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Complete Guide to Parking When Cruising From Charleston SC

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cruise parking charleston

We all know that one of the most annoying and stressful parts of cruising is getting on the cruise ship. The time consuming and crowded, long lines can be a real pain so when you are planning to take a cruise, one of the first things you look at is where your cruise will leave from. The bigger the port, the longer the lines.

Many say the Port of Charleston, when compared to other ports, is small, old and out of date. I think charming is a better word since the city of Charleston is a great charming and historic place to visit itself.

The port is easy to get to by car and also offers shuttles from Charleston International Airport.

Official Port of Charleston Cruise Parking

The Charleston Port offers the closest and most convenient parking. It is located right at the port, near the check-in building, and you can walk or hop on a free shuttle to your cruise ship. The complimentary shuttle bus frequently runs between the parking areas and the Passenger Terminal. Most passengers choose to park here, and this parking lot is available on a first come, first served basis. 

To reach the lot, enter the port at Gate #2, at the intersection of Laurens and Concord Streets. Once inside the gate, you will first have to pay for your parking spot, then unload baggage, and finally park your vehicle. It is not covered parking, but it is still very safe and fenced.

Pricing for Parking at the Official Lot

Parking Duration Rate
1 day $20
4 days $80
5 days $100
7 days $140
10 days $200

Free Accessible Parking/Handicapped Parking 

Disabled parking is available in the official port parking structure. Vehicles using designated parking spots have to havce a disabled parking permit, license plate, or an ADA placard. Accessible parking is free of charge.

Off-Site Charleston Cruise Parking

The Port of Charleston is definitely a pretty small port, and there are not many independent parking facilities in the area. However, there is one parking option – Park & Go – which is actually an airport parking lot that provides cheap cruise parking as well.

It is located about 10 miles from the cruise terminal. This secure parking structure is a great choice since you’ll save half of what you would pay for the official port parking.

The Park & Go parking rate is $10 per day.

The only downside to this parking offer is that there are no free shuttles to the port, so you would have to use a taxi, Lyft, or Uber.

For more information about Park & Go for Charleston Cruise Parking, call 843-302-2288.

Additionally, you can find secure parking at Thrifty Car Rental.

Hotels with Cruise Parking & Cruise Shuttles

The Fly, Snooze, and Cruise, as well as Park & Cruise Package provided by several Charleston hotels, are a great parking alternative for passengers who want to stay in the area before or after the cruise. All you need to do is to stay one night in a hotel, and you will get a free/discounted indoor parking space during your trip and shuttle bus service to the port.

The best Charleston hotels with cruise parking:

  • Best Western Charleston Inn – from $70
  • Sleep Inn Charleston West Ashley – from $85
  • Hampton Inn & Suites North Charleston University Blvd – from $105
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charleston North – from $209
  • Cambria Mt. Pleasant
  • Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront Downtown
  • Holiday Inn Express Charleston US Hwy 17 & I-526

Looking for a hotel near the port where you can get a good night’s sleep and start your cruise in the morning? Here are the hotels closest to the cruise port:

Hotel Price Distance
Barksdale House Inn $169 0.8 miles
Hampton Inn – Charleston Historic District $309 1.1 miles
DoubleTree by Hilton $329 0.4 miles
King Charles Inn $419 0.6 miles
HarbourView Inn $459 0.1 miles
French Quarter Inn $487 0.3 miles
Market Pavilion Hotel $593 0.2 miles

In Conclusion

The Port of Charleston has several parking options for travelers. If flying into Charleston International Airport, you have Fly, Snooze, and Cruise hotels that allow you to arrive a day before your cruise, get a night’s rest, and use transportation to the Charleston Port or the airport. 

If you live within driving distance, you have a couple of good options as well. You can simply leave your car in the on-site parking area or the Park & Go lot, which is more affordable. Alternatively, if you want to come in earlier, you can leave your car at one of the Park and Cruise hotels that offer free parking, and sometimes free shuttle service to and from the cruise ship terminal. offers you a quick and very simple way to book your cruise parking.

Happy cruising.

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Thursday 26th of August 2021

Very detailed and nicely explained the parking costs and options. Will defiantly use the article for my next trip here.