The capital of the Cayman Islands and the largest of all British Overseas Territories by population, George Town is one of the most visited Caribbean cruise destinations boasting a rich tourist offer and the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world. The Royal Watler cruise terminal is the only cruise terminal on the island located in the southwestern corner of the island, within walking distance from George Town city center.
George Town is a tender cruise port, which means that the cruise terminal doesn’t have docking facilities for the cruise ships. Instead, cruise ships drop the anchor a bit further in the sea and use double-decker tender boats to transfer the passengers ashore. The Royal Watler cruise terminal consists of three different piers where the tender boats dock. Upon getting off your tender boat, it is very easy to get around, as there are signs and security staff everywhere.
Once you pass the security gates you’ll find yourself at a large area where you’ll see differently colored tents and check-in desks for shore excursions, and this is where you normally check-in for your tours and where the tour operators will meet you. However, be careful and arrive on time for your tour meeting time, because you might encounter difficulty in finding your check-in desk due to the huge crowds. This area is packed with people from all ships (if there is more than one ship in port) which might create confusion, so make sure you follow the instructions on your tickets.
Besides the tour operators, here you will find souvenir shops, Tortuga Rum liquor store, a small building where you can use restrooms for free, a few bars, coffee to take away, and more. The tour buses and taxis are located outside the terminal, less than a 5-minute walking distance from there.
As soon as you step out of the cruise terminal area, you’ll spot the main street – Harbour Drive, the central hub of the town where the majority of the landmarks, bars, shops, and restaurants are located.
Here you’ll find the ruins of Fort George, a historical landmark consisting of two cannons and remains of one of the oldest structures in the town dating from the 18th century – Fort George, the fortification that used to overlook and protect the harbor. Less than a minute walk from there you will spot the main town square – the Heroes Square, featuring fountains, sculptures, and a monument to the National Heroes of Grand Cayman. Here you’ll find the Public Transit Bus Depot, the main bus station, where you catch a bus to the Seven Miles beach, the most popular beach on the island, Turtle Farm, Pedro Castle, and other island attractions.
The square is surrounded by the Public Library, Courthouse, and the Town Hall in front of which there is a beautiful Clock Tower. A few blocks from there, overlooking the cruise port, you’ll come across the beautiful Elmslie Memorial United Church, dating from the 19th century, very well preserved and maintained. A stone’s throw from there, the 19th century Cayman Island National Museum is a great choice for those who want to soak up local history. George Town is full of banks, internationally recognized brand shops, liquor stores, restaurants, bars, and much more. Margaritaville, located a 5-minute walk from the terminal, is among the top choices for cruise passengers.
Shore excursions to Stingray City (19 km from the cruise port), Turtle Center (13 km), Pedro St. James castle (12 km), and other attractions are offered, but you can also explore these places on your own – the choice is all yours!
Seven Mile Beach, the most attractive beach on the island featuring a long stretch of picture-perfect, white sandy beach lined with luxurious hotel resorts and beach bars, is located a 15-minute drive north of the cruise terminal. Grand Cayman is a fascinating island that offers a wide variety of choices to visitors, and a destination where everyone feels safe and welcome.