April 24, 2024

The Newest Ports in the Caribbean

The western Caribbean holds some exciting new ports.

According to the American Association of Port Authorities – Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, 43 percent of those surveyed chose the Caribbean as the most appealing cruise destination. Fifty-percent also said they would return to the Caribbean for a land based vacation. That’s good news for two of the newest ports in the Caribbean in Honduras and Belize. The ports feature some exciting water excursions such as excellent diving and snorkeling as well as plenty of shore-side activities including duty-free shopping and restaurants situated by historical attractions and architecture and all situated on an oceanfront setting.

Trujillo, Honduras

The newest cruise port in Trujillo, Honduras welcomes ships gliding over the Bay of Truillo, one of the deepest bays in Central America. Situated about 35 miles south of Roatan and near the second largest barrier reef in the world, the port started its $20 million construction in 2011 with a 50,000-square-foot shopping center and transportation hub with 10-acres of beachfront. In February 2014, the 56-passenger Yorktown ship was the first to dock in Trujillo. The Yorktown tendered passengers ashore, but a completed finger pier will house two large cruise ships. Five major cruise liners are expected to dock through 2015 with more lining up, according to USA Today.

Dubbed the Banana Coast, Honduras’ newest port sits near the colonial town of Trujillo. The town was conquered by the Spanish in 1525 and is within close proximity to waterfalls, a tropical rainforest and a lagoon nature reserve. Cruisers can explore the fortress of Santa Barbara, tomb of filibuster William Walker and the historical architecture dotting the city. For nature lovers, excursions to the Campo del Mark Nature Park and Beach Break takes visitors through a nature preserve on a tram, making a stop at the beach for relaxing and strolling.

Suit up for a kayak trip in the Guaimoreto Lagoon or a mountain ATV ride. More adventurous tourists can hitch a ride by private plane over to the ancient Mayan ruins at Copan. The archaeological site is situated near the Honduras and Guatemalan border. During the 5th to 9th centuries AD, it served as a capital city of a Classic period kingdom. Spend some time exploring the ruins and learning more about the Mayan history of Honduras.

Stake Bank, Belize

In early 2014, developer Michael Feinstein got the go-ahead to develop an ambitious $100 million, 32-acre island cruise destination near Belize City. Royal Caribbean cruisers might already know Feintein by his reputation. He previously developed Belize Tourism Village that opened to great fanfare in 2002. Later, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines acquired the Village and was one of the few liners bringing cruisers into Belize.

Tourists can anticipate a Mayan-themed park at the new Stake Bank, complete with a fantastical lagoon, waterfalls and grottoes. Snorkelers and adventurous divers can check-out an underwater Mayan city and hop on a giant slide releasing into a pool resembling a dive sight. But no port of call would be compete without the duty-free shops, restaurants, bars and excursions cruising travelers have come to expect. Or check out the historical capital of Belize, Belize City, dotted with colonial houses, shopping and Creole restaurants and wares, as Sea Trade Insider highlights.

Safety Onboard

Whether you’re cruising to the Caribbean or beyond, prepare for safety onboard and off. Make copies of your passport and phone numbers to reach your credit cards and other financial institutions. Call ahead to your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be making purchases abroad. Remember to protect your finances after you get back to land. Monitor your credit report, credit cards and online identity to ensure no fraudulent charges trickle in and leave you financially vulnerable. There are ID theft protection services that will you send you alerts if any of your credit card information has been compromised.

Keep your guard up, and remember that a relaxing cruise can still leave you vulnerable to getting pick-pocketed or taken advantage of. For health, use hand sanitizer religiously to combat germs and airborne illnesses before they start. Although cruises go through regular cleaning checks, double check your cabin’s surfaces like sinks and showers, and thoroughly inspect your drinking glasses and cutlery.

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