Situated in the north-western Caribbean Sea, around 241 kilometres south of Cuba, and east of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Grand Cayman and sister islands Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, form the peaks of a massive underwater limestone ridge.
Surrounded by coral reefs, the island of Grand Cayman is famous for its sandy beaches, crystal azure waters and palm fringed dusty streets. This tropical paradise also has an abundance of restaurants, clubs, shops, marine wildlife, water sports and other tourist centric pursuits. Grand Cayman is the world’s fifth largest financial centre and boasts over 500 banks.
The Port of George Town welcomed 480 vessels and approximately 1,375,872 passengers in 2013 and continues to be a popular destination for cruises navigating through the Caribbean. It has been in operation since 1977.
Cruise visitors to Grand Cayman arrive just outside of the capital George Town on the south west of the island, and are tendered to shore.
The Port of George Town is located in George Town Harbour, in the island’s southwest. Cruise passengers disembark here before walking to nearby restaurants, shops and bars.
Several international cruise liners including Princess, Norwegian Dawn, Crown, Celebrity and many others stop at Grand Cayman on their tours of the Caribbean. Up to 4 cruise ships can anchor in designated anchorage points and there are several tender terminals available.
Limited facilities exist along the tender docks, which include a landing and shaded area for those waiting for a tender boat to take them back to the cruise ship. However, many facilities are located across the street from the main pier.
Facilities nearby include:
- Taxi dispatch point.
How to Get Around
There are a number of transportation options available, including taxis and buses. Car, bike and scooter rental facilities are also available. A courtesy shuttle runs between the port and rental office. All vehicles drive on the left in the Cayman Islands.
Many of the island’s shops, restaurants and bars are located near the harbour, within walking distance. The island’s bus system operates daily, from 6am till late at night, although these hours are dependent on the route and day of travel. The main bus terminal is near the public library on Edward Street in town.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 6 minute walk to the Cayman Craft Market
- It is a 5 minute walk to the Hard Rock Café.
- It is a 7 minute journey to the Owen Roberts International Airport by car
- It is a 6 minute journey to Seven Mile Beach by car.
- Currency - The local currency is the Cayman Island Dollar (CI$). Coins are available in 1, 5, 10 and 25 cent denominations, and bank notes dispensed in CI$1, CI$5, CI$25, CI$50, and CI$100 denominations. US dollars are also widely accepted.
- Time Zone - Grand Cayman shares the Eastern Standard Time (EST) with the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, which is 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Temperatures in the Cayman Islands are hot, with a tropical marine climate consisting of wet summers and dry winters. The average year round temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. Tropical hurricanes are a natural hazard from July to September.
- Seven Mile Beach - Recently named the Caribbean’s best beach, Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach is world famous. Lined with resort restaurants and bars, which are open to the public, the beach is a popular destination. Snorkelling, kayaking and paddling are all common activities here. The beach is located on the island’s west coast, near the Ritz-Carlton.
- Turtle Farm - This sustainable sea turtle nursery is home to more than 16,000 marine turtles. Marvel at the interactive displays and get up close-and-personal with populations of sea turtles thanks to the turtle touch tanks, wading pools and hatchery. Open all week, the Turtle Farm is a 16-minute drive from the Port of George Town and is on Northwest Point Road. Pricing varies depending on which package you choose.
- Shopping - Pick up duty and tax free bargains along Cardinal Street in George Town. Whether it’s liquor, island jewellery, gemstones, fragrances or cosmetics, shopping is a sport in Grand Cayman. As well as unique island souvenirs, there are also designer leather goods and Swiss watches on offer.
- Stingray City – One of the island’s biggest attractions, swimming with stingrays can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Stingray City is the name given to an area off the northern coast, near Rum Point Beach, where hordes of ‘tame’ stingrays congregate, waiting to be fed. Tours to the area operate daily and must be booked 72 hours in advance.