Beautiful Islands That Are Owned by Cruise Lines

Cruise lines are purchasing islands to create private vacation experiences.
Cruise lines are purchasing islands to create private vacation experiences.

Sunbathing on white sandy beaches, swimming in the deep blue ocean, participating in water sports, exploring the local flora and fauna, and interacting with people of unique cultures are some of the activities that attract tourists to the world’s tropical islands. Thus, a number of cruise companies have recently bought several islands so that their customers can enjoy an exclusive, peaceful vacation on these islands free of unwanted crowds. Some of these privately owned islands are discussed below.

7. Castaway Cay

A picturesque private island, Castaway Cay is located in the Bahamas and serves as a port for Disney Cruise Line ships. A 99-year land lease for the island was purchased in 1997 by the Walt Disney Company. The cruise line enjoys exclusive rights to the island and provides cruise line passengers an experience of a lifetime. The island was the first to be owned by the cruise industry. It is still largely undeveloped and only a small percentage of the 1,000-acre island has been utilized for tourism. The island is presently inhabited by 60 staff members of the Disney Cruise Line, who maintain the facilities on the island. There is a post office and an airport (Castaway Cay Airport) on the island, and guests on the island can enjoy a number of services and activities like massages, snorkeling, para-sailing, basketball, volleyball, aqua-sports, and swimming.

6. Labadee

Located on Haiti’s northern coast, Labadee is a port which has been leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. until 2050. Although not technically an island but rather a peninsula, advertisements usually describe Labadee as an island. The cruise line is highly revered in Haiti, since it has contributed significantly to the country’s tourist revenue and provides employment and business opportunities to locals. Several arrangements have been made to ensure the safety and security of tourists visiting the resort. Private security guards guard the property and fencing marks the boundaries of the area. Nearby attractions include beaches, watersports, a zip-line, and a Haitian flea market.

5. Great Stirrup Cay

Great Stirrup Cay is small island in the Bahamas that is a part of the Berry Islands, and is presently owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. The island was purchased by the cruise line from the Belcher Oil Company in 1977. The island features a picturesque sandy beach and snorkeling areas in the northern part, while the main feature in the southern part of the island is a helicopter airfield. The Great Stirrup Cay also hosts a lighthouse that was erected in 1863. The island has a rich bird life and the surrounding waters are rich in aqua fauna and flora.

4. Little Stirrup Cay

Little Stirrup Cay, another island located in the Bahamas, and also a part of the Berry Islands, is used exclusively for tourism purposes by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The island offers several recreational activities to tourists and has beautiful beaches and rich marine life in the coastal waters. Nature trails run through the island, which allow tourists to explore the unique landscape, flora, and fauna of the Little Stirrup Cay. Activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and parasailing can also be enjoyed on the island.

3. Harvest Caye

Located in southern Belize, the private island of Harvest Caye is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. The island is rich in natural beauty and has a thriving local culture. The most attractive features of Harvest Caye include a salt-water lagoon, a 7-acre exclusive beach, zip lining, snorkeling and other water sports, a large pool with a swim-up bar, and an expansive shopping village for buying local handicrafts.

2. Half Moon Cay

The Half Moon Cay is an island in the Bahamas archipelago. The private island is located between the Cat Island and the Eleuthera. Holland America Line purchased the island from the previous owner, Norwegian Cruise Line. The cruise line uses the island as a port of call for its ships. The island is an important bird habitat and serves as the nesting ground for waterfowls. Visitors to the island can enjoy sunbathing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, and other activities.

1. Princess Cays

Princess Cruises owns Princess Cays, a tourist resort located in the Bahamas. It is a part of the Eleuthera island and is located at the island’s southern end. Tourists can enjoy a range of activities like paddle boating, sailboating, snorkeling, skiing, kayaking, and more.


More in Travel