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The Best Caribbean Cruises Ports and Shore Excursions

Plan your perfect Caribbean escape! Our experts have curated top ports & shore excursions for every interest - beaches, adventure, culture & more.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book Caribbean Cruises

Cruising to the Caribbean soon? Don’t know the best way to spend your day? Don’t worry.’s expert team has curated a list of top Caribbean ports and their shore excursions, which will make your day more memorable. No matter whether you’re a first-time traveler or an experienced one, finding a perfect shore excursion is not easy.

The Caribbean is the most welcoming destination for its visitors with its white-sand beaches, warm azure waters, and exotic local flavors. Instead of relying on ship-sponsored shore tours and spending hours poring over those shore excursion lists, continue reading this article. Here, we have created a list for you.

Best Ports and Shore Excursions for Caribbean Cruises

1. Antigua – Helicopter Tour of the Island

The waves, the sea, and the island of Antigua
Photo by Skybluesrich at Pixabay

One of the best shore excursions you can try on the Costa Cruises. It offers great views of the island. You will fly at a low altitude over those crystal-clear waters. This tour has some main stops at St. John’s English Harbor, Nelson’s Dockyard, Cades Reef, Pillars of Hercules, Half Moon Bay, and Five Islands. You can enjoy this helicopter tour more than most will see during their entire vacation!

2. Basseterre – Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour

Caribbean island of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Photo by mickfromsvg at Pixabay

Board the most scenic railway journey, which is two-deck railcars. This line was built a century ago and carries cane from plantations to sugar factories. Go on a complete island tour that circles St. Kitts on a 30-mile route by train on this historic rail line and by bus. Most importantly, don't forget to grab your complimentary drinks at the lower level of the railcar.

3. Bridgetown – Accessible Harrisons Cave

When you are in Bridgetown, take a shore excursion to visit Harrisons Cave. Just take a ride through the underground cave in an electric tram. You can get taxis or shuttles with round-trip transfers from the cruise port, a local guide, and entrance fees. However, those winding tunnels are to marvel at the pool, waterfalls, stalagmites, and stalactites. This excursion takes around 4 hours or half a day because it is located in the center of the island, a natural phenomenon unique to the tropical world.

4. Castries – Jeep Safari and Sailing

A Jeep, a safari, and a north-eastern destination
Photo by dilshad3 at Pixabay

Go on a panoramic drive on a Jeep safari from Castries to the backroads of western St. Lucia and cruise along the coast to the Pitons. Jeep Safari in Castries can be your most iconic safari. Unique highlights, such as Marigot Bay and Roseau Valley, where you will board a sleek catamaran. Moreover, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, before you disembark, go to swim at a nearby beach and spend some quality time.

5. Charlotte Amalie – Duty-free Shopping

The islands of Usvi, St. Thomas and Charlotte Amalie
Photo by wolseleyrd at Pixabay

Just go on your favorite excursion, ladies! Yes, shopping. Charlotte Amalie is the epicenter of the high-end, luxury shopping stores. The duty-free shops have various accessories and alcohol products. All the luxury duty-free things are made with superb craftsmanship and designed with everything from gold and silver to precious stones. And if you want souvenirs and t-shirts, you will get those too on the duty-free shore excursion of Charlotte Amalie.

6. Colon – Panama City and Canal Private Tour

The Panama canal, the crossing from one country to another
Photo by MonicaVolpin at Pixabay

Colon Port is situated in the eastern Caribbean of the Panama Canal. It is said that it handles one of the highest traffic flows in the region. So, when you are in Colon, take a Panama City and Canal Private tour to make your cruise vacation unforgettable. The UNESCO-listed Panama City, the views from Ancon Hill, the Amador Causeway, the Bridge of Americas, and the Panama Canal are the top attractions. You can even go for a walking tour of the atmospheric Old Town and historic Casco Viejo. You can even get the pickup and drop-off services from the port.

7. Costa Maya – Towns and Beaches in Mahahual Town

This town is a laid-back Mexican tourist village carved out of the Yucatan Jungle. While you take a shore excursion of Towns and beaches in Mahahual Town, don’t forget to take a visit to the mysterious Mayan ruins at Chacchoben. You can even take an outside visit to the faux village of Mahahual Town. It is a live example of a fishing town with beaches and beachside restaurants and shops. This town is even famous for snorkeling, paddleboarding, scuba diving, and other water activities that are included in your shore excursion to Mahahual Town.

8. Freeport – The Coral Reefs Excursions

This is a picture of fish, nature, and an aquarium
Photo by visavietnam at Pixabay

Freeport is a Bahamian port that offers snorkeling and beach time as a shore excursion. You can find fish, coral reefs, sea turtles, rays, and dolphins. The underwater world in Freeport will give you goosebumps as well as make your heart go wow by offering those guided snorkeling tours. Some companies take you to the sea by boat, while others will ask you to swim from the shore itself.

9. Grand Cayman – Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

An image of a diving deep in the ocean in the color blue
Photo by lucatelles at Pixabay

Grand Cayman has some undeniable attractions for its tourists, for example, Stingray City. It is a sandbar where stingrays come out to eat. You can snorkel around the sunken WW2 wreck. Even the Turtle Farm Tours are not to be missed because they present butterflies, sharks, and other wildlife. Moreover, you can take a boat trip in Grand Cayman, including the glass bottom boats, sailboats, and catamarans, and book a trolley Roger Train for a scenic tour.

10. Havana – Old Havana Walking Tour

Image of Cuba, Havana, the old part of Havana
Photo by MarioYorba at Pixabay

Yes, there are two Havana. The neighborhood in the city of Havana is known as Old Havana. It is quite an expensive city but a relatively small neighborhood where you can walk from one end to the other in about 25 minutes. Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas are historic places in Old Havana. You can even get some complimentary cocktails during outings and local life.

11. Ocho Rios – Dunn’s River Falls

In the Dunn's River Falls Park in Jamaica, you can see Dunn's River Falls
Photo by mb-photoarts at Freepik

Ocho Rios is a Jamaican port city where you can find jungle-clad mountains, sugar plantations, and rushing rivers. All of these three things are easily available as a shore excursion from Ocho Rios. You can even take a short drive from the port to Dunn’s River Falls and scramble 600 feet up the rocks in the rushing waterfalls. Or else, you can stay dry and enjoy the open viewing platforms, jeep tours, zip-lining, snorkeling, river rafting, and distillery tours, and don’t forget to hear the Bob Marley and Reggae beat tunes everywhere you go in Ocho Rios.

12. Oranjestad – Aruba Full-Day Island Tour

An image of Aruba, Oranjestad, in the Caribbean
Photo by falco at Pixabay

Oranjestad is a picturesque landscape of Aruba. Make a way to the heart of the city of Aruba and Oranjestad. Visit museums, landmarks, parks, local streets, and the parliament of Aruba. Learn the culture and traditions of Aruba and taste delicious local food.

13. Philipsburg – Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach

An airplane flying over Maho beach with a Saint Martin on it
Photo by kendallpools at Pixabay

Philipsburg has some really amazing shore excursions to enjoy. Out of which, the Extreme Plane Spotting at Maho Beach is one of the most adventurous things to do. Experience five hours at the beach and spot some extreme planes. Moreover, when you arrive at the beach, check out the Sunset Beach Bar & Grill’s list of flight arrivals and enjoy swimming at the beach and the upbeat atmosphere. You can even see the nearby islands of Saba, Anguilla, and St. Eustatius as well.

14. Pointe-à-Pitre – Zoo and a walk in the Tree-Tops

Image of a beach with coconuts and the sea in the background
Photo by jlxp at Pixabay

Go on an adventurous excursion to the National Park of Guadeloupe. It features the primary rainforest and tropical animals within the Parc des Mamelles. Here in the zoo, you will come across the unusual animal species that inhabit the Caribbean and Latin American regions. Explore the suspended walkways and the uppermost level of the tropical forest for some good views. Moreover, you will experience a spectacular view of Pigeon Island – The Cousteau Reserve. Don’t forget to walk in the dense tropical forest and watch the Crayfish Waterfall nestled in the lush surroundings.

15. San Juan – Old San Juan Food Tour

San Juan, Puerto Rico, a picture of the fort
Photo by AndPon at Pixabay

San Juan in Puerto Rico has an amazing food scene. To be honest, this place offers food tours of old San Juan. You can start your cuisine tour by sipping the most legendary rum cocktail and learning its beginnings. Indulge yourself in local single-origin coffee, rich chocolates, fresh ceviche, and the signature Puerto Rican dish – Mofongo. Other excursions are history and architecture.

16. St. George's – Underwater Sculpture Park

At Molinere Bay, there is an underwater sculpture park that is open to the public
Photo by EyeEm at Freepik

If you’re a big fan of the underwater world, consider choosing this Underwater Sculpture Park tour. It is a scuba diving spot with a sculpture park. Explore iconic works like “The Lost Correspondent,” “Circle of Children,” and the whimsical “Man on Bike.” Tourists can also try snorkeling, scenic tours, and private yacht sailing.

17. Tortola – Norman Island Guided Snorkeling Tour

Caribbean image of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands
Photo by Skybluesrich at Pixabay

Tortola is one of the premier snorkeling spots on Norman Island. It is a legendary pirate haunt and is said to be “Treasure Island.” Here, you can go on guided excursions to explore caves and view colorful coral formations, abundant marine life, and exotic fish. This mountainous island is one the safest, driest, and friendliest islands in the Caribbean.

Related: What Cruise Line Has Best Shore Excursions?


The Caribbean awaits! Dive into hidden coves and scale lush mountains, or stroll historic streets on these diverse shore excursions. Unwind on pristine beaches, snorkel vibrant reefs, or indulge in delectable local cuisine. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to laid-back cultural immersions, discover your perfect Caribbean escape in 19 unforgettable ports.

FAQs about Best Caribbean Cruise Ports

The departure cities of the Caribbean cruises are San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charleston, Barbados, SC; Baltimore; Fort Lauderdale, MD; Orlando; and Miami, Florida.

Cruise lines such as Disney, Celebrity, Virgin Voyages, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian.

The ten major ports in the Caribbean are Colon, Caucedo, San Juan, Kingston, Freeport, Cartagena, Havana, Bridgetown, Georgetown, and Oranjestad.

The best places for snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean are Cancun and Isla Mujeres in Mexico, Key West, Cozumel, Ambergris Caye, Roatan, and the Cayman Islands.
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