Due to the relatively low cost (compared to other activities) and general accessibility, guided island tours are the most popular shore excursion activity for cruise ship guests stopping over on Grand Turk.
Organized and scheduled tours are offered through the cruise lines, but it’s also possible to simply sign up at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. A private tour by taxi can easily be arranged at the taxi queue at the Cruise Center as well.
The organized tours tend to use two different types of vehicles: small air-conditioned buses, and converted flatbed trucks with open-air seating. Narration on the sights by a guide is also provided.
Scheduled tours are typically 2-3 hours in duration.
The excursions begin at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. The initial stop is typically Governor's Beach, after which the tour continues on to the old oceanfront section of Cockburn Town, where you’ll pass the Cockburn Town Beach, Her Majesty's Prison, St Mary's Anglican Church, and the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
Found at the northern point of the island, The Grand Turk Lighthouse is another stop and a great place explore a bit. The grounds are interesting, the views over the ocean from the adjacent cliffs are spectacular, and you’ll be able to look over the nearby and deserted Grand Turk's U.S. Navy NAVFAC 104 Base.
On the return journey, the interior roads near Town Pond and The Red Salina are followed, so you’ll be able to see remnants of the abandoned salt industry. Tours also often stop at the exhibits and shop of the The Salt House.
What’s the best way to spend your cruise ship visit? We believe that Grand Turk offers something that’s actually uncommon in the Caribbean – a small interesting island that’s both easy and safe to explore on your own.
Most cruise ship visits allow for about 5-6 hours of time that can be spent on activities and attractions. Due to buffer times before and after a cruise ship lands, and the time required for everyone to gather for shore excursions, most organized activities and tours have 2-3 hour durations.