More and more, Capri is the preferred shore excursion for passengers on cruise ships stopping in Naples or Sorrento.
Organized shore excursions are offered on board to cruise passengers, but we think that a daytrip to Capri can be easily organized independently.
Here's all the information you need:
The pier where cruise ships dock is next to Molo Beverello, from where all the high speed ferries to Capri depart. Once you have disembarked from your ship, just turn left and walk about 100 meters to the ticket booth.
From May through October, the high speed ferries run quite frequently; purchase a round trip ticket and board for Capri. The trip lasts less than an hour. Naples-Capri ferry schedules.
You will disembark at Marina Piccola, from where all high speed ferries for Capri depart. Proceed to the ticket window and purchase a round trip ticket for Capri. The ferry runs frequently and the trip lasts less than 30 minutes. Sorrento-Capri ferry schedules
Try to sit on the left side of the ferry during the trip to Capri for the best views!
Once you arrive on Capri, often you'll find a bit of chaos at the port of Marina Grande... there are days when 3,000-4,000 cruise ship passengers arrive on this small island!
Long lines can form to board the funicular, which takes visitors up to the center of Capri; on summer mornings, up to 1,000 visitors can arrive at once and the funicular only carries 75 passengers at a time. If you see a long line once you have arrived on Capri, continue on to Pier 21 (La Banchinella), where you can take the bus to the center of Capri town, or begin your exploration of the island from Anacapri by taking the bus there from Marina Grande. The bus stop for the Anacapri line is to the right after you disembark on the island, a bit past the funicular ticket office. Bus & Funicular Schedules.
Otherwise, you can hire an island taxi, all of which offer all-day driver service; agree to a fixed price when you hire the taxi. This is by far the best solution to avoid the long lines for the buses, especially in the busiest days of July and August.
If you are absolutely decided on seeing the Blue Grotto, we suggest you do this as soon as you arrive on Capri to avoid having to wait hours to enter the cave later in the day when the island is most crowded. At Pier 0, you'll find the Motoscafisti tour boats docked which take anywhere from 35 to 100 passengers at a time to the Blue Grotto.
Because of limited space on these boats, long lines can form in peak season. We suggest you purchase tickets for boat tours to the Blue Grotto online to skip the wait and board the first boat departing with available space. Once you've visited the Blue Grotto, you can continue up to Capri or Anacapri to explore the rest of the island.
Once you arrive in the Piazzetta of Capri town, walk down Via Vittorio Emanuele until reaching the Quisisana hotel and from there continue along the Via Camerelle, lined by luxury shops and boutiques. Once you've arrived at the end of the street, continue along Via Tragara, one of the most scenic lanes on Capri, until reaching the overlook in front of the Faraglioni rock formations, where you can snap a few keepsake pictures.
On your way back, instead of walking back up Via Camerelle, turn right at the end of Via Tragara and follow Via Reginaldo Giuliani to Via Fuorlovaldo. From here, the road will take you back to the Piazzetta along Via Le Botteghe, with its small, independent fashion and design boutiques. If you are looking for a unique artisan souvenir, this is the place! We suggest a pair of Capri sandals, linen clothing, or coral jewelry.
That said, if you have a bit more time, take a walk through the historic center of Anacapri along Via Giuseppe Orlandi, exploring the tiny, quiet side streets, and you'll find a sleepy island village where children play in the squares while their grandparents sit in the sun on the majolica park benches.
Our Insider Tip
If you need to return to the port of Marina Grande from Anacapri, there will probably be a line at the stop to board the bus in Piazza Vittoria, and you won't be able to board the first bus which passes. To be sure to find a seat on the small island buses, walk a few hundred meters up Viale Tommaso de Tommaso to the stop immediately before Piazza Vittoria; here there is never a line. Otherwise, the terminal where all buses begin their routes is a bit befor Piazza Caprile.
If you like to walk and are physically fit, you can also do as the local villagers did for centuries: walk down the 900 steps to Marina Grande along the Phoenician Steps. The stairs are near Villa San Michele.