Going ashore in Savannah, Georgia

After a three hour maneuver up the Savannah River, you finally find yourself in the port of Savannah, Georgia, ready to get out of the ship and into the city.

As in most USA ports, also in the port of Savannah, you will have to obey some rules and regulation regarding movement inside the terminal. A shuttle bus service is not available in the port because some other cars are entitled to come inside and take you from the ship. The cheapest solution is to get a ride in some of the minivans the Seamen’s Mission offers. You can call them and fix a picking up time from the ship and also arrange a picking up time from the city to come back. The seamen’s Mission in Savannah is a very helpful and well organized association, ready to assist mariners (and also passengers) in many ways, offering them cheap transportation, but also some other kind of services.

You will find a telephone number available for their office or you can ask one of the members of the crew to help you in this matter. Most probably, you will not be the only one anxious to get out into the city and you can join the others, for a fastest and cheapest way of transportation. In most cases, these Seamen’s Missions exist only because of donations (private and public) and they are founded on voluntary work, but you will have to pay an amount of 10$ for a return trip to the centre of the town. The fee is more than reasonable and the service is available from morning till late at night (around 22).

There is the possibility that these minivans are fully booked and overcrowded and, for this reason, you might be forced to consider some other way of transportation, which is the taxi. Inside the port of Savannah, taxis are allowed to enter, but only if they hold a TWIC permit. If you call a taxi to take you from the ship, you have nothing to worry about as the driver will know about this permit and only come inside the port if the permit allows him to do so. You have to be careful when you come back from the city. Before beginning your journey back, be sure to ask the taxi driver if he has a valid TWIC permit, otherwise you will not be allowed to enter the port and, because walking is not permitted, nor other shuttle bus available, you will have to call for another taxi to take you from the gate to the vessel. The second taxi will surely have the permit to go inside the port, but you will waste some precious time waiting and also a lot of money.

The fee for a normal ride – vessel to city centre – must not exceed 30$. More people share the same cab, less money to pay.

If you have only few hours to spend in the city, the best place to start your visit is Hyatt Hotel as this is the most common place where taxis and Seamen’s Missions minivan (coming from port) drop off their clients.

Savannah Georgia Hyatt Hotel Riverside

From there you have two possibilities. You can use the elevator and go down by the river, to have a nice walk on the riverside, or you can continue your journey 10 minutes on foot to arrive on City Market.

City Market is very animated and crowded especially during the week-ends evening. Here you can find live music playing in the street and lots of people having fun until late at night. You can choose one nice restaurant and have a meal and a drink and let yourself drawn into the good mood that surrounds you from everywhere. You can forget a little about your status as a few hours visitor of the city and try to make the best of your time.

Savannah City Market Having fun and live music– Live music in City Market –

If you want to treat yourself better and mingle with tourists and rich locals, you’d better find some fancy restaurants by the Riverside. Here, the prices are always higher than anywhere else in town, but you might enjoy it better.

Savannah Art Gallery on Riverside

Savannah Georgia Riverside 3

Savannah Riverside 2

Savannah Riverside

Savvanh Riverside

Savannah is a very nice, clean and ‘green’ city. It is called the ‘Garden City‘ for the wonderful gardens and parks it accommodates and here you will find some of warmest and friendliest Americans ever, ready to help  and assist you whenever you need.

Savannah - the Garden City

Savannah, the Garden City

It is a city full of history and for this reason it is dotted with statues, historic squares, memorials and museums open to be discovered by those interested. If your time allows it, you can have a ride in one of the colorful trolleys and follow into the steps of the city’s ancestors to understand the black heritage of the city.

Savannah trolley

Tips and recommendations:

Food

Wild Wing Restaurant – ( City Market Square) – if you want to enjoy a nice and decent meal alongside with live music (music everyday after 9 p.m.).

Joe’s Crab Shack Restaurant (Riverside) – for the best and cheapest seafood in town and a wonderful panorama over the River.

Savannah Riverside Joe's Crab Shack

Savannah Joe Crab Shack

Savannah Joe Crab Shack 2

Shopping

If you are really interested in shopping, the best place to go is the huge Mall of Savannah. You can arrive there by taxi (~ 20 $ from the port) or by shuttle bus from Seamen Mission..

If you want only to buy some souvenirs to take home you, you can have a look in some of the many souvenirs shops scattered around the city. The prices are considerable higher on Riverside and you can find the same souvenirs anywhere else in town, so do not fall into tourist traps.

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