Turks And Caicos Set For Heavy Investment From Carnival At Grand Turk
Turks and Caicos and Carnival Corporations are set to agree on a significant investment at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
While the Islands are just starting to recover somewhat from the pandemics effects on the local economy, there is good news for the small island group. More than $73 million in investments have been planned and confirmed according to the government, including a multi-million dollar investment from Carnival Corporation.
The worlds largest cruise operator has long had an exclusive deal with Turks and Caicos, one that has now led the company to make significant further investments in the Grand Turk Cruise Port, which will be just in time for the uptick in cruise tourism which is expected to arrive in the Caribbean high-season from December onwards.
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.
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.
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Car Rentals / Transportation
Tonys Car Rental in the cruise center offers car, scooter and bicycle rentals.
Grand Turk is small enough that bike riders can reach Cockburn Town and other locations. The town is three miles from the cruise center there are no sidewalks.
Taxi fares are not metered. They are set in advance with fares listed on posted signs. The taxi stand is in the cruise center behind the shops.
The Grand Turk Taxi Association has tariffs based on four zones around the island named A. B, C and D. Rates from the cruise center range from $4 to $9 per person depending on the destination.
The cruise center is in zone A while Cockburn Town is in Zone B.
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 youre 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 islands lighthouse, built in 1852, take a stroll on the nearby coastal path that meanders along limestone cliffs.
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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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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.
Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports.
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Getting Here By Private Plane
Providenciales and the other main islands in the Turks and Caicos have become a popular destination for private and charter planes.
There are several fixed-base operators on Providenciales to choose from, each offering fuel, immigration and customs clearance and other services.
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Grand Turk Island Cruises
Grand Turk Island is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. As you sail into port you will be greeted by a beautiful setting, with a warm welcoming and laid back atmosphere. Grand Turk Island boasts an untouched island with pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. During your time on Grand Turk Island you can go on a diving tour, discover the rich history of the island at the Turks & Caicos National Museum or simply just unwind on the islands white sand beaches. No matter what you choose, you are sure to love your time here in the Grand Turk Islands.
Shopping is limited on this intimate island but there is the opportunity to purchase souvenirs such as t-shirts, straw trinket boxes and handmade gifts.
The currency in Grand Turk Island is the US Dollar. Grand Turk Island is 5 hours behind Greenwich meantime .
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.Visit theforeign travel advicesite for the latest travel updates.
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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.
The overall goal? To create a more inviting experience from the moment guests arrive until they depart. We must create an experience that mirrors our branding as a luxury travel destination, the Premiere insisted.
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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 cant 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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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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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.
Visit The Turks & Caicos National Museum
Grand Turks only museum, the Turks and Caicos National Museum is housed in the Guinep House in Cockburn Town, one of the oldest stone buildings on the island. The museum chronicles the history of Grand Turk Island from about 700 AD through modern times.
Its exhibits include the prehistoric Lucayan culture, the Turks and Caicos colonial era and the slave trade. Arguably its main treasure, however, is the Molasses Reef Wreck, a Spanish ship dating from 1505 and considered the oldest shipwreck in the Americas. Excavated artifacts from the wreck on display range from crossbows and cannons to personal belongings of the crew, and the rigging and hull.
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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.
Gift And Souvenir Shopping
Much of the Cruise Center consists of tourist-oriented shops. Unfortunately, almost all of the merchandise available is mass-produced and re-branded items from Asia, or generic jewelry and Caribbean gifts.
If youre looking for an authentic gift or souvenir, the best choices are had at the Salt House, at the rather limited National Museum shop, or at one of the smaller stores in the oceanfront area of Cockburn Town.
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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.
- 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.