It is unlikely that there are any cruise destinations in the world more popular than the Caribbean. With beautiful cruising weather all year around, stunning tropical beaches, crystal clear water packed full of tropical sea life and historic cities dotted about the region, the Caribbean has it all. But aside from the beaches, the sun and the romance, what else makes the Caribbean such a popular destination for cruises? Here are some of the highlights that keep on attracting visitors year after year.
There are plenty of exciting destinations to visit on a cruise in the Caribbean. For example, there is The Bahamas and its bustling capital Nassau, where you can explore numerous historic attractions such as Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase.
You may want to visit St Thomas, one of the most idyllic of the Virgin Islands. It used to be a hotspot for pirates but is now known for its beautiful beaches and excellent shopping. Or you could stop off at St Maarten and experience the unique mixture of French and Dutch cultures (the island is divided in two, with both nations owning a portion).
These destinations are just the tip of the iceberg, however, and there are many more wonderful towns and cities across the Caribbean to visit on your cruise.
Think of wildlife in the Caribbean, and your mind immediately turns to below the surface of the ocean where diving and snorkelling will provide you with the opportunity to see manatees, dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and endless schools of exotic fish. Diving is a popular activity right across the Caribbean, but there are a few spots that stand out, including:
- Champagne Reef in Dominica.
- Palancar Reef in Cozumel.
- ‘Alice in Wonderland’, the name given to an excellent dive site in Tortola.
The wildlife is not limited to beneath the waves, and if you want to enjoy the incredible bird life of the Caribbean, there are some great places to do so. One of the best of the lot is Great Bird Island in Antigua, an important bird sanctuary, where you will be able to spot a huge number of tropical birds in one place.
Natural Highlights of the Caribbean
There are also some spectacular natural highlights dotted around the Caribbean that you may get the opportunity to see on your cruise. These include:
- The Pitons – these two volcanic peaks are located in St Lucia, and provide stunning views from the top, from where you can look down over the black sand beaches below.
- Sage Mountain National Park – this national park is located in Tortola, and when you reach the peak of the mountain you will be afforded a stunning view from the highest spot in the British Virgin Islands.
- The Morne Trois Pitons National Park – this stunning park is located in Dominica, and you will be able to explore a beautiful landscape of tropical forests, hot springs and beautiful waterfalls, as well as the mighty volcano Morne Trois Pitons.
There are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Caribbean. If you want to explore some of the historic highlights of the region on your cruise, you may want to stop off at:
- Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic – an old colonial town founded by Christopher Columbus at the end of the 15th century. Highlights include the Zona Colonial and the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, the oldest cathedral in the whole of the Americas.
- San Juan in Puerto Rico – another historic gem, this town boasts quaint cobbled streets and many attractions including the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.
See the Best of the Caribbean on Your Cruise
The great thing about a cruise in the Caribbean is that you will get to travel to numerous areas of the region and will be able to see many of the historic and natural highlights in one single trip. So if you can feel the Caribbean calling, start looking for the ideal cruise and plan your own adventure in one of the most beautiful regions of the planet.