miles (98 km). The drive should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic.


What is the best way to travel from Sanford Airport to Port Canaveral if I need a car seat?

car seats - sanford airport to port canaveral

If you have toddlers, I know it is VERY important to find transportation to Port Canaveral that includes a car seat. So here is a brief rundown of everything the above options can provide:

Private Car Service:

  • Car seats should be no problem if you hire a private car service. Just make sure to let the company know what you need prior to arrival.

Uber:

  • Sometimes, Uber has an option to request a driver with a car seat. Unfortunately, when I tested using Uber at Sanford, there were no drivers with car seats available.

Lyft:

  • As of this writing, Lyft does not have the option to request a vehicle with a car seat. Therefore, you must bring your own car seat to travel with Lyft.

Shuttle Bus:

  • Car seats are not required when riding a shuttle bus.
  • However, you can typically request a car seat if desired. Check with the company you decide to use.

Taxi:

  • Many taxi vans have a car seat if needed, but it’s not guaranteed.

Rental Car:

  • If you decide to rent a car, you can also rent car seats or boosters from your provider for an additional daily cost.
  • To save some money, you can also bring your own. It’s also very easy to bring an inflatable car seat, so you don’t have to carry your large, heavy one from home. Check out some of the best options here on Amazon.

Just so you know, rideshares and taxis are exempt from child passenger laws in Florida.

So it is completely up to you to determine if you require a car seat. Below is what the current law states:

(6) The child restraint requirements imposed by this section do not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.”


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What questions do you have about traveling from the Sanford International Airport to Port Canaveral?

Please leave a comment below! I will do my best to research and find you an answer.

Scott K
Scott K

Scott is the owner and creator of Resort Rat. He and his family were bitten by the Disney bug in 2017 on their first DW visit with kids. They have been on a Disney bender ever since, visiting the park numerous times per year. He loves writing about Disney, especially the incredible resorts. You can learn more about him on his author page. Or hear more about the Resort Rat story on this page.

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