Grand Turk Port of Call
Located on the world's third largest barrier coral reef, the Turks and Caicos Islands boast not only pristine sugary white beaches, but some of the world's best scuba diving and snorkelling as well.
With a slower pace of life and a population of about 4,000 people, Grand Turk is definitely off the beaten track, and welcomes cruise passengers to a largely unspoiled Caribbean paradise. Key sights on the island include the Turks and Caicos National Museum, which has a number of maritime displays and exhibits to enthral just about anyone, and Cockburn Town, the capital, which is a great place to see historic 18th and 19th-century buildings. The Grand Turk Lighthouse, which was originally built in the UK and moved piece by piece to Grand Turk, is also a must.
Ships dock at the new pier, built specifically for cruise ships, on the southwestern tip of the island. The port features a Cruise Centre, which is a sort of tourist village, and features direct beach access with chairs and changing rooms for cruise passengers, as well as a shopping centre.
Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, Front Street, Grand Turk.
Tel: +1 649 946 2321
Taxis can be easily hailed from the docks; taxi fares should be negotiated in advance. The taxi stand is located in the cruise centre behind the shops. Scooters, cars and bicycles can also be rented, and it is possible to explore parts of the island on foot.
For a relaxing day on a more secluded beach, Governor's Beach is the place to go; history buffs will enjoy looking through the Turks and Caicos National Museum; and swimming with the stingrays at Gibbs Cay is also a popular attraction. Turks and Caicos is renowned as a scuba diving and snorkelling destination and exploring the underwater world is the top attraction, with the possible exception of relaxing on the lovely beaches. Those who aren't comfortable underwater will find many boating and sailing activities on offer, and the visibility is so good that a lot can be seen from on board.
Sandbar - great for a casual drink and snack along the beachfront
The Secret Garden - favourite with locals for fantastic seafood
Turks Head Inne - beautiful setting serving eclectic and international cuisine
Cracked (deep fried) conch
The Cruise Centre houses a 45,000 square foot (4181 square metre) shopping centre with a big duty-free shop as well as jewellery shops selling locally crafted pieces. The centre also features plenty of souvenir shops. Conch shells are the most popular souvenirs and Turks and Caicos is one of the few countries where these beautiful shells can be purchased legally by tourists.
Locally handcrafted jewellery and conch shells.
Go horseback riding
Scuba diving and snorkelling
Visit Grand Turk Lighthouse
Swim with stingrays at Gibbs Cay