6 Private islands you can get to on a cruise holiday

07 Jul 2016 | by Sarah Clarke

If island hopping tropical hideaways and exclusive havens sounds like your idea of a dream holiday, then consider the incredible private islands now accessible via cruise ship. No longer just tropical playgrounds for the super rich and insta-famous, exclusive islands in the Caribbean and beyond are being snapped up by major cruise lines wanting to give their guests the best taster of island life. Not sure where to start? Here's 6 of our favourites.

Castaway Cay

Guests cruising with Disney Cruise Line on Bahamian and Caribbean cruises can look forward to a day at Disney Cruise Line’s private paradise, Castaway Cay. Castaways can enjoy crystal turquoise waters and pristine sandy beaches against a backdrop of swaying palm trees. Activities range from beach sports to shopping, snorkelling, kayaking, bike or boat rental and so much more. Iconic Disney characters add an element of magic and Serenity Bay provides a relaxing adult only area for some QT.

Half Moon Cay

Award winning Bahamian utopia, Half Moon Cay, is a must see on any Caribbean cruise with Holland America Line. Also known as Little San Salvador Island, this private island escape was purchased by the cruise line in 1996 and serves as a paradisiacal port of call for cruise guests. White sandy beaches, cocktails and sunshine make this an ideal day out. Activities include horse riding along the sea edge, children’s pirate ship water park, sailing, snorkelling or simply unwinding.

Cayo Levantado

Nestled in the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Cayo Levantado blends luscious green rainforest with beautiful sandy beaches. This heavenly hideaway belongs to the Dominican with MSC Cruises making scheduled stops and allowing cruise guests to revel in the idyllic island setting.

A shore excursion to Cayo Levantado can be slow paced with a day on the beach or fun filled with jeep safari and whale watching tours.

Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay provides an exclusive island escape for Norwegian Cruise Line guests and has something for every family member to enjoy. A Berry Island in the Bahamas, this private paradise welcomes cruise guests with glistening white sandy beaches, tepid turquoise water and the promise of a great day out.

Plenty of sun loungers make it easy to find a relaxing spot in the sun. For those in need of adventure, Great Stirrup Cay offers kayaking, snorkelling and even a 1000 foot long zip line.

2017 will see the addition of an exclusive lagoon retreat with more dining options, beachfront luxury villas, a family beach area and more.

Princess Cays

Princess Cays hugs the southern tip of Bahamian island Eleuthera and is a frequent port of call for Princess Cruises guests sailing Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean itineraries. Snorkelling, shopping and water sports are all on the agenda here, but if you simply want to lie back and chill island style, private cabanas and hammocks are also available.


CocoCay, or Little Stirrup Cay, sits just north of Nassau in the Bahamas and gives Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises guests an exclusive tropical retreat to enjoy on their Caribbean cruise. An aqua-park with water slides keeps kids entertained at CocoCay whilst shopping, snorkelling and glass bottomed boat trips are just some of the other available activities at this exclusive island haven.

Keith & Glenn on Private Islands

Islands Coming Soon

New private islands to look forward to include Norwegian Cruise Line’s magnificent Harvest Caye in Belize, debuting in November 2016 and MSC Cruises arrival at Sir Bani Yas Island Beach, Abu Dhabi in December 2016.
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