Popular Ports in the Turks and Caicos Islands
The island’s only cruise port is on Grand Turk Island which is also home to the territory’s capital, Cockburn Town. The town’s architecture reflects the history of mariners and salt harvesters (‘salt rakers’) from Bermuda. Pay a visit to the Turks and Caicos Museum, known as ‘The Best Little Museum in the Caribbean’ – here you can explore the rich culture and history of the islands.
Grand Turk is a small island which is rich in Caribbean charisma. As one of the first places that Christopher Columbus landed in the New World, it offers visitors access to amazing uncrowded beaches, as well as many attractions to explore.
The beaches on Grand Turk Island are stunning, and are among the best in the world. If you’re looking for a secluded spot, try English Point; Cockburn Beach has a great choice of restaurants; White Sands Beach is ideal if you fancy a bit of beach-combing; and Pillory Beach is your best bet for snorkelling. There’s also Boho Dive Resort for a varied selection of water sports.
And if the calm and warm waters aren’t relaxing enough, book yourself in for pampering on Parrot Cay, a private island resort believed to have been a hideout for Anne Bonny, the infamous pirate. In modern day you can relax and rejuvenate at the exclusive resort and spa.
A must-try local delicacy on the Turks and Caicos Islands are the tasty conch fritters – the conch meat is coated in breadcrumbs and spices, then fried. Turks Head beer is a favourite drink here, and make sure you treat yourself to some traditional Turks and Caicos rum punch.
What are the best cruise ships for a cruise to the Turks and Caicos Islands?
There are two Marella ships cruising to the Turks and Caicos Islands, both offering superb facilities. Here are the options to take you there…
New to the oceans for 2018, the Marella Explorer is a great choice for those seeking an excellent variety of food options. With no fewer than 10 restaurants and 10 bars to choose from on board, including Tapas @ The Mediterranean, specialising in tapas dishes and tasty pan-Asian cuisine at Kora La. With endless things to do onboard, there’s also a bar, club and casino to enjoy on your journey. You’ll also find an indoor cinema, a sports and family deck, and even get the chance to have a facial, body wrap or massage at the Champneys spa!
The Marella Celebration offers guests a sizeable and warm welcome. The Celebration underwent an overhaul in 2012, so you’ll experience jazzed-up cabins and contemporary furnishings. Cruise in style by catching a show at the Broadway Show Lounge which hosts West-End-style productions and watch out for the special guest acts from the UK. Enjoy gourmet food onboard in the sophisticated à la carte restaurants or indulge in the spa – and cappuccino and espresso lovers will head straight for The Coffee Port.
Shore excursion ideas
If you are keen to get out and about on your arrival at Grand Turk and aim to experience the best of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ outstanding natural beauty, here are a few sightseeing tours to consider:
Reef ‘n’ Rays
Become best friends with the fishes on this fantastic 2.5-hour swimming extravaganza. From the port, you’ll climb on to a boat with your snorkel, mask and flippers at the ready and head out into the Atlantic. You’ll anchor by a coral reef to keep a lookout for lobsters, barracudas and sea turtles. Then to your next stop – the Stingray Playground. Ever fancied swimming with kite-like stingrays? Well here’s your chance. In shallow waters, you’ll stand above them and take selfies as they glide past your feet.
Coast to Coast Grand Turk Off Road
This two-hour trip covers Grand Turk from top to toe. You’ll be riding on a 4-wheel-drive along roads less travelled, exploring the island’s southern coast and passing the salt flats. Your journey will take your through Duke Street and Front Street in the capital, Cockburn Town. Then you’ll head toward the unmanned north, stopping at North Creek to stroll along the beach. You’ll head on shell-safari with your guide, on the lookout for common and rare shells on Grand Turk. You’ll then make head to the island’s lighthouse where from the headland you’ll see across the Atlantic to the horizon.
Dune Buggy Fun
You’ll enjoy this two-hour tour of Grand Turk from the bucket seat of a dune buggy. Heading away from the port on the clay tracks along the beach, you’ll stop at a coastal bluff to take in views of Gibb’s Cay and the other islands in the chain. You’ll then head past the Salina Salt Ponds packed with flamingos. Passing the airport you’ll spot the replica of the space shuttle which splashed down off the coast of Grand Turk after astronaut John Glen orbited the earth. After a journey around Cockburn Town, you’ll head to where wild horses roam, North Wells. Finally, you’ll walk around North Creek with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean before heading back to port.
Top ports of call in this destination
· Grand Turk