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13 of best Caribbean cruises for a holiday on the water in 2024/2025

Set sail with P&O and Disney Cruise Lines to the Caribbean islands (Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash)
Set sail with P&O and Disney Cruise Lines to the Caribbean islands (Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash)

The Caribbean, with unmistakable white sands, twinkling turquoise waters and a tropical climate that screams “winter sun” from December to April, is well-known as the place to be for cruise liners. And it’s not hard to see why.

Getting to know the Caribbean Sea’s sheer density of palm-fringed islands on a multi-port adventure maximises your experiences and opens up numerous sun-drenched destinations, including Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia.

Once onboard, vast floating hotels – often all-inclusive havens of laid-back luxury with everything thrown in – promise decadent fine dining, enrichment for all ages with theatre shows and waterparks, and a liberating choice of excursions such as volcano hikes, scuba diving and zip lining when docked at any one of the Caribbean’s serene tropics.

Here’s our guide to the best Caribbean cruise holidays to book now, from epic transatlantic voyages at Christmas to adults-only adventures and short-haul island-hopping breaks, whether a last-minute getaway to bag a winter sun bargain for 2024 or to look ahead to summer 2025.

Read more on Caribbean travel:

Best for: Classic cruising

Caribbean Transatlantic, P&O Cruises

Travel to Tortola, Basseterre and Fort de France with P&O Cruises (Getty Images)
Travel to Tortola, Basseterre and Fort de France with P&O Cruises (Getty Images)

Departs: Bridgetown, Barbados

Arrives: Southampton, UK

P&O Cruises offers a 13-night transatlantic cruise to bask in the Caribbean sunshine, transporting you straight into the holiday spirit from the second you board. Guests onboard the family-friendly Britannia (capacity 3,647) will arrive in Bridgetown, the beating heart of Barbados, make snorkelling stops in St Lucia, stroll Georgian buildings in Basseterre, and sip rum punch in Antigua, before sailing home to Southampton.

Comfortable and practical interior cabins are priced from £2,098 when booking the saver fare, which includes allocated dining at over 13 restaurants and bars, entertainment, four pools and port to airport transfers for the outbound flight to Bridgetown.

Departing 23 March 2024

Best for: UK departures

Island Hopping in the Caribbean, Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen’s Borealis leaves Liverpool for sunnier shores (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)
Fred Olsen’s Borealis leaves Liverpool for sunnier shores (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)

Departs: Portsmouth, UK

Arrives: Portsmouth, UK

A return trip from the Caribbean can be daunting for fearful flyers, but with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines those looking to leave and return home by boat are in luck. Their island hopping adventure – a round trip from Portsmouth – features a cocktail of historic landmarks, dramatic volcano-scapes and winter sun that will take you from Antigua to Dominica and St Lucia.

Two cruisers in an all-inclusive interior room can spend 28 nights in one of the Borealis’ 702 cabins from £3,699pp, with upgrades to all-inclusive wine and spirits available for £24.99pp per night. Rum tours of Mount Gay Distillery, waterfall excursions to the Emerald Pool in Roseau and sugar plantations in St John are cruise staples on shore before travellers retreat to one of the ship’s elegant lounges.

Departing 4 January 2025

Best for: A Caribbean Christmas

Caribbean Celebration, Cunard

Celebrate the festivities of Christmas and New Year on a voyage to St Maarten (Christopher Ison)
Celebrate the festivities of Christmas and New Year on a voyage to St Maarten (Christopher Ison)

Departs: Southampton, UK

Arrives: New York, USA

Ring in the New Year with Cunard on this 20-night “Caribbean Celebration” sailing over Christmas and into January. Escape the cold to spend time ashore with loved ones in sunny St Lucia, Dominica and St Marteen on the almost three week long trip to the azure waters of the Caribbean.

For £2,579pp, board one of Cunard’s Queen ships and visit the grand lobby – complete with a dazzling Christmas tree – to embrace the festive spirit at sea. Imaginative meals at a variety of restaurants, live music evenings and sporting activities are all included in the price.

Departing 14 December 2024

Best for: Floating family fun

Western Caribbean Cruise with Pixar Day at Sea, Disney Cruise Lines

Disney’s Pixar Day at Sea welcomes all your favourite toys and heroes on board (Getty Images)
Disney’s Pixar Day at Sea welcomes all your favourite toys and heroes on board (Getty Images)

Departs: Port Canaveral, Florida

Arrives: Port Canaveral, Florida

No cruise ship does floating fun palace quite like the Disney Fantasy, and with a dedicated day for Pixar characters, its Western Caribbean Cruise is a dream for families. Think seven nights spent at interactive breakfasts, deck parties and movie screenings sandwiched between Moana-style days on the sand in George Town and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Once the kids are worn out from scuba diving, kayaking and dolphin spotting on land, adult-exclusive nightclubs, whirlpool spas and a fitness centre are on offer to kick back on board while the little ones enjoy kids club. Prices start from £3,617 including breakfast, lunch, dinner and 24-hour snacks.

Departing 10 February 2024

Best for: Long-term holidaying

Gems of the Caribbean Sea, Ambassador Cruise Line

Get comfortable with a month of sun-drenched sailing around the Caribbean’s highlights (Ambassador Cruise Line)
Get comfortable with a month of sun-drenched sailing around the Caribbean’s highlights (Ambassador Cruise Line)

Departs: Tilbury, London

Arrives: Tilbury, London

Ambassador Cruise Line provides a mammoth 39-night cruise onboard the Ambience to the gems of the Caribbean via Madeira. Sink your toes into the pink sands of Bermuda and the turquoise sea of the Cayman Islands and dance to reggae music in lively Montego Bay, Jamaica – just some of the highlights of the Caribbean voyage.

Traditional afternoon teas and gala dinners pepper the dining menus and with a library, cabaret shows in The Observatory and 11 different lounges and bars, there’s plenty to entertain on board. Set sail with Ambassador from £2,099pp for an inside en-suite cabin, with 50 per cent off for the second guest.

Departing 5 January 2025

Best for: Short and sweet retreats

Evrima to U.S. Virgin Islands, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Make waves with Ritz-Carlton’s four-night journey to San Juan (The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)
Make waves with Ritz-Carlton’s four-night journey to San Juan (The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

Departs: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Arrives: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Fancy dipping your toe into the world of cruising? Try Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collections’ four-night return trip from San Juan for a taste of Caribbean luxury. Anchoring amid the granite boulders and tidal pools of Virgin Gorda and stretches of palm-fringed white sand in St John, the Evrima ship has the capacity for just 298 guests for an intimate and decadent experience on the water.

Local culinary delights dot nine restaurants and fares start from £4,178pp based on double terrace mid suites featuring spacious balconies, comfortable king beds and 24-hour in-suite dining.

Departing 7 March 2024.

Best for: Setting sail

Caribbean Vibes and 80’s Spirit, SeaCloud Cruises

Sail to the beat of the 1980s as you travel to Jost Van Dyke (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Sail to the beat of the 1980s as you travel to Jost Van Dyke (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Departs: Philipsburg, St Maarten

Arrives: Philipsburg, St Maarten

Onboard Sea Cloud Spirit’s Eighties-themed sailing cruise the Caribbean vibes are high and the music is classic. The “songs n’ sail” journey around the Lesser Antilles features on-deck discos and laidback sundowner concerts from St Maarten to Jost Van Dyke under the majestic full white sails.

With space for just 136 passengers onboard, prices start from €4,495pp (£3,839) for seven nights in double cabin accommodation. Gratuities, all meals including a five-course gala dinner, house wine and beer and use of watersports facilities are included in the cost.

Departing 4 December 2024

Best for: Bargain boat trips

Bahamas Getaway, Celebrity Cruises

Enjoy the basics on a budget with Celebrity Cruises (Getty Images)
Enjoy the basics on a budget with Celebrity Cruises (Getty Images)

Departs: Port Canaveral, Florida

Arrives: Port Canaveral, Florida

If you’re looking for a cruise at a price that won’t make you seasick, fares for Celebrity Cruises’ four-night “Bahamas Getaway” start at just £327pp. The round trip from Port Canaveral calls at Bimini and Nassau in the Bahamas for the ultimate indulgence in watersports, sun-kissed sands and snorkelling over lively corals teeming with turtles, dolphins and technicolour schools of fish.

Guests will feel truly spoiled on board the elegant Celebrity Equinox with a martini bar, casino and galleria of chic boutiques.

Departing 3 December 2024

Best for: Adults-only adventures

Fire & Sunset Soirées, Virgin Voyages

Lively couples or solos will paint the sea red on a Virgin Voyage (Virgin Voyages)
Lively couples or solos will paint the sea red on a Virgin Voyage (Virgin Voyages)

Departs: Miami, Florida

Arrives: Miami, Florida

Drag queens, DJs and outdoor yoga await on Virgin Voyages “Fire & Sunset Soirées”, a four-night round trip from Miami to Bimini. The adults-only voyage on the luxury Scarlet Lady is aimed at millennials lusting for vibrant days spent at private beach clubs with bonfires, cabanas and pool parties.

Prices to splash in the cerulean Caribbean waters start from £1,320pp for a sea terrace room including tips, food from over 20 eateries, fitness classes and world-class entertainment.

Departing 7 Feburary 2024

Best for: Solo cruising

Silver Shadow to Aruba, Silversea

Silver Shadow’s ‘Gentleman Hosts’ are the ideal dance and dinner companions (Property of Silversea Cruises)
Silver Shadow’s ‘Gentleman Hosts’ are the ideal dance and dinner companions (Property of Silversea Cruises)

Departs: New York, New York

Arrives: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

After leaving the soaring skyline of New York City behind, Silversea’s Silver Shadow has a four-day stint in balmy Bermuda before moving on to the chic St. Bart’s and beachy Aruba. Single solos on board need not worry about a lack of company; Silversea’s “Gentlemen Hosts” are the ideal dance and dinner companions for older travellers looking to socialise.

Spacious oceanview suites benefit from butler service, walk-in wardrobes and champagne on arrival with door-to-door prices starting from £6,100pp including airport transfers, international flights and an all-inclusive onboard experience.

Departing 28 October 2024

Best for: Eastern Caribbean cruises

Eastern Caribbean with Turks & Caicos, Princess Cruises

Visit the bustling charm of Grand Turk, the Turks and Caicos capital (Princess Owned)
Visit the bustling charm of Grand Turk, the Turks and Caicos capital (Princess Owned)

Departs: Port Canaveral, Florida

Arrives: Port Canaveral, Florida

Discover the Eastern Caribbean with Princess Cruises on a voyage to the Turks and Caicos islands from Port Canaveral in Orlando. With additional port stops in Nassau and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, a wealth of craft, dancing and watersports excursions are available to create unforgettable moments on shore.

An interior room on the Caribbean Princess for the six-day cruise will set you back £449pp – this standard fare includes Broadway-style entertainment, multicourse dining, fitness facilities and youth clubs, with alcohol and spa packages available to purchase separately.

Departing 9 December 2024

Best for: Caribbean culture

A Journey to Southern Charms and European Flavours, Explora Journeys

The harbour of Willemstad is among the Unesco-listed stops (Explora Journeys)
The harbour of Willemstad is among the Unesco-listed stops (Explora Journeys)

Departs: Colón, Panama

Arrives: Bridgetown, Barbados

This one is for the history buffs – Explora Journeys is offering a cruise expedition from Colón, Panama, to the wonders of the Caribbean above and below the surface. Find Unesco-listed hotspots such as the Dutch colonial city and harbour of Willemstad, Mount Pelée and the azure dive sites of the Saint Pierre on Martinique, before savouring a legendary blue curacao cocktail on board the Explora I.

The six-night cruise is priced from £1,657.50pp including accommodation in a roomy ocean terrace suite, onboard gratuities, unlimited beverages and all meals at one of the ship’s nine restaurants.

Departing 24 February 2024

Best for: Island-hopping

Pearls of the Caribbean, Ponant

Journey to the heart of the Caribbean Sea with Ponant (Getty Images)
Journey to the heart of the Caribbean Sea with Ponant (Getty Images)

Departs: Fort-de-France, Martinique

Arrives: Fort-de-France, Martinique

Longing to island hop in the compelling company of zen professionals? Ponant may have just the cruise for you. White sand beaches meet Creole cuisine and the enchanting Grenadines on this decadent drift between Martinique and Saint Lucia. And sailing on the Caribbean Sea wouldn’t be complete without scuba diving – take the plunge in off-grid coves under the watchful eye of the onboard instructor.

Ponant offers a “Pearls of the Caribbean” cruise onboard the Le Champlain from £3,860pp for eight nights staying in a deluxe stateroom. Guests of honour Elodie Garamond, and Helen Haynes, a yoga instructor and pilates professor, will advise the bodies and minds of 184 guests and two formal gala evenings are organised onboard during the sailing.

Departing 4 November 2024

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