As the name suggests, the Turks and Caicos is made up of two groups of islands, the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands. The Turks Islands consists mainly of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and is separated from the Caicos Islands by the 20-mile wide (32 km) Turks Islands Passage.
Grand Turk is located about 70 miles (113 km) from the main Caicos Islands of Providenciales, and 50 miles (80 km) from North and Middle Caicos. Because of the distance, no public ferry service is offered from Grand Turk to any island other than Salt Cay.
Visiting Grand Turk by cruise ship is easy. All immigration and customs matters are handled by the cruise lines, so it's a breeze to land. Due to time constraints, it's not feasible to see any of the other main islands in the country when visiting Grand Turk by cruise ship. Check out the Grand Turk Cruise Center for more information.
Your first stop in the country must be at a port-of-entry. Grand Turk only has one, which is the Government Freighter Dock. A one-week entry can be granted by the harbormaster, but it’s easy to get a 90 day Cruising Permit if you expect a longer stay.
The waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos are teeming with reefs, rocks and shallows, so accurate charts (and GPS!) are a must. Waveyline Publishing is the main source of printed and electronic charts.