From Ship to Shore: Navigating Transportation Options at the Grand Cayman Cruise Port
Your cruise ship will drop you in the heart of George Town, a perfect place to do duty-free shopping and enjoy many food options.
Seven Mile Beach is located close to the cruise port and is a gorgeous white sand beach.
Stingray City is a beautiful sandbar home to stingrays who are friendly and willing to take your hand for a good luck kiss!
The capital of the Cayman Islands and its cruise port, George Town, is an enchanting destination with translucent water, white sand beaches, and magnificent marine life. It is the largest of three islands in the British Overseas Territory and one of the most popular ports for Western Caribbean cruises.
Cruise passengers visit the city to experience its shopping, snorkeling, and diving opportunities. Visitors say that they also enjoy the chance to meet locals and sample their cuisine at various restaurants.
The city offers a variety of tours for both locals and tourists, including a visit to Pedro St. James Castle, Hell (a cave), the Governer’s Mansion, and the Tortuga Rum Factory, as well as a stop at 7 Mile Beach. You can book these tours through your cruise line or locally on the island. If you can purchase the time locally, the cost will be around fifty dollars per person or less.
Local bus routes are also a good option for getting to the highlights of Grand Cayman from your cruise ship. Route 1 and Route 2 run along the island’s northwest side and pass by Seven Mile Beach. A third route, Route 3, goes to the NE end of the island but takes a more inland route and doesn’t stop along Seven Mile Beach. All routes offer free Wi-Fi and are a comfortable way to travel to popular destinations on the island.
Like most Caribbean cruise ports, there are plenty of options to get around Grand Cayman. Friendly taxi services are at your beck and call from Grand Cayman Resorts, Owen Roberts International Airport, and the cruise ship dock in George Town. Several reputable rental car companies allow you to rent a vehicle from your ship or the airport throughout your stay on the islands.
In addition to the comfortable and affordable taxi option, Grand Cayman has an efficient public bus system that is quick and easy to use. Buses have blue number plates and can be flagged anywhere along the street.
The most convenient and fastest way to reach a destination like Rum Point, Starfish Beach, or the Governor’s Mansion is by taxi. However, the bus is a good option if you’d like to visit one of the many other locations that don’t require a guided tour, such as Cemetery Beach or West Bay.
Walking out of the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal and onto Harbour Drive, you’ll be within a block or two of the bus depot. From there, routes 1 and 2 run along Seven Mile Beach; other routes service hotels and West Bay attractions such as the Turtle Center.
There are several options for guided tours and excursions from the Grand Cayman Cruise Port. One popular tour combines Stingray City with snorkeling at the Barrier Reef and Coral Gardens on a shared boat. Guests can interact with the friendly Southern stingrays and rub their bellies while an onboard photographer captures photos for purchase afterward. A delicious lunch and bottled water are also included on the excursion.
Other popular shore excursions include shopping at the Cayman Islands National Museum or exploring Seven Mile Beach. The piers where the ships dock are located in the heart of George Town, within easy walking distance of many sights and attractions, including restaurants and bars. Many visitors like to shop for Cayman Islands jewelry, shell and wood crafts, and other souvenirs from the local artisans, while others take in a show featuring dancers performing traditional Caribbean dances.
Those who prefer to explore with a group can do so on a bus tour of the island. This shuttle service includes pickup and drop-off from International Airport (GCM). Upon arrival, meet your driver and group in the arrivals hall of GCM and enjoy a comfortable ride to your accommodation on West Bay or Seven Mile Beach or into the heart of George Town. A guide provides engaging cultural and historical commentary along the way, stopping at several famous sights, including the Governor’s Mansion, Hell, and the Tortuga Rum Factory.
Visiting the Cayman Islands by rental car is a great way to see this beautiful island. All major car rental companies have kiosks within walking distance of the cruise port and the International Airport; some can even pick you up at your ship. All drivers in the Cayman Islands drive on the left side of the road, and seat belts are mandatory. Visitors may obtain temporary driver’s licenses at car rental agencies; it is best to do this in advance if possible because it will save time.
Renting a car is also the best way to go to popular attractions like Stingray City or Seven Mile Beach if you are not taking a shore excursion. In addition, it will allow you to experience the awe-inspiring Crystal Caves and the National Museum of the Cayman Islands at your own pace without waiting for crowded tour buses.
Once you leave the Grand Cayman Cruise Port, it is a quick taxi or bus ride to Georgetown, where you will find various shopping and dining options. You will discover Bayshore Mall, just a few blocks from the cruise port, streets lined with high-end jewelry stores and lower-end shops selling clothing, pirate items, souvenirs, and other trinkets. You can take advantage of tax-free shopping in the Bayshore Mall and throughout the island.