An explosion of colour, the Caribbean offers beautiful sights that you thought you could only dream of, fringed by beaches, crystal clear seas and gently swaying palms, rounded off with an added dose of rum. It’s certainly not hard to see why the Caribbean is one of the best-loved holiday destinations, with the biggest cruise market in the world. With over 700 stunning and diverse islands, though only 2% of these islands inhabited, there is always somewhere or something new and exciting to explore.
The Caribbean really is made for cruise holidays. From Barbados and Antigua to St. Lucia and Grenada, a wealth of hidden treasures, including historic harbours, lush tropical forests and character-laden towns await. The notorious laid-back lifestyle ensures locals are as welcoming as the Caribbean islands themselves. However, perhaps what makes the Caribbean so special, and so popular, is that it’s really a place of two extremes. The Caribbean is the perfect destination to unwind and chill out on the scenic and isolated beaches, but it’s also a place fuelled by adrenaline, with water sports, intense hiking trails, and dramatic off-road safaris.
Visiting the busier and bustling areas of the Caribbean, however, isn’t any less enjoyable. With many of the islands having been European colonies (some have since become independent, whilst others remain as overseas territories), there is a real mix of language, ethnicity, culture, and beliefs across the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands display their British influence in their cuisine with classic fish and chips sold in many beachfront cafes. Guadeloupe exhibits strong French ties in its language, with around 99 percent of residents speaking fluent French, and Curaçao, although now independent, retains the forward-thinking and open-mindedness of the Netherlands, being one of the first of the Caribbean islands to welcome and embrace gay travellers.
If it’s adventure you’re looking for, the Caribbean has it! If you enjoy activities that get your heart racing, then you’ll find plenty of opportunity in the Caribbean, just check out what excursions your chosen cruise line has to offer. St. Kitts boasts a 1400 feet zip line through its forests, St. Thomas offers paddle boarding along the tropical blue waters, and Jamaica is home to one of the only opportunities in the world to bobsled through lush rainforest.
Hungry or thirsty after all that exertion? No worries. Caribbean cuisine is hearty and filling, with plenty of spiced and marinated meats served with rice, beans, and plantains, and there’s always a glass of authentic Caribbean rum ready to help you relax after all the excitement.
The likes of Royal Caribbean, NCL, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises have their very own private piece of paradise in the Caribbean, with Half Moon Cay, Princess Cay, Labadee and Great Stirrup Cay exclusively reserved for their passengers. Although you won’t really get a sense of the rich Caribbean history and culture on these islands, what you will get is a unique opportunity to feel detached from big city life, on a remote, uninhabited desert island. Take a dip in the sea, soak up the rays, and simply enjoy the spectacular views across the Caribbean.
The Caribbean cruise season runs all year round, and there’s no bad time to visit. The tropical climate brings warm, sunny days, with temperatures ranging between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, even over the winter months. Storms and rainfall are rare, but when they do happen, they’re amazing to watch while taking shelter in one of the beachfront bars. Although hot, if your ship docks in port overnight, remember to take a jacket - the Caribbean islands lie right in the path of the trade winds, which can bring evening chills.
The vibrant towns, beautiful beaches, and blend of cultures makes the Caribbean one of the most diverse, and one of the most fascinating, in the world, and it’s a destination every traveller should add a Caribbean Cruises to their bucket list.
Antigua is home to some of the finest beach settings in the world so if you’re looking for a truly captivating day in the sunshine, this is the place to be. With over 365 beaches, there’s a slice of talcum white sand for everyone who visits. The arrival point for cruise operators is predominantly Nelson’s Dockyard, which is a bustling haven of cruise ships and super yachts. This area was once renowned for housing military forces but has been transformed for the modern day tourist industry.
St John’s is the largest city and capital of Antigua as well as being in close proximity to some of the beach scenes, including Fort James and Hawksbill. St John’s is the ideal place from which many start their exploration on the island, and from this point guests have a vibrant shopping hub, restaurants and pubs within reach.
Antigua continues to boast a unique prominence of being the sunniest island within the Eastern Caribbean. Annual rainfall here is considerably lower than many neighbouring regions and as such creates a holiday maker’s heaven to simply lay back and relax under the glistening sunshine. As well as the impeccable climate, Antigua also has the benefit of being the largest English speaking island within the Leeward isles and therefore posing the upmost welcome for British cruise ship passengers.
Depending on how passengers wish to spend their day, there is an abundance of excursion opportunities no matter the cruise operator. Guests looking to enjoy the blissful tranquillity of the many beaches, there will be shuttle service run throughout the day to nearby areas. Passengers looking to explore the cultural delights of the area may wish to venture towards the Block House Ruins and also gain a deeper insight into the historic Nelsons Dockyard. This location of Nelsons Dockyard is one of the greatest attractions in the Caribbean as although the transformation into a cruise passenger port is complete, the area still remains the last remaining Georgian naval dockyard still to be in use.
Guests looking for an exciting expedition will love the chance to swim with Stingrays in their natural environment, snorkel some of the finest locations in the world, zip line through lush rain forest, kayak around the entrancing beach scenes or even attempt a once in a lifetime 40.7 yacht race. Whatever way you decide to get the adrenaline pumping; a scintillating sip of rum will be waiting for you at the end of the day to cap off a fantastic experience.
Sporting enthusiasts will love the chance to meet a cricketing legend in the form of Sir Vivian Richards before heading to Stanford Cricket Ground, an incredible sight and home to the amazing West Indies Hall of Fame. Alternatively take in a round of gold at the world renowned championship golf course of Cedar Valley.
The glorious Caribbean beauty shines through the heart of the Antiguan backdrop, so relax and indulge at this sumptuous port of call for an unforgettable visit.
With talcum white-sand beaches and warm Caribbean waters, Aruba welcomes passengers to the beautiful waterfront city of Oranjestad. The fascinating features this stunning destination has to offer are endless, but make sure to soak up the superb desert backdrop as you stroll past world-class shops and sublime restaurants that are brimming with exotic flavours and friendly locals, while keeping an eye out for glamorous casinos.
The island of Aruba is also known as the jewel of the ‘deep’ Caribbean and just 30 seconds here is enough to realise why. This enchanting port of call boasts a fabulous wow factor. The glistening waters welcome passengers to the shores of Aruba and as if that wasn’t enough, the cultural mix here presents a wealth of history, attraction and divine cuisine.
Oranjestad is a waterfront city exuding a delectable cosmopolitan feel. A mixture of populations are currently present here including African, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, Venezuelan and of course, the origin; Dutch. It is because of this delightful cultural mix that the island is so popular for shopping. Pick up exquisite Danish silverware and Madeiran embroidery or even sample the exquisite tastes of Dutch cheese. This fantastic port of call is perfect for food lovers and the range of restaurants that line the waterfront provide a wonderful experience of culinary master pieces combined with sensational sea views; perfect for capturing a photograph of your beloved cruise ship.
One of the brilliant features of this magnificent port of call is that there is so much to see and do yet passengers do not have to stray far in order to do so. Guests will find the majority of attractions all within walking distance from Oranjestad, making this destination perfect for a day of adventurous exploration. The island is famous for its vibrant colour and breath taking beauty, and for a real sense of this, be sure to visit the captivating location of Schooner Harbour. Here guests will witness the brightly painted boats along with outdoor markets displaying all things from tropical fruits to delightful craft stores that showcase the local talents. Elsewhere spectacular beach scenes include Eagle Beach, Palm Beach and Baby Beach to name just a few, all a short distance from the port and easily accessible.
Excursions here revolve around the beautiful landscape scenery along with the underwater pleasure of the astonishing marine life. Often the best-selling tour, as with most destinations is the chance to take in an overall insight of the island. Take in the wonderful sights of California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel and Baby Natural Bridge. Baby Natural Bridge sits right alongside the former home of the once Natural Bridge, which was Aruba’s most famous attraction until its collapse in 2005. Such a tour of this usually provides passengers with the chance to take in the fascinating diorite and granite boulders of the Casibari Rock formation to finish off an enthralling day.
Away from the historical sights there is also a fabulous range of opportunities to see the underwater attractions of the island. Experience the fun of SeaTrek by heading 20 feet underwater whilst keeping your head and neck completely dry in specially designed diving helmets. You’ll walk along the seabed, witnessing colourful marine inhabitants and wrecks whilst breathing normally 20ft underwater. Snorkelling in Aruba is just as fantastic and whether you wish to do so from land or by taking a boat trip further out to sea, the choice is yours. If this all sounds great but you would prefer to remain nice and dry, you can take in the sights on the Atlantis VI Submarine that is just off the south east coast of Aruba. This amazing experience unearths a myriad of fascinating sea creatures as your guide talks you through the many underwater sights to behold.
The exquisite island of Aruba is the epitome of Caribbean beauty, the perfect place to unwind, relax and recharge on your next cruise.
Known for its golden rum and 70-miles of palm-fringed beaches Barbados is a truly captivating destination with vibrancy and zest for the perfect getaway. The people of this fabulous destination have mastered the art of the good life and the essence of fine living and are more than happy to offer daily lessons to those seeking to do the same. When it comes to beauty, some destinations are simply blessed, and this is true for Barbados.
As the capital of Barbados and the islands main cruise port, Bridgetown is bustling with sights and colonial buildings where you will discover an abundance of pleasurable attractions set amongst distinctive signs of its British colonial history. Thrill seekers will love the opportunity to get the heart racing with water sport activities such as jet skiing, windsurfing, paragliding and so much more. Perhaps you’ll feel like a casual bike ride through the tropical scenery or a stroll along the sun drenched beach, it’s all here, ready and waiting. Diving expeditions are incredible or as are the fishing excursions that will set the heart alight. No matter your preference, you are invited to feed your adventurous soul.
Elsewhere, sporting enthusiasts may wish to pay a visit to awe inspiring Kensington Oval, the world famous Barbados cricket ground and home to many West Indies fixtures. Steeped in history this fantastic venue boasts a great tour opportunity and the chance to really indulge yourself in the heritage of this cricket loving nation.
The uniquely spectacular Harrisons Cave presents the opportunity to experience an underground, intricate world of caverns and exquisite waterfalls not to mention stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
With a blend of old and new, Bajan cuisine brings together influences from African, Caribbean, West Indians and European for a unique and authentic experience. Aside from seafood including tuna, salmon, cod, kingfish and more, a variety of other meats including chicken, beef, pork and turkey fill mouth-watering recipes.
Experience the Atlantis Submarine at depths of 50 to 150 feet and see a fascinating underwater world, where an abundance of colour, exotic fish and fascinating coral formations can all be seen through the portholes. Over at Turtle Snorkel you can swim with turtles in the warm inviting waters for an unforgettable experience. There’s even the chance to enjoy a private sunset champagne cruise, a truly unforgettable evening and unrivalled in beauty.
Those who want to enjoy the slower pace will love the chance to indulge in a simple yet stunning day at the beach. Soak up the sun, cool off in the shimmering turquoise waters and make the most of a leisurely afternoon.
Rum was first made from the sugar canes that populated the island 370 years ago, but it wasn’t until 1703 that Barbados became known as the birthplace of rum. Passengers wishing to enjoy a tipple of the finest product around will revel in the experience of a visit to the Foursquare Rum Distillery and Sunbury Plantation House where you will be provided with complimentary tasting sessions.
Combine the golden beaches with glistening waters, mix in the friendly spirit of the locals and combine with a backdrop of tropical greenery, and you’ve got yourself the perfect cruise destination.
The port of Bridgetown is now so popular in stature and demeanour that many cruise lines use the fantastic venue as a home port for their Caribbean itineraries. Fly direct to Barbados from the UK from regional airports to enjoy the captivating sights and sounds of a true Caribbean great.
Renowned for being the smallest country in Central America, Belize still packs a punch when it comes to entertainment and sightseeing pleasures. It was once part of the British Empire a long time ago but now stands proud as an independent nation. One of the first characteristics passengers will notice when arriving here is the rich diversity of historical and natural attractions to enjoy. Belize is a melting pot of personalities, as the Belizean people are made up of Maya, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Arab and Chinese to name but a few. The scenery here is remarkable with natural beauty at it peak towards the mountainous regions. During your stay in Belize you will discover beautiful waterfalls, lush rainforests, fascinating myriads of rivers and caves which are all a major attraction of tourists in the area.
The beaches here are simply stunning and Belize is also perfect for snorkelling and scuba enthusiasts. There is a large coral reef out at sea that makes for a wonderful sight stretching right the way from Mexico to Honduras surrounding the famous off shore Cayes.
Guests looking to explore Belize City will find an abundance of colonial architecture that walks hand in hand with the Anglo Caribbean origins of the city. For sightseeing enthusiasts, St John’s Cathedral is the oldest Anglican Cathedral in Central America where guests can see the crowning place for the four Kings of Mosquito Coast and where history was made. Aside from the oldest Anglican Cathedral, Belize is also home to several important Mayan sites. The closest archaeological site to Belize City is Altun Ha, and here guests will get the chance to see several impressive temples and tombs from the Mayan civilisations.
With more than 500 different species of birds living here, including colourful toucans and parrots, Belize is a birder’s paradise. Guests can head to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, grabbing a canoe as they do, as this top birding spot spans an impressive 16,400 acres with more than 3,000 acres of lagoons, swamps and marsh. Here they’ll get a close look at crocodiles, turtles, iguanas and more while keeping a look out for beautiful tropical birds including egrets, snail kites and osprey who live in the area. Elsewhere, with 29-acres of jungle, Belize Zoo is a tropical mecca where guests can meet over 150 different animals with residents of the zoo including jaguars, manatees, howler monkeys, tapirs and so much more.
Belize offers a wonderfully diverse range of ways to enjoy the day. From blissful relaxing indulgence on the white sands to the flowing beauty and sightseeing pleasures of the landscapes; there is so much to see and do.
As one of the ABC isles, Bonaire is quiet and laid back without flashy Las Vegas-style casinos or a pretty pastel coloured capital like that of Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire is the least developed island of the three, but the island is blessed with unsurpassed beauty, pristine waters where an underwater paradise awaits. You’ll find that Bonaire has a peaceful daily life, without hustle and bustle, where warm and friendly locals will more than likely greet you with ‘Bon Bini’, which translates to welcome. Bonaire’s extraordinary environment is alluring from the moment you arrive and cruise passengers visiting here will not be left disappointed, especially for the chance to get the camera out and capture some truly wonderful images to take away.
Home to over 22 beaches, the beach settings in Bonaire are superb as with many of the Caribbean islands. Forget about golden beaches, Bonaire is home to Pink Beach, where as the name aptly suggests the beach is pink. The strip of sand is relatively narrow but the views are idyllic as is the pink sand which gets its colour from millions of crushed shells of microscopic sea creatures. Relax on a sun longer and soak up the magical climate of the Caribbean or opt to enjoy the many snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities Bonaire has to offer.
Alongside the relaxing tendencies of the island, guests will love the Marine Park here which is located to the west coast of the island. The protected reefs of the Marine Park have a large variety of mesmerising fish in every colour, where guests can discover the sheer beauty of the underwater life in Bonaire.
With their deep coral feathers and shy demeanour, Flamingos flourish on the island of Bonaire in sanctuaries set up the local residents. Though not open to tourists, Pekelmeet Flamingo Sanctuary is home to over ten thousand flamingos that can be spotted through binoculars on the road near pink beach. From here many guests then go on to take a tour to the talcum white Salt Flats that Bonaire is famous for.
Just off the coast of California and home to shallow waters and a dazzling array of brightly coloured sea life, Catalina Islands feels like a world away. With fifty miles of shoreline, secluded coves and dramatic views it’s not hard to see why this island is known as the ‘Island of Romance’. This extraordinary destination is the perfect place to unwind and laze the day away at one of the many superb beach settings. The laid-back atmosphere is all about relaxation and taking the time to get away from it all, making it ideal for the ultimate holiday lifestyle.
Catalina’s port is too small for cruise ships, meaning cruise ships will anchor outside the harbour in Avalon where passengers will be tendered to port. The boat trip to the island gives cruise passengers the chance to capture a great photo of the ship in the delightful backdrop of the Caribbean whilst settling into the sumptuous surroundings. If the timing is right, also keep your eyes peeled during your journey to the island as Grey whales pass on their annual migration and dolphins are also a frequent sight.
For guests interested in snorkelling and scuba diving, Catalina Island is one of the finest locations on earth to put your snorkel mask on and explore the underwater world. Just offshore the island is renowned for its extremely shallow waters therefore ideal for people of all levels of confidence to experience the amazing sea life. The stunning array of fish to be seen here is absolutely breath taking and the dazzling underwater scenery is spectacular in every way. Guests will witness a full spectrum of garden fish along with the magical sight of purple sea fans gliding through the warm Caribbean waters. As you head slightly further out, the sea life gets even better as the island is famous for being a great place to see larger fish. Guests who want to explore the dazzling array of sea life without getting wet, can hop on a glass-bottomed boat witness the underwater world from the glass window at their feet.
Hike the trails, take a scenic drive through Avalon and along the winding coastal roads and enjoy the breath taking vistas of Avalon Harbour and beyond and spy the art deco Catalina Casino that is perched on the harbours edge.
Cruise lines visiting here provide an exciting range of excursion opportunities that will vary for each voyage. Catalina Island is a highly popular port of call but due to the smaller size of the cruise terminal here, a call at this port of call is often to yourself, making for a wonderfully peaceful day.
An awe inspiringl, beautiful destination, Cozumel is often considered to be one of the world’s most popular cruise ports. Nestled in a delightful setting off the Yucatan Peninsula, the island itself is in fact only 12 miles long. To witness the vibrant local charms up close head downtown to one of the many vibrant bars and restaurants. From here guests will discover an array of exciting local cuisine, flavours and radiant charisma. Without doubt though, the main attraction upon arrival on the island will always be the captivating beaches lining the coast. The stunning selection of water sport activities available in Cozumel is sensational not to mention the opportunity to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the marvellous climate that glistens on this superb island destination.
Many visitors decide to head for Chankanaab National Park a beautiful beachfront oasis, located on a natural harbour. This location is considered to boast the best beach setting on the island but the main attraction to this area is the diversity. Along with the beautiful beach scenes, there is also an enchanting botanical garden that actually houses over 800 different species of plant life. The huge magnetism to the area however has to be the pool that is linked to the sea by a breath-taking slide leading right into the oceanfront. The slide leads right into an area of the sea famous for dolphins where guests can get up close and personal with them in their own natural environment; a once in a lifetime opportunity, not to be missed.
Excursions do not come much finer than Cozumel with many passengers wishing to head for the mainland of Mexico, towards the amazing sights of the Mayan Ruins at Tulum. Here guests can see the famous ‘El Castillo’ castle that overlooks the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, admire the Temple of Fresco or the Temple of the Descending God. Alternatively, try a day-trip to the ruins of Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world, where a mixture of temples, pyramids and carvings are waiting to be discovered.
Guests who are looking to get their blood pumping will love the snorkelling opportunities around the island. Cozumel is renowned for its incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities, as the coastline is sprinkled with incredible reefs teeming with multi-coloured fish. Perhaps some guests would like to opt for the chance to experience an all-terrain vehicle over the sweeping landscapes of Cozumel? Not offered by all cruise operators but certainly a brilliant excursion feature to enjoy.
Passengers looking to discover the secrets behind the sublime Mexican cuisine will love the opportunity to enjoy a cooking experience including sample dishes and guidance from master chefs. For music and dance there is the chance to take in a Folkloric show at the theatre within the impressive Forum Shopping Plaza. As for retail therapy, the shopping opportunities here are fantastic so get ready to explore.
Curacao is the third island is the ABC Dutch Antilles and also the largest. It is home to many diverse nationalities from all over the world providing the area with a wonderfully rich cultural charm. The capital here is known as Willemstad and is also the cruise port were guests will arrive. The city is renowned for its beautiful architectural features in the form of 17th and 18th Dutch and Spanish colonialism. The city is split into two separate sides divided by the Santa Anna Bay. The Queen Emma pontoon bridge can be found here famous for its swing around feature.
Despite being divided, both sides of the city offer exciting sightseeing opportunities for arriving cruise guests. One the one side you have sites such as the Fort Amsterdam and Breederstraat which is known for being the main entrance point for the lovers of retail therapy to reach the main shopping district of Willemstad. Here shopping enthusiasts will find a fascinating array of goods from pottery and silk to coral jewellery and much more. Here is also the location of many superb restaurants on the island so for a spot of lunch look no further than this area to enjoy a delightful meal. One of the goods many passengers choose to purchase here is the sapphire blue liqueur of which Curacao gave its name to.
The Floating Market is often a brilliant place to visit for passengers looking to see something different and unique. Here you will discover a market flanked by boats from South American countries such as Colombia and Venezuela as well as nearby Caribbean Islands. These boats are selling thrilling local produce as well as hand crafted pieces that often make the perfect souvenir.
If this all sounds a bit much then fear not as the beaches here are also utterly gorgeous. Be prepared to relax in style and enjoy the scintillating Caribbean sunshine throughout the day.
Known for its lush terrain, rainforest hikes, cascading waterfalls and flora and fauna in every colour imaginable, it’s not hard to see why the Dominica has come to be known as ‘The Nature Island’. Ruggedly beautiful, the lush rainforest backdrop is simply breath-taking and will leave you wanting more. Sample fruit right off the trees, witness awe inspiring natural beauty from gorges, forests, crater lakes to enchanting waterfalls. It’s not just the on land features that take the plaudits however, the sensational offshore attractions of coral reefs and amazing marine life provides the perfect place for snorkelling and scuba diving adventures.
Excursions here revolve predominantly around the exquisite scenery of the forests or the captivating underwater attractions; however, there is a cultural wonder to Dominica that many passengers wish to explore. Here there is a chance to see the last surviving community of the Carib Indians. It is this community that was the original inhabitants of the Caribbean and one of the magnificent opportunities here is to witness the community following their age old traditions including fishing, carving and incredible basket making.
The island provides a brilliant range of excursion options whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sunshine or a thrilling day of adventure - there really is something for everyone in Dominica. Adrenaline seeking cruisers will love the opportunities to experience the heart racing tours out in lush forests including a Middleham Falls hike, river tubing down Dominica’s Pagua or Layou River, as well as the chance to jump aboard a scintillating RIB power boat. Aboard the RIB adventure guests will take in the extravagant sights of Champagne Bay as well as Scotts Head, the picturesque location that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
To discover the islands natural beauty, many cruise lines provide several tour options around the many areas of interest. Morne Bruce takes guests up to the heights of 300 feet to gaze down over the beautiful scenery below, a perfect opportunity for a once in a lifetime photograph. Take in the entrancing sight of Trafalgar Falls from a private platform and even head for the National Park and in particular, the sights of the wonderful Emerald Pool where you can stand behind the 40-foot flow and cool off.
For a relaxing day in the sunshine, cruise lines often use the transfer through Layou Valley to Mero Beach to provide passengers with a magnificent day of utter blissful tranquillity. This stunning beach setting is the perfect spot to soak up the spectacular rays.
A sightseeing spectacular is available here on the island as Dominica lies right on the whale’s Caribbean migration path making it the perfect spot to enjoy a boat trip to watch whales these incredible creatures. Sperm, Pilot and False Killer Whales are the most common sights along this path and the boat journey will take passengers out approximately three miles off shore to begin with before heading further if needs be. Along with the whales, dolphins also make an appearance, with the most common dolphin sights including Spotted, Spinner and Pantropical Dolphins. Fruit juices, local rum and many other delicacies will be served on board as your captain for the day manoeuvres the boat to give you the best views of the fascinating sea life.
Dominica is a fabulous Caribbean port and a brilliant place to enjoy an exhilarating day in the sunshine. Whatever you choose to do with your time, you are sure to fall in love with this sublime port of call.
This port of call has recently risen to new heights following the decision taken by several cruise lines to use it as a homeport for certain Caribbean itineraries. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, just two miles off the coast of Texas, the area is most prominently known for its incredible beach scenes spanning 32 miles. This is the ideal place to laze the day away and soak up the tranquil sun rays. The location is also a huge reason for the decision to make Galveston a homeport for many ships as it is perfect for heading off into the Caribbean whilst being a delightful destination itself for a pre or post cruise stay.
As well as being a picturesque port of call, Galveston is also renowned for its impressive Victorian architecture that flows right throughout the historic districts. This alone is highly impressive and definitely worth a walking tour to uncover its rich heritage. Galveston has experienced many ups and downs over the years. The area was once famous for being referred to as the "Wall Street of the South," being one of the wealthiest cities Texas had to offer. The city was left devastated after an astonishing hurricane in 1900, leaving the area lying in ruins. Nevertheless, the area was rebuilt and continues to build on its impressive history. The destination remained strong until Hurricane Ike made a direct hit in 2008 causing more than $3.2 billion worth of damage and once again leaving the city in a dire situation. Thankfully, however, the city’s incredible seawall protection measures, built following the 1900 storm, managed to keep hurricane Ike at bay. This impressive protection method prevented the city from complete desolation. Following on from this time, the port of Galveston has become an increasingly popular place to visit. The area is known for its trendy atmosphere and unique charms, whilst the waterfront has returned stronger and greater than ever before.
Sightseeing here is brilliant in Galveston, however you wish to spend your time. If you’re looking for something unique and exciting, then visit the amazing indoor rainforest at Moody Gardens, housing over 1,000 different species of plants and providing guests with an enthralling experience. Major attractions for families include the 26-acre Schlitterbahn Waterpark that is full of thrilling waterpark adventures for all ages. The water park is renowned for its sheer size and design and offers everything from tube slides, speed slides, outdoor pools to activity areas for the little ones. Not only does the city have a great range of sightseeing opportunities, the close proximity of them to each other makes the city highly accessible to get around. Guests will find that areas of the National Register of Historic Places are also within walking distance including the Bishop’s Palace, Ashton Villa and The Moody Mansion to name but a few.
The Strand District is a great place to visit for cruise passengers here. Guests will find a tremendous range of shopping opportunities here accompanied by a wide choice of restaurants serving all types of cuisine. Once you’ve enjoyed the outstanding local flavours head for the east end and take in the spectacular sight of Bishop’s Palace; the perfect way to finish off a great day in port.
The laid-back and affluent Grand Cayman is a wonderful port of call to visit aboard a Caribbean cruise. This sensational Caribbean island provides a rich taste of history and combines it with a truly spectacular backdrop for the ultimate picturesque destination. Cruise ships operate a tender service here to transport passengers directly into the capital of George Town. From this point passengers have the option of heading off an a pre booked shore excursion or exploring the island individually, with ease on foot due to the close proximity of the main attractions.
Many passengers head for the colonial fortification of Fort George to gain an insight into the history of the island. Built in 1790 to protect the island from the Spanish and pirates, little of the original structure still remains today; however, the area still presents an intriguing location for those who visit the island.
One thing is for certain here, you will never be short of things to do. Scuba diving opportunities are outstanding and the array of marine life to discover is breath taking. Submarine tours are often a huge hit with visitors to see first-hand the underwater coral formations renowned throughout the world as well as the mountainous regions and the spectacular Dayglo coloured fish. The Atlantis Submarine experience is provided by the majority of cruise operators, where the experienced Atlantis crew members will ensure the best sights are pointed out for a great photo opportunity. Continuing with the marine life theme, passengers wishing to head further afield may wish to experience the extravagant Stingray City. You’ll take a short drive from George Town before arriving at your motor boat launch location and heading out to sea. Approximately thirty minutes later, after breezing past the Seven Mile Beach, guests will arrive at this iconic destination and will have plenty of free time to witness the rays in their native habitat. The waters of the sandbar range from three to six feet and upon completion of a safety briefing, local experts will accompany passengers into the water to witness the magic of these incredible creatures.
An overall sightseeing escapade around Grand Cayman will inevitably include the sublime location of the Turtle Farm. This enchanting place is set within Boatswains Beach Park and is a conservation program to protect and nurture these amazing creatures. An exhibition of Green Sea, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Turtles provides a great day in the sun; why not even combine it with a taste of the finest rum around? Maybe even a slice of superb rum cake.
Get a true taste of Grand Cayman at the Cayman Island Brewery, and learn how the only beer on the island is brewed from start to finish. Elsewhere at Rum Cake Centre you can sample world-famous rum cake before heading to Seven Fathoms Rum to see the unique brewing process of Grand Cayman’s first and only rum distillery.
Take a stroll across the Seven Mile Beach that is the Grand Cayman’s most popular and well-known beach thanks to its crystal clear waters and coral sands, regularly topping the list for the world’s best beaches. On the north coast of Grand Cayman is the truly breath taking location of “Hell”. This popular area of astonishment is a formation of black jagged edge rocks, which originally inspired the name of “Hell”. It is the idyllic place to pick up a unique postcard and send it from the “Hell” post office or capture a truly once in a lifetime photograph.
The fascinating port of Grand Cayman presents an enthralling experience and a truly captivating port of the Caribbean.
Welcome to Grand Turk and its glistening Caribbean charms. This wonderful port of call is mostly known for its spectacular white shores and crystal clear waters, however there is so much more that Grand Turk has to offer, boasting a rich heritage having been the historic capital of the Turks and Caicos. The crystal clear waters here are entrancing in every way imaginable and the colonial charm of the island simply adds to the already alluring atmosphere that draws local and visitors alike back time after time. Though the island is only small, spanning just a distance of six miles in length, it remains a favourite port for many cruise lines visiting this part of the world.
The small size of the Grand Turk island makes it perfectly simple to explore for all. A stroll around the island will give you the opportunity to see Cockburn, the islands main town and particularly the main street attractions of Duke and Font Street. Passengers visiting here will also have the chance to see the Turks and Caicos Museum for a culturally enriching experience into the islands diversity over the years. The museum also tells a memorable story in the form of the Molasses Reef Wreck which is renowned for being the oldest European shipwreck in the western hemisphere.
Swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts will love the island for its dramatic underwater landscapes and tropical fish whilst the chance to see seahorses and local stingrays is always appealing. Grand Turk is also world-famous for it’s beautiful underwater coral reefs which drop an astounding 8,000 feet and are close enough to the shore for those who wish to take on a beach dive.
From the outstanding sights of the Black Forest cliffs to the amazing scenery of the Columbus Landfall National Park, Grand Turk has so much to offer despite its small size.
Renowned for boasting one of the Caribbean’s prettiest harbour scenes, the port of Grenada is a truly beautiful destination to visit. The capital and cruise port is St George’s, and this horse shoe shaped port is set in a volcanic crater, that’s set at the forefront of a French colonial backdrop. Alongside beautiful French colonial buildings, Grenada boasts silky stretches of white-sand, sunken treasures that are now adorned by colourful coral reefs, coupled with untouched beauty and warm friendly locals that makes so many fall in love with Grenada.
The island itself is in fact quite small, but despite its relatively small size, Grenada still portrays a fabulous combination of waterfalls, lakes, rainforests and mountainous valleys. Not only is the island perfect for exploration but the beach scenes here are truly sensational. Grand Anse in particular, is a wonderful location to lay back and watch the world go by, and this two-mile stretch of sand with views over the capital, is situated just around the corner of the bay from St George's, making it the ideal choice for cruise passengers arriving for the day.
Away from the superb scenery, the island is also famous for its enchanting aromas. Often referred to as the ‘Spice Island’, Grenada grows more spices per square mile than any other location around the world and it’s this fact that makes the island even more appealing. The signature seasoning is nutmeg and before passengers even arrive into port they will be met by the sumptuous aromas of this delightful spice. One piece of advice we would definitely pass on when looking to purchase spices from local spice vendors, is be sure to haggle, it’s definitely worth it to pick up a bargain and is all part of the fun of this brilliant Caribbean port of call.
Excursions in Grenada provide a great choice of water sports, exploration and cultural adventure. For sightseeing, one of the most beautiful options is to enjoy a catamaran through the waters of Grand Anse and along the superb coastline. This option is usually a daytime tour but several cruise lines will provide an evening tour, not only great for sightseeing but perfect for a unique vantage point to watch a beautiful sunset. Dive into the warm Caribbean waters and see everything from colourful reefs, shipwrecks to an underwater sculpture park that is full of unique pieces. Alternatively, stay dry on land and meander the delightful French colonial style architecture, discover the intrigue of the volcanic craters, enjoy a rainforest adventure or simply take a trip to the beach and soak up the sublime sunshine. Grenada is a truly wonderful port of call for a fabulous cruising destination.
Fun, funky and laid-back, Key West is an enthralling port of call that boasts excitement around every corner. Not only is Key West a fascinating destination for passengers arriving aboard a cruise, it comes with the added benefit of an exceptional climate for guests looking to soak up the blissful sunshine. With a fantastic atmosphere and completely laid back attitude, Key West is simply the best place to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings.
Key West is extremely popular with cruising and this destination continues to raise its game year upon year. Not only does this destination possess a spectacular array of entertainment features, Key West also acknowledges its past and rich historical presence. The historical sights here include exploring the impressive Spanish Colonial home of Ernest Hemingway, which has now been transformed into a museum. The house is a great point of interest for any passenger arriving here, especially those with an interest in literature. The history tour continues on with a venture to Curry Mansion, once home to William Curry who was the first ever millionaire in Florida, earning his vast fortune as a salvager. Another famous house to see is Audubon House. This masterfully restored home boasts an abundance of European furnishings believed primarily to have come from shipwrecks in the region over the years. The mansion combines perfectly with the 1 acre gardens that nestle in the backdrop of the tropical scenery. Perhaps the greatest home to view, however, for its charm and moments in history is Truman’s Little White House. Three Presidents including Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy all spent time here to get away from the heavy duties and pressures of their demanding schedules. The house opens its doors to visitors and guests all year-round so guests can discover some intriguing secrets of its past whilst roaming the hallways.
Most of all this exciting destination is all about fun and having a great time. Anything goes in Key West so be prepared to unwind and enjoy the ambience. The centre is vibrant and exudes style but one of the great perks for cruise passengers arriving here is that all the major attractions are very close by to each other. The centre is relatively small and very easy to navigate but still with plenty to see. Live music is fantastic here with so many bars for you to choose from, the choices are endless. The shopping opportunities are also brilliant, especially for finding that ideal unique souvenir to take home. For dining, be sure to enjoy one of the many amazing restaurants that line the central areas as well as the delightful waterfront serving up some of the best steak and seafood around. For the ultimate entertainment, head for Duval Street, the main social hub of the area whilst Bahamian Quarter portrays the more traditional side of Key West. It may not have the modern atmosphere of other areas but Bahamian Quarter still oozes style and heritage from the creation of settlements here from both Cuba and of course, due to its name, the Bahamas.
If you’re looking to let your hair down and enjoy the festive atmosphere of Key West, opt to either stroll into town yourself or join a guided excursion and wander to the famous bars on Duval Street. The Lazy Gecko Island Bar is often top of the list, as is the Flying Monkey Saloon, but be sure not to miss Rick’s Bar, a legendary venue in Key West. Don’t leave without trying the Caribbean Breeze at Rick’s Bar, but only if you can handle the challenge. Key West is full of funky and vibrant bar haunts that all serve up a great range of cocktails, beers and martinis for all to try.
Welcome to the captivating world of Key West; beautiful, eccentric, vibrant and above all extravagant. This spectacular port of call is a great destination to visit when sailing out to the Caribbean.
This charming port of call can be found on the northwest coast of Jamaica and remains to this day one of the islands most popular resorts. The beaches here are absolutely breath taking and when combined with a dip in the cooling waters, the wondrous Montego Bay epitomises the true meaning of a Caribbean escape. Here passengers will also love the fantastic choice of duty free shopping. Not only do you have this right on your doorstep when you step foot ashore but Montego Bay is also notably renowned for being the gateway to many other attractions in the area, particularly for sightseeing.
Head further afield and take in the famed house of Rose Hall, also known as ‘The White Witch’, the former home of Annie Palmer that is rumoured to be haunted by her ghost. Step back in time and take a tour of the house and grounds, and allow the hosts to fill you with eerie stories and mystery that swirls around Annie Palmer. During your time in Montego Bay there’s also the chance for you to see Greenwood House, often described as being as being one of the greatest antique museums throughout the entire Caribbean. For natural beauty there is also the chance to see the magical sight of the Dunn’s River Falls, though this journey means heading further afield to Ocho Rios, which will approximately take few hours to get to, but the spectacular sight is definitely worth the wait.
For beach lovers head to Doctor’s Cave Beach, undoubtedly one of the best here and perfect for spending the day in style. The glistening waters shimmer off the low mountainous regions set in the backdrop to create a real sun worshipper’s paradise. Another fabulous beach scene is Negril Beach with its 7-mile stretch of glorious sands where you can cool down and idle an afternoon away. Close by there is also the chance to take a raft ride down the Martha Brae River. Your guide will gently glide you downstream on a 30-foot bamboo raft, where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sumptuous surroundings of the lush green banks. Your guide will also fill your tour with tales about ‘The Legend of Martha Brae’, an Arawak Indian girl who was said to have supernatural powers. Alternatively, you could enjoy a spot of tubing just three miles further away along the Great River combining a thrilling experience with wonderful natural beauty sightseeing, including the exquisite coconut groves.
If you’re looking for a day of blissful indulgence, then Montego Bay has everything you could possibly hope for with idyllic tropical weather, sandy hotspots, reggae music and fruity cocktails to match.
Spectacular beaches and sensational scenery, the Bahamian capital presents a truly wonderful port of call. This classic Caribbean destination combines exquisite cafes, bars and unique shopping opportunities to create a blissful experience. Not only does the island boast outstanding entertainment attractions but Nassau is exquisitely beautiful in every way; a complete paradise haven. There is even a location here known as Paradise Island and this is the perfect place to let your hair down. Take in exuberant casinos, hotels and attractions. For something more serene take a boat trip across the way to the superb Nassau Harbour and revel in the local charms or alternatively head for the Blue Lagoon to experience swimming with dolphins.
The British heritage here is evident right from the moment cruise passengers arrive. Colonial architecture lines the streets and for a step back in time, another attraction is the Pirates of Nassau museum featuring an interactive replica pirate ship bringing the past to life through thrilling excitement.
Prince George Wharf, near Rawson Square is the cruise port here and where the journey begins for most passengers arriving here. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is ideally situated close by and makes for the ideal place to pick up advice and maps for heading ashore independently. The first impressions revolve around the vibrant centre; however the main interest here without a doubt is the delectable beach scenes. Breath taking hotels and resort complexes line the beachfront presenting a fascinating array of beach adventures. The Wyndham Nassau Resort is one of the hotels often used by cruise lines to take advantage of access to the resort along with a buffet style lunch and refreshments. This excursion opportunity is not always available with every cruise operator calling here but be sure to check as this delightful experience provides a great chance to enjoy an ultimately relaxing day.
Excursion opportunities primarily do revolve around enjoying the serene surroundings here and one in particular is the spectacular Blue Lagoon Island getaway for a thorough recharge and a chance to admire the islands natural beauty. Many passengers may wish to explore the historical elements of the island and if this is the case, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. The wonderfully preserved architecture here is superb encapsulating the Bahamian history.
Nassau is a fabulous destination aboard a Caribbean cruise but its location is also a great positive. Being just off the coast of Southern Florida, Nassau is ideally situated for short cruise durations and the perfect cruise break to combine with an extended stay pre or post cruise stay. Passengers have the option of looking into this type of cruise or calling at Nassau aboard a longer cruise duration. No matter the choice, this scintillating port of call is a magnificent place to visit.
With white-sand beaches, tumbling waterfalls and duty-free shopping, the town of Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful and a must see islands aboard a Caribbean cruise. The destination is renowned for its beauty and most of all its sensational waterfalls. The name of the port of call actually comes from a corrupted version of the Spanish word for waterfalls, therefore an apt choice considering the pleasures of such attractions as Dunn's River Falls being so close by.
The location of the town is extremely popular with travelling guests as Ocho Rios is situated on the northern coast of Jamaica between the capital of Kingston and the vibrant tourist resort of Montego Bay. The striking backdrop of this port of call steals the show with a vision of a green blanket of forestry leading into a mountainous milieu. The waterfront presents a line of superb luxury hotels nestled on the edge turquoise waters; typical of the Caribbean.
For the ultimate Jamaican adventure, guests can walk up the side of the cascading Dunn's River Falls, taking in the amazing sights and enjoying the chance to take a once in a lifetime photograph. This adventure is then usually followed by a relaxing day in the tranquil sunshine and perhaps a spot of rum and reggae music, once guests have made their way back down to the slope to the beautiful beach scene below. Guests who are looking for further sightseeing opportunities can head for the colourful Shaw Park botanical gardens that sit on the edge of the town’s outskirts.
With duty-free shopping, open air eateries and vibrant bars the atmosphere in Ocho Rios is fantastic and the bustling streets of Main Street and Da Costa Drive (which run parallel to each other), present guests with the chance to explore all that Ocho Rios has to offer. Craft markets here are also excellent and well worth a look to take home a unique souvenir.
The island is also famous for attracting many celebrities over the years and there will be opportunities to take in the amazing sights linked to such personalities as Errol Flynn, Ian Fleming and Sir Noel Coward. Errol Flynn is in fact considered to be the creator of the enthralling excursion of rafting, a Jamaican favourite and one certainly worth looking into to take in the islands natural beauty from a unique vantage point. This experience revolves around flowing downriver as your own Jamaican guide slowly glides the raft along.
The excursion opportunities here are fantastic with so much to choose from no matter the cruise operator you are travelling with. For passengers looking to relax and spend the day under the sun, there will usually be beach transfers in place to enjoy the serene atmosphere and enjoy one of the local cocktails. Guests looking to indulge in an excursion of excitement may wish to try the incredible Mystic Mountain Jamaican Bobsled experience for a leisurely ride before a quickening downhill dash to the finish. The twisting and turning adventure leads visitors through a journeying plunge of 3,280 feet but fear not as there is an in-sled handbrake to slow things down as you see fit. Rafting and river tubing are two other adrenaline pumping options which also give guests the chance to take in the breath taking lush scenery. For a refined day of indulgent luxury, visit the fabulous Prospect Plantation and enjoy afternoon tea in the 18th century Great House. This captivating location became the home to Sir Harold and Lady Mitchell and now houses an array of mementos of kings, presidents and celebrities who have all visited the estate over the years.
Ocho Rios is a wonderful destination to explore, relax and let the mind wander. Whatever you choose to do and however you wish to spend the day, you will love the Caribbean flair of this Jamaican gem.
As the gateway to Orlando, Port Canaveral continues to grow in stature and popularity with many cruise lines including Royal Caribbean who use Port Canaveral as a base for Caribbean itineraries. Home to some of the world’s most amazing attractions, with innovative sights to be seen here including the well-loved Disney World to the amazing Universal Studios. With wild water rides, adrenaline pumping rollercoasters, superb dining venues, awe inspiring structures and more Orlando is definitely worth a visit for those looking to have fun.
Orlando is the perfect port of call for family cruising and if you’re with children, the Disney World parks are truly fantastic for all ages. Just short journeys from the port are the three main Disney attractions; MGM Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the infamous original park; The Magic Kingdom. Whichever park you visit you will not be disappointed and with the park hopper tickets available and the brilliant monorail to transport you, it’s even possible to combine all three should you wish. From futuristic fantasy to fairy tale, Disney has created an unforgettable experience in Orlando.
An alternative to the world of Disney is to head for the amazing Universal Studios. Guests here will find two parks to discover; Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios Park provides the chance to go behind the scenes in the world of movie making as well as take in some of the world famous rides including the Jaws and E.T. experiences. Just across the way in the opposite direction is the Islands of Adventure Park and this is the more recent Universal creation. A pulse pounding venture into the world of awe inspiring rollercoasters, water rides and even more recently the home of the astonishing Harry Potter World. Stroll through the famous grounds of Hogwarts, battle the Duelling Dragons and sample a Butter Beer for a full flavour insight into the world renowned film dynasty.
Not sure about rollercoaster attractions? Prefer to see some amazing wildlife? Fear not, head for the magical attraction that is Sea World. This incredible park provides the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most breath taking marine life. Sea World is often most famous for the spectacular Shamu Show to witness an unforgettable Killer Whales show or perhaps head for the Dolphin experience of receive a peck on the cheek from a sea lion. This place is truly special and although there are many different creatures to see there is still the chance for an adrenaline rush should you wish; the newly built Manta rollercoaster takes passengers on a journey like never before. Discovery Cove also lies right next door and offers visitors the chance to enjoy swimming with dolphins and a greater insight into the fascinating world of sea life.
Moving further afield and outside of Orlando itself is the chance to head for the Kennedy Space Center for an insight into the world of NASA. The guided tours in the space centre take guests through the ins and outs of past, present and future technologies as well as allowing for an up close look at the Apollo/Saturn 5 Centre.
Further south passengers can opt to take in an air boat adventure and be whisked away across the illustrious Everglades. There is also the chance to visit Daytona Beach as well as the incredible Daytona Race Track famous for some of the most memorable Nascar races over the years and recognised from the blockbuster Tom Cruise movie “Days of Thunder”.
Away from the many entrancing attractions and theme parks, Orlando is also a great place to unwind and relax. International Drive is famous for the many shopping malls and restaurants to pick up a souvenir or enjoy the American dining experience. The ever increasing popularity of Port Canaveral means that more and more cruise operators are heading here. Guests opting for a cruise that either begins or finishes here can choose to extend their stay pre or post cruise with a hotel stay and with so much to see, it is definitely worth taking advantage of this option.
Port Canaveral welcomes ships year round, whenever you visit you are in for a treat at this tremendous destination for the whole family.
Welcome to Princess Cruises' very own private island thats sit on southern tip of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The island is one hundred miles long and only two miles wide, with Princess Cays compromising 40 acres of this unspoiled land. The perfect Bahamian island, Princess Cays is all about golden beaches, sublime waters all rounded off with a superb atmosphere.
This really is the epitome of a private island experience; the only people on the island will be you, your fellow passengers and the fantastic crew tending to your every need. Sip on cool cocktails, shop at the local craft markets, enjoy a divine beach barbeque from your very own hammock in the shade and take in spectacular views from the observation tower. During your time on Princess Cays, you may also wish to head for the town of Rock Sand that is known is well-known for it’s white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters and mesmerising colourful buildings.
The water here is absolutely incredible and the ideal place for a tranquil swim or even a snorkelling adventure around the many beautiful coral reefs surrounded by iridescent fish. Not only can you explore the underwater paradise here, those who are feeling a little more active can also enjoy a day of windsurfing, kayaking, paddle wheelers and a whole host of other water sport activities.
This sensational private island is all about enjoying the peaceful nature of the unique ambience and the ultimate in Caribbean relaxation. The memory of a trip here will last a lifetime and however you wish to spend the day; you are guaranteed to enjoy a magnificent experience.
This wonderful Caribbean island possesses a distinctive hint of French flare giving it a unique feel amongst the other ports in the region. St. Barts is actually considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and when you arrive you will see exactly why that is. Its dramatic scenery flows from the hills right down to the waterfront meeting idyllic white beaches and crystal clear waters in superb style.
In a past life, St. Barts was once just ancient coral reefs but has since developed into a visually stunning destination for travellers, including cruise passengers to visit. The first thing you will notice in St. Barts, as with many Caribbean islands, is the outstanding crystal clear waters combined with sumptuous white sand beaches. St. Barts has 14 beaches in total, all open to the public and free where locals and visitors can call for lazy beach days. Guests who don’t want to venture far can enjoy a short leisurely stroll from Gustavia to Shell Beach, the small but picturesque beach. Elsewhere edged by coconut palms, Marigot Beach is perfect for snorkelling and swimming, Toiny Beach is popular with surfers and St Jean Beach, which is split by Eden Rock, is the most popular beach on the island with its lively atmosphere and abundance of water sports.
The island is also the home to many of the rich and famous personalities throughout the world during the winter months who are looking to get away from it all and relax. The island is also the home to many of the rich and famous personalities throughout the world during the winter months who are looking to get away from it all and relax. If you would prefer to take a stroll then head for Gustavia, the port town, where red-roofed buildings combine with boutique shops super yachts of the wealthy to sit perfectly behind the enchanting harbour.
With a passion for fine dining and a superb quality and variety of food, guests will never go hungry during their time in St. Barts. French chefs will show off their skills in trendy restaurants while those who want to get a taste of traditional Creole cuisine can opt to dine in one of the several restaurants that serve up everything from stuffed crab to ‘cristophine’ a local squash that is prepared with codfish.
St. Barts is the perfect destination to simply relax and enjoy the captivating Caribbean climate in all its glory. Welcome to a sun worshipper’s paradise.
When you are sitting at home dreaming of the perfect, classic Caribbean island scene, there’s a good chance it would look a lot like St Kitts. This stunningly beautiful destination welcomes cruise passengers with open arms to witness its magical charm and charisma. The island is bursting with the most incredible beach scenes, perfect for lazing the day away and simply enjoying the splendour of the caribean sunsine.
It was in 1493 that this island was discovered by the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. He loved this wonderful volcanic island so much that he even designed to name it after himself. It was only shortened to St Kitts by British sailors later on in the islands history. Such is the magnificence of this island it has been fought over by many cultures over time including the British, French and Spanish. The island even boasts a famous pirate history with the notorious William Kidd enjoying time here.
You will love the spectacular scenery here in St Kitts, with a range of thrilling sightseeing opportunities. You’ll find sleepy villages combined with deserted beaches before witnessing vibrant local venues amongst a backdrop of lush rainforest greenery not forgetting the mini mountain range here where the dormant volcano can be found. Despite these superb features of landscape beauty, one of the first features of the island you will come across upon arrival is the brand new port area. Only recently developed, the docking area for cruise ships has been transformed to present a state of the art cruise terminal and marina complex. Here you’ll find a great mix of bars and restaurants to sample some of the local cuisine along with a brilliant range of shops and gardens. Once you have meandered this area you will head out into the island and specifically the capital, Basseterre. This marvellous location is famed for its restored Georgian buildings and eccentric character.
Although the Kittitians are extremely proud of their history and especially how far the island has come on its own, you will find plenty of British features here none more recognised than driving on the left hand side of the road. Cricket is also a very popular sporting attraction here and has been for some time. The island has been independent since 1983 and covers just 65 square miles of land. In this 65 square miles, however, you will find some of the most sensational sights imaginable including its own UNESCO World Heritage Site; Brimstone Hill Fortress. This amazing site will undoubtedly be the highlight of many excursions here as you take in the view. The site is situated atop 38 acres of limestone and sulphur composites so you can just imagine the breath taking view over St Kitts mountain range from here. This vantage point allows for awe inspiring photographical opportunities over the sugar cane fields and Caribbean Sea.
Basseterre only has one main road so your chances of getting lost are highly unlikely, whether you travel ashore independently or via a cruise excursion. Along the road you will see Mount Liamuiga and also take in the site known as Bloody Point. This site became engraved in the history of the island when over 2,000 Carib Indians suffered a horrendous massacre here in 1626. Further along there is also the opportunity on this road to see the wonderfully built Roman Catholic Cathedral along with St George’s Anglican Church. St George’s Church is particularly renowned for its huge bell tower and fascinating steeple.
To gain a greater idea of the heritage here, one great opportunity is the chance to see the ruins of the old Wingfield Sugar Estate. Sugar cane was the staple of St Kitts economy from the 17th century onwards and remained as the island’s main export up until production was decommissioned in the early 20th century.
Excursion experiences here are excellent with so much to choose from. All cruise lines visiting here will offer the chance to take in the best of St Kitts but there are also other opportunities for something a little different. Take a tour to Fairview Great House for afternoon tea and sample the Caribbean cuisine along the way or perhaps opt for a Jeep safari and witness the enchanting scenery of St Kitts via 4X4. There’s a rainforest discovery option with many cruise operators here and also the spectacular chance to whizz through the trees and lush vegetation on a zip wire adventure. Yes, one of the islands most modern and exciting experiences is a zip wire that allows you to fly with both hands and feet free to just simply enjoy the outstanding views below.
Other exciting excursion opportunities include nature kayaking, catamaran cruises to the nearby island of Nevis or even just a transfer to and from one the of the best beach settings on the island; St Kitts has something for everyone and never fails to impress.
The captivating sight of St Lucia is enough to want to spend a lifetime at this fantastic destination. The port of St Lucia is truly beautiful and boasts a magnificent ambience of utter blissful relaxation. The island is a huge hit with cruise passengers and just one look at the luscious backdrop, and skyline dominated by the twin peaks of Les Pitons is all you’ll need to understand why.
St Lucia is the ultimate in Caribbean delights, this sumptuous port of call continues to wow each and every guest that arrives and the fascinating history it possesses enhances the experience even further. The British and French fought over the island for years, trying to lay claim to the luscious surroundings. Not only does St Lucia boast superb beach settings but the volcanic backdrop creates stunning scenery. The botanical gardens here flourish with colour and the intimately charming fishing villages give a real insight into local life. The wildlife is enchanting with parrots nestling in the trees and the marine life provides a sensational snorkelling adventure.
There is plenty to see here so be sure to plan your day accordingly. The excursion options range from the exciting to the relaxing depending on how you wish to spend your time. Beach days revolve around the entrancing Reduit Beach set in the delightful Rodney Bay area to the north of the island. This fantastic location is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the glistening sunshine. Snorkelling here is magnificent but if you feel like going one step further then opt for a scuba adventure available either here or at the beautiful Pigeon Island, where you may get the chance to witness the magical sights of Parrot Fish, Spiny Lobster and Octopus. If this is your first time diving there’s no need to worry, as the beginner’s classes are fantastic, as are the classes for more advanced divers. Not only do guests have the chance to scuba dive, there is also the chance to take in the truly spectacular Sea Trek experience at Pigeon Island. This majestic concept provides the opportunity to walk along the sea bed whilst keeping your head completely dry as you don a specially designed helmet that allows you breathe under the sea. Take in the amazing underwater scenery and enjoy an unforgettable experience.
If you’re visiting the island for the first time then a must see highlight is the dramatic Soufriére volcano. Here you will witness the awe inspiring beauty of the entire island as you look down over the luscious rainforest scenery. This is also the perfect location to capture a unique photograph of the ship. Gain a great insight into the islands 300,000 year volcanic history along with the amazing bubbling mud pools of the wondrous Sulphur Springs.
Dolphin watching here is also a fabulous excursion opportunity. Passengers will set off aboard a speed boat with local know how of where to find the best viewing spots. Witness Dolphins and even Whales or alternatively if you prefer to stay on land, try something truly adrenaline pumping like the 4X4 experience or even a biking adventure around the island. At the Rainforest Adventure Park guests can try a zip-lining adventure or even a Tarzan swing experience for a brilliant day of action packed fun.
The local cuisine here is delicious so be sure to eat at a least one of the impeccable restaurants and bars that line the avenues and waterfronts. During your time on the island of St Lucia, there’s even the chance for you to visit the islands famous rum distillery’s and explore the local shops of Castries where you can buy everything from bread and wine to ketchup made from bananas.
St Maarten is a fantastic port of call aboard a Caribbean cruise, with a truly diverse culture that is split between Dutch and French heritage. Philipsburg is the Dutch capital of the island and the arrival point for visiting cruise ships, whilst Marigot is the capital of the French side.
No formal boundaries exist between the Dutch and French regions, only a single welcoming sign tells you when you have crossed from one country to another. One noticeable difference that you’ll also see, is that the French like to spell it ‘St Martin’, whereas the Dutch opt for the spelling ‘St Maarten’.
For those who didn’t know, St Maarten is an island with a staggering 37 beaches! Every single one of its beaches is fantastically unique and reflects the rich diversity of the island itself. Make sure you come prepared for diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kite surfing and more. Don’t forget to come with a towel in hand so you can relax on the golden sandy beaches afterwards and soak up the Caribbean sun.
As the largest saltwater lagoon in the Caribbean, Simpson’s Bay is a popular attraction for a lagoon kayaking experience. Once the safety brief is complete the kayaking will commence and you can head towards Bellevue mangroves and the water border separating the two sides of the island. Orient Beach is the largest and most popular of all St Maarten’s 37 beaches and is brimming with tourist amenities, including beach restaurants, hotels, shops and water sports.
The village of Grand Case has retained all its authenticity and earned a reputation as the gourmet capital, making it a popular destination for those who visit the island. Grand Case really comes alive during the ‘Mardis de Grand Case’ and the Harmony Night festival, when Caribbean jazz bands and orchestras parade together, alongside stalls exhibiting local crafts and cuisine.
Explore Marigot and discover old Creole houses which have been restored in traditional Saint Martinoise style, often incorporating luxury boutiques. Leading luxury brands from around the world can be found here and the best part of all is that it’s all duty free – perfect for the shopaholics amongst us!
From a Golden Eagle catamaran and the underwater experience of a semi-submarine to the blissful serenity of a glorious day at the beach, St Maarten presents a fabulous day under the glistening sun. A true great of the Caribbean, St Maarten is rapidly becoming a regular feature for many cruise operators and one not to be missed for a spectacular day of exploration.
The British Virgin Isle of Tortola is the place to experience a more undiscovered version of the Caribbean with its powdery-white beaches, lush green mountains and delectable cuisine. The landscape alone provides an awe inspiring backdrop to the ocean front setting and the island is famed for its volcanic scenery. The reason behind the unscathed setting of Tortola is all down to the landscape. As the steep backdrop raises to the point of 1,709 feet, it has proven difficult to enhance the tourism industry and as such maintains an impeccable unblemished beauty that characterises Tortola to this present day.
The serene nature of the island creates the perfect beach setting. The lack of tourism levels here means that the beach scenes remain relatively quiet with the chance to enjoy a romantic getaway for two or even unspoilt family fun. The capital is an intimate area known as Road Town and is just a short trip from the cruise port. Most cruise operators provide a shuttle service from the port itself to the area of Wickham’s Quay and close by to the locations main streets.
If there’s still time for you to do a spot of shopping before you leave, look no further than Main Street, on Road Town, as here you’ll find everything from local rum, jams and spices to handcrafted jewellery, ceramics and glassware.
Excursion opportunities in Tortola provide the perfect foundation for a great day’s adventure. Snorkelling enthusiasts will love the sea life at Lower Belmont Bay whilst those looking to head inland have the opportunity to take in Mount Sage National Park and the magnificent BVI rainforest scenery. Take a sailing trip through Sir Francis Drake Channel and follow in the footsteps of iconic personas such as Christopher Columbus, or opt for a motor launch crossing to Virgin Gorda, that is a place of utter tranquillity and a true natural phenomenon. Venture out with local experts to see some the best local sights on foot and visit the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum, Old Governments House or Callwood’s Rum Distillery.
While you can take a swim, a stroll or relax on one of the dozen secluded palm-beaches dotted around the island, culinary enthusiasts have the opportunity to indulge in a barbecue at Cane Garden Bay for a taste of freshly caught fish dishes. Sheltered from heavy winds, Cane Garden Bay is a long, curved bay that sits on the north shore of Tortola, and is a favoured anchorage for boaters. Cane Garden Bay also attracts tourists and BVI residents alike who have a passion for water sports and swimming.
Welcome to the world of Tortola, a world like no other and an unscathed destination to discover the blissful essence of the Caribbean.
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