Virgin Brightline Train to Port of Miami Guide

Brightline Train to Port of Miami

The Virgin Brightline train to Port of Miami (PortMiami) is an ever-expanding option for cruise passengers up the East Coast of Florida (and Orlando by 2022).

The Brightline train is very comfortable and the whole experience is friendly and stylish. It is affordable with available upgrades should your budget allow for spending a bit more.

For a general discussion about Brightline, fares, the current train stations and nearby airports, please read my article Brightline Train To and From East Coast Airports

In this article my focus is on the Miami Station of Brightline – where you will arrive from either Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach.

Cruise passengers should look for Brightline Train-To-Port Packages on the website! It includes parking and Lyft transfers!

Brightline Miami Station

It is located at 600 NW 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33136 .

Miami Station is becoming a destination in itself with shops, restaurants and general retail services in the works! You can read more here: Virgin MiamiCentral

Transportation at the Brightline Miami Station

Please study this transportation map:

Virgin Brightline Miami Station
Virgin Brightline Miami Station
  • PortMiami Cruise Terminals – Just 10 minutes by Uber or Lyft for $8 or so.
  • The FREE MetroMover takes you to Downtown, Brickell, A&E District and more!
  • MetroRail (Overtown Station) – The Green Line North takes you to Tri-Rail and the Orange Line North takes you to Miami International Airport. $2.25
  • Miami Trolley – a FREE fun bus that takes you all over Miami including PortMiami (Coral Way Line). Unfortunately no stops near the Brightline Station but you can use MetroMover to a station near the Trolley!

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami Transport

FLL to PortMiami by Road

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami is 26 miles by road and takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on the route and traffic.

What is the best way to get from FLL to PortMiami on the day of your cruise?

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami Route Map

The Fort Lauderdale Airport to Port of Miami route by road is marked in light blue. For a larger version of the map, please go here: FLL to PortMiami Map

Fort Lauderdale Shuttle Transportation Locations

You will generally receive a final email confirmation containing your Pickup Location at the FLL Airport. Please have your cellphone ON at the time of the pickup just in case the driver has difficulty finding you.

STOP 1: Between Terminals 1 & 2
Outside the baggage claim, you need to turn RIGHT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only at the end of terminal 1
From Terminal # 2, passengers arriving on DELTA, AIR CANADA: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn LEFT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only.

STOP 2: Between Terminals 3 & 4
From Terminal # 3, passengers arriving on AMERICAN, CANJET, SUNWING, US AIRWAYS, JET BLUE & BAHAMAS AIR: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn RIGHT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only – located at the end of the terminal 3.

From Terminal 4, passengers arriving on SPIRIT, WESTJET, SUN AIR AND ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS: Outside the baggage claim area, you need to turn LEFT ( facing the street ) and go to the designated pick-up area for COMMERCIAL Vehicle Only – located between terminal # 3 and 4.

Child Safety

If federal, state, or local law requires your child be secured in a child safety seat, please bring one as it is the parent’s or caregiver’s responsibility.

In Florida, it is the responsibility of the supervising adult to ensure that any child under 5 years old is seated in a federally-approved child car seat.

Florida law states:

  • Children 5 years old or younger must be secured in a federally approved child restraint system:
    • Children 4 years old and younger must use a separate car-seat or the vehicle’s built-in child seat.
    • Children 4 through 5 years must sit in either a separate car seat, a built in child seat or a seat belt, depending on the child’s height and weight.
  • Children under 18 years old must be in a seatbelt.

Though not required, the DHSMV recommends children 12 years old and under to ride in the back seat of the vehicle when possible. This is due to safety concerns for air bag deployment, which can be dangerous for young children.

To learn more, please read this informative page by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

RideShare Options

I recommend Uber and Lyft above any of the other options listed below. These are PRIVATE transfers with no waiting in line or delays such as multiple stops.

Granted, some folks do want to use phone-based apps, some do not trust rideshare drivers, some travel with kids under 6 and prefer large bus travel where child restraints are easier to manage (if needed) , and so on. I do wish they’d reconsider!

  • UberX or Lyft – $40 to $50 (cheaper with promo codes) – up to 4 people with few bags
  • UberXL or Lyft XL – $70 to $80 (look for promo codes) – up to 6 people with few bags

Surge pricing is uncommon at South Florida airports because there are many drivers. When it happens, just wait a few minutes!

  • Request a ride when you’re ready to walk outside

Be sure to choose a ride option that suits your group size and luggage storage needs.

Also choose which rideshare pickup area is closest to you. The rideshare pickup areas are located between terminals.

  • Exit on the lower arrivals level

Follow the signs to the rideshare pickup area near you, either between Terminals 1 and 2 or between Terminals 3 and 4 on the innermost curb. This is where all Uber/Lyft drivers at FLL meet travelers for pickup.

  • Wait curbside

When you get to the pickup area, you’ll see signs denoting different stations within the pickup zone. To make it easier to find your driver, message them through the app and let them know the station where you’re standing.

Shared Shuttles

Please understand a shared shuttle means exactly that – not private! These transfers are cheaper because:

  • You share a van or bus with 10 or more passengers.
  • Departure may be delayed while waiting for a few passengers.
  • Some have fixed departure times, others adapt to bookings on the day.
  • Unless included in your booking, the driver tip is excluded and expected.
  • Van may stop several times at the airport terminals to pick people and again at different cruise terminals to drop them.
  • Generally operate between 7am and 1pm on cruise days only – increased rates may apply otherwise.

GO Airport Shuttle – $28.75 (including tip)

Quick Shuttle – $22

SAS Transportation – $15

MJS Transportation – $15

Jiffy Jeff Transportation – $15

QLS Transportation – $15

JR Shuttle Service – $20

Private Shuttles

These generally provide quotes for 4 or 5 passenger vehicles but you can request anything from a limo to a charter bus! The good news – it is YOUR schedule not theirs and there’s no waiting on other passengers.

Quick Shuttle – $74 (up to 4 people)

South Florida Shuttles – $75 (up to 5 people)

Larry’s Private Car & Limo Service – $96 (up to 4 people, tip included)

JR Shuttle Service – $69 (up to 5 people)

Standard Taxi – roughly $78 metered and can be higher (up to 4 people)

Cruise Line Transport

With so many excellent shared and private transportation options available (at lower cost) from both FLL and MIA, it is hard to recommend booking a transfer with a cruise line. Remember, the cruise lines outsource your ride – they DO NOT own or operate their own vans or buses! You are not getting anything special!

But if you insist, here are a few cruise lines and fares to help you decide.

These bus transfers are generally available between 10am and 1:30pm but check your voucher for accurate times. Representatives in colorful jackets will assist you near the baggage claim areas. You will normally get a boarding number and asked to wait until your number is ready to board.

Then you wait until the bus fills!

Norwegian – $25

Carnival – $31.99
Terminals 1 & 3: – Near baggage claim #3
Terminals 2 & 4: – Near baggage claim #1

Royal Caribbean – $29.95

Disney – Only from MIA ($21), no transfers from FLL

Rail Transportation

Generally not recommended because it takes too long in the Florida heat and you have to cart your luggage all over the place!

Tri-Rail cost $13 (single) and takes 1h45min including a FREE transfer to the Fort Lauderdale Station, the MetroRail fare and a Rideshare from Overtown Station to PortMiami. That’s a lot of slow travel!

For more details, please read – FLL to PortMiami on Tri-Rail

Brightline cost $28-$48 (single, depending on options) and takes 1h15min including a Rideshare transfer to the Fort Lauderdale Station, the Brightline Fare and a Rideshare from Miami Station to PortMiami. That’s also a lot of slow travel but Brightline is very nice.

Rental Car

While renting a car at FLL is painless, the drop-off near PortMiami is not! The smaller Downtown offices can get very busy on heavy cruise days and you may have to deal with lines of people either waiting to park and drop off, or waiting to get on the FREE port shuttles.

Port of Miami Rental Car Drop Off locations with FREE shuttles closest to the Port are:

  • Downtown Miami – Hertz, Budget, Avis/Payless
  • Miami International Airport Rental Car Center – National, Dollar, Thrifty

You may see other rental car offices and companies near PortMiami but those DO NOT provide shuttle services. If you book a car rental with any other company you have to arrange your own Port transfer.

Cost of the one-day rental from FLL and FREE PortMiami Shuttle – I’ve seen rates as low as $50

Unless you have good reasons for doing so, I normally DO NOT recommend booking a rental car on the morning of your cruise from FLL to PortMiami.

For more information about Rental Cars, please read Car Rental to PortMiami.

Virgin Brightline Train – West Palm Beach Airport – Fort Lauderdale Airport – Miami Airport

Unfortunately the Virgin Brightline train does not operate to or from Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) or West Palm Beach Airport (PBI). The trains operate between stations near, but not directly at, these airports.

Transfers are needed between MIA and the Brightline Miami Station, FLL and the Fort Lauderdale Station and PBI and the West Palm Beach Station.

If you need less luxury and easier train access, I suggest you consider Tri-Rail.

Brightline Train Route Map

You can see a larger map here – Brightline Route Map

MIA Transfer Options

  • MetroRail Orange Line – Board at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station – 15 minutes – $2.25. A short walk outside over a rough sidewalk. Then board FREE MIA Mover to terminal – 4 minutes
  • Taxi – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $30
  • Uber/Lyft – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $16
Overtown Station - Northbound
Overtown Station – Northbound

FLL Transfer Options

  • Broward County Transit Bus – Route 1 – Board at Broward Central Terminal. This is a short but rough walk in a sketchy neighborhood – Arrive at Upper Level of Rental Car Center – 25 minutes – $2.
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $16
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $11
County Bus Route 1 at FLL
County Bus Route 1 stop at FLL (across the road from Terminal 1 – use the cross bridge)
County Bus 1 South at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale
County Bus 1 Southbound to FLL at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale (across from Brightline)

PBI Transfer Options

  • Palm Tran buses are nearby but inconvenient to the Airport.
  • Walk 4 blocks to the Tri-Rail Station and take the FREE shuttle bus (not a good option)
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $18
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $11
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI (outside baggage claim across the road)

Brightline Train From West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Takes about 40 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train From Fort Lauderdale to Miami

Takes about 35 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train from West Palm Beach to Miami

Takes about 75 minutes and cost between $15 and $35 depending on time of day and options booked.

Link to the Brightline Home Page

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Port of Miami – Tri-Rail and MetroRail

FLL to Port of Miami Trains

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Port of Miami via Tri-Rail and MetroRail offers the cheapest transportation options for cruise passengers. It may not be the most convenient but you do not have to deal with rush hour traffic and you can save a good bit of money.

How long will FLL to Port of Miami take?

  • The Tri-Rail section of the ride = about 30 minutes
  • The FREE shuttle bus from FLL to the Tri-Rail Station – about 15 minutes
  • The Green Line of MetroRail from MetroRail Transfer Station to Overtown Station = about 20 minutes
  • From Overtown MetroRail station to PortMiami via a rideshare service = about 10 minutes
  • Waiting Time? Add 30 minutes in total

Total travel time = about 1h45mins

How much will FLL to Port of Miami cost?

In 2019:

$3.75 for Tri-Rail + $2.25 for MetroRail (discounts for certain payment methods) + $7 for Uber = $13 or $9.50 per person when two travel together.

  • By the way, if you want to avoid MetroRail, Uber from the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station to the Port of Miami cost about $17 and will take roughly 30 minutes.
  • Once you arrive at Overtown Station, you can save even more money if you use public transportation such as the FREE Metromover and Coral Way Trolley (to PortMiami), but this will take too long and you may end up a long way from your cruise terminal.

How does Tri-Rail compare to other transfers?

With two people traveling, a taxi or private sedan fare from FLL is roughly $40 per person, a shared shuttle about $25 pp and Uber roughly $20 pp. Then consider the tip as well.

A road transfer takes 45 mins to an hour but is very traffic dependent.

Route Map

In the map below you can trace the complete route from FLL to PortMiami. For a larger map, go here: FLL to PortMiami Route Map

Tri-Rail from Fort Lauderdale Airport

Please read my detailed description of how to ride Tri-Rail from FLL to Miami Airport MIA. BUT – this time please choose the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station as your destination and not MIA!

Tri-Rail Train
Tri-Rail Train

Arriving at the Tri-Rail/MetroRail Transfer Station

Exit Tri-Rail and look for the Green Line MetroRail train going south to Overtown MetroRail station! Buy a ticket at the kiosk (you will need an EASY Card or EASY Ticket for a discount transfer fare). An attendant is available to assist you with tickets during the day but hours are limited!

The ride to Overtown takes about 20 minutes.

MetroRail-Train. NOTE – The Orange Line is shown. Please transfer to Green Line South

Arriving at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre MetroRail Station

I suggest to arrange your Uber or Lyft ride while a few minutes away from the station! This way you do not have to wait long.

Tell your driver which cruise line/ship and/or the terminal (if you have this information).

The ride should take about 10 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

MetroRail - Green Line
MetroRail – Green Line from Tri-Rail Transfer Station to Overtown Station

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Miami Airport MIA – Tri-Rail

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Airport via Tri-Rail is the cheapest option. It may or may not be the most convenient choice – that depends on you!

At $3.75 one-way the price is right. The question is, can you and your party handle the following challenges:

  • Lifting and pulling luggage into a bus, off the bus, into the train, off the train then into elevators or up and down escalators, into a tram and off the tram
  • About 90 minutes travel time
  • Waiting outside (under cover) in the Florida heat

Map of the Route

Here is a link to a large version of the Map – FLL to MIA Transportation Map

Fort Lauderdale Airport Procedure

You may want to purchase water and/or a snack for your train trip.

Once you claimed your luggage, look for the signs to Ground Transportation then step outside looking for the Tri-Rail bus stop.

Tri-Rail FLL Sign
Sign to the Tri-Rail Bus Stop

There are 3 stops – at west end of Terminal 1, between Terminals 2 and 3, and between Terminals 3 and 4. The bus arrives at Stop 1 then Stop 2 then Stop 3 in this order. See image below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops and travel direction

You are looking for bus FLA Fort Lauderdale Airport Station as shown below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus to Airport Station

The route to the station changes somewhat between weekends and weekdays but the trip takes only 15 minutes or less.

At the Tri-Rail Station, purchase your ticket from one of the kiosks, cash, credit or some debit cards. Your destination is Miami Airport Station. You CANNOT purchase tickets on the train!

Purchasing your Tri-Rail Ticket

For Tri-Rail Schedules, please visit Tri-Rail.

The train may stop 6 times before arriving at Miami Airport and plan for about 45 minutes travel time. Restrooms are available onboard. Do not expect much in terms of scenery along the route! You can take a nap and not miss a thing.

Inside a Tri-Rail Train
Inside a Tri-Rail Train

Miami Station Arrival

Take the stairs, escalator or elevator and follow the signs to the Airport then look for the MIA Mover – a short walk.

Look for the signs to the MIA Mover

MIA Mover is a driverless tram to the Airport Terminal. The ride takes about 3-5 minutes.

MIA Mover
MIA Mover

You arrive at the Airport Terminal on Level 3. Use the diagram below to find your way from there!

MIA Floor Levels
MIA Floor Levels – MIA Mover is on Level 3

Palm Beach International Airport to Port of Miami

How to get from Palm Beach International Airport to Port of Miami (PortMiami), or vice versa?

Cruise passengers find occasional cheap or convenient flights to PBI then wonder if it makes sense when compared to more expensive flights to MIA or FLL. It is roughly 75 miles (120 km) by road depending on the route.

Some Concerns

It depends! You have to consider your arrival time, the number of people in your party, your budget, the amount of luggage you are carrying, your mobility (walking and getting on/off trains and buses and vehicles), and so on.

If you land early there’s the potential traffic delays between West Palm Beach and the Fort Lauderdale / Miami areas. During morning rush hour the highways are busy! (I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and even Rte 1) .

Giving the uncertainty of the traffic situation, I generally recommend to avoid road transfers in the early morning (rental car, rideshare, taxi, shuttles) and to book a train ticket on either Tri-Rail or Brightline. After 9am, the traffic situation improves!

You also have to consider flight delays if you arrive on the morning of your cruise! It can get stressful if you arrive late AND you are still 2 hours or more from PortMiami!

Available Options

Nevertheless, here are your options:

  • Rental Car – I’ve seen rates as low as $55 one-way in a mid-size car. 1h30mins
  • Rideshare – Estimate about $80 for UberX (1 – 4 passengers with few bags). You may experience surge pricing during peak hours (just wait a while and try again). Pickup is on the Arrivals level.
  • Taxi – Don’t. It is too far.
  • Shuttles – Shared shuttles are not readily available. Private transport will cost upwards of $180 per one-way trip (up to 4 passengers).
  • Rail – Tri-Rail or Brightline to Miami (no service to PortMiami). Tri-Rail has a free shuttle from PBI to the station. Fare is $6.90 plus cost of one transfer ($16). 2 hours. Brightline will cost $15 – $35 depending on options plus cost of two transfers ($13 + $16). 1h15mins

Rental Car Advice

Once you arrive in Miami, not all rental car companies offer free shuttle transfers to PortMiami! Be careful who you book with and where you drop off!

For rental car options with free shuttles to PortMiami, please read Rental Car Drop off with Shuttles.

Rail Advice

Unfortunately neither Brightline nor Tri-Rail stops at Palm Beach Airport. As shown on the map below, you need a transfer service to either station.

Palm Beach Airport Rail Transfers
Palm Beach Airport to Tri-Rail or Brightline

The Tri-Rail transfer is a free bus service. To board the shuttle to Tri-Rail from PBI, follow the signs in the airport to Ground Transportation. The stop is located on Level One, Baggage Claim- you will see signs for TRI-RAIL.

A rideshare fare from PBI to these stations cost about $13 per trip.

Brightline takes you closer to the Port of Miami. Their Miami station is connected to PortMiami via the FREE MetroMover and FREE Trolley bus (but this takes a long time) or use rideshare for about $8 (recommended).

With Tri-Rail you normally disembark at the Miami Airport Car Rental Center and take rideshare from there ($18 and recommended) . You can also exit at the Tri-Rail station and transfer to MetroRail to reach downtown from where you can rideshare or use the FREE trolley bus.


Please visit Tri-Rail for fares and schedules.

Please visit Brightline for fares and schedules.