If you are taking a cruise in the Mediterranean you might be stopping in Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome. This is one of the most anticipated ports by many guests and normally the most popular one when it comes to excursions. Here is how you can get to Rome from the port and everything you need to know. This guide applied to guests and crew alike for the most part, although it might be a little tight on a crew schedule.
You have three options to get to Rome from the ship.
- Guided excursion - this is a great option if you have never been to Rome and would like some information along with seeing the sights. These tend to be a bit more expensive, but very popular. Make sure you check out your options online before your cruise and maybe even book in advance.
- Unguided excursion - this is just a transfer to Rome. On my ship, you would get six hours of free time in Rome before you had to be back at the meeting point. This is enough time to cover many of the famous sights. This is also something you can purchase tickets for on board. With this option, you have the safety of the ship waiting for you in case you have troubles on the way back.
- Train - this is the cheapest and the most uncertain option. There are many trains running from Civitavecchia (CIV) to Rome since it is the closest big city. You can do this adventure, but know that you risk the ship leaving without you in case you have issues coming back to port.
Getting from the ship to the station
There are two ways to get from the ship to the station. You can take the shuttle to the parking lot (make sure you do not take it to the end), or you can walk. On foot, it will take you about 30 minutes total. By bus, it may be faster if the bus leaves right away. We have walked it multiple times and it is doable, especially if you dock in front of the new port. From the fort where the bus stops it will take you ten minutes to walk to the station. This is a very easy process since ports are so regulated that you cannot just do whatever you want.
Train to Termini
Once you are at the station, you can just buy tickets for the next train. The train will take you to Termini, which is pretty central to Rome. The train takes about one hour on a good day, but be prepared for delays which happen often and take a long time. The tickets cost between 5 and 15 Euros depending on the train you take. When I took it, the trains around quarter to were cheaper than the others. If you are buying tickets at the station make sure you use the machines. There tends to be a long line in front of the desk. The machines are easy to use and offer four or five different languages.
Tips and Tricks
Be aware that you can check the schedule of the trains online in advance and it will even tell you the prices. You can also buy them right away, but it could be risky since you might not be able to make the exact train you wanted to.
The trains normally run every 30 minutes, but as said the cheap ones I found were from Trenitalia and run every hour.
Normally the trains from Termini to Civitavecchia run from Platforms 26-30, which are in the back and far to walk, so if you already go to that exit, you will save time once the platform is announced. Also if you are running late, be ready to run since it does take a while to get there.
As mentioned above, Trenitalia is known to be late. Since the ship will not wait for you if you miss the all-on-board time, you are safer taking an earlier train and being on the safe side, rather than in the end missing your cruise.