A La Palma cruise is the perfect way to experience unspoilt nature. The north of the island is covered in lush rainforest, which gives way to mountains fringed with serene pine forests. In the south you’ll discover twisted volcanic-lava formations, evoking a lunar landscape surrounded by cobalt-blue oceans. There’s no doubt that beautiful La Palma will take your breath away.
La Palma is the ideal place to get away from it all. Relax and unwind on one of the striking black-sand beaches, which see far fewer tourists than those on other Canary Islands. Watch the fiery sunsets as you savour a glass of local wine. Once the sun goes down, indulge in a spot of stargazing – because there’s no light pollution, the island is renowned for its stunning starry skies.
Popular Ports in La Palma
Santa Cruz de la Palma
The only port on the island is located in the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma. This compact, lively city is bordered by forested green hills and the cobalt waters of the Atlantic. It has a stunningly picturesque historic centre, of cobbled streets and colourful, colonial-style houses, which you’ll love exploring.
Learn more about the town’s colonial history at the Museo Insular. It’s housed inside a stunning 500-year-old monastery of rooms with carved ceilings, which wrap around shady citrus cloisters.
After you’ve explored the beautiful avenues of the city, take time out to relax on one of the nearby beaches. Bajamar Beach is just a 10-minute walk from the cruise port. The black sand of this beach contrasts strikingly with the deep-blue waters of the Atlantic. And despite its proximity to the city, it never feels too crowded.
What are the best cruise ships for a La Palma cruise?
There are lots of options for a La Palma cruise, but there are several ships which are a cut above the rest, thanks to their easy-on-the-pocket luxury.
The intimate, yet luxurious Marella Dream is a firm favourite when it comes to Atlantic Cruises. Children will be entertained with fun activities at the Kid’s Club, their own pool, and even a stage school. This gives you a chance to relax in the sun by the adults-only pool, or to enjoy a cocktail at the adjacent bar.
You’ll be amazed at the range of drinking and dining options available. Enjoy everything from fragrantly spiced curries to steaks grilled on hot stones. Finish off the night watching a show in the two-storey Broadway Lounge, or letting your hair down in the lively Water’s Edge nightclub.
Sail across the Atlantic in P&O’s beautiful Britannia, voted Best New Ocean Ship in 2015. It’s like being in a floating five-star hotel, complete with a state-of-the-art spa and choice of swimming pools. Passengers are offered the chance to learn everything from ballroom dancing to feng shui, and there are dedicated activities for children, too. Tuck into food from around the world, including French pâtisserie at Market Café, or a curry at Sindhu, a restaurant developed by two-Michelin-starred chef, Atul Kochhar.
Shore Excursion Ideas
We recommend taking a shore excursion on your La Palma cruise, so you can really get a chance to see the beauty of the island. Here are three highly recommended options.
Scenic La Caldera, La Palma
If you want to understand how La Palma came to be named La Isla Bonita, take this excursion to La Taburiente National Park. You’ll wind along narrow roads until you reach the national park, which is actually the world’s largest volcanic crater. Inside the crater you’ll discover fanged mountains, waterfalls and aromatic pine forests. The Mirador de La Cumbrecita, on the southern rim of the caldera, offers stunning panoramic views of the park.
The stunning villages of Brena Alta, El Paso and Las Manchas
Enjoy a scenic tour of La Palma, beginning in Brena Alta. This small village nestles into forested hills, and is surrounded by tobacco plantations. These are used to make La Palma’s famed cigars. Visit the village’s cigar museum to see how they’re made.
After this you’ll travel inland to El Paso, perched on the rim of the Caldera de Taburiente, and commanding breath-taking panoramic views. Visit the fascinating silk museum before moving on to picturesque Las Manchas. You’ll be able to admire Plaza La Glorieta, a cactus-fringed square with decorative mosaics.
Off-Road Buggy Adventure
If you’re feeling in the mood for an adventure, we recommend exploring the island’s rugged terrain on an off-road buggy ride. Following an expert guide, you’ll navigate tracks surrounded by rugged mountains and luxuriant vegetation, getting further and further off the beaten track. There’ll be the opportunity to stop for photos at a beautiful panoramic spot, but the rest of the ride will pass in an adrenaline-fuelled blur.