Transportation How to Civitavecchia Port

Civitavecchia Cruise Port, Italy Rome Guide for Transportation – How to Get Out!

First and foremost, we all know disembarkation day is seldom pleasant.  Stay calm, think, compare, question.  Each cruise ship will operate slightly different, so be sure to check carefully regarding ship offerings. The Port of Civitavecchia does not allow pedestrians, so do not think you will walk out off the ship and out of the port.

Basically, we figured out 4 possibilities to getting out of Civitavecchia.  Whether you want to get to the airport, to Rome or simply leave the town, I have compiled a how to list.  If you decide to stay in this charming port town for a few days, check out my blog Civitavecchia – Cruise Port to Rome, Italy.

The list of transportation means include:
1. Cruise Ship: shuttle airport transfer / excursion
2. Local Bus / Van transfers airport or Rome
3. Train
4. Rental Car

#1 Cruise Ship Offers
Most of the ships offer a few possibilities.  The Cruise ship we were on offered a shuttle to the airport for USD $75 per person on the ship.  The pre-booked bus is waiting directly outside the ship. This is the most comfortable mode, but also the most expensive.
Alternatively, you could choose from 2 excursions with airport or hotel / city center drop off.

One of the tours, which started at 7:30 am offered the St. Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum for USD $159.75 per person.  It suggests it is only for people whose flights depart after 5 pm from Leonardo DaVinci airport (FCO). No wheelchairs allowed; must be able to climb stairs and walk uneven paths and approx. 3 km. The tour is listed as being 6.5 hours, which means it ends at approx. 2 pm.

The other tour included the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and a choice of Hotel or City Center transfer and is listed as having a 6.5 hour duration, starting at 8:45 am, costing USD $169.75 per person.  The city center drop off point is the Ostiense Train Station.  Hotel drop off is limited to Crowne Plaza Rome, St. Peters Hotel, Empire Palace Hotel, NH Leonardo Da Vinci Hotel and Hilton Rome Airport Hotel.  Again, not wheelchair appropriate and has a exertion rating of moderate.

#2 Local Bus or Van
First, take the free port shuttle to exit the inner port area – be prepared for the chaos which will ensue. You leave the ship, go straight to the port shuttle bus, load your luggage in, grab a seat and wait for it to fill. It will shuttle you the 5 minutes to the port shuttle terminal Largo della Pace just outside the gates.
Note: this is a working port and you can NOT walk.

Once outside the port you have the following options available. Hawkers are everywhere, so no worries about finding immediate transportation.
They offered:
€20 per person for a comfortable Coach bus to the airport
– A shared Van for €20 per person (airport)
Bus to Rome City Center (not airport) for €10 pp

#3.  The Train
Ticket pre-booking can be done either on the Trenitalia website or for English – a one way ticket to the airport currently costs €11 pp.  You can also buy your ticket at the station if you have not pre purchased one.  The train to Rome – €5 takes about 45 to 60 minutes whereas the train to FCO airport takes around 105 minutes+.  If you are staying in RomeFrecciabianca is the fast train.

The Regionale (regional train) is the train you need if you are going to the airport (it also goes to Rome); we took this train and it was very comfortable.  If you are going to the airport, exit at Roma Trastevere, (after approximately 1 hour), go under through the tunnel to platform 5 where it shows an airplane (airport).  Take the next train to the airport and it arrives in approximately 26 minutes.  It stops right in the airport – so easy – find your terminal & safe flight!

* Kids under 12 free
* Book online and ticket with scan code is emailed
* Train has a plugin (computer or phone charge) at seats
* Washroom
* Big comfy seats – we piled our suitcases and carry-ons into 2 seats and sat in front of them on 2 other seats

How to get to the train station?
i) Taxi €6 to €10
ii) Walk to the station – approx. 30 minutes – Walk out of the free cruise shuttle port terminal (Largo della Pace), turn left and walk straight. It will be on your left hand side.
iii) Argo Bus / red bus €2 pp – supposedly there is a ticket booth in the Largo della Pace next to the information point.  Go here, buy your ticket and they will tell you where to go.  I never saw this booth, but I did see the bus at the train station!

#4 Rent a Car
A great option for those staying a little longer who want to venture out and see some things!  Also great for people traveling in a group of 4 people.
There are several rental places across from the port shuttle station
Note: make sure the car size can accommodate you and your luggage!
The rental car drop off is conveniently located in the airport – be sure to tell the rental agency which airport. Drive carefully! Note: It may be easier to pre-book your rental car online, due to the language barrier. It will also save you a lot of time.

A word of advice:  Remember you are in Italy! They speak Italian and things move at a different pace. Stay calm and smile – you are creating great memories!

Cruise Port of Call Katakolo Greece, Home to Olympia

Land Ahoy – Cruise Port Katakolo Greece – Highlight Olympia – Home to the Classical Olympics

Our cruise ship, the Celebrity Constellation pulled into the port of Katakolo, also known as Katakolon, at 9:50 am. (Photo Album) We had big plans including Olympia to see the archaeological ruins, visiting a beach and seeing some of the beautiful greek countryside.  Wine tasting was also an option we discussed, however we had done a tour and greek wine tasting in Santorini so we skipped it this time in favour of other stops.

The docks are literally in the town! Our small group of 4 walked off the ship and did a quick jaunt down the main street of Katakolo.  Like most port towns, it was lined with little tourist shops and cafes.  After around 15 minutes, we turned back and headed to the car rental place we had spotted earlier.

Gisela from Dias Rent a Car (main street left) rented us a little car for €40 and we tanked €10 of gas.  Although she was very friendly at the beginning, when we dropped the car off, she was extremely surly – I guess she had a bad day!  It is worth noting here, if you prefer to take a tour bus to Olympia, the cost is anywhere from €3 to €5 p/p (one way) – there will be people selling it everywhere, so no worries!

Alternatively, the public bus is €1.70 to Pyrgos Town plus €2.20 from Pyrgos to Olympia – €7.80 p/p round trip, approximately 1.5 hours, the train €10 p/p – roundtrip, 45 minutes.  A taxi will cost around €80 roundtrip for 4 seats (approximately 4 hours).  Because we wanted to see more than Olympia, the above possibilities were not an option. Schedules can be found at  I have embedded a map of the area below.

It was a 40 km, 45 minute relaxed drive to Olympia on very good roads, but there were LOTS of beggars at every stop and corner.  I think it was around 1/2 way there when we took the time to drive off the highway onto a rugged dirt path heading uphill.  Although we second guessed ourselves a few times, it eventually opened up to some amazing mountain views. (please note: we do not recommend doing this).

Olympia town is a cute tourist town with shops, cafes and restaurants.  There is ample parking everywhere, just remember exactly where you parked in case you exit at a different point than you enter.

Entrance cost for Ancient Olympia was €12 p/p which includes the Ancient Olympia grounds, the Botanical Gardens and the Museum.  It took us around 2.5 hours at a fairly fast pace, but reading everything to see all of the ruins.  A Security lady at the Temple of Zeus was extremely rude to the tourists (not to us). She was telling people they could take pictures, but no smiling, no silliness, no, no, no… Maybe she was having a bad day too.

After our enthralling self guided tour of the archaeological ruins, we headed past the Botanical Gardens – although they looked beautiful, we did not stop as we still had so much to do – and arrived at the Museum.  It was packed full of people, but if you like artifacts, I strongly recommend going in. You will need minimum 1 hour, much more if you want to read the plaques explaining statues and excavations.

After leaving the museum, we found a little cafe where we sat and all had €1 beers before hitting the road again. Our next stop was Spiaza Beach where the crazy one in our group went for a very cold swim. The beach was empty and houses were still closed, leaving the entire stretch completely to us!  It was interesting and sad to see anti German spray painted walls – it seems some locals do not like Germans.  After swimming and snacks, we made our way back towards the ship.

At one point, you can see the ship in the far distance – a huge block looking mysteriously out of place in this mainly farm area.

Katakolo Map – Train Station, Public Bus, Port, etc.

Costs per person:
Rent a car + gas: €50 = €12.50
Entrance to Olympia: €12
Beer: €1
Total:  €25.50 *

* We had brought snacks (fruit, muffin) and water from the ship, but certainly along the road, food and drink would have been very affordable.

Great place to visit – Do it!!!

Olympia and Katakolo Greece Photo Memories

Cruise Ship Port of Call, Katakolo, Greece.

Here are a few of my photos from the area including Olympia, the beach Spiatza and the countryside.  For tips, costs and more, visit my Blog.

Piraeus Greece – Cruise Ship Port of Call Athens

Athens, Greece – Mediterranean Cruise Destination – Next Stop, Port of Piraeus.

Piraeus, Greece is the often overlooked port city in the urban area of Athens.  Of course, if you have not been to Athens, GO!  Otherwise, why not while a day away in wonderful Piraeus. (photos)  We have learned to love this little city by the sea and take every opportunity to spend some time here, often overnighting.  Here is how we spent our most recent cruise stop in Piraeus – cruise port of Athens.

Peace and Friendship Stadium - Piraeus, Greece
Peace and Friendship Stadium

Our ship, Celebrity Constellation docked at 6am and was cleared by 7am.  While we were still tucked snuggly in our beds, the majority of guests were frantically wolfing down their breakfasts, sneaking food from the buffet and not so discreetly stashing it into their free cruise ship totes and fighting to be the first off the ship, onto a tour bus, out to a taxi – whatever their choice of the day.  Making the mad 12 kilomter trek to Athens.

Celebrity Constellation in Port Piraeus, Greece
Celebrity Constellation in Piraeus

At 8:30am, we casually crawled out of bed, showered and went to a very empty and relaxed breakfast.  We sat on the open air deck enjoying our fresh squeezed orange juice, eggs benedict and fruit plate, without the regular morning hum of scraping chairs, clanking plates, and chatter.  After breakfast, we went back to our cabin, grabbed our backpacks and were off without fighting any crowds.

We casually walked the 30 minutes along the port into the sleepy city of Piraeus.  It was slowly starting to roll up the shutters, people greeting each other, coffee brewing, lots of smiles!  Did I mention how much I love Greece?!

It was a Saturday, so of course the first thing we did was hit the local market.  Although it is very small compared to other markets, it had everything you would expect; vegetables, fruit, fish, meat.  Locals greeting each other, kissing, hugging, laughing, probably exchanging the latest gossip and of course, shopping.

Friendly Sales Man at Market - Piraeus, Greece
Friendly Sales Man at Market

After the market, we strolled the streets enjoying the weekend bliss.  No surprise if you follow me, we stopped at a shop selling wine – well, specifically Greek Wine.  The owner was an eccentric, wonderfully crazy joy.  He showed us around, explaining the wines (unfortunately no tasting here) and other small treasures he sells.  We bought 2 bottles of the homemade brew and were on our way.

Next stop was a sausage store; fresh smoked, dry cured, loukaniko – you name it, they had it.  A lovely lady out front offered tasty samples, although she did not speak english, we had a lot of fun.  Of course, we bought some delicious sausage to take home to my father in law.

Greek Sausage - Piraeus, Greece
Greek Sausage

The sausage sampling woke our taste buds, leading us to our next stop – Street Souvlaki (I have no financial gain or affiliation – simply love this place!).  They have 2 fast food style restaurants in Piraeus and we visit it at least once every time we are in town.  One wall is a barbecue where they are busy grilling meats of all kinds and vegetables – the smell of bbq wafts out the door enticing you in.  The prices are very good and the food is amazing. Menus are available in english and the staff is exceptionally friendly.  Think pitas, souvlaki, feta cheese, kebab, and my favorite addition to everything, Tzatziki!  This time we ate souvlaki kebabs, kebab pitas and a side of tzaziki for a total of €10.50 with beer and a water.

Street Souvlaki Food - Piraeus, Greece
Street Souvlaki Food

After lunch, we negotiated a taxi to hit a few spots we still had not visited.  Our driver was very friendly, chatty and accommodating.  We drove up the windy, steep back streets of Piraeus and eventually found ourselves high on the hill of Kastela with fantastic views of the Saronic Gulf and Athens. We also had a nice view of the Peace and Friendship Stadium.

View from Kastela - Piraeus, Greece
View from Kastela

After spending some time walking around and enjoying the magnificent views, we slowly wound our way down to the yacht marina of Mikromilano for a closer look.  Restaurants and cafes line the very busy, picturesque waterfront. From there we headed over to the equally busy Bay of Zea.  Next time we will come directly to this area and enjoy the small port atmosphere!

Our taxi took us back to the ship where we paid him the pre agreed price of €18 (we gave him €20).  The price was expensive, but we really wanted to check those areas off our list. Next time we will investigate taking the local bus.

Q & A

Can I walk to Piraeus?  Yes, if you do not have any mobility issues.  The walkways are are uneven.

How long does it take?  It should take around 30 minutes – not rushing.

Do they speak english? Yes, many locals speak very good english.  When they do not speak english, they are still very friendly and try hard to understand.  So speak up and meet some very wonderful Greeks!

What is the currency?  Euro

Is there a shopping district?  Yes, here is the map.  Short walk of 34 minutes if you go direct.

Are there pharmacies?  Yes, lots.  The prices are incredibly good, so if you need anything, this is the place to get it.  Pharmacists are knowledgeable and speak english.

I want to go to Athens.  Can I take the public bus?  Yes!  I found out that the X80 bus goes from the Port to the Acropolis in 30 minutes for EUR 4;  it runs every 30 minutes and has some interesting stops.  For more info, click here.

Photos – Cruise Stop in Piraeus, Greece

A few of our photos taken while we were docked in Piraeus, Greece.  Rather than going to Athens, which we had already seen, we opted to spend some more time in Piraeus, a place that is starting to feel like home!  To read how, where and costs, check out my blog: Piraeus – Cruise Ship Port of Call Athens .