How to book the Civitavecchia Express train to travel from the cruise port to central Rome

A common cruise dilemma when planning a cruise to Italy is how much time you need to see Rome before or after your Mediterranean cruise.

It is possible to see a lot of Rome in just a few days before you board your cruise ship from the port of Civitavecchia. Indeed most cruise passengers spend, on average, just three days in the city.

But if you want to experience Rome, you’ll need to stay as long as your time and budget allow. It is one of the most awe-inspiring, rewarding, and memorable cities you will ever visit in your lifetime. 

So if you are planning a cruise from Rome and want to spend more time in the city after your cruise, it is now easier than ever to travel by train from the cruise port at Civitavecchia to Rome’s city center.

The introduction of the Civitavecchia Express train during the Mediterranean cruise season, together with the Civitavecchia Port Link bus service, means transfering from your cruise ship to central Rome is smooth and hassle-free. 

It is also the fastest and cheapest way to travel compared to a private transfer or a private shuttle service.

The port city of Civitavecchia lies about 85km northeast of Rome. It takes 10 minutes by bus to travel from the cruise terminal to the train station. The train journey takes just under 1 hour to reach Rome. You do not need to change trains.

Fast and reliable train services

Trains in Italy are generally very reliable. They all offer luggage space and comfortable seating.

Some trains are older than others. Our tip is to pay a few euros extra per person to get a seat in a higher-class cabin where possible. It’s more comfortable, and you have more areas to place your suitcase.

Search, compare and book train tickets in Italy here.

Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service

The Civitavecchia Express Train gets you quickly from Civitavecchia port to central Rome with no traffic jams or heat to contend with.

From the port itself, the Civitavecchia Port Link shuttle bus takes you from the port entrance, called Largo Della Pace, to the train station in Civitavecchia. From there, it is a seamless journey into Rome.

You buy both tickets together as a package, (shuttle bus + train), selecting “Civitavecchia Porto”. When you have purchased a ticket, you are guaranteed a seat on board the train. No one is left standing.

How often does the Civitavecchia Express Train leave the Civitavecchia train station?

Every day there are two trains. The departure time considers the arrival times of cruise ships into Civitavecchia port. You will find that all the major cruise lines use this port for cruises from or to in Rome.

In the 2023 cruise season, the service will run up until November 1st, 2023. The departure times are:

Departing Civitavecchia train station at 9.07 am, arriving at Roma Ostiense at 10.10 am (with one stop in between at Roma San Pietro train station).

  • Exit the train at Roma San Pietro station if you are staying nearby or want to visit Vatican City or Castel Sant D’Angelo.
  • Exit the train at Roma Ostiense if you are staying nearby or want to visit the Colosseum or The Forum.

Departing Rome Ostiense at 4.30 pm, arriving at Civitaveccha train station at 5.20pm.

The service and train times are subject to change, be sure to check the times when you book. Tickets are often only bookable from 3 months prior to your planned travel date.

How much does the train journey cost?

The combined train and shuttle bus ticket costs about 12 euros per person (this can change, so check the website to see your total price at the time of booking).

Children under 4 yrs old travel free and have no luggage size limits.

Children under 12 yrs old who are traveling with an adult are free on the train, and they only pay the shuttle bus fare of 2 euros.

Is the train journey direct and non-stop?

The train journey from Civitavecchia port to Rome is direct. You have two choices of stops in Rome:

1st stop: Roma San Pietro Station (St. Peter’s)

This journey only takes around 35 minutes. Get off the train here if your hotel is close to Vatican City or the area around Castel Sant’Angelo, or if you want to visit the Vatican Museums.

2nd stop: Roma Ostiense Station

From Civitavecchia port to Ostiense is about a one-hour journey. This is the closest stop to the Colosseum or Circus Maximus but still not within walking distance. You will need to continue your journey using the underground metro train for two stops to get to the Colosseum. Rome Ostiense is in southern Rome, and you may need to continue your journey using the underground metro to reach your hotel.

Is there an Express train for the journey from Rome to Civitavecchia to start my cruise?

Yes! You can also book the express train from Rome to Civitavecchia train station if you want to go in the other direction. However, there is currently just one train daily for this journey that leaves Rome at 4.30 pm. This will be too late if you want to join your cruise ship on the same day.

So you can use the express train to get to Civitavecchia if you are staying at a hotel in Civitavecchia the night before you start your cruise.

If you want to get to Civitavecchia earlier in the day, you must book a regional train.

The regional train has very regular daily services from Rome’s Termini station and costs around 5 euros per person.

To summarize:

The Civitavecchia Express train together with the Civitavecchia Port Link bus service works well if you are extending your cruise vacation to stay in Rome after your cruise.

For a journey from Rome out to Civitavecchia port, use the regular regional train earlier in the day to ensure you do not miss your cruise check in time. Even better, book a hotel in Civitavecchia and stay in this charming seaside town before joining your cruise ship the following day.

How do I book my ticket?

  • Book your ticket for the Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service via Trenitalia’s website. Note that departure times are subject to change so check the time when you book. Search for the ticket by typing “Civitavecchia Porto – Roma Termini”. The option will give you CIVITAVECCHIA PORTLINK plus regional train number.
  • All other tickets with regular trains can be booked on the Omio travel and transportation platform.
  • If you are unable to find the Civitavecchia Express ticket option, it may mean that the tickets for your chosen travel date are not bookable at the moment. Alternatively, it could mean that Trenitalia have not yet released the train schedule for the coming cruise season.
  • Note that the Express train ticket will not include any metro, buses, or trams when you are in Rome.
  • Book the Civitavecchia Express train and Civitavecchia Port Link bus service from about three months before your travel date.
  • Using Omio, you can also search, compare and book other regional, intercity, and fast trains into Rome and throughout Italy.
  • If you have paper train tickets, you must remember to get your tickets validated at the machines in the train station before climbing on board.
Search, compare and book train tickets with Omio here.

Can I purchase a train ticket on board the train?

The simple answer is no. You must always have a valid ticket when you get on the train, whether it is an electronic ticket or a paper ticket.

If you are carrying a paper ticket, you must also remember to validate the ticket at the ticket machine marked at the station before you board your train.

What are my other options for traveling between Civitavecchia port and Rome?

Regional trains frequently run between the Civitavecchia and Rome’s central station, Termini. You do not need to use the express train if you find a regional train better suited to the time of travel you need.

Take the port shuttle bus from your cruise terminal for 2 euros to Civitavecchia train station. Then the train from Civitavecchia to Roma Termini. The journey time is anywhere from 47 minutes if you book the fast train for around 11 euros to 1 hour and 26 mins for a regional train costing about 5 euros which is the cheapest option.

Choose the departure time, journey length, and price that suits you on the Omio website. Alternatively, you can purchase a ticket at the train station in Civitavecchia or the Omio website.

Does the express train link to the airport?

To get to Rome-Fiumicino airport, Rome’s international airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, you will need to get the regional train. The Civitavecchia Express Train does not service the airport.

When you book a train ticket for a regional train from the station to the airport, choose the one offering a direct service in the quickest time.

What are the Frecce trains in Italy?

Trains called Le Frecce are the modern high speed that connects to destinations all over Italy. Some of these trains travel up to 360km per hour.

Three different types of Le Frecce trains exist Frecciabianco, Frecciarossa, and Frecciabianca. So if you see these train names, you know you are traveling on a fast train.

Fast trains are more expensive than the regional trains. However, they are faster, have frequent connections, are more modern, have better facilities, and are a fantastic way to travel in Italy. They are also more expensive.

If you are extending your stay to include other regions in Italy, then the fast train is an easy and comfortable way to travel. You can travel by fast train to areas such as Florence and Venice.

Search, compare and book your tickets on Italy’s fast trains via Omio’s search and booking platform which allows you to quickly find the best journey to suit you and your family.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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1 thought on “How to book the Civitavecchia Express train to travel from the cruise port to central Rome”

  1. Thank you very much! This was very helpful. I need to be able to return to my ship on time- It’s in port for 1 day. All the tours that I want to attend in Rome are sold out -so I’m on my own-but a bit nervous about missing the boat!


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