With another successful cruising year behind us, we are now looking forward to the future and what better way to start than with the most popular cruising destination. The Caribbean has stood as the top region for a long time and this isn’t by luck.
While some might argue that every island in the archipelago is the same, but, even though there are some similarities between them, there is no denying that each stop is unique from the one before it. The Caribbean is popular in the summer and doubles as the perfect winter sun getaway with blisteringly hot temperatures throughout the year.
Here are a few of the most visited islands, what they offer and why they are so popular.
Starting with the most popular island, The Dominican Republic had a staggering 6.5 million visitors last year alone, with cruisers making up a large portion of these tourists. Relaxing on endless beaches, seeing over 2,500 humpback whales that visit the iconic Samaná Bay each year and floating in crystal clear waters are just the start of what the island can really offer.
So, whether you are the sit-back and relax kind of traveller, or prefer to forge your own adventure, everything from hidden coves to rich history in quaint museums. Finally, the Dominican Republic caters for both families and couples, offering that unforgettable family adventure or a more romantic retreat.
As the largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba has cemented itself amongst the most diverse destinations you can visit. It has a mixture of old and new styles; from its vintage American cars to the more opulent palaces, the city has managed to keep its history at the forefront, especially in the capital, Havana.
Walking the streets will give you the most immersive experience. With heavy influences from Jazz and Latin, tourists can enjoy a variety of street performances. A Cuba cruise is more like a voyage through time, with the perfect mixture of pristine coastlines, beautiful green spaces and several UNESCO natural reserves.
When you think of the Caribbean, the Bahamas is always one of the first countries mentioned. Amongst these 700 chain-islands is everything from uninhabited paradises to resort-filled metropolises, with picture-perfect beaches surrounding every island and gorgeous temperatures sitting at around 32°C in the summer and 27°C in the winter.
Bahamian cuisine is highly underrated, with everything from exotic seafood to popular meat dishes and refreshing beverages on offer. Depending on what time you travel, you can enjoy the carnival season from Grand Bahama to Nassau. The most famous carnival begins every year during April, with over 50,000 attendees at Road Fever in Nassau.
Puerto Rico isn’t your average Caribbean island. While you can still find crystal clear waters, there are several unique quirks to discover around the cities. Visiting Old San Juan is a must; the colourful city, quaint cobble streets and pastel buildings all add to the authenticity of the city.
The oldest monument in Puerto Rico, Castillo San Cristóbal, is a 500-year-old castle that has been transformed into a national historic site. Much like the other islands, Puerto Rico is teeming with wildlife from beautiful sealife to amazing national parks.
The Caribbean archipelago holds around 7,000 islands and, with some of these being uninhabited, cruise lines tend to lease them to create their own personal paradise. Islands like Coco Cay have even broken records with the innovations they boast, hosting the world’s tallest waterslide in North America and a helium balloon that rises to a staggering 450 feet above sea level.
These massive waterparks are accompanied by a variety of restaurants, relaxing retreats and amazing tours to make your adventure extra special. Plus, you can return to the ship whenever you like. As most vessels can dock right next to the island, you are free to move between ship and shore.
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