Eastern Caribbean Cruises
Eastern Caribbean Cruise Overview
Eastern Caribbean cruises are perfect for those who want to relax in the sun and sand along tropical beaches or spend their days dining and shopping, but they also offer enough activities for the most enthusiastic adventure seekers out there. The Eastern Caribbean serves as a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. This string of islands stretches from the Dominican Republic to Antigua, with many ports in between.
Samana, Dominican Republic offers some of the best whale-watching in the entire world. During humpback whale-mating season (from January to March), up to 300 whales can be spotted at once.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, located in the United States Virgin Islands, is home to the best duty-free shopping in the Eastern Caribbean, as well as some of the calmest beaches.
Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands at 24-square miles. Tortola offers a wide variety of terrain: white-sand beaches on one side of the island, and mountains perfect for hiking on the other.
Roadside BBQs and fresh-fruit markets make St. Johns, Antigua a must-see stop in the Eastern Caribbean. There are 366 beaches on the island, all of which are public, so finding a secluded beach shouldn't be a problem.
Another popular Eastern Caribbean cruise destination is San Juan, Puerto Rico, home to El Yunque Rainforest, the Eastern Caribbean's most famous rainforest. San Juan is a great spot for hiking, watersports, shopping, and dining.
Philipsburg, located on the Dutch half of St. Maarten, offers visitors some great duty-free shopping, watersports, white-sand beaches, and a hint of European flavor in the Eastern Caribbean.
Labadee, Haiti offers an array of watersports such as kayaking and parasailing in addition to relaxing beaches and beautiful coral reefs.
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic is another popular Eastern Caribbean cruise destination and is home to three world-class golf courses, spas, shopping, and many beautiful beaches.
Eastern Caribbean Cruise Activities & Attractions
Playa Rincon: A relaxing beach located in Samana, Dominican Republic
Nelson's Dockyard: A former English naval base from the 1780s located in English Harbour, Antigua.
Fort James: This former English base was used in the mid-1700s to protect against French invasion. Located in St. Johns, Antigua.
El Yunque Rainforest: 28,000-acre rainforest located 25 miles outside of San Juan. Take a guided tour through this National Park – if you get hot, feel free to take a dip in the park's rain-filled rivers!
Old San Juan: Home to restored buildings dating back to the beginning of the Spanish occupation of Puerto Rico in the 15th century. There's also a wide array of museums on the small island.
Altos de Chavon: Mediterranean Village replica located in the hills of Casa de Camp, Dominican Republic. A favorite spot of art and architecture lovers alike.
Pinones Reserve: A relaxing 8-mile bike ride along the beach and mangrove trails. Located in San Juan.
Casino Royale: The largest of 9 casinos on the Dutch side of St. Maarten.
Simpson Bay Beach: A secluded beach located on St. Maarten.
Eastern Caribbean Cruises Climate
Temperatures in Eastern Caribbean cruise destinations remain in the low- to high-80s throughout the entire year. The Eastern Caribbean's hurricane season begins in mid-August and lasts until mid-September.
Eastern Caribbean Cruise Departure Ports
Most Eastern Caribbean cruises embark from ports in Florida, but some of the longer cruises depart from ports in cities further north including Baltimore, New Jersey, and New York City.