Grand Turk Turks And Caicos Islands
Turquoise waters and white-sand shorefronts welcome you to Grand Turk, the largest island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago. Beach excursions abound, allowing you escape to a secluded resort, indulge on a lobster lunch, challenge the waves on a paddleboard and sip beer in a lounger as palm trees sway overhead. The snorkeling here is outstanding, whether you’re swimming among nurse sharks, barracudas, Nassau groupers and other fish at Coral Gardens Reef, or exploring the “Amazing Wall,” a collection of coral shelves that attracts manta rays and sea turtles. For additional marine life encounters, wade into shallow waters for a guided interaction with stingrays, keep your camera poised during a winter whale-watching expedition or cast your reel off a catamaran on a private fishing cruise. After visiting the island’s lighthouse, built in 1852, take a stroll on the nearby coastal path that meanders along limestone cliffs.
Carnival Investing $25 Million
Grand Turk is a popular port of call for Carnival Corp, especially for Carnival Cruise Line, with multiple ships visiting before the pandemic hit, along with ships from Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. The government and Carnival Corp have signed an agreement for $24 million of investment.
The agreement includes an extension to the dock so larger cruise ships can be accommodated. There will also be some improvements to the reception facility at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, likely to cater to increased passenger numbers in the future.
Hon. Premier Misick added:As a community, we welcome the long-awaited resumption of cruising in Turks and Caicos, and we are delighted to be working closely with Carnival Corporation to continue to invest in the future of the Grand Turk Cruise Center. We look forward to long-lasting strategic alliances and joint initiatives with partners that will foster the economic growth of the Turks and Caicos Islands, creating opportunities for households across the country, making it possible for individual workers and entrepreneurs to earn more, and to achieve a higher standard of living and where businesses thrive and grow.
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Try Your Hand At Kitesurfing
Kite surfing, or kite boarding as its known to some, is fun and super popular in the Turks and Caicos islands. Long Bay Beach on Providenciales is one of the busiest spots for kite surfing. Usually, the best time of year for kite surfing is in the winter months. But it can be done at other times too. You just need a decently windy day to do it. Summer will likely have some days that are breezy enough for kite surfing, but theyll be sandwiched on both sides by calm, sunny, windless days.
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Grand Turk Turks And Caicos Islands Cruise Holidays
Bursting with turn-of-the-century Caribbean charm, Grand Turk, the historic capital of the Turks and Caicos is best known for its sugary white shores, calm blue waters and rustic colonial charm.
And at just six miles long, and just over a mile, wide this small but perfectly formed island is easy to explore. On your walk round Cockburn, Grand Turks main town, take a turn down Duke and Font Street which are lined with 18th and 19th century landmarks which reflect the Bermudian architecture of the salt era. The nearby Turks and Caicos Museum discloses the rich cultural and natural diversity of the islands and tells the story of the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European shipwreck discovered in the western hemisphere. The surrounding seas offer a variety of dramatic and colourful underwater landscapes and snorkellers and scuba-divers will be spoilt for choice. From the seahorses and stingrays of Coral Garden Reef and Columbus Landfall National Park to the curves of McDonalds Arch and cliffs of the beautiful Black Forest.
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Premier Confirms Royal Caribbean Interest
Carnival Cruise Line had committed to sailing to the islands earlier this year, and now Royal Caribbean is bound for Grand Turk as well. The possible arrival of Royal Caribbean ships to the islands is surprising given the exclusivity deal in place with Carnival Corporation for Grand Turk.
Turks & Caicos Premier Washington Misick:
It may be a little early but I can say to you that we are having negotiations with Royal Caribbean and it looks very positive that between now and the end of the summer that we will also have them calling into the town area of Grand Turk.
The possible arrival of Royal Caribbean ships to the island could be a hindrance, something that the local government is negotiating over with the cruise company:
Were still working out some details with Carnival because most people would remember that part of Carnivals arrangement was exclusivity on Grand Turk. I am very hopeful that we will work those details out and by the end of the summer and early fall, we will see both cruise lines calling into Grand Turk.
Cruise Hive has contacted Royal Caribbean about the possibility of cruises to Grand Turk and will update this post once we get a response.
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Beaches On Grand Turk
All of the beaches to the high tide marks on Turks and Caicos are free. Contrary to some common misunderstandings about Grand Turk, there are no private beaches. Some of the all-inclusive beach packages offer extras like umbrellas, loungers, or beverages that may make it seem like these charges include beach access.
Cruise Center Beach is the first beach you will see when you get off the ship. It can be a bit rocky in spots but offer spectacular views of both your ship and the vividly clear waters. If you want a more sandy beach just keep moving to the north for this next beach.
One of the most popular beaches on the island is Governors Beach. Its about a mile walk to the north and some consider it the best beach on Grand Turk. Visitors are often stunned by the crystal clear water and the pristine sand along this beach.
Cockburn Town Beach is not far from the barrier reef, and deep blue hues can be seen from this colonial back-dropped beach front. One of the great things about this beach on Grand Turk is that you are not far from local shops and places to eat.
Keep walking north from Cockburn Town Beach and you will stumble across beautiful Pillary Beach. If you love the beauty of Governors beach but want to get away from the crowds, Pillary Beach is for you. This beach is part of Columbus Landfall National Park and many believe this is the place where Christopher Columbus made landfall rather than San Salvador.
Grand Turk Island Tours Shore Excursions Hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Next are listed the most popular Carnival Cruise Lines tours on Grand Turk, with USD prices per adult:
- jeep safari
- sport fishing
- combo tours biking-snorkeling , catamaran-snorkeling , bot-snorkeling
Port Grand Turk Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The ports schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Grand Turk Island, Cockburn Town, Turks and Caicos. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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What Role Carnival Corporation Plays
According to a story in the Turks & Caicos Weekly, Premier Charles Washington Misick recently addressed the people of his territories to offer assurances that things would soon begin turning around. I want to speak directly to the residents of Grand Turk, he said. I know you continue to suffer from fall-out due to the absence of cruise ships. I have listened to your cries. I am happy to announce that we last met with Carnival on Tuesday and are finalizing a development agreement with Carnival Corporation.
Carnival Vista docked in Grand Turk
The agreement, which the Turks and Caicos government is expected to sign soon, would see Carnival Corporation investing around $25 million in the port at Grand Turk as they prepare for their ships to return.
We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 2021/2022, Premier Misick continued. The high season for Grand Turk, and the Caribbean as a whole, refers to the period between December and March when temperatures across much of the U.S. plummet and cruisers look to sail to warmer climates.
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Cruise Ship Smokestack Catches Fire In Turks & Caicos
The smokestack of a Carnival Cruise ship docked in the Turks & Caicos Islands has caught on fire, and officials let guests and crew members go ashore as heavy smoke billowed into the air
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The smokestack of a Carnival Cruise ship docked in the Turks & Caicos Islands caught fire on Thursday and officials allowed guests and crew members to go ashore as heavy smoke billowed into the air.
Carnival said in a statement that no one was injured during the incident in Grand Turk, although it was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which was filmed by passengers.
All guests and crew are safe, the company said.
The Carnival Freedom had departed Florida on Monday for a five-day cruise.
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Turks & Caicos Cruise Future Is Bright
According to the Turks & Caicos Premier, the future of cruising is bright for the islands. Carnival Corporation, the worlds largest cruise operator, and Royal Caribbean both sending ships to Grand Turk this year will be a massive boost for the local economy, which has been virtually shut down since March of last year.
According to the Carnival Cruise Line website, the cruise line plans to start sailing to Grand Turk again from September 2021. The newest addition to the fleet will sail to the island on a 7-day voyage, while Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Pride also have Grand Turk in their itineraries in September. Royal Caribbean has the island listed in its shore excursions, but not yet in any cruises.
Grand Turk is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean for Carnival and the company is investing anywhere between 16 to 18 million US dollars in the downtown area to build a larger dock area to accommodate larger ships to Grand Turk.
I can report to you that over the last four weeks weve had three meetings with Carnival and we have another virtual meeting and those negotiations are going well and we expect between now and the end of the summer certainly not later than October that Carnival will be back in Grand Turk.
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Spend The Day Beach Hopping Or Island Hopping
One thing you have to do when you go on your Turks and Caicos vacation is beach hopping or island hopping. There are tours or beach cruises that you can take that will take you around from island to island so you can check out the different beaches that they all have to offer. There are different lengths of tours to look into. Anything thats half of a day or more usually comes with a lunch BBQ that features the islands specialty of fresh conch and/or lobster.
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Grand Turk Cruise Center
Cruises to Turks and Caicos are so popular that Grand Turk has its very own designated cruise center. This Grand Turk Cruise Center, as its appropriately named, is a marvelous beachfront facility that covers almost 18 acres. It was opened by Carnival Cruise Line in 2006, effectively putting Turks and Caicos on the map as a cruise destination.
Situated on the south coast of Grand Turk, the center offers huge cruise ships a safe approach and year-round docking possibilities. Here, the ships basically dock at the beachits less than 400 feet from the ships to the cruise center.
At the Grand Turk Cruise Center, visitors can enjoy all kinds of modern facilities and services, from one of the Caribbeans largest swimming pools and beach access to snorkeling equipment rentals, a huge shopping center, and the unique Grand Turk FlowRider surfing attraction. There are also various restaurants and bars, including the largest Margaritaville in the Caribbean.
This is where youll most likely arrive at the Turks and Caicos and spend a day. The Grand Turk Cruise Center has everything and then some to keep you occupied and entertained all day long.
If youd like to venture a bit further into the island, however, there are several other specific things to see and do in Grand Turk on a cruise to Turks and Caicos.
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Where To Shop In Grand Turk
The Grand Turk Cruise Center is a great stop when you arrive or right before you leave because it is right at your ships dock. Expect to see a big crowd since its one of the most popular areas on the island for shopping. Before you leave Grand Turk, you have to walk away with a gift or souvenir.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center will have jewelry, t-shirts, alcohol, and more. Youll also be able to stop at the only Starbucks in all of Turks and Caicos for a one-of-a-kind Starbucks Grand Turk souvenir mug.
You can also find a lot of gifts on Front Street in Cockburn Town. There are a few permanent shops, but when tourism is at its high point, youll see many vendors pop up a tent to sell their handmade items.
If youd like something very authentic to Grand Turk, try heading to the National Museum Gift Shop. Here youll find books, postcards, and gifts related to the island. The Grand Turk retail outlet also hosts many items from local artisans, including handmade baskets, sailboats, and more.
Shells are also a popular souvenir from the island. However, there are specific rules that tourists need to follow. For example, non-locales are only allowed to leave with no more than three conch shells. Be sure to follow the rules and protocols to help protect the natural ecosystem and island of Grand Turk.
Things To Do In The Turks And Caicos Islands
This is not somewhere youll ever get bored. There are so many things to do in the Turks and Caicos islands. If you like water sports, youll find them all here. If you want somewhere scenic to lay out and take in some rays, it doesnt really get better than Turks and Caicos. Want to go fishing, diving or snorkeling? This is is your spot. If there ever was an island paradise, this is it.
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Getting Here By Cruise Ship
Grand Turk is the only island in the country with a cruise ship port. All cruise ships to the Turks and Caicos arrive at this facility.
All immigration and customs matters are handled by the cruise lines, so its a breeze to land. Most stays average about six hours, which leaves plenty of time to see the beaches, sights and attractions of Grand Turk.
Due to time constraints, its not feasible to visit Providenciales or any of the other main islands in the country.