The Caribbean’s Best Small Cruise Ports

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By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

Modern mega-ships can take you to marquee Caribbean ports such as San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and St Thomas in the USVI. But the region’s lesser-known cruise stops are worth a look, too.  Book a cabin aboard small-ship lines such as Windstar Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club or Star Clippers, and you’ve got a ticket to untrammeled, under-the-radar ports that those behemoths can’t access. Most have small piers and only simple port facilities, so you’ll likely have to drop anchor offshore and tender in. But when you disembark, Old Caribbean charm, historic sites, and natural assets that you can have practically to yourself await. Browse our top 10 small Caribbean cruise ports and then start packing.


Gustavia Cruising is probably the most economical way to experience this notoriously pricey French-Caribbean destination. Lines such as Windstar Cruises and SeaDream Yacht Club feature day-long and overnight stays here, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore St. Barth’s 22 winsome beaches, lively restaurants and the shops lining the capital’s main drag. And since the island is only roughly   10 square-miles, renting a car is a viable (and recommended) option.

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