Bermuda is one of the most well-known cruise destinations in the Caribbean. Not to mention one of the most desired ports-of-call for cruisers and cruise lines alike. Unfortunately, Bermuda cruises are fairly rare, but what about some of the other more frequently called on Caribbean ports?
Are there any that match Bermuda’s combination of natural beauty and first-class activities. While every port is different, and it’s a disservice to one’s unique charms to another’s, some ports-of-calls combine exotic tropical ports with first-rate dining, cultural attractions, and shopping. It’s worth highlighting them.
TORTOLA – THE LARGEST OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Technically, the British Virgin Islands are just the Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands are the johnny-come-lates who have to distinguish themselves with a national identifier. Nevertheless, most cruisers describe them as the British Virgin Islands.
Tortola, in particular, is an amazing destination. It is a surprisingly dry island. As a result of the lack of run off, the waters offshore are remarkably clear. This has made it a preferred destination for the very wealthy, and their yachts, and has made the British Virgin Islands prosperous. It’s a clean, safe island — something that stands out with the rising crime rates across the Caribbean, and it has some of the most beautiful beaches. It also has a lot of excellent shopping and dining.
SAINT JOHN, U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS
In the other set of Virgin Islands lies another place of spectacular beauty. Saint John is a quiet island, territory of the United States. While Saint Thomas, to the West, and Tortola, to the North East, are popular island destinations, and retreats for the wealthy, Saint John is largely undeveloped. Two-thirds of the island are set aside as a nature park. This makes it far quieter, and far more tranquil than it’s neighbors.
It also has a thriving community of artists in Cruz Bay, its one real town. Here you can buy not just art, but some quality hand-crafted items to take home with you. Saint Johns may be home to some of the most unspoiled scenery, but it’s hardly a wilderness.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico’s capital is a major stop on most Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruises, and its old city is a major draw for cruisers. The colonial era town is on an island connected, now by bridges, to the large metropolis, and for a long time it was a red light district. However, a major effort to develop the old city while respecting its history has resulted in a high-end shopping, dining, and art district with beautiful, and authentic, Spanish colonial architecture.
The fact that the Bacardi distillery is in town doesn’t hurt either.
If the shopping, history, and beauty of the old city isn’t for you, then nearby is Puerto Rico’s waterfalls, tress, and other sites of the United States’ only tropical rainforest. Not sights that should be easy to pass up for most cruisers.
These are, of course, just a few of the cruise destinations in the Caribbean. The best ones are largely a matter of personal preference, and individual experience. Amazing services, memories, or sites in one port can make your whole vacation. What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Go Port Canaveral Official Travel Provider and has been republished here with permission by Go Port Canaveral.