Cruising to Grand Cayman
All that’s best about the Caribbean – white sand beaches, azure waters, colorful sea life, graceful palm trees – is found in abundance on Grand Cayman island, a popular cruise ship destination. Grand Cayman is the largest of three islands that form the Cayman Islands. Christopher Columbus called then "Las Tortugas” after the sea turtles he saw in the water there.
Cruise ships anchor in Grand Cayman’s harbor and transport passengers to the island by tender boat. You’ll step off the tender right in downtown George Town, a historic, bustling city that is the offshore banking center of the Caribbean. The shopping is great along Cardinal Avenue, where you can find handcrafted jewelry, antiques and duty-free goods. Just town is Seven Mile Beach, a long and lovely stretch of sand positioned between the water and a lineup of restaurants, cafes and water sports rental shops.
Several Grand Cayman attractions are designed to let you get close to nature. At the Cayman turtle farm, you can observe five types of endangered green sea turtles. Or, follow the 200-year-old Mastic Trail for a two-mile trip through a subtropical forest, complete with a mangrove swamp, towering mahogany trees and swaying palms; watch for birds such as the Grand Cayman parrot. If you want to spend your time in the water, there are dozens of diving sites around the island. Rum Point is a great place to swim, snorkel, or snooze in a hammock.
Many tours of the island make a stop in Hell, named for a forbidding field of sharp black rocks. Step inside the red-painted gift shop and post office if you’d like to send a postcard from Hell.
Some cruise lines offer excursions to the other two Cayman Islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. For example, you can swim and snorkel at Point of Sand on Little Cayman, known for its pink sand.
Cruise ships that visit Grand Cayman often call on Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico, as well. To learn more about how you can visit idyllic Grand Cayman, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.