The Grand Turk Cruise center was opened in 2006 at an estimated cost of around $50 million. The complex is operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, and based on their agreement with the Turks and Caicos Government, Carnival keeps 75% of seaport taxes collected.
In addition, the shops and restaurants at the Cruise Center are not required to charge the 12% tourism tax, as an exemption was also granted.
Booking your Grand Turk Cruise
It’s generally recommended that you book direct with a cruise line for the best rate and flexibility. The major online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Orbitz, also sell cruises as part of their offerings.
Immigration and customs clearance is handled by the cruise line, and most visitors will not need to interact with local officials.
Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights
Most major cruise lines are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and have agreed to adopt the Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights. This provides a series of rights to information about the ship and status, the right to disembark in some situations, and the right to refunds in some situations.
The layover time for cruises varies significantly. Some stops are short, whereas others are in port for most of the day. If visiting Grand Turk is important, check the layover time.
Most of the activities on Grand Turk are offered for sale via the cruise line, and cruise operators encourage guests to book via the cruise operator instead of directly. This can be convenient for guests, but be advised that the cruise operators take a large share of revenue which hurts local businesses.
You may wish to consider a rental car or vehicle if you interested in exploring the island.
Taxis, whereas rates are generally fixed from the Cruise Center to main attractions, can be expensive otherwise. However, taxis can be found in abundances in most tourist areas on the island.
Despite being a relatively small island, it is not recommended or possible to walk to Cockburn Town or the other major sights and attractions.