Cruising is the easiest, most carefree way to go Caribbean island hopping. It’s the only form of travel that transports you in style in luxuriously appointed staterooms.
As you sail between islands, you can be pampered at onboard spa and fitness centers, be entertained with live theater and musical performances, and dine on world-class cuisine served in beautifully designed venues—all before you ever set foot on an island.
With a cruise, there’s no worrying about booking hotels or finding island-to-island transportation, which is often inconvenient and time consuming.
Here are some Caribbean island-hopping adventures you can embark on during your next vacation.
Southern Caribbean Island Hop
Cruise to the Southern Caribbean and note the diverse cultural and historical backgrounds that give each island its flavor and charm.
St. Maarten’s alluring beaches are as perfect for diving and snorkeling as they are for leisurely sunbathing, making it one of the best Caribbean islands for families. Visit the French side of the island to indulge your senses and create your own scent at a perfume factory, or walk with one of our onboard chefs on a day of culinary discovery.
A day spent in St. Lucia on the stunning crystal-white Sugar Beach is surpassed only by the sight of the twin peaks of the Pitons visible across the bay. Hike to the summit of Gros Piton, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or zipline over trees in sight of the twin peaks.
Other exciting things to do in St. Lucia include horseback riding on Cas en Bas Beach or discovering the colorful undersea marine world on scuba, snorkel, or SNUBA excursions.
For a perfect family day in sun-drenched Barbados, board a catamaran and swim with sea turtles. Explore the bubbling streams, stalagmites, and stalactites of Harrison’s Caves. Snorkel through shipwrecks or unwind under the shade of a palm tree while watching the calm blue sea lap the pristine shores.
Jerk chicken, pineapple salsa, and coconut tart are on the menu when you visit the seaside home of a local chef in St. John for a hands-on cooking class, garden tour, and rum punch tasting. It’s one of the most exciting things to do in Antigua for a taste of Caribbean culture and hospitality.
Venture into breathtaking areas of the island on a 4×4, traveling through a rainforest on the way to a swim in one of the best beaches in Antigua. Sink your toes in the white sand, parasail, water ski, or have a snack at a beachfront stand.
The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are small, secluded and charming. Explore rainforests, dormant volcanoes, lush flora and fauna, and beaches with stunning views of the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts.
Ride a double-decker sightseeing train to get a feel for St. Kitts’ charms. Savor West Indian cuisine on Nevis, sample local rum, and relax on the stunning golden sand at some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Stroll through Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital, and be charmed by the candy-colored houses and Dutch architecture. Glide along crystalline Caribbean waters on a catamaran cruise and go on a snorkeling adventure, or board a schooner cruise and admire the sunset while sipping on a tropical cocktail.
At Kralendijk, Bonaire, watch pink flamingos walking on salt flats, tour the island on a bike, board a semi-sub explorer to see tropical fish and marine life, or snorkel the coral reef-ringed island whose coastline is a national marine park.
Bring your dive card for a two-tank, certified dive on Curaçao, one of the best Caribbean islands for diving, or snorkel with stingrays and feed nurse sharks at Sea Aquarium Park.
In colorful Willemstad, one of the most stunning places to visit in the Southern Caribbean islands, browse the outdoor market or sit at a terrace cafe and look out over stunning Mambo Beach while sipping a cocktail made with the island’s famous blue Curaçao liqueur.
Island Hopping in the Eastern Caribbean
Go island hopping in the alluring Eastern Caribbean on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa that visits destinations like San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Nassau, Bahamas; St. Kitts and Nevis; Puerto Plato, Dominican Republic; and Key West, Florida.
In Puerto Rico, explore beautiful Old San Juan’s pastel buildings, cobblestoned streets, and the 500-year-old fortress, Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, taste barrel-aged rum at a distillery, and walk or bike along the stunning Condado Beach area.
On beautiful Tortola, hop a ferry to Jost Van Dyke to view the naturally foaming Bubbly Pool. Swim, snorkel, and explore the breathtaking rock formations at Virgin Gorda Baths. Soar high above the island’s jungle canopy on a zipline adventure, then relax on a palm-shaded white sand beach.
A day in port at Philipsburg, St. Maarten does double-duty with time to explore both the Dutch and the French sides of the island. During your Caribbean island-hopping vacation, stroll right off your cruise ship to Great Bay Beach, where a chaise and sun umbrella await on powdery white sand.
Some of the best things to do in St. Maarten include shopping duty-free in Philipsburg, then heading over to Marigot on the French side for sophisticated culinary adventures. Choose to spend the day sailing the clear blue waters around the island or discovering the colorful undersea life on snorkeling or semi-submarine adventures.
Vibrant, flower-filled Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas is a dream cruise port, with exceptional opportunities for snorkeling, sailing, shopping, and sightseeing. Discover landmarks like Bluebeard’s Castle, Villa Botanica, and the 99 Steps on city sojourns.
Shop Main Street duty-free for everything from souvenirs to spirits. Taste Caribbean- and Creole-influenced food on a culinary tour. Sip a Painkiller or Bushwacker, two of the island’s favorite cocktails.
Explore the 27 dazzling waterfalls of Damajagua when you island hop to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Watch rescued squirrel monkeys roam the jungle as you zipline above, visit the Amber Museum, or head to the beach to surf.
Western Caribbean Island Hop
The western islands of the Caribbean boast ancient ruins and multiple eco-adventures on land and sea. On a Western Caribbean cruise, go island-hopping to places like Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Belize; Roatan, Honduras; and Key West.
Equally famous for its fabulous diving sites, easily accessible Mayan ruins, and clear turquoise waters, Cozumel offers activities for every kind of traveler. Dive at the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park to witness incredible underwater sights like living reefs, colorful fish, stingrays, nurse sharks, and sea turtles.
For family-friendly activities in Cozumel, plan beach time and a swim with playful dolphins, explore underground caves, take a submarine tour, or visit a sea turtle farm.
Explore the fascinating Mayan ruins at San Gervasio on Cozumel, or ferry over to see the ruins of Tulum.
Either way you turn in Belize, to the east for gorgeous Caribbean views or the west for lush jungle, you’ll thoroughly enjoy a day in port.
See amazing native wildlife and marine life on snorkeling excursions and airboat adventures. Board a riverboat for a safari down a lagoon with a stop at Lamanai to explore Mayan ceremonial ruins. Trek through the jungle, then cool off on a river tubing trip, or float through an ancient Mayan cave, lagoon, and waterfall.
Docking in Costa Maya, you’ll find that its reputation for beautiful beaches and vibrant marine life is no exaggeration. Explore the underwater world during snorkeling or diving explorations at Banco Chinchorro, the Northern Hemisphere’s largest atoll reef, just off the coast.
Ride through the rainforest to reach the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben, or take a salsa-making class and a salsa dancing lesson on the beach.
In Roatan, Honduras, snorkel the Mesoamerican Reef and see multicolored starfish at Starfish Alley, or visit West Beach for a swim. Head to Little French Key to see sloths and monkeys, and savor the flavor of rum straight, in chocolate, or in rum cake at the Roatan Rum Company.
At Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, swim with gentle Southern stingrays and bottlenose dolphins, scuba or snorkel around shipwrecks, or unwind on a beach chaise with a drink in hand.
Pause for a barbecue lunch or conch chowder, then shop for souvenirs at open-air markets and duty-free boutiques.
When you cruise to quirky, cool, and colorful Key West, head out into the water on paddleboarding, parasailing, or kayaking tours. Board a catamaran for a swim and snorkel adventure to see the only coral reef in the continental United States.
Bike the length of Duval Street, stopping for a fresh seafood lunch. When you tour Ernest Hemingway’s house, be sure to look for the six-toed cats that live there.
Go Caribbean islands hopping on a luxury cruise vacation with Celebrity Cruises. Browse our Caribbean cruise itineraries and book your next vacation online.