Caribbean, Panama Canal & Central America | Travel Bureau Gosforth

Caribbean, Panama Canal & Central America

Caribbean, Panama Canal & Central America

The Caribbean is probably the most popular cruise region in the world. Many cruise itineraries now incorporate Central American destinations like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize and the spectacular Panama Canal to the south and west, and Mexico and Cuba to the north. Vivid natural landscapes; pristine white beaches; turquoise seas with abundant aqua-marine life and great water activity; as well as colonial towns and cultural heritage, all make up this incredible cruise region. 

The Eastern Caribbean 

Escape the grey skies of the British winter and follow in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus who discovered this land of azure blue waters and islands scattered between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  With over 7,000 separate islands and cays its little wonder that visitors return again and again to explore the culture and personality of each uniquely different island. 

A long-time favourite destination for a winter escape Barbados is the most popular starting point for an Eastern Caribbean cruise, taking in the popular islands of Grenada, Isla Margarita, Curacao, Aruba, Tortola, St Maarten, Antigua and St Kitts.  Travel west and you can pick up Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Tortola and St Lucia amongst other islands.  The temperature is balmy, the vibe is laid back and the range of off ship excursions and experiences plentiful. 

Generally less popular in the past the Southern Caribbean has experienced a rise in visitors. The tiny islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles are known as the ABC islands and are favourites for diving, shopping and sightseeing. 

Central America, Panama Canal and Western Caribbean 

Those seeking a healthy combination of relaxation and cultural sightseeing will not be disappointed by a cruise around the Western Caribbean and Central America. The Mayan civilisations of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula to the north offer incredible off ship excursions. The fortress city of Tulum and ancient remains at Chichen Itza are two of the most famous. In recent years the Cuban capital, Havana, has also opened up to cruise ships and some of the main cruise companies now offer itineraries with overnight stays in port. Jamaica is a popular starting point for a western Caribbean and Central American cruise. 

The world’s most famous short cut – The Panama Canal - linking the great oceans of The Atlantic and The Pacific is on most cruise aficionados bucket list. No longer just offered as a full transit (usually minimum 14 night itinerary), partial transit trips (going only half way) from the western Caribbean now make it a more accessible option. 

Some cruise lines will use this route to reposition ships from the winter programmes in the Caribbean to their summer programmes into North America and Alaska. 

In short The Caribbean and its Central American neighbours offer cruises to suit all tastes. The most popular months to travel are between October and March. 

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