The Best Private Islands Only Reachable by Cruise
Even before the era of social distancing, private islands have long been places to escape the crowds and unwind somewhere inaccessible to the public. Now, these destinations have become the favorite — and even focus — ports of call for many cruise itineraries. From world-class diving to epic excursions, read on discover the best private islands for every type of traveler.
For Kids: Disney's Private Island, Castaway Cay
How to Visit: Disney Cruise Line
There are plenty of reasons Castaway Cay is consistently rated one of cruisers’ favorite private islands. The easy-breezy ship experience flows seamlessly onto the island with perks like free tram transportation and complimentary open-air BBQ. You can even make purchases with your key card just as you would on the ship. But moreover, the sense of magic is what makes the island a Disney fan favorite. If you’re looking for a family-forward island with attractions for kids and adults alike, Castaway Cay is decidedly Disney, in the best way possible.
For Teens & Tweens: Perfect Day at CocoCay
How to Visit: Royal Caribbean
Is this colorful Bahamian playground a theme park or a private island? Both, and your kids will go wild for all it has to offer. Perhaps the biggest draw of Perfect Day at CocoCay is its massive waterpark, featuring Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America — just one of 13 waterslides on the island. And that’s only the beginning of the island’s abundance of candy-colored attractions. From the first floating cabanas in the Bahamas to a half-dozen complimentary dining venues, the biggest wave pool in the Caribbean and a helium balloon that ascends 450 feet in the air, Royal Caribbean went all out on its newly renovated private island destination.
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For the Parties: The Beach Club at Bimini
How to Visit: Virgin Voyages
From record labels to airlines and now cruise ships, Virgin is basically the King Midas of cool. And their new adults-only private island on the Bahamian island of Bimini is no different. Think ultra-hip Tulum-inspired décor, top-shelf tropical drinks and perfectly tanned patrons in designer bikinis. Plus, the pool parties are DJed by some seriously impressive resident curators, like Mark Ronson. (Yes, that Mark Ronson — the five-time Grammy award-winning producer.) If you’re looking for an epic party, The Beach Club at Bimini is the ultimate destination to see and be seen.
For Couples: Labadee
How to Visit: Royal Caribbean
Want to do something exciting together? Cue the Dragon's Breath Flight Line on the Haitian island of Labadee. Clocking in at 2,600 feet long and 500 feet in the air, the world’s longest overwater zipline will send you screaming over the harbor at speeds of up to 50 mph while crashing ocean waves splash onto your feet. Talk about a heartthrob! There are plenty of other attractions on the island, too, from jet skiing, to parasailing, kayaking, and a mountaintop alpine coaster with sweeping views of the ocean. Once you’ve had your fill of thrills, order the island’s signature frozen rum drink— the Labadoozie— and unwind at your own private bungalow overlooking Nellie’s Beach.
For the Beaches: Princess Cays
How to Visit: Princess Cruises
While not technically a standalone private island, Princess Cays certainly feels like one. Tucked away on the southernmost tip of Eleuthera in the Bahamas — a powder-sand sliver of land one hundred miles long and only two miles wide — Princess Cays is unspoiled beaches as far as the eye can see. Take in the endless views from the observation tower, glide out into the sparkling lagoon in a clear bottom kayak or sip a frosty piña colada at your private bungalow in the adults-only sanctuary. Up for an excursion? Opt for the one-hour coastal cruise exploring Eleuthera’s secluded coves and picturesque rocky outcrops.
To plan your island escape, contact your travel professional today.