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Shark Feeding and Diving in the Bahamas

REAL-LIFE WATER WORLD

Bahamas cruises.

Soak up island views and aquatic adventures with a cruise to the Bahamas.

A respite for sun and sand seekers, the Bahamas is home to light blue beaches, translucent underwater caves, a rich royal heritage and exclusive private isles. These can all be found throughout a beautifully scattered string of 700 islands (most of which are uninhabited). Cruise to the Bahamas to take a dive and witness a majestic coral garden at Orange Bowl reef, hang out at ultra-luxurious resorts like Atlantis, and shop resort fashion in Paradise Island or Nassau. The Bahamas has an island for every taste and style, and it's easy to enjoy its subtropical charm during an overnight stint or a week-long cruise. Discover the magic with a Bahamas cruise.

A coastal walkway near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Save Big With These Bahamas Cruise Deals

Explore more while spending less with Bahamas cruise deals onboard our best cruise ships

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Perfect Day Island CocoCay Bahamas Snorkeling Couple

FIND YOUR SUN-DRENCHED PLAYGROUND

Home to enchanting shades of blue and deliciously warm breezes, the Bahamas is the ideal place for adventures involving the sea. The best Bahamas cruises will allow you to dive and discover underwater worlds, meet marine animals and shop for island souvenirs by the ocean. 

Colorful Coral Reefs and Marine Life of the Bahamas

INTO THE BLUE

Dive and drift through warm waters to reach colorful coral reefs in Bimini like Rainbow Reef. See mysterious shipwrecks like Theo's Wreck and Sea Star Wreck in Grand Bahama. And take part in some thrilling wall diving — where you can explore deep reef edges — in New Providence.

Shark Feeding and Diving in the Bahamas

AQUATIC ADRENALINE IN ATLANTIS

For water thrills and close encounters with marine creatures, head to lush and majestic Atlantis, the fantasy resort by the sea that boasts the world's largest open-air marine habitat and what is perhaps the most exhilarating waterpark around: Aquaventure.

Seashell shopping in the Bahamas

SHOP SEASHELLS BY THE SEASHORE

Shop in the Bahamas with an ocean breeze blowing your way as you explore the crafts center in Bimini, the straw market in Grand Bahama and the exclusive hub that is Crystal Court in Atlantis resort.

Colorful Homes Architecture, Nassau, Bahamas

BEYOND THE BEACH

Beyond the coasts lie more wonderful discoveries. Saunter the lively streets of Nassau, chill by a freshwater pool in Perfect Day at CocoCay, or get a history lesson at the Heritage Museum during your cruise to the Bahamas. 

Nassau, Bahamas Heritage Museum

ROADS LESS TRAVELED

Shake off the sand and delve deep into towns like Nassau and Freeport and the remote island of CocoCay. Take a nature walk or a Jeep adventure through the pine forests, or stretch your legs at the Rand Nature Center, which offers bird-watching and installations by local artists.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Thrillwater Park Aerial Close-Up

THIS IS YOUR PERFECT DAY

To take your vacation experience to an entirely new level, visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, where a perfect day is waiting. Swim in the Bahamas' largest freshwater pool, go down the tallest waterslide in North America, and chill with a book in the only private overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.

Fort Charlotte, a Historical Fort in the Bahamas

PLAY IN PASTIMES

Out of all the towns in the Bahamas, Nassau encapsulates this destination's heritage with many historical landmarks. Stop by Fort Charlotte, the Queen's Staircase, Pompey Square or the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas and get a dose of its past.

Ariel View of Turquoise Waters in the Bahamas

WATERSCAPES ON THE BEST BAHAMAS CRUISES

A cruise to the Bahamas is filled with exciting destinations, each with its own style and vibe. Discover the Bahamas onboard the Best Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships.

allure of the seas aerial sailing sea day galveston texas banner height

DECK DEFYING DAYS

Fill your days on a short escape with Oasis Class thrills — onboard Allure of the Seas ®. Tame waves on two FlowRider® surf simulators. Zipline nine decks up. And catch jaw dropping entertainment, night after night. All while sailing to the picture-perfect shores of The Bahamas and our private destination Perfect Day at CocoCay.

EXPLORE ALLURE OF THE SEAS

Daredevil's Peak, Perfect Day at Coco Cay

EXPLORE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ISLES

If you’re craving crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs and island vibes turned way, way up, these getaways check all the boxes. Each week-long sailing onboard Adventure of the Seas includes two thrill- and chill-filled days at our top-rated private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay — plus stops in Grand Bahama Island and  Cozumel . 

EXPLORE PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Bahamas Cruises Insider

As a subtropical destination, the Bahamas is blessed with year-long comfortable temperatures that range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes packing an easy chore, with only spring and summer frocks to carry for your trip.

To get around, take the local jitneys, the buses making the rounds to Nassau and Cable Beach. Visit the Bahamas and hop on the ferry to get to Paradise Island, the home of the Atlantis resort.

For those looking to encounter some of the Bahamas famous aquatic critters, October to January is the best time to see Tiger Sharks, December to March is when Hammerhead Sharks migrate through Bimini, and you can find Oceanic Whitetips April to June.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Tidal Wave Island Aerial

[Infographic] Weekend Getaways: Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

January 11, 2024

Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas gives you the best opportunity to create your own great weekend getaway the way you want to travel!

Sunset at Beach by Pier, Key West, Florida

Quick Bahamas & Key West Vacations

January 9, 2024

Bahamas & Key West vacation getaways are perfect for travelers looking for pristine beaches, rich history, delicious food, & stunning wildlife encounters.

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The Ultimate Kid-Friendly Vacation to Perfect Day at CocoCay

December 12, 2023

Set sail to the best kid-friendly destination in the world on a cruise from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to Perfect Day at CocoCay and discover all the amazing family-friendly activities, award-winning shows, and record-breaking attractions.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Island Aerial Navigator Docked

Everything You Need to Plan a Perfect Day at Cococay

Planning on maximizing your experience at Perfect Day at CocoCay discover everything you need to know from record-breaking slides and rides, free kid-friendly attractions to delicious restaurants, and chilled out activities.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Oasis Lagoon Aerial

Ultimate Guide To Oasis Lagoon

December 6, 2023

The best Oasis Lagoon at Perfect Day at CocoCay insider Tips to discovering all the amazing things to do, family-friendly attractions and thrills you don't want to miss. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Snack Shack Hamburger Hero

Best Restaurants at Perfect Day At CocoCay

Explore all the restaurants on the Perfect Day at CocoCay island and discover all the complimentary dining venues that offers loads of food and drink favorites that will fuel you up in between adventures.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Floating Bar Couple Enjoying Cocktails

Perfect Day Honeymoon Guide

Celebrate your newly-wedded bliss on a romantic Caribbean honeymoon cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the best Caribbean destination for newly married couples. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay

Family Enjoying the Beach at Perfect Day

Top Free Activities and Free Things To Do at Perfect Day at CocoCay

October 2, 2023

The best free activities and free things to do at Perfect Day at CocoCay®, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas.

Perfect Day at Coco Cay Daredevil Peaks Family Running Towards Thrill Water Park

Traveling With a Toddler to Perfect Day at CocoCay | Royal Caribbean Cruises

September 5, 2023

Traveling with a toddler is easy when you book a cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Read on for advice and tips for traveling with a toddler.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Oasis Lagoon Cabana Woman Enjoying Cocktail

The 5 Most Relaxing Things to do at Perfect Day At CocoCay

July 14, 2023

Discover the most relaxing things to do on your luxury getaway to Perfect Day at CocoCay from the luxury CocoCay Overwater Cabanas to the most popular Chill Island Cabanas and much more.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Zipline over Adventure Pool

One Day, Three Ways At Perfect Day At Cococay

June 23, 2023

Planning your time at the new CocoCay? If you want to unwind, head to Chill Island on the east side of CocoCay. Or visit the Oasis Lagoon or the Thrill Waterpark to get on the side of adventure.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Splashaway Bay Slides Brother and Sister Competing

Top 7 Most Thrilling Things to do at Perfect Day At CocoCay

Experience the top 7 most thrilling things to do at the Perfect Day at CocoCay from sliding down the tallest waterslide in North America to zip lining across the island and much more.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Son and Dad Kayaking

Guide To Chill Island at Perfect Day

Discover Chill Island insider tips to all the relaxing things to do from renting overwater cabanas with VIP services, snorkeling with the friendly manta rays to finding the best places to unwind and soak up the island vibes.

Family Staring at Dare Devil's Peak, Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Top 4 Insider Tips to Thrill Waterpark

Thrill Waterpark at Perfect Day At CocoCay top 4 insider travel tips uncovers free things to do, places to go and thrills you can share with friends. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Island Aerial Navigator Docked

Amazing Family Friendly Summer Cruise Vacations

February 2, 2023

Enjoy your family summer vacation on a cruise to Perfect Day CocoCay and discover the private islands beautiful beaches, kid-friendly attractions, great restaurants and record-breaking water rides and activities for all ages. Find summer cruise deals.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Adventure Pool

The Ultimate College Spring Break Cruise Vacation

If you are looking for an all-out college spring break vacation filled with beach vibes, thrilling rides and amazing parties it doesn’t get any better than a spring break cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Find cruise deals to Perfect Day at CocoCay

Sunny Day Miami Beach Skyrisers, Miami, Florida

Best Cruises From Miami

January 13, 2023

Cruise from Miami and start your vacation in one of the worlds best places to visit, then set sail from the Port of Miami to The Bahamas, Mexico, Puerto Rico and beyond on weekend getaway cruise or a longer Caribbean adventure. Here are the best cruises from Miami

Shark Feeding and Diving in the Bahamas

Best Food in Nassau, Bahamas

January 4, 2023

A guide to the best food in Nassau, Bahamas. Discover new flavors in restaurants by the water or within the historic city of Nassau.

Tiki Hut Over Water Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Relaxing Weekend Caribbean Vacation Ideas

December 14, 2022

Envision your next weekend Caribbean vacation, plan a short cruise or quick getaway to the best travel destinations to visit. Adventure awaits!

Look for the "Bahamahost" sticker when getting a taxi — the label identifies those belonging to a program that promotes excellent service to tourists.

If you happen to visit on the second Friday of the month, go find the Government House and witness the Changing of the Guard, a British custom that's been performed since 1958.

The Bahamian dollar is kept at the same value as the U.S. dollar, making it easy to pay, as both are used interchangeably.

LOCAL CUISINE ISLAND TWIST AND TANG 

There's a lot of similarity between the soul food of the southern U.S., and Bahamian cuisine, that blends the Caribbean tang with its very own spice, creating a trademark flavor unique to the region.

Conch fritters in the Bahamas

FRUITS OF THE SEA

Little-known as a culinary ingredient in the continental U.S., conch is a large mollusk (akin to clams) with a meaty texture. Locals use it to prepare conch salad, conch fritters, conch chowder and more.

Peas and Rice in the Bahamas

PEAS N' RICE

Pigeon peas are mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices, and incorporated into cooking rice. Often simply called Peas n' Rice, but there's a lot of savory flavors thrown in, like tomato paste, fresh thyme and salted pork or bacon.

Switcha the Official Cocktail of the Bahamas

CITRUS DELIGHT

Switcha, which many locals consider the official Bahamian drink, blends lemons and limes to concoct a powerful accompaniment to dessert or a refreshing beverage on a hot sunny day.

RELATED PORTS

Laze in a beachside hammock or get your thrills at Thrill Waterpark on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Jump onboard a Bahamas cruise to stroll along the waterfront of capital city Nassau and see its distinctive pastel-colored buildings. Or explore waterfalls and botanic gardens on Grand Bahama Island.

Nassau, Bahamas Lighthouse in Paradise Island

Nassau, Bahamas

Bahamas Sandy White Beach Crystal Blue Water , Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas

Inner Harbor Skyline, Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Houses by the Shore, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Aerial View of South Beach, Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

Beach Rocks Tree Shore, Bimini, Bahamas

Bimini, Bahamas

Arrivals Plaza Perfect Day at Coco Cay Aerial

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

Related Destinations

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Guadeloupe

Everything You Need to Know for Your Cruise to the Caribbean

Ah, the Caribbean. The endless beaches and dazzling waters. The tropical vibes and warm, welcoming people. The Caribbean intoxicates with its siren song.

I fell in love with the region during the decade I edited Caribbean Travel & Life magazine. During my tenure, I visited nearly every tourist island in the region, most of them multiple times.

Here’s a guide to help you choose your best cruise itinerary to this popular vacation playground .

Where, exactly, is the Caribbean?

Map of the Caribbean by Shutterstock

A tropical sea region, the Caribbean sprawls more than 1 million square miles between the North and South American continents. It’s made up of more than 7,000 islands, reefs and cays. It’s also bordered by a dozen countries in Central and South America that claim Caribbean coastlines.

The islands alone include 13 sovereign countries (such as Barbados and Jamaica) and 19 overseas departments, dependencies, and territories (such as Aruba, Martinique and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Although these islands stretch more than 1,500 miles from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad in the south, only 2 percent are inhabited.

Some islands, in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea, are not technically in the Caribbean. But they’re traditionally included in the region for tourism purposes. These include the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, which sprawl slightly east and south of Florida, and Bermuda, which is 600 miles off North Carolina.

Among the mainland countries that border the Caribbean Sea, some boast their own tourist hotspots, such as Cozumel, Mexico, and Cartagena, Colombia, both visited by Silversea cruises.

What does it mean to visit the Caribbean?

silversea cruises bahamas

Famed for its eternal sunshine tempered by cooling trade winds, the Caribbean enjoys a  climate that’s one of its main calling cards, especially when it’s more traditional winter elsewhere.

But the region offers much more: Prize-worthy beaches, those seductive bathing beauties, beckon in seemingly infinite shapes and sizes from private pocket coves to long, languid strands fringed with swaying palms. Meanwhile, pristine waters draw water-sports lovers including snorkelers, scuba divers, sailors, water skiers, wind surfers and anglers.

The region is also a haven for other natural attractions: jungle-swathed mountains, lush rainforests, gushing waterfalls and mangrove reserves. You can hike wooded trails, watch whales or birds, witness bioluminescence, bathe in cascades, kayak in lagoons, explore caves, and immerse yourself in stunning natural beauty alive with tropical flora and fauna. 

Some islands are mountainous and volcanic with varied terrain, such as Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia; others are flat and coral, offering great beaches, such as Antigua, Bermuda and Bonaire.

Culture, too, provides a cornucopia of experiences as varied as the islands themselves. When you’re ready to skip the beach and the Crayola-colored landscape, consider some cultural enrichment expressed in music, art, dance, food, festivals and architecture.

silversea cruises bahamas

Like the brilliantly colored tropical flowers that adorn the Caribbean, many nationalities left their imprint on the islands . The region claims plantation great houses, museums, forts and historic neighborhoods, which include 16 UNESCO World Heritage culture sites spread across nine islands. Many are the legacy of the colonial powers — Spanish, French, British, Dutch, and Danish — that once ruled the islands. Enslaved African people added their vivid cultural threads to this multihued tapestry, expressed in food , music, dance, art and storytelling.

To delve into the colonial past, wander the narrow cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Visit centuries-old plantation houses in Barbados and Jamaica. Marvel at the massive stone fortresses of La Fortaleza in San Juan or Brimstone Hill in St. Kitts, considered the Gibraltar of the Caribbean. Admire the 17 th -century Dutch architecture of Willemstad, Curaçao, a candy-colored version of Amsterdam.

silversea cruises bahamas

This colonial heritage blended with Indigenous and African traditions to produce the region’s tantalizing, melting-pot cuisine that bursts with flavor as intense as the tropical sun. You can sample mouth-searing hot sauces and aromatic marinades, fruity rum drinks and fiery spice rubs, earthy soups and tempting confections. Exotic tropical ingredients, such as ackee, breadfruit, carambola, Caribbean yams, cassava, conch, pigeon peas, plantain and sorrel, show up in fine-dining restaurants, beachfront shacks and eye-catching markets on every island.

Music is an ever-present refrain throughout the Caribbean, permeating everyday life like the sea breezes . More than 20 genres have emerged from the region. Listen for them spilling out of doorways and windows, from stages and concert venues, and in festivals and restaurants.

silversea cruises bahamas

Major musical types include calypso and soca (Trinidad and Tobago); reggae, ska and dancehall (Jamaica); cumbia (Caribbean Colombia); salsa and reggaeton (Puerto Rico); tumba (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) and zouk (Guadeloupe, Martinique). You’re also likely to hear the distinctive sound of steelpans — born in Trinidad and Tobago and considered the only major musical instrument invented in the 20 th century — on many islands.

Why take a Silversea Caribbean cruise?

silversea cruises bahamas

With as many islands to consider as palms swaying in the tropical breeze, a cruise offers a great way to experience several of them in a single trip (bucket list, anyone?). A fall cruise on the recently launched Silver Nova , for example, provides an island sampler: Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Thomas. Besides enjoying the attractions of each island, such an itinerary will help you decide which islands you would like to return to for a longer visit.

When should I visit the Caribbean?

silversea cruises bahamas

The Caribbean has two seasons: wet and dry. Despite a year-round tropical climate, the best time to visit is December to May, the drier, cooler months. You can count on sunny days, blue skies, and low humidity with average highs of 82 degrees F.

The warmer rainy season is May and November, though tropical showers tend to be short-lived — what the locals call “liquid sunshine.” Rainforest-laden mountainous islands such as Dominica, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia get significantly more rain than flatter ones such as Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire and Curaçao. 

Hurricane season lasts from June through November; the stormiest months tend to be August and September. Modern storm tracking, however, usually enables ships to re-route to avoid bad weather. The southernmost islands — Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curaçao, Tobago, and Trinidad — sit outside the “hurricane belt” and rarely experience storms.

silversea cruises bahamas

Apart from the weather, the region’s calendar is packed with fun events year round. West Indians know how to party, and they cut loose at annual festivals that showcase their vibrant traditions. Consider yourself lucky if your cruise coincides with one of these major events: Trinidad and Tobago Carnival (pre-Ash Wednesday), Aruba Carnival (pre-Ash Wednesday), Antigua Sailing Week (late April), St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival (May), Vincy Mas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (June and July); and Barbados’ Crop Over Festival (July to August).

What are the hottest months in the Caribbean?

silversea cruises bahamas

Although the Caribbean’s tropical climate ensures warm weather year round, the summer brings the hottest temps. From July through September, the heat and humidity intensify, and the mercury can reach the low 90s. But cooling trade winds can alleviate those highs in many islands. (The winds are so strong in Aruba that the native divi-divi trees grow sideways.)

If you’re especially sensitive to heat, choose shore excursions that avoid it and include air-conditioned vehicle tours, indoor shopping or museum visits, or water-based activities.

Top destinations to consider

Spanish-influenced destinations.

Spain was the first colonizing country in the Caribbean and left its imprint early on. That lingering influence can be seen in the Silversea destinations of Cartagena, Puerto Rico and the Mexican island of Cozumel, where Spanish remains the primary language.

Cartagena, Colombia

silversea cruises bahamas

Linger on gorgeous beaches of bleached-white sand. Sway to the Afro-Colombian music pulsing seemingly out of every open doorway, and watch traditionally clad couples sashay to the c umbia , Colombia’s rhythmic national dance. And bask in the sheer sensuality of this romantic city, as magical as the novels of adopted son Gabriel García Márquez, who lived and worked here. 

Cartagena, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is a sultry beauty, sporting handsome historic buildings and seven miles of ancient limestone walls and fortifications. Once the crown jewel of the Spanish Main through which the riches of colonial Spain poured, Cartagena oozes history nearly from every street corner and bougainvillea-draped balcony.

Puerto Rico

silversea cruises bahamas

This U.S. territory has it all: rich history and culture, beautiful beaches and mountains, and spirited, welcoming people.

Stroll the cobblestone streets of historic Old San Juan, with its colonial-era houses, churches and convents, some now reborn as boutiques, restaurants and hotels. Admire some of the grandest forts in the New World: El Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal and La Fortaleza, used as the governor’s residence.

Bask on one of nearly 300 beaches — from talcum-white to tawny gold — lining 270 miles of coastline. Feast on lechón asado (roast suckling pig), bacalaítos (codfish fritters) and mofongo (mashed, fried green plantains with pork and garlic), all accompanied by a signature piña colada, which was born here.

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Amble the cobblestone streets and alleyways of Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , to admire the beautifully ornamented, balconied and arcaded buildings that once housed viceroys and colonists. Clamber over the ramparts of the 16th-century San Felipe Castle, built to keep pirates at bay. Visit the butter-yellow cathedral and cool colonial convents.

silversea cruises bahamas

Cascade in El Yunque, Puerto Rico’s national forest./Shutterstock

Explore rugged volcanic mountain ranges; rivers and waterfalls; bioluminescent bays; and karst country honeycombed with sinkholes and caverns. Hike the 28,000-acre Caribbean National Forest, known as El Yunque , the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, and listen for the insistent sound of the  coquí , a tiny frog and Puerto Rican symbol whose name comes from its onomatopoeic call: “co-KEE.”

French-influenced islands

French customs, culture and language are alive and well in the French West Indies: French St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Barts, all still part of France. In fact, Martinique (the beautiful port of Trois-Îlets will be a new-to-Silversea port in winter 2025-26) and Guadeloupe form overseas departments of France, with the same political status as their counterparts in the mainland. What’s more, these islands use the euro as their official currency.

French St. Martin and St. Barts

silversea cruises bahamas

Experience authentic French  joie de vivre on the French side of the dual-nation island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten and in tiny St. Barts.

On these chic, upscale islands, nibble freshly baked baguettes from the local  boulangeries, and linger over Parisian-worthy meals. Stroll the sun-drenched rues, and shop for designer fashions, artisanal chocolates and luxury goods straight from France.

Strut your stuff on some of the Caribbean’s prettiest white-sand strands — some small enough for two — where going topless is as common as seashells a seashore. Embrace your inner Francophile over a café au lait at a breezy seaside café, seemingly transplanted from the Côte d’Azur.

Guadeloupe and Martinique

silversea cruises bahamas

On these much larger volcanic islands, Carib, East Indian and African influences have colored the essential Frenchness with their varied palettes.

Nowhere is that more delectable than in the islands’ unique cuisine, a spicy Creolized version of France’s famous gastronomy.

silversea cruises bahamas

You’re as likely to savor boudin noir (blood sausage), colombo  (curried meat) and crabes farcis (stuffed crab) as foie gras and coq au vin — paired with a primo French wine, of course.

This cultural blend, adapted to the tropical clime, is also evident in the Antillean Creole spoken here, a melodious mix of French and African languages, and in the gingerbread cottages that fleck these islands, marked by their French dormer windows, lacy fretwork and vivid Caribbean colors.

Nature’s exuberance takes center stage. Take rugged Martinique (birthplace of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine). Its abundance of brilliant tropical flowers inspired its Carib name, Madinina , which means “Island of Flowers.”

Fully two-thirds of Martinique is designated protected parkland, which includes 27 trails as varied as a 30-minute walk or a grueling nine-hour hike up still-smoldering Mount Pelée volcano. If you prefer less strenuous pursuits, try one of the lovely beaches, which vary from volcanic black to honey gold.

silversea cruises bahamas

Butterfly-shaped Guadeloupe will also appeal to naturalists. It’s actually two parts: mountainous Basse-Terre on the west and flatter Grande-Terre on the east. It’s laced with rainforests, gorges, rivers, mangroves, hot springs and some of the tallest waterfalls in the Caribbean.

Then there is the brimstone-belching 4,800-foot La Soufrière volcano , its headline attraction. You can soak in hot springs heated from the heart of the volcano and cool off in two waterfalls nearby. 

silversea cruises bahamas

Guadeloupe’s offshore islands, called Les Saintes (which Silversea visits), are a mini-archipelago of nine off-the-grid isles. On the main island, bistro-lined Terre-de-Haut (population 1,500), you can loll on sugary beaches or hike up to hilltop Fort Napoleon for panoramic views of dreamy Les Saintes Bay, where crisp-white sailboats speckle the azure sea.

British-influenced islands

Cricket and left-hand driving. The King’s English and the parliamentary system. Parish churches and royal police bands.

These legacies from Mother England linger in the many British Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean, which include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos. (Although the U.S. Virgin Islands were originally under British rule, Denmark took over from 1754 until 1917, when the United States bought them.)

Silversea visits all of these islands on its various itineraries, so you can expect to experience some of this heritage during port calls.

Antigua and Barbuda

silversea cruises bahamas

Beaches, beaches and more beaches. This twin-island nation counts one for each day of the year, from immaculate white to pretty in pink.

But Antigua (an-TEE-gah) has another claim to fame. Because of its central location and perfect Falmouth Harbour, it was the center of British naval presence in the Caribbean. That legacy remains in the island’s most famous attraction: Nelson’s Dockyard , built in 1725.

This is the world’s only Georgian-era dockyard and was once led by Adm. Horatio Nelson. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is still in use today, attracting nautical fans, especially during the Sailing Week Regatta in late April/early May.

Its Dockyard Museum displays fascinating maps, prints, antique navigational instruments and Nelson’s own telescope.

Follow a nature trail from here to lookout spots with dramatic views of forested inlets, hilltop forts and crumbling sugar mills that recall the island’s notorious sugar trading past.

Barbados may be small, but it stands tall and proud among its Caribbean siblings. Start with Bridgetown , its lively UNESCO-listed capital lined that boasts stately colonial buildings, excellent restaurants, duty-free shops and its own Trafalgar Square.

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The island has the world’s third oldest parliament and one of the best literacy rates in the world at 97%. Nidhe Israel , its lone synagogue is one of the oldest in the Americas, dating to 1654. Rare Jacobean-style plantation mansions — Drax Hall and St. Nicholas Abbey (open to the public) — recall the sugar industry’s past.

And notably, Barbados is the birthplace of rum, that quintessential Caribbean spirit so emblematic of the region. You can tour the Mount Gay distillery , founded in 1703, which produces the oldest brand of rum in the world. 

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Barbados features an abundance of natural assets too: pristine powdery beaches (those on the east coast are wild and tourist-free), glistening azure waters, and gardens galore. Playful green monkeys, imported from Africa, scamper through the verdant foliage of the Barbados Wildlife Reserve .

Six shallow wrecks for diving, adorned with brilliant tropical fish, adorn Carilsle Bay Marine Park . Harrison’s Cave astonishes with its coral stone stalactites and stalagmites aglow in the cavern’s lights. And the flying fish, uniquely, is the island’s national dish, served with requisite cornmeal-and-okra cou cou.

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Twenty-one square miles of pinch-me pink sand and balmy turquoise water, Bermuda is a beach lover’s dreamscape.

When you’ve had enough of the sand, you can delve into history, experience the island from the water and chill at a seaside eatery with a classic Bermuda fish sandwich (fried fish between slices of raisin bread slathered with tartar sauce) or at a pub with a signature drink: a Dark and Stormy (rum, ginger beer and lime) or a Rum Swizzle (rum, fruit juice, grenadine and bitters).

Check out the array of forts dating to the early 1600s — Fort Scaur, Fort Hamilton and Fort St. Catherine — which protected the island from pirates, smugglers and foreign enemies. Stroll Hamilton, the historic waterfront capital lined with pastel-pretty buildings, tony shops, great restaurants and head-swiveling art installations.

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Head out onto the water on a catamaran cruise or glass-bottom boat, or take a ferry tour around the island’s perimeter. Dive or snorkel in the shallow reefs teeming with marine life. Back on land, whack a ball in the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile in the world.

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A Caribbean eco-tourism superstar, Dominica lives up to its slogan “The Nature Island.” In fact, they say its soil is so fertile that if you stand still long enough something will grow on you.

Outdoor lovers can climb towering green mountains, explore pristine tropical rainforests, admire wondrous waterfalls, hike through an active volcanic caldera to the world’s second-largest boiling lake, and trek a 115-mile national trail, the longest in the Caribbean.

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Visitors may spot many of the 197 species of birds, including two endemic parrots — the imperial and the red-necked — and four species of iridescent hummingbirds. In the surrounding waters, they can search for 16 species of sea mammals — especially the mammoth sperm whale, star of “Moby Dick.” No wonder Dominica has earned the title “Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean.”

Dominica has two botanical gardens: the 40-acre Dominica Botanic Gardens and the 14-acre Papillote Tropical Gardens , where begonias, bromeliads, gingers, heliconia and indigenous orchids form a lavish natural tapestry.

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The only sovereign nation to be named for a woman, St. Lucia (LOO-sha) is such a physical dazzler that St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Walcott was inspired to say, “There’s beauty, and then there is St. Lucia.”

Part of that allure comes from the island’s dramatic landmarks: the twin peaks of Petit Piton and Gros Piton . Covered with dense tropical vegetation, these volcanic spires rise 2,600 feet out of the sea like giant green gumdrops.

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More natural beauty awaits in 19,000 acres of rainforests, hidden waterfalls (try nature’s own hydro massage), botanical gardens, marine reserves with reefs, walls and wrecks, and pristine golden beaches. As if that weren’t enough, St. Lucia also boasts the world’s only “drive-in” volcano, the dormant sulfur-scented Soufrière, where you can soak in nearby mineral-rich thermal pools. (Your skin will thank you.)

Although now part of the British Commonwealth, the island flip-flopped between French and British rule 14 times in the 150 years before the British took over in 1814. That explains the French influences that linger: the lilting French-African Creole language and such place names as Gros Ilet, Vieux Fort and Grande Anse.

The island also exudes a strong West Indian identity, where village fish fries, street party “jump-ups” and Caribbean sounds — including calypso, reggae, soca and zouk — rule the social scene. And where the cuisine features Creole specialties such as conch stew; accras (saltfish fritters); and the national dish of green figs (bananas) and saltfish (salted cod) along with an ice-cold Piton beer.

Dutch-influenced Islands

Dutch heritage sits gently on the southern islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, known as the ABC islands, as well as the Dutch side of dual-nation Sint Maarten/St. Martin. They’re still part of the motherland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (Aruba and Curaçao are constituent countries.)

Their currencies maintain their Dutch roots: In Curaçao and Sint Maarten, it’s the Antillean guilder; in Aruba, it’s the Aruban florin. (Bonaire’s currency is the U.S. dollar.) Dutch remains the official language, along with Papiamento — a mashup of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and African languages — in the ABCs.

You can shop for blue and white Delftware pottery. Enjoy tangy Dutch cheeses in the signature keshi yena (Edam cheese stuffed with olives, meat, and raisins) and pastechi (fried pastry filled with cheese or meat), washed down with an icy Heineken, of course. And Instagram the colorful gable-roofed architecture, a throwback to the old country, in all three ABCs.

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Despite its flat, desert landscape, Aruba lives up to its official motto, “One Happy Island,” as a lively, friendly place. It’s hard not to feel upbeat here, which has more sunny days than any other Caribbean island; enviable wide, talcum beaches ( Eagle Beach is a perennial winner) and a calendar filled with festivals, parties and carnivals.

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Looking for night action? Twelve casinos have earned Aruba the name “Las Vegas of the Caribbean.” Plus, steady trade winds make it a windsurfing magnet while the Arikok National Park , covering almost 20 percent of the land, boasts caves, Indian rock drawings and natural pools.

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Nature has also blessed Bonaire with head-turning beaches, sometimes speckled with showy wild flamingos as pink as some of the sand. But the main claim to fame is the legendary underwater world; the entire island is a protected marine park .

When visitors tire of diving or snorkeling among those gorgeous coral reefs, they can visit salt flats, count cactuses (which outnumber people) or go spelunking in one of 400 caves. Looking for a memorable souvenir? Pick up a bottle of Kadushi (also spelled Cadushy) cactus liqueur (but mind the rules for taking liquor into the country you’re returning and the rules for carrying it on an airplane) .

Curaçao

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Best known for the orange-peel liqueur bearing the same name, Curaçao claims a postcard-worthy UNESCO-listed capital showcasing traditional Dutch architecture in jellybean colors. Along with the highest bridge in the Caribbean (not for the faint of heart), the vibrant downtown offers great shopping, dining, nightlife — and eye-popping street art.

Curaçao stands out in another way: a Jewish community that dates to the first Jewish immigrants who arrived in 1651. It’s now home to the oldest continually used synagogue in the Americas, Mikvé Israel-Emanuel , whose sand floor is a reminder of the 40 years the biblical Jews spent wandering the desert.

Like its sibling islands, Curaçao is mostly dry and desert-like where rocky roads lead to wild cliff-sheltered beaches. More placid white-sand strands encircle the island, counterpointing the ocean’s 50 shades of blue.

Caribbean and Central America Cruises

Caribbean and Central America Cruises

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S.A.L.T. Spotlight: Discovering Smoke with Chef Rawlston Williams in the Caribbean’s Bequia

Jordan by Steve McCurry

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Silversea Cruises: The Complete Guide

Ramsey Qubein

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Silversea is a leader in the luxury, small-ship cruising market. These cruises typically appeal to the high-end traveler looking for personalized service, upscale dining and accommodations, access to smaller ports and a top-notch vacation experience.

If you're in the market for a high-end cruise vacation, here's everything you need to know about Silversea.

About Silversea

You won't find waterslides, kids clubs or roller coasters on a Silversea cruise.

Instead, expect an elevated experience designed for those looking for a relaxing yet entertaining sailing. Here are a few key features of Silversea cruises:

Accommodations

Every one of Silversea's cabins has an ocean view, and they're all designated as suites with a high space-to-guest ratio. For guests' needs throughout the cruise, butler service is available in every room.

Some suites are more luxurious — smaller suites only have windows overlooking the ocean, while classic veranda suites and many others come with a balcony.

Some room categories, such as the ultra-luxurious Otium Suite, are exclusive to Silversea's newest ship, Silver Nova. Others are found across the fleet, although accommodations on board each vessel may differ slightly.

All-inclusive sailings

Many cruise lines charge their passengers a base fare for the trip, allowing them to choose various add-ons — such as beverages, specialty restaurants, internet access and port excursions — for an additional cost.

Silversea does away with this. It advertises an all-inclusive cruise package, which includes everything from shore excursions and alcoholic drinks to butler service and gratuities.

Primary U.S. ports

Silversea ships span the globe, but travelers that don't want to venture too far from home will find many cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Trips also depart from New York City for destinations in Canada.

Those wishing to depart from the West Coast can set sail from San Francisco or Los Angeles. Ships from these ports travel to the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada and other far-flung destinations.

Where does Silversea sail?

Silversea's destination map is extensive, with over 900 ports on all seven continents. Sailings are at least six days long, but trips can last several weeks to a month or more.

For those with the time and the money, Silversea offers World Cruises that travel from continent to continent in a global adventure that can take as many as 140 days.

» Learn more: How to get the best deal on your next cruise

How much does a Silversea cruise cost?

Silversea sailings are no discount venture, but the all-inclusive nature of each cruise adds value.

Meals, drinks, entertainment and onboard special events are all part of the price. The rates vary based on demand, destination and time of year.

There are two types of prices: "door-to-door," which includes airport transfers and airfare, or "port-to-port," which is the cruise fare without any transportation to or from the port.

Rates can vary from as low as $2,800 for a seven-day trip from Colombia to Florida to $94,700 for a 125-day expedition cruise from Chile to Norway.

Silversea also offers special fares for single travelers on select excursions, which provides a discount instead of paying the full cost of a double-occupancy cabin.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

What is the best Silversea ship?

There are 13 ships in the Silversea fleet — with more scheduled for delivery in the coming years — ranging in size from 51 to 364 cabins. The best ship, however, will depend on the type of sailing you want.

The smallest ships are typically expedition ships that sail itineraries like the Galapagos or Antarctica. For example, the 100-passenger Silver Origin was Silversea's first purpose-built destination ship, built explicitly for cruising in the Galapagos. It is also the most environmentally-friendly ship built by Silversea.

Another small ship is the Silver Explorer, with a capacity for 144 guests and a strengthened hull to sail in Antarctica and the Arctic safely.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have larger ships such as Silver Spirit, which was renovated in 2018. With space for 608 passengers, it spends much of its time sailing around Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.

Ships like Silver Spirit look more like cruise ships, with amenities that include larger pools, lounges and plentiful dining options. Expedition ships are smaller by nature and therefore have fewer onboard facilities.

The best Silversea ship depends on the type of traveler you are, the destinations you want to visit, and the amenities you desire.

What is the newest Silversea ship?

Silver Nova is Silversea's newest ship, with plans to set sail later this summer. It will also be the largest ship in the Silversea fleet, with space for 728 passengers. Coming in 2024 is a second ship of the same size, the Silver Ray.

These ships feature a new asymmetrical design that gives their interiors a more spacious feel. Additionally, they'll have the largest pools in the Silversea fleet, and every suite will have a balcony.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

What's included in a Silversea cruise

As mentioned above, Silversea advertises its cruises as all-inclusive, and compared to many cruise lines , this is pretty accurate. Here's what's included with all Silversea cruises:

24-hour butler service. 

Complimentary beverages, including alcohol, around the ship and in minibars.

Gourmet meals, including room service and specialty restaurants.

Gratuities.

Select shore excursions.

Wi-Fi access.

Onboard lectures and entertainment.

Passengers who opt for the door-to-door all-inclusive option will also receive the following:

Private transfers to and from their home airport.

Airfare to and from the port city, including international flights. 

Transfers between the ship and the airport. 

Overnight hotel stays in the port city on arrival or before returning home, if needed.

A few items are not included in the fare and will incur an additional cost:

Meals or accommodations while on shore. 

Some shore excursions. 

Reservation fees for select restaurants.

Laundry service.

Personal spa or beauty services.

» Learn more: The best ways to book a cruise

Silversea loyalty program: Venetian Society

Unlike other cruise loyalty programs, Silversea's program — the Venetian Society — does not award points. It doesn't have elite status tiers, either. Instead, members earn "days" based on the length of each sailing. The more days they accrue, the more benefits they can receive.

Here's what Venetian Society members can expect to receive based on the number of days accrued:

All members . By joining the program and completing your first sailing, you're eligible for 5% savings on certain upcoming sailings. This can represent great value on expensive cruises, meaning signing up makes sense even if you only plan to sail occasionally. 

100+ days . 5% savings on all future door-to-door sailings.

250+ days . 10% savings on all future door-to-door sailings.

350 days . Once you reach this level, you are eligible for one complimentary seven-day sailing.

500 days . Reaching this milestone means enjoying a complimentary 14-day trip.

500+ days . After this landmark, members will receive one complimentary seven-day trip for each additional 150 days they sail.

How to redeem Silversea days

The best part about the Venetian Society is that the benefits are cumulative. It's not similar to a points program where once you redeem points, your balance gets lower until you earn more. With Venetian Society, you can take advantage of that perk once you hit the next milestone while enjoying previous bonuses.

For example, once you hit 350 days, you are eligible for a complimentary seven-day voyage. But, you can also take 10% off any door-to-door cruises — a perk you receive after reaching 250 days — you book after that.

Yes. Like most of its onboard amenities, Silversea cruises include basic Wi-Fi free of charge. Those in upper suites will receive free premium Wi-Fi speeds, and other guests can pay for a faster speed package. The prices vary by sailing and ship.

Yes, everything is included in the “port-to-port” fare. Adding airfare and ground transfers is part of the “door-to-door” offering.

Drinks are included in the all-inclusive fare, so no additional drink package is offered.

No, but some destinations may have their requirements. For example, there may be some destinations or embarkation points where unvaccinated travelers must provide a negative covid test, and vaccinated travelers would have to show proof of receiving the vaccine. All requirements and protocols are subject to change.

(Top photo courtesy of Silversea)

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

1.5x-2x Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

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Over 900 Destinations

Over 900 Destinations

With over 900 destinations on all seven continents, wherever you want to go, you can get there with silversea.

Discover the world’s most captivating ports while travelling in extraordinary style on our all-inclusive cruise s. Our fleet of small luxury ships offers enormous opportunities to explore the globe across all seven continents to over 900 fascinating destinations. Whether you want to sail directly into the heart of Seville, around the tip of Cape Horn, along the craggy coasts of Canada or through the breathtaking Chilean fjords, we have a luxury cruise for you. Choose from our classic voyages - that visit iconic ports and focus on full destination immersion, or why not choose an expedition cruise, where you’ll travel to some of the world’s most remote and remarkable landscapes. From the primaeval Galápagos Islands to the lush, tropical Edens of Polynesia to the frosted wilderness of Antarctica, we promise you a unique journey time after time.

All Destinations

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Kimberley

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Signature cruises.

Our Signature Cruises will ignite your passions to dive into the finer things of life

World Cruises

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Special Combination Cruises

Venetian Society Reunions

Venetian Society Reunions

Silversea Cruises

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At a glance

Exquisite service, refined dining and well-appointed accommodations are hallmarks of this Monaco-based luxury line. So is an industry-leading array of off-the-beaten-path itineraries. Its growing fleet of small expedition ships will take you everywhere from the Arctic to Papua New Guinea in style.

Buzzworthy for Silversea Cruises

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Find Cheap Cruises from Charleston

Great deals for cruises from charleston.

For expert cruise advice, call 1-800-916-8586.

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Best Charleston cruise deals

Carnival Sunshine

4 night Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Lines

5 night Bahamas

Find the best cruise to charleston, what are the best cruises from charleston.

The best cruises out of Charleston, SC offer passengers an unforgettable boating adventure into the Caribbean. It's a main port of call for Carnival Cruise Line , with passengers on cruises leaving from Charleston typically boarding the Carnival Sunshine or the Carnival Ecstasy on their way to the Bahamas . In ports of call like Nassau and Freeport, passengers can enjoy some of the most beautiful corners of the Caribbean Sea.

How can I find a cheap Charleston cruise?

Travelers love cruises out of Charleston because (especially compared to other ports of origin) the prices tend to be exceptionally reasonable. Passengers can find cheap cruises out of Charleston by looking for travel times in off-seasons, like November or February. Another option to find the cheapest deals for cruises out of Charleston in 2024 is to look for shorter travel times. For example, a 4-day cruise from Charleston to the Caribbean in February may be available for under $300 per passenger. You might even be able to get a last-minute cruise deal on your trip from Charleston.

What cruise lines operate from Charleston?

There are three main cruise lines out of Charleston: Carnival, American, and Silversea. A Carnival cruise from Charleston is the most common option; Carnival operates three ships in this port, all with regular trips to the Bahamas. American Cruise Lines traverses the US coastline and major rivers with smaller ships. Finally, the Monaco-based Silversea Cruises offers fewer trips to a wide range of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Generally speaking, Charleston cruise lines are known for a short and convenient boarding process at the cruise terminal that all passengers can benefit from. Be sure to check out last-minute cruises from Charleston if you are in the mood for an unplanned vacation.

How can I find good deals on cruises from Charleston?

When browsing cruise deals from Charleston on Expedia, all discounts are marked with a small green box right above the price per passenger. That allows you to see how much you could save when booking the voyage. But looking for cruise deals out of Charleston also means looking beyond the sticker price. For example, the Bahamas are generally known to be a lower price than other Caribbean destinations like Bermuda but more expensive than alternatives like Cuba, which is important to keep in mind as you calculate the overall cost of the cruise. You can also sort by price to see which cruise ships leaving from Charleston offer the best deals during your travel window.

What to look out for when you book your Charleston cruise?

Decide what type of voyage you're looking for, from family cruises out of Charleston to a romantic or a party cruise. With that goal in mind, you can decide on the ship that matches your preference. For example, the Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Sunrise, two of the most common cruise ships out of Charleston, offer family-friendly fun including top deck waterslides along with vibrant nightlife at sea in their pubs and bars. Ships from other cruise lines, like the Queen Mary 2 or Carnival's Mardi Gras , offer more refined or adult fun-heavy experiences, respectively. The length of your vacation also matters. You cannot book a 2 nights or 3 nights cruise from Charleston, as all voyages begin with 4 night minimums. However, your trip can span a weekend cruise from Charleston, extending into the next week.

Where are the best places to go to on a cruise from Charleston?

As the most popular cruise line from Charleston, Carnival offers a regular cruise from Charleston to the Bahamas, as well as a semi-regular cruise that visits other ports of call in the Caribbean. The best cruises out of Charleston steer towards Nassau first, where passengers can enjoy historical British colonial buildings along with gorgeous beaches and coral reefs that are ideal for snorkeling. On the occasional 10 day cruises leaving out of Charleston, travelers can also go beyond the Bahamas, enjoying their time on deck along with ports of call in St. Thomas, Antigua, Saint Kitts, Philipsburg, and San Juan. Regardless of the length of destination passengers choose, they'll enjoy an unforgettable adventure on the cruise ship from Charleston into the beauty and mystery of the Caribbean Sea and its islands.

How to book a cruise out of Charleston on Expedia?

If you’re looking for a Charleston cruise in 2024, you can browse our pre-selected deals or just set your destination to the South Carolinian port city and pick your preferred cruise days as well as how many passengers you are looking to book. From there, you can narrow down how long you'd like your adventure at sea to be. The results are then filterable by cruise line, Charleston cruise ships and what type of cabin you're looking for once aboard. Before the ship lifts its anchor for your voyage, you'll also be able to book your stay in the city before and after the cruise if you want to explore the cityscape and coastline of Charleston historic side.

How can I find last-minute cruise deals from Charleston?

If you're looking for great last-minute Charleston cruise deals, booking shortly before you're looking to set sail can reduce the price of the cruise. When browsing on Expedia, enter a planned departure date that's close to the current date. The results you get show the discount in the results of cruises departing from Charleston during that time frame. You can also sort your search results by either the earliest departure date or lowest price to ensure you get the best cruise deals in Charleston.

Do you need a passport to cruise from Charleston?

We always recommend to have your passport with you when travelling outside of the US but some cruises have closed loop itinerary that don’t require you to have your passport to take part if you are a US citizen. Because all Caribbean cruises from Charleston make land on islands that belong to different countries, it is better to check the details of each cruise to make sure you can enjoy your sea voyage.

Can I cancel my cruise booking?

Yes, guests can cancel their cruise from Charleston in 2024 before their departure. However, the timing of the cancellation is important. Passengers canceling their cruise too close to the departure time may not be able to get a refund or only a partial one. Visit your My Trips section of the website or on the app. You can alternatively contact our customer service.

Why should I book a cruise from Charleston with Expedia?

Booking your cruise through Expedia means not just finding the best cruise lines out of Charleston but also selecting the best possible option thanks to in-depth search and filter tools. The search results make it easy to spot deals, and passengers can book their journey to and stay in Charleston alongside the cruise. Finally, we'll help you find the best cruise ships out of Charleston for your journey, allowing you to enjoy your time on deck and at some of the most popular vacation spots in the Caribbean.

Charleston Cruise Guide

Spectacular content coming soon!

Pre and Post Cruise Hotels in Charleston

Comfort Inn Downtown Charleston

Comfort Inn Downtown Charleston

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2024

Town & Country Inn and Suites

Town & Country Inn and Suites

Reviewed on Feb 11, 2024

Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview, an IHG Hotel

Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview, an IHG Hotel

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2024

United States Cruise Departure Ports

  • Fort Lauderdale
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Canada Cruise Departure Ports

Europe cruise departure ports.

  • Buenos Aires
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More Europe Cruise Departure Ports

  • Bremerhaven
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  • Longyearbyen
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • Warnemuende

South Africa Cruise Departure Ports

Asia cruise departure ports.

  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • St Petersburg

Australia Cruise Departure Ports

Caribbean cruise departure ports.

  • Fort de France

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Are luxury cruise ships worth the money? We did the math for Silversea's Silver Nova.

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Luxury travel can mean several different things to every person you ask. To me, luxury travel is meant to be seamless. I just want to point to a destination and have someone else figure out every little detail for me. 

For many others, luxury travel requires luxe accommodations and high-quality food – which a luxury cruise line includes, but more on that later. 

"Cruising has changed. Today really represents an incredible value, independently from which segment you decide to join," Silversea Cruises President Barbara Muckermann told USA TODAY during a press preview of Silver Nova earlier this month. "The kind of luxury cruise service you get here – and you can decide to compare to whatever luxury establishment it is – but I assure you it can be 30% to 40% cheaper here. Still offering the same, if not better, service."

A price tag can be intimidating. So I decided to do (rudimentary) math on services offered by an upcoming Silver Nova sailing.

What is included in Silver Nova’s door-to-door Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro sailing?

One of Silversea's two booking options is a door-to-door experience, which coordinates transportation from your home to the airport and overnight stay before your cruise.

◾ Transfer to the airport from home (private executive).

◾ International flights (economy).

◾ Airport transfer. 

◾ Hotel night. 

◾ Food and beverages for nine days.

◾ Shore excursions.

◾ Airport transfer.

◾ Transfer home from the airport (private executive).

The line also offers a port-to-port experience where you are responsible for your transportation to and from the port of embarkation.

As mentioned, to me, luxury is seamlessness. Aside from logistics coordination, the crew on Silver Nova is equipped with Silversea proprietary technology, registering passenger preferences and ensuring there's rarely a need for you to "check in" to a class, dinner, or event reservation.

What else does the fare include on the ship?

Like other upscale, all-inclusive cruise lines, the fare includes gratuities, food and beverage (including select wines and spirits), Wi-Fi, and shore excursions. Unlike other cruises, all Silver Nova elevators are glass, reminding you at every turn where you are in the world.

Something that Andrea Tonet, Silversea’s VP of Product Strategy, pointed out that I hadn’t noticed on the ship was that, unlike most cruise ships that center the pool on the top deck, Silver Nova’s asymmetric design makes it so every pool lounger has a view of the destination rather than other passengers.

"Even if the ship is a little bigger, thanks to the asymmetric design, you have all these smaller spaces, so it never feels crowded," Muckermann added.

How much is the Silver Nova Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro sailing? 

For the Feb. 5-14 itinerary on a Classic Veranda Suite, the cheapest suite on the ship (all Silver Nova cabins come with a balcony and personal butler service), the door-to-door option leaving from Washington, D.C., and embarking from Buenos Aires, the total comes to $18,800 for two people – or $9,400 each . 

How much would a land-based luxury vacation in Buenos Aires cost? 

"When it came to designing (Silver) Nova, we knew we were going to take the traditional luxury cruise route," Muckermann said, explaining that Silversea custom designs their new ships according to their itineraries. "So, who are the main competitors? It's really, land-based resorts."

She explained that Silver Nova's purpose was to, indeed, compete with land resorts in classic itineraries for cruises, including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, North Europe and Alaska.

"For us, it's easier because we move and we're small," Muckermann said of concerns about overtourism in remote or popular destinations, adding that Silversea works with local ports to strive to be the only ones docking that day.

That being said, from Feb. 5-14, staying only at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, and factoring the same items on the door-to-door Silver Nova sailing, the total comes to $19,258 for two people.

◾ My estimates only included roundtrip economy flights from Washington, D.C., to Buenos Aires, only settling in one destination rather than Silver Nova’s nine. Flights came to around $1,895.

◾ Transportation to and from home airport on Uber Black was about $177, without tip (tip your drivers, please). 

◾ Transportation between Buenos Aires airport and the hotel was about $50, without tip. 

◾ I conservatively factored three meals a day for two people for nine days, giving them an average of $100 for meals, without tips or alcohol, which is included on the ship, for a total of $5,400.

◾ Excursions can vary widely depending on destination and preferences, but I budgeted an average of Silver Nova’s excursion offerings in Cancún and Key West of $125 for eight, for a total of another $2,000. 

◾ A stay at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires for the same dates, came to an estimated total of $9,736.

I tried to be conservative with my estimates on food and excursions and didn’t include alcohol since that varies from person to person. However, if you want to do a nightly order of caviar and champagne on Silversea, you can at no extra cost. Once I passed the threshold of Silver Nova's $18,800, I stopped adding, but there are many included benefits, like seeing more than one destination without having to do connecting flights and packing up every few days, that could be added to the total.

Things to note on Silver Nova:

◾ Silver Nova is designed with accessibility in mind. So much so, that it sometimes forced design tweaks, like placing the heater in the ocean-view sauna in the middle of the room to allow space for mobility. There are also accessible cabins in different categories.

◾ Your cabin butler pays attention to your preferences, from the side of the bed you sleep in, to whether you prefer a bath or a shower, to anticipate your needs. Needless to say, they are trained hospitality professionals.

◾ There's a dress code, but it's not stringent. If you're not a dress-up person like myself, it can be daunting, but most people are on the more relaxed end of that dress code. "We were successful in using the dress code as a unifying versus a separating tool," Muckermann said, explaining that guests would sometimes feel excluded when they didn't know what was the vibe for different events. "It's one of those things that feels like a rule, but it actually helps with the atmosphere."

Not to be redundant, but luxury travel is a luxury and a privilege. For those who have the means for an international luxury vacation, Silversea’s Silver Nova offers a more complete experience for less than what it would cost to do the same itinerary on land. 

Sailing a luxury cruise line, might not be a yearly occurrence for many (certainly not me), but I see it as a great option to celebrate life milestones. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, whatever it may be, a luxury cruise line can have a butler bring you caviar and champagne at any moment at no extra cost.

Editor’s note: The reporter on this story received access to this expedition from Silversea Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Group. USA TODAY maintains editorial control of reviews.

Silversea logo

Silversea ships

Silversea Silver Cloud

  • Maiden Voyage: 1994
  • Last Refurbished: 2017
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • Gross Tonnage : 17,400
  • Beam: 70 62 ft/21 5 Metres
  • Maximum Speed: 18 knots
  • Ship Length: 514 14 ft/156 7 Metres
  • Passenger Capacity: 254
  • Number of Crew: 212
  • Officer's Nationality: European
  • Number of Suites: 137
  • Dining / Restaurants: 4
  • Bars / Lounges: 4
  • Fitness Center: Yes
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Silversea Silver Dawn

  • Maiden Voyage: 2021
  • Gross Tonnage: 40,700 Tons
  • Beam: 86 ft / 27 Metres
  • Maximum Speed: 19.8 Knots
  • Ship Length: 698 ft / 212.8 Metres
  • Passenger Capacity: 596
  • Number of Crew: 411
  • Number of Suites: 316
  • Dining / Restaurants: 8
  • Number of Decks: 8
  • Bars / Lounges: 5

Silversea Silver Endeavour

  • Built Year: 2021
  • Gross Tonnage: 20,449 tons
  • Ship Length: 539 ft / 164.40 meters
  • Width: 93 ft / 28.35 metres
  • Maximum Speed: 19 knots
  • Number of Crew: 200
  • Passenger Capacity: 200
  • Officer's Nationality: International
  • Number of Suites: 110

Silversea Silver Moon

  • Maiden Voyage: 2020
  • Maximum Speed: 19 .8 Knots
  • Ship Length: 698 ft / 212 .8 Metres
  • Number of Suites: 340
  • Dining / Restaurants: 7

Silversea Silver Muse

  • Built Year: 2017
  • Gross Tonnage : 40,700
  • Maximum Speed: 19,8 Knots
  • Ship Length: 698 ft / 212 8 Metres
  • Number of Suites: 321

Silversea Silver Nova

  • Built Year: 2023
  • Gross Tonnage : 54,700
  • Beam: 97 ft / 9.6 Mt.
  • Maximum Speed: 19.4 Knots
  • Ship Length: 801 ft./ 244.16 Mt.
  • Passenger Capacity: 728
  • Number of Crew: 556
  • Number of Decks: 9
  • Number of Suites: 367

Silversea Silver Origin

  • Built Year: 2020
  • Registry: Ecuador
  • Gross Tonnage : 5,800
  • Beam: 52.4 ft / 16 Meters
  • Maximum Speed: 14 Knots
  • Ship Length: 331.4 ft / 101 Meters
  • Passenger Capacity: 100
  • Number of Crew: 90
  • Crew Nationality: Ecudorian
  • Number of Suites: 51
  • Dining / Restaurants: 2
  • Number of Decks: 6
  • Bars / Lounges: 3

Silversea Silver Ray

  • Built Year: 2024
  • Width: 97 ft / 29 .6 mt
  • Maximum Speed: 19.4 knots
  • Ship Length: 801 ft / 244 .2 mt
  • Gross Tonnage: 54,700 tons
  • Number of Crew: 544
  • Bars / Lounges: Yes
  • Number of Suites: 287

Silversea Silver Shadow

  • Built Year: 2000
  • Last Refurbished: 2019
  • Gross Tonnage : 28,258
  • Beam: 81.8 ft/24.9 Metres
  • Maximum Speed: 18.5 Knots
  • Ship Length: 610 ft
  • Passenger Capacity: 388
  • Number of Crew: 302
  • Number of Decks: 7
  • Number of Suites: 194
  • Kids Friendly: No

Silversea Silver Spirit

  • Built Year: 2009
  • Last Refurbished: 2018
  • Beam: 87 ft/26,5 Metres
  • Gross Tonnage : 39,519
  • Maximum Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Ship Length: 691 ft
  • Passenger Capacity: 608
  • Dining / Restaurants: 9

Silversea Silver Whisper

  • Built Year: 2001
  • Beam: 81 .8 ft/24 .9 Metres
  • Bars / Lounges: 6

Silversea Silver Wind

  • Built Year: 1995
  • Last Refurbished: 2021
  • Beam: 70.62 ft/21.5 Meters
  • Ship Length: 514.14 ft
  • Maximum Speed: 18 Knots
  • Passenger Capacity: 274
  • Dining / Restaurants: 3
  • Number of Crew: 239
  • Number of Suites: 143

TravelNoire

Best Cruise Ships Launching in 2024

C ruises are a prominent sector within the broader leisure travel and tourism industry, spanning regions worldwide. In 2022, the global revenue of the cruise industry reached almost $19 billion , marking a significant increase from the pandemic’s early years. The United States, with its extensive coastlines and proximity to Caribbean ports, stands as the leading contributor to cruise revenue.

This year, the cruise industry is gearing up for another exciting year, as a diverse array of new ships is set to launch, catering to various preferences. Here are some of the top contenders for best cruise ships launching in 2024:

Sun Princess (Princess Cruises)

February 11, 2024

Sun Princess intends to rewrite the rulebook on family cruises with its innovative entertainment and focus on creating unforgettable memories for all ages. The centerpiece is the awe-inspiring Dome, a multi-story entertainment venue featuring a 270-degree LED screen showcasing interactive games, immersive movie experiences, and live performances.

Families can dive into themed pools like the “Camp Discovery” jungle-themed splash zone or the “Neptune Reef” aqua park, complete with a thrilling waterslide. While kids rule the roost in dedicated clubs with engaging activities like escape rooms and themed parties, parents can unwind in adult-only spaces like the tranquil Sanctuary pool or indulge in the luxurious Lotus Spa. The Lido Deck transforms into a vibrant playground with food trucks, games, and movies under the stars, ensuring every evening is a family adventure.

Ilma (Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

March 1, 2024

Ilma is a haven of refined elegance, whisking you away on a personalized voyage of discovery. This ultra-luxe yacht welcomes only 149 guests, ensuring an intimate and exclusive experience. The company promise to offer its guests breathtaking ocean views from spacious suite.

Ilma will offer Michelin-quality cuisine in opulent dining venues to make your experience more enjoyable. The onboard spa will pamper you with rejuvenating treatments, while the infinity pool invites guests to bask in the sun in luxurious serenity.

Silver Ray (Silversea Cruises)

March 9, 2024

Silver Ray redefines luxury cruising with its sophisticated ambiance and commitment to intimate exploration. This boutique ship accommodates 950 guests in elegantly appointed suites, most with private verandas. They ensure a front-row seat to the world’s beauty.

The company will provide an impeccable butler service, world-class dining in multiple gourmet venues, and enriching cultural experiences tailored to each destination. Whether guests are sipping handcrafted cocktails at the Panorama Lounge overlooking the endless blue horizon or indulging in a rejuvenating treatment at the Zagara Spa, every moment aboard Silver Ray promises to exude elegance and serenity.

Explora II (Explora Journeys)

May 24, 2024

Explora II caters to a sophisticated palate, offering an adults-only haven for wellness, sustainability, and immersive cultural experiences. The ship will be sailing the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Northern Europe on this intimate ship, accommodating only 400 guests in luxurious suites. Explore hidden gems like Croatia’s Hvar Island or Portugal’s Azores on Zodiac landings led by expert naturalists. The onboard spa, focusing on holistic wellness, pampers you with personalized treatments and breathtaking ocean views. Foodies will delight in innovative menus crafted with locally sourced ingredients, celebrating the culinary traditions of each destination.

Disney Treasure (Disney Cruise Line)

August 9, 2024

Disney Treasure sets sail on a pirate-themed adventure that will ignite the imaginations of children and adults alike. It will feature the thrilling AquaMouse waterslide, a twisting, turning masterpiece that propels guests through magical Disney stories. Themed restaurants and bars like “Skull Duggery’s Galley” and “Seadog Brew & Bite”emulate the pirate life. Broadway-caliber shows and deck parties keep the fun flowing.

Kids can embark on pirate training quests, learn from Disney characters, and create adventures in dedicated youth clubs. Adults can escape to the adults-only Quiet Cove pool and spa for some peaceful relaxation. Disney Treasure sails to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, promising magical encounters with Disney characters, breathtaking island explorations, and pirate-themed fun for every member of the family.

Icon of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

October 20, 2024

Icon of the Seas redefines “megacruise,” claiming the title of the world’s largest ship. This record-breaking “Category 6” water park features the tallest drop slide at sea and a free-fall slide defying gravity. Guests can explore vibrant underwater worlds in the immersive AquaDome, a multi-deck ocean experience with panoramic views.

Utopia of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

November 24, 2024

Utopia of the Seas is another Oasis-class powerhouse ready to whisk you away on a whirlwind of excitement. Visitors can dive into the Caribbean-inspired world of Perfect Day at CocoCay, an exclusive island paradise boasting the thrilling Daredevil’s Peak water park and Chill Island, a private beach club for unwinding after your adrenaline rush.

Foodies will rejoice at the new Pesky Parrot bar. The bar will be serving up island vibes and cocktails. Guests can also enjoy poolside food trucks that tantalize taste buds with fresh bites. Utopia caters to every family member, with the youngest adventurers finding their own thrills in the reimagined kids’ clubs and themed pools.

Best Cruise Ships Launching in 2024

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  6. Silver Wind Cruise Ship

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