George Town Cruise Port is located in the Cayman Islands and is one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations. Annually, it hosts nearly two million passengers. You’re likely to find up to six cruise ships parked around George Town during the season.
One thing to note about George Town is that it’s a “tender port.” Your cruise ship won’t pull up to a dock as with many other ports. Your vessel will drop anchor in the surrounding vicinity of the terminal area. Smaller vessels will then “tender” you to the island, where you’ll go about your day. As such, your embarkation and debarkation process will take longer. Also, it’s more likely that your Grand Cayman port stop will get cancelled due to weather. To get passengers on and off of these ships, relatively calmer waters are needed.
The ship doesn’t pull all the way up to the island to protect the environment. Due to surround reefs and other marine biology, it has the least impact to tender.
What to do in George Town, Grand Cayman
The most popular things to do in George Town focus on the islands best assets: beaches, climate, warm waters, and tourist attractions. You’ll have plenty of options to explore white-sand beaches, participate in water sports, or do some shopping.
Georgetown is infamous for its jewelry shopping, particularly watches and diamonds. Likely contributing to the allure is Grand Cayman’s status as a tax and duty-free haven. In addition to jewelry, you’ll find all of the big name-brands you could be looking for. The island has even been dubbed “Brand Cayman” by some. More info about George Town shopping options found below.
Whether by kayak, boat, rental car, or other, we recommend you take advantage of the amazing beaches offered by the Cayman Islands. “Seven Mile Beach” is one of Georgetown’s most popular and for good reason. Read more about your George Town beach options below.
This is an extremely popular option when visiting George Town. If you’ve ever spent time looking through cruise photos, you’re likely to have seen a shot of a big fat stingray resting on the shoulders of someone wading through the pristine waters. Strangely, the person doesn’t look scared. Even more odd, it often appears the stingray is smiling. This is Stingray City. You’ll frolic among thousands of these majestic creatures.
As with most Caribbean port destinations, you have many options to get wet and to get active. Enjoy the gorgeous blue waters and coral reef systems via kayak, snorkel, scuba, submarine, or other. George Town is knows as one of the best places in the world for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Shopping in George Town, Grand Cayman
Your ship will anchor off of the coast of Grand Cayman and tenders will take you into one of three docks. All are located within the same area and all within a quick walk to George Town’s main shopping and downtown area. There you’ll find many name brands, jewelry stores, crafts, and other souvenir items. The Cayman Islands are “duty free” so typically shoppers will look to capitalize on the lack of sales tax for higher priced items while in port.
You have a number of options to pick up some high-end brands and to put that credit card to the test. Retail plazas offering luxury items include Town Centre at Camana Bay, Duty Free Centre, Galleria Plaza, and Bayshore Mall. All will offer tax free watches, diamonds, and other items.
Cayman's Crafts Market
Within walking distance from your cruise ship, this shopping option is great for picking up souvenirs or keepsakes from your vacation. The local vendors offer many goods including shell, wood, thatch and leather items. The market is set in a park along the waterfront making it even more enjoyable of an experience.
Tortuga Rum Company
You’ll find multiple locations across the island to acquire these world famous Rum Cakes. And, you can even sample a bit before committing. This local delicacy is known for its high quality and rum-potency. If you decide to buy some, they’ll even ship them home for you because, let’s face it, there’s no way they’ll last you until you get back.
If you’d like to explore the downtown area while shopping, check out Cardinal Avenue. It’s the town center’s main retail strip and you’ll find plenty of merchants ready to swipe that credit card.
Beaches in George Town, Grand Cayman
Georgetown Grand Cayman offers all of the typical water-sport activities found in a beautiful Caribbean destination. You’ll have numerous options to enjoy the beaches and warm waters that surround the island. Here are some of the most popular (and lesser known) beach getaways from your cruise port.
Seven Mile Beach
Often called the “best beach in the Caribbean,” Seven Mile Beach is a very popular choice for cruisers. To get there, you have several options. You can hop in a cab (5-10 minutes), walk (30 minutes) or take part in an excursion. With an organized tour, it’ll often include a beach chair and possibly a drink.
West Bay Beach
You’ll find West Bay Beach just north of Seven Mile Beach. It’s a 15 minute cab ride from the cruise terminals. Many excursions kick off at West Bay Beach, such as those heading out to Stingray City. This will be less crowded than seven mile beach and often you’ll see more locals than tourists. Public amenities here include restrooms and even a shower.
Located just a mile from your cruise port, Smith’s Cove offers excellent snorkeling. You’ll find this beach to be less crowded than other Grand Cayman options. Public restrooms are available and even shaded areas with picnic tables.
This is a government run beach and turtle farm where you can learn about the local sea creatures including sharks, turtles, and birds. It’s located at the very northwestern tip of the island. There aren’t public amenities so this may not be the best option for families.
Attractions in George Town, Grand Cayman
George Town, Grand Cayman is the capital city of the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean Sea. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and world-class diving and snorkeling. George Town is also a major financial center, with many international banks and financial institutions located in the city. In addition, the city is home to a number of resorts, restaurants, and other attractions, making it a popular destination for travelers looking for a tropical vacation experience with a unique blend of natural beauty and modern amenities.
Best cruise excursions in George Town, Grand Cayman
We've analyzed tens of thousands of cruise tours to find your ideal attraction while in port. Based on these reviews, here are the Best Cruise Excursions in George Town, Grand Cayman
The Cayman Island chain is situated in the Western Caribbean. It’s about 300 miles south of the Florida Keys, but you’d have to jump over Cuba to get there directly.
George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands (there are three total islands) and is situated on the largest of the three, Grand Cayman Island. The island has a total area of only 11 square miles and is home to just 30k residents.
George Town Cruise Port is on the southwestern portion of the island and all excursions will leave from here.
George Town, Grand Cayman Cruise Port Terminals
George Town is a “tender port,” meaning your ship won’t pull up directly to the island. Instead, it’ll dock in the surround waters and have smaller vessels carry you into port.
Those “tender” ships will dock in one of three terminals: Royal Watler Cruise Terminal; North Terminal; South Terminal.
All three docks are within the same general area and within a couple minutes walk from each other. Whichever terminal your ship uses to drop you off will be the same that you’ll report to to return to your ship… so maybe write that down on your hand.