Anguilla cruises are available as short excursions of only an hour or so, full day sightseeing tours, or as scuba diving and snorkeling vacations lasting several days. No matter how you want to travel by water to or around Anguilla, there are options that will suit your taste.
You can also enjoy a cruise vacation to Anguilla on a passenger liner that may have departed from Miami or New Orleans and makes ports stops a several different Caribbean islands. This kind of Anguilla Caribbean cruise is generally available on the smaller, more intimate deluxe cruise ships that accommodate only 100 to 150 passengers, and they make a port stop for only one or two nights. If you are a passenger on one of these cruises, you would dock at the island’s main harbor and port, which is located at Sandy Ground Beach.
The mass market cruise ships that carry hundreds and thousands of passengers generally stop at larger islands such as Nassau in the Bahamas and Aruba, which boast legendary duty-free shopping, casinos, and nightlife. A few will make a stop at nearby St. Martin, and they often offer shore excursions on one of the Anguilla beaches. This means you can enjoy a cruise vacation to Anguilla without your ship ever dropping anchor here. A substantial percentage of visitors to Anguilla come from the island of St. Martin, which has far more visitors because it is a larger island with two important things that attract mass market cruise passengers: casinos and extensive duty free shopping. Most St. Martin visitors (including locals and cruise ship passengers) come over for a day excursion to visit Anguilla's beaches.
This exclusive, deluxe vacation destination is not overflowing with duty-free shopping possibilities, and it has relatively few historic sites or natural attractions in the interior. In fact, there is very little “interior” at all to the island. At its widest point it is only about three miles wide, and for a good portion of its length it is only a mile or less in width. It is a small island famed for its extraordinary beaches, and a cruise vacation to Anguilla will invariably take advantage of these.
Many sailing visitors, in fact, will book an Anguilla Caribbean cruise on a small chartered yacht from St. Martin or another of the nearby islands. An ambitious itinerary might start in Puerto Rico and sail all the way down the chain of islands to the Grenadines and Grenada. Although there are plenty of fishing boats and similar craft doing Anguilla cruises as day trips for small groups and couples, the closest bareboat and crewed yachts are available in St. Martin.
Some Anguilla cruises last only about 20 or 30 minutes, and serve only as a means of transportation. These are ferry or water taxi transfers from nearby St. Martin. This island welcomes more visitors on holidays than Anguilla does, and Anguilla is a popular day trip both for those tourists as well as St. Martin residents. The ferry terminal is on the southern coast at Blowing Point Village. From here, you can walk to Rendezvous Bay, which is where the famous Bankie Banx's Dune Preserve is located. Many come here to enjoy the beach as well as to enjoy great seafood dining accompanied by local calypso and reggae music.
An Anguilla Caribbean cruise can be booked from most of the major beaches and virtually all hotels and resorts can assist you with one. Popular destinations for a day excursion include Little Bay Beach, a romantic secluded cove accessible only by boat and Shoal Bay Beach, the island’s most beautiful and well-known beach, located on the northeastern coast of the island. Popular snorkeling and scuba diving destinations include little Scrub Island off the far eastern tip, and Sandy Island, located off Sandy Ground Beach.