Going ashore in Miami, USA

Because of its location – as the gateway between the United States and Central America, the Caribbean, and South America – the Port of Miami is one of the world’s leading passenger ports. With big cruise vessels arriving and leaving every day and smaller passenger vessels departing every hour, the port of Miami is a dream destination for people all over the world.

Even if you are not a full time tourist in the area, but just passing by, you can consider yourself very lucky if the container vessel you are traveling by (or just working on) is calling the Port of Miami. The container terminal is located just opposite the tourist port, where the passenger ships are docked.

If you have a whole day ahead of you, you can think of yourself as a regular tourist – like all those tourists travelling on cruise vessels and visiting the ports (cities) of the world only for one day. It is true that in Miami, things can be a little different because this port is mostly a home port for many passenger ships, meaning that this is the place for embarking and disembarking the passengers. Anyhow, you will understand this better once you arrive in the proximity of the passenger terminal and you’ll discover the happy faces of those who are just starting their holidays or the sad faces of those who are going home. Miami is anyhow one of the most common ports for embarking and disembarking also for passengers travelling by container vessels. From here it can start the big voyage of crossing the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe and also here it can end. Most of the passengers who are choosing container vessels as a way of traveling across the Atlantic embark/disembark in the Port of Miami as it is one of the busiest ports from the East Coast of the USA.

If your position is different – without the concern of embarking or disembarking –  you can enjoy the day fully and make a good plan for visiting the surroundings. You can start your visit with Downtown Miami and have a stroll on the streets, admiring the sky scrapers.

Miami Downtown

If your free time is very generous, you can go for a walk along South Beach and Miami Beach, you can even enjoy a swim in the blue and warm waters of the Atlantic or you can stroll along one of the most famous boulevard in the USA, Ocean Drive.



If you do not have more than 4 hours available for your visit (including also the time required to travel inside the port), you should not include South Beach nor Miami Beach in your plan and limit your visit only as far as Bayside – the shopping area around the small Marina Bay, opposite the American Airlines Arena.

Miami - Bayside shopping area

Miami Downtown - Bayside


To go out of the port, you’ll have to call for the security car, as walking to the gate is not permitted. Because the port can be very crowded at all times, you may have to wait for this car a little too much. Even if it is called upon in advance and a time is scheduled for picking up, this security car will never be on time. Anyhow, as this happens to be the only way out, all you have to do is wait and be patient. When it finally arrives, the car – which is, in fact, a security jeep and not a minivan – can take you out of the port in only few minutes and drop you in front of the Seamen’s Mission or in the vicinity of the Passenger Terminal.

The Seamen’s Club is located just outside the port and it consists of a small shop which can offer a lot of useful things, including internet, but it cannot offer transportation to and from the city. If you arrive there, you can call for a taxi (one of the guys working inside can do this for you) to get you into town.

A better solution is to ask the security car to take you to the Passenger Terminal because there is a greater chance for you to find a taxi there. For only 20$, the taxi will take you to South Beach in ~ 20 minutes.

From there you can walk up the beach – towards Miami Beach – and enjoy the scenery or you can follow the same road most of the tourists are taking for walking, biking, jogging or roller-skating.

Miami Beach walk

Miami broadback walk


You can return to South Beach walking along Ocean Drive and admire the beautiful art Deco buildings, famous villas and the very interesting display of luxurious cars moving in the street at low speed.

Miami Ocean Drive Boulevard Art Deco

Miami Ocean Drive Boulevard

Ocean Drive Boulevard Miami

In this area you can also find lots of restaurants, cafés and bars where you can enjoy a nice, but very expensive, meal or drink. If you are interested in shopping, you have to know that exactly the same kind of shops you’ll find in Bayside and there the prices are considerably lower.

If you want to enjoy the city more from the touristic point of view, you can have a ride in one of the red touristic buses which can be seen around the city.

Miami tourist bus


From Downtown Miami there is also a free trolley which can take you up to Midtown, if you want to make an idea about that area, too.

Miami Midtown trolley


You have a lot of choices for spending a few hours in Miami. Be sure that you are well informed about the necessary arrangements required to go out and come back to the ship, as well as departure schedules.

It’s best to consider that the average time needed to get from the ship to South Beach is ~ one hour. So, be sure that you have enough time to venture yourself into the city and always get back on board two hours before departure.


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