The sites of the lost civilisations of the mighty Mayan people attract hundreds of thousands of visitors through the ports of Costa Maya, Cancun and Cozumel. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to dozens of noteworthy Mayan sites, with the fortress city of Tulum being one of the most famous. Extended excursions are available to Chichen Itza and these are best arranged through the cruise operator as independent travel may be difficult.
Adventure seekers are excited by white water rafting in Jamaica and the climb to the top of the 600 ft Dunn’s River Falls. Grand Cayman is a popular calling point for diving, water sports and exploring the world famous Stingray City.
The Western Caribbean enjoys all year cruising, although the main season is between October and March when many North Americans and Canadians endeavour to escape their harsh winters.
All the cruise ports are designed to receive the dozens of ships that frequent these waters although some smaller destinations, such as George Town in Grand Cayman and Belize City may require the use of tenders.
With virtually every country of the Western Caribbean being Roman Catholic, the main Christian festivals are celebrated to the full, especially during the February carnival season.
The east coast ports of the United States are also worthy of consideration when selecting a cruise in the area. Galveston and New Orleans are notable ports of embarkation and Cruise and Stay options. Key West provides an exciting day for those wanting to walk in the steps of Ernest Hemingway and then join in one of the world’s most famous sunset parties.
In recent years the Cuban capital, Havana, has opened up to cruise ships and some European operators offer overnight stays in port.
- Sunset Party, Key West
- Ernest Hemingway’s House, Key West
- Dunns River Falls, Montego Bay
- Cigar Factory, Havana
- Seven Mile Beach, George Town
- Mayan temples, Cancun
- Bob Marley’s tomb, Ocho Rios
- White water rafting, Montego Bay
- Chankanaab National Marine Park, Cozumel
- Diving in Belize, Belize City