We are doing the Western Mediterranean Cruise and will be in Naples August 13th from 7AM to 7PM. We would like to take public transportation to Pompeii, possibly take a tour there and stay for about 4 hours and then return to the port and take the hydrofoil to Capri. That's possible to do isn't it? Thanks
Is it possible? Yes. But, you will be a bit rushed. Here is how you do it. You can either take the public bus (from near the pier) or the Circumvesuinia Line train from Naples to the Pompeii Scavi station. You than rush through the ruins probably keeping your visit to about 2 hours. This would get you out of the ruins by 11. You than had back over to the train station (Pompeii Scavi) and grab the next train to Sorrento (they run about two trains per hour). From Sorrento you rush down to the ferry pier and grab the next jet boat over to Capri (about a 20 min boat ride). As soon as you arrive at Capri (the port is called Marina Grande) you should stop at the ticket booth located right at the end of the pier, check the boat schedules for a jet boat/hydrofoil that gets you back to Naples on time, buy your ticket, and than you are off to enjoy Capri. Do not go to the Blue Grotto as your time will be too limited. You primarily will have time to take the funicular up to Capri Town, walk around and explore this lovely jet-setter town, and than return to Capri. Now, this is real important. There are two different ferry terminals in Naples. When you check boat schedules (back to Naples) you want to go to the port called Molo Beverello...from where you can walk to your ship in about 10 min (or less). The other ferry terminal is called Mergellina and its located more than a mile from the cruise ship port.
I should have given you a bit more info. If you want to make the most of your time you need to pay close attention to the ferry schedules and plan accordingly. You can find all the ferry/jet boat/hydrofoil schedules at http://www.capri.net/salsa/lang/en/page/transport.html
Although this is a good planning guide keep in mind that these schedules are really subject to change (after all, its Italy) so you need to double check the schedules the day you travel.
A bit more information is that if you are going to pompeii and decide to go by train on the circumvesuinia line...it takes a little time to walk to the station ( we did but we decided that we were only going to see pompeii ) and you might want to take public bus.. beware...be alert....lots of people get pickpocketed on this route so we were told....don't forget to buy your bus ticket at onre of the newsstands.Get on the train & when you get out at pompeii scavi station ... the entrance to pompeii is only a few yards away ...it would be quite a good idea to get a map as you will want to make the best use of your time if you also go to capri....as for the rest well I would take hanks advice...but keep a close eye on the time....regards Jack
ps I think the train takes 45 mins to get to pompeii scavi.
Jack is absolutely correct and I appologize for forgetting to mention that the Naples train station is about 1 1/3 miles (my estimate based on walking) from the pier. If you like to walk fast (me) you can walk fromt he pier to the station in about 30 min. As Jack said, you can also try to catch a public bus from the main road that runs right in front of the cruise port, but make sure you have some change in Euros. You can also try to get a taxi to the station, but the taxis at the pier will not want to do that kind of short haul. Some have better luck trying to hail a taxi just outside the port.
Hank, jack and drlivingston---you have been so helpful. First, I got a little anxious reading Hank's report, and then jack's. When I read drlivingston's report, I figured it would be a breeze. I think it is this time pressure one is under (what could be worse than missing the boat) that makes people take the ship excursions. I have a question though. Why not come back to port and take the hydrofoil to Capri, or is Sorrento more on the way? Thanks
Your last question is a good one, and I should have explained it in my other post. Pompeii is actually between Naples and Sorrento. So, if you went back to the ship you would spend 20 mintues going futher away from Capri. Also, the jet boats from Naples to Capri take about 50 mintues vs 20 minutes from Sorrento. Missing the ship is not a big problem with the Capri trip. Keep in mind that the ship runs several tours to Capri and they use the same jet boats that you will use. In effect, those booking a trip to Capri on the ship will pay a heavy permium for the tour, as opposed to those that simply walk a few minutes over to the ferry pier and take the next boat. By the way, even the ships Capri tour walks (as a group) over the ferry terminal. The boats run a very reliable schedule except in the rare instances when the seas are extremely rough (rare in the summer). You will know if there are problems with rough seas even before you get to Naples (you will feel it on the ship) and it would also cause all the ships tours to Capri to be cancelled. As to the trip being "a breeze" it really is a breeze if you do your pre trip homework (like here) and know all of your options. You also need to keep in mind that you can only do so much in a day and some tourists simply like to do as much as possible and really don;t care if they see very much or have time for a nice lunch. When you get to Capri you must take the funicular up to Capri Town (and back down to Marina Grande) and this can take anywhere from 15 minutes (no line) to a lot longer if there is a long line(this can happen in mid afternoon if a lot of cruise passengers are rushing down to the Marina to catch the same jet boat. Knowing this type of info can save a lot of grief and worry (in other words, do not wait until the last minute to take the funicular back down to the ferry pier).
You can also take the number 1 tram across the street from the port to the Napoli Centrale train station. As you leave the port, head towards the large castle which is in the Piazza Municipo. Cross the street and there is a newstand kiosk that sells the tickets for the tram. They are 1.30 Euros. The tram is orange and runs right in front of the newstand. The stops are not announced. You will go approximately 5 stops and watch for a parking lot with many buses...this is the train station. Get off here. The tram runs every 15 mins.
Thanks Hank and kelkel for the advice. I am one of those tourists that wants to see everything, or at least as much as possible. I think Pompeii and Capri is possible as long as we get off the ship early. I have to say if the cruise lines charged lower rates for these excursions I would be more inclined to take them (we have in the past) because it's a nice change to have someone else in charge. Thanks, Schnappi