Eastern Caribbean Shore Excursions
Written by Viator, January 2011
Most cruise ships visiting the US Virgin Islands dock at Havensight or Crown Bay on the island of St. Thomas, near the capital Charlotte Amalie. Being a US territory, the language is English and the currency is US dollars. Discover the island’s Dutch and Danish heritage by taking a stroll along historic laneways and go duty-free shopping and dining in Charlotte Amalie or Frenchtown. Relax under palm trees on a white-sand beach or go swimming with sharks, snorkeling, kayaking or ‘snuba diving’ at Coral World Ocean Park.
Quieter, smaller and more beautiful than St. Thomas, St. John is renowned for its snorkeling at Trunk Bay’s underwater trail. Like St. Thomas, the language is English and the currency is the US dollar. If St. John is your port, you’ll be tendered ashore to the main town, Cruz Bay, for shopping and dining. A St. John shore excursion might also take you sailing aboard a catamaran, kayaking on Caneel Bay or hiking to Turtle Point.
Nassau is your most likely port of entry for the Bahamas, on the island of New Providence. English is the language spoken, and as the Bahamian dollar is tied to the US dollar, you can use US currency. Cruise liners anchor at Prince George Wharf, from where the capital’s shops and restaurants are just a 10-minute walk away. Visit a beach resort to learn how to scuba dive or ride in an underwater submarine, or see the best of the island on a city and country tour. Go duty-free shopping in Nassau’s Bay Street, or chill out with the flamingos at Adastra Gardens. Click here for the full list of Nassau shore excursions.
Closer to Miami than Nassau, Freeport is on Grand Bahama island, northwest of New Providence. Like Nassau, you’ll hear English spoken and be able to use US dollars. Cruise liners dock at Lucaya Harbor, 10 minutes from Freeport. A shore excursion offers shopping, beaches, waterpark fun, swimming with dolphins, canal sightseeing and Lucayan national park walking trails. Click here for the full list of Freeport shore excursions.
ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN
Most ships visiting this shared Dutch (St. Maarten) and French (St. Martin) island tie up near Phillipsburg in St. Maarten. US dollars are accepted on both sides of the island, and English is spoken in both the French and Dutch areas. The duty-free shopping is a hugely popular shore activity, along with relaxing on white-sand beaches and cosmopolitan multicultural dining. See fish swimming beneath you aboard the Seaworld Explorer, or cruise to one of the surrounding islands from Simpson Bay.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Cruise liners visiting Antigua dock at the capital, St. John’s, on the island’s west coast. English is spoken on Antigua, as well as some Spanish, and US dollars are accepted along with the Eastern Caribbean dollar. Shop at the market in St. John’s and see the sights on a tour, go off-road on a beach safari, or hit the water at Cades Reef on a snorkeling adventure.
Antigua’s sister island is an easy day trip by catamaran for shore visitors docking at St. John’s. Pristine beaches are the attraction on Barbuda, for snorkeling and relaxing, as well as visiting the island’s popular frigate bird sanctuary.
British and French influences are evident on Dominica, and you’ll be docking in the former French port of Roseau on the island’s southwest coast. English is spoken and the currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. US currency is accepted by most restaurants and shops, and you can purchase local currency from banks and ATMs in Roseau and Portsmouth. Water-based activities like kayaking, rainforest river tubing and beach snorkel tours by jeep are popular shore excursions on Dominica.
The old city of San Juan is a highlight of any shore excursion to the island of Puerto Rico. As Puerto Rico is a US territory, English is spoken along with Spanish and the currency is the US dollar. Most ships dock near San Juan’s old town, where you can soak up the mix of Caribbean, American and Spanish cultures while following cobblestone streets, visiting the rum factory and enjoying some of the best food in the Eastern Caribbean. To head further afield, follow nature trails at El Yunque Rainforest or join a snorkel and picnic cruise.
French-style St Barts is a favorite with celebrities and beach lovers alike. Though French is the official language, English is widely spoken. The euro is St. Barts’ currency, best purchased from ATMs in Gustavia, where you’ll arrive by tender from your cruise ship. Explore the colonial town and soak up the French atmosphere by shopping for couture fashion and dining on local seafood at a bistro. To make the most of the location, visit St. Jean beach or circle the island on a catamaran cruise.
TURKS & CAICOS
The Turks and Caicos islands make up a chain of 40 idyllic islands, which specialize in relaxing and coral reef diving. The US dollar is the official currency, and English is spoken. Cruise liners dock at the southwest tip of Grand Turk island, and you’ll find the best array of facilities at the port. Life is tranquil and laidback on Grand Turk, so hire a pony or beach cabana, or visit the National Museum to bone up on the island’s history.
Tours & Tickets
On your next cruise to the Bahamas, you must jump off your ship and experience the fun of the SUB Bahamas Adventure! This shore excursion is the perfect way to ... Read more
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
The waters in the Bahamas are simply perfect for snorkeling! If you have limited time and want to see its incredible marine life, hop aboard this Nassau shore ... Read more
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)
Your time in port in St Maarten can be a boating adventure on the Caribbean with this snorkeling and sightseeing shore excursion. You are your own captain as ... Read more
St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Disembark from your cruise ship in St. Thomas and get ready for the thrill of a lifetime! Dare to jump into the shark lagoon at Coral World Ocean Park and ... Read more
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands