Meet Stingrays At Gibbs Cay
Quite possibly the most popular destination on Grand Turk among people on a cruise to Turks and Caicos, Gibbs Cay is a small uninhabited island off the west coast of Grand Turk. It boasts beautiful sand beaches and shallow waters that are home to friendly stingrays. Its a super-popular place for snorkeling.
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Have An Inland Adventure
Besides all that water fun, there are also several amazing activities to do on land. Perhaps an obvious one is sunbathing on one of Grand Turks epic tropical beaches.
If you dont feel like going on an excursion, you can soak up some rays at at least eight phenomenal beaches. The beach at the Grand Turk Cruise Center is the most accessible one, but more private beaches like Pillory Beach and Governors Beach, often regarded as the islands most beautiful beach, are a fantastic alternative.
Other land-based activities at Grand Turk you can do on a Turks and Caicos cruise range from horseback riding to biking and ATV off-road tours.
Explore Historic Cockburn Town
Cockburn Town, located about halfway up the west coast of Grand Turk, is the administrative center of Turks and Caicos. This historic town is home to beautiful Bermudian buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The best places to see them are Duke Street and Front Street.
There are a few exceptional highlights in Cockburn Town, which you should really consider visiting on your cruise to Turks and Caicos. Noteworthy attractions are Her Majestys Prison and the National Museumsee below.
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Grand Turk Cruiseimage Gallery
- Encounter sea turtles and other marine life while snorkelling.
- Enjoy snorkelling with colourful tropical fish.
- Grand Turks pristine waters are ideal for water sports.
- Visit the historic St. Marys Anglican Church.
- Splash into the calm turquoise waters of Grand Turk.
- Discover your own slice of paradise in Grand Turk.
- Dive into peaceful island living in Grand Turk.
- Scenic Sapodilla Bay is located in Chalk Sound.
- Discover colourful conch shells in local shops.
- Soak up paradise at Grace Bay.
Turks And Caicos Weather
On average the islands see 350 days of sunshine a year.; The islands on the western side receive more rainfall.; The average temperature is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit from June to October.; From November to May you can expect a consistent 80 to 84 degrees.
When youre looking for a cruise to Turks and Caicos you have to plan for at least a 7 or 8 night cruise vacation, but having Grand Turk on your itinerary is always a port to look forward to.; You dont want to stay on the ship if you havent had the chance to visit this island before.
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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 Turk’s 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.
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.
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Why Cruise To Turks And Caicos
The islands of Turks and Caicos have one of the longest coral reefs in the world, offering divers and snorkeling enthusiasts remarkable views under the surface of the pristine waters.
You can also find the only conch farm in the world at Grand Turk.
When astronaut John Glenn returned from space he landed in waters near Turks and Caicos and was brought to shore at Grand Turk.
Several celebrities have made these tropical islands home, at least for a short time.; Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Dick Clark, and Eva Longoria have all lived on the islands.
One of my favorite things to do on Grand Turk is rent a car and explore the island on my own.; That way I can stop at all the beautiful beaches listed above, see the historic lighthouse at the northernmost part of the island, visit some shops downtown, and really get a feel for island time.
What To Do In Grand Turk For A Cruise Ship Port Of Call
Traveling with buddies who are up for fun & adventure and already lined up diving sessions in other ports of call, but seeking ideas for excitement at a reasonable price.
Any suggestions or recommendations from locals or past travelers?
How long do you have on GT?
Gibbs Cay is fun, also a quick tour of the old part of town, end up at the bohio for lunch!!
2pm leaves you approx 4 hours before sunset. Try some snorkeling on a nearby beach. There isn’t much else to do.
Sunset will be just after 5 in Jan
assuming you have had lunch on board, head out to the reef for a snorkel;
There’s actually quite a bit to do. Check out Her Majesty’s Prison. Walk colorful Front Street, where some buildings are made out of scrapes of old pirates ships.
Although I’m not a museum type person, the museum is actually quite interesting. Pirates, Queen, space landings, and largest collection of message in a bottle bottles. Rumor also that Columbus actually landed here first.
You can get a taxi at the port, 5 minutes later you’re there.
Excellent lunch at either Osprey, Bohio, or Sandbar. Even Jacks Shacks is fun, and just walk down the beach of the port for it.
Segway tours are really a blast! Only Oasis offers them through the ship though.
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What Youneed To Know
- Port Name & Location
- EST UTC/GMT-4
- LanguageThe language spoken in the Turks & Caicos Islands is English.
- Currency & ShoppingThe U.S. Dollar is the currency used in Grand Turk.Shopping stalls selling a range of goods line Front Street in Cockburn Town and are good place to browse for souvenirs.
- Famous ForGrand Turk is known for its pristine beaches, clear warm waters and its historic charm.
- ImportantTheres no public transportation on the island, so if you decide to explore on your own, youll need to hire a taxi or rent a scooter or car.
- Fun Fact #1The 19th century Grand Turk Lighthouse is the island’s most famous landmark. Though the lighthouse isn’t open to the public, you can explore the grounds and walk along the nearby cliffs that offer sweeping views and where you might see wild horses and donkeys roaming the area.
- Fun Fact: FoodiesConch is considered a delicacy in The Caribbean and is a must-try, whether you prefer it fried or mixed into a chowder or salad.
Grand Turk Island Cruise Terminal
Cruise ships to Grand Turk Island dock at a pier located south of Cockburn Town.
The island’s cruise ship terminal is named “Grand Turk Cruise Center”. This is a beachfront facility located in a beautifully landscaped area sized approx 75,850 m2 . The terminal’s location offers a safe approach for cruise ships and berthing the whole year-round. The distance from the docking pier to the cruise terminal is approx 120 m .
The following map of the cruise port shows all its facilities .
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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.
Map Of Grand Turk Cruise Center
This aerial view map provided by the Grand Turk Cruise Center gives a nice overview of the cruise port and all it offers.; You can see the amazing pool on the left side of the map, the duty free shopping center in the middle, and plenty of lounge chairs all along the beach.; If you want to explore the island go to #23 and rent a car or grab a taxi.
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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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Coronavirus In Turks And Caicos Islands
There is widespread community transmission globally. We have received no reports of travel restrictions in Turks and Caicos Islands. For the latest travel status, please check the official page for Turks and Caicos Islands.
For travel planning advice, please refer to our Rome2rio Coronavirus information page .
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Enjoy A Variety Of Water Sports
A tropical island surrounded by glorious blue waters, Grand Turk is prime location for various water sports. Scuba diving and snorkeling are extremely popular things to do here, particularly in Columbus Landfall National ParkColumbus is thought to have landed here on his first voyage to the New World 1492.
Other water sports you can enjoy around Grand Turk include stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking , boating and fishing.
Additionally, if your cruise to Turks and Caicos happens to be between January and April, you can also go on humpback whale watching excursions.
Cruise Line Toursare They Necessary
I will be arriving in Grand Turk on a Princess cruise. It will be my 50th birthday by the way. Do we need to book a tour through the cruise line, or can we walk from the dock to see the sites? How close is Cockburn Town, Conch World, and Salt Salina from the dock?
Grand Turk is only 7 miles long. Depending upon your walking habits and the heat you can walk the 3.5 miles to town the quiet laid back center of this island. The thing to see is how quiet and peaceful the island is. The one lane road along the ocean in the center of town has the town dive shops, hotels, historic buildings, and guest houses. . You can’t really walk to the conch world, the salt salina, or the lighthouse. After a quick tour, the thing to do on this island is to get into the water. This is not a shopping destination, no casinos, and no big resorts. The water is crystal clear and has great opportunities to see the wondrous underwater world. You can do this snorkeling right off the beach within walking distance of the cruise center. Get away from the crowds either North or South depending upon the winds to find a sheltered stretch of beach. Snorkel out to the wall and see what you can find.
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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.
There Are Currently No Excursions Available For This Port But Check Back At A Later Date
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Turks And Caicos Cruises
Turks and Caicos Islands
Those interested in taking a Turks and Caicos cruise will be delighted at the variety of cruise lines that offer sailings to the islands. For lovers of luxury cruises, Silversea and Seabourn Cruises both included stops in Grand Turk on their Caribbean itineraries whilst P&O Cruises and Carnival are therefore perfect if youre looking for a family cruise to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The largest island in the archipelago is Grand Turk and as such it is also the most commonly visited port of call for many cruise lines. Full to the brim of stunning white-sand beaches and secret hideaways, Grand Turk is a delight and simply begs to be explored at close quarters.
Away from Grand Turk you will find the island of Providenciales. A major tourist attraction in its own right, Providenciales offers a superb snapshot of Caribbean luxury and visitors by cruise ship can expect to enjoy incredible restaurants, designer boutiques and some great late-night hotspots set amongst a backdrop of rolling green hilltops and volcanic ridges.
If you would like more information on Turks and Caicos cruises or if you would like to hear more about our latest Caribbean cruise offers, please call one of our Cruise Experts on 0800 008 6677.