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Caribbean East

Probably the most popular cruise region in the world, the islands of the Eastern Caribbean are well tuned towards receiving thousands of visitors each day. The majority of cruise passengers in the Caribbean are obviously from the United States and Canada. The relative short flying time to the embarkation ports of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Juan and Barbados from the United Kingdom also make the area attractive to British travellers. The region became increasingly popular in the 1960s, when the major transoceanic cruise liners saw their passengers diverting to jet aircraft. In the 1930s, Prohibition in the United States contributed to the operation of short "booze cruises' to the Bahamas. Each of the Caribbean islands is culturally and physically different to its neighbours and most have tastefully maintained and restored their colonial buildings, opening some of them to the daily influx of cruise passengers. There are many plantations open to the public with plenty of opportunities for visitors to test the local delicacies, rum and fruits. Those who seek an unrivalled blend of water sports, beaches and sightseeing will not be disappointed. The shops generally cater for an international scene, especially in Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Today, the Caribbean offers year round cruising although the most popular months are between October and March. Prior to this season, there is a risk of freak hurricanes. Many operators reposition their ships at the beginning and end of the season, giving passengers the opportunity to fly in one direction and cross the Atlantic by sea in the other. These cruises offer excellent value for money and often carry the most favourable discounts.

Highlights

What to pack Read our guide to What to pack when cruising to the Caribbean

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Cruise International

Cruise International is the UK’s highest-selling newsstand travel magazine dedicated to cruise holidays. Packed with inspirational reviews, the hottest destination advice, celebrity interviews and the very latest ocean and river cruise news, it helps both new and experienced cruisers alike plan their next trip. With its high production values, stunning photography and outstanding editorial, Cruise International is first choice for Britain’s 1.75 million annual cruise holidaymakers.

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