7 Incredible Cruises That Visit Puerto Rico

Here are our top picks for the best cruises to Puerto Rico and other beach destinations in 2023 and 2024.

Puerto Rico's history, culture, food, and sunny shores have made the island a favorite travel destination for many years. Home to the oldest city in the United States, San Juan is a popular cruise port for visitors who want to experience the city, and many return to spend more time there and venture to other parts of the island as well.

Silversea, Bridgetown to Fort Lauderdale sailing
Courtesy of Silversea

The mountains, rainforest, white-sand beaches, friendly people, and vibrant atmosphere are a few of Puerto Rico's features that attract cruise fans. The opportunity to explore the popular port with the convenience and luxury of a cruise ship keeps San Juan on a variety of itineraries.

Here are a few of our top picks for the best cruises to Puerto Rico and other beach destinations.

Holland America

Holland America Seven-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise in Puerto Rico
Roger Paperno/Courtesy of Holland America Cruise Line

Seven-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise

The cruise begins in Fort Lauderdale in late afternoon, giving guests time to visit the city's shops along Las Olas Boulevard or cruise the Intracoastal Waterway on an old-fashioned paddle wheeler. The next day is spent at sea, and guests can enjoy the Nieuw Amsterdam's restaurants, casino, spa, and entertainment. For voyagers aged 3 to 17, there's the Kids Club, featuring supervised games, sports, arts and crafts, and themed parties.

The ship arrives in Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, for a day of snorkeling, diving, fishing, or kayaking. Then it's on to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the next day for an afternoon and evening visit. You can opt into a shore excursion in the El Yunque National Rainforest or spend the day exploring Old San Juan, with its colorful architecture and rich history, on your own.

The next port is St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where guests can relax on the beach, snorkel, shop in Charlotte Amalie, or enjoy views from some of the Caribbean's highest viewpoints. For a thrilling experience, there's the Sea Trek Helmet Dive at Coral World Ocean Park with a guided walk along an underwater trail. After a day at sea, the ship arrives in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, for a day at the beach, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding, or hiking before returning to Fort Lauderdale the following morning.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Marina at Sea Oceania Cruises
Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Oceania

Shimmering Strands

This 10-night Caribbean cruise departs from Miami for two days at sea aboard Sirena, where guests can enjoy dining at a variety of restaurants, indulge at Aquamar Spa, work out at the fitness center, gamble at the casino, or enjoy evening entertainment at one of the lounges or piano bar. On day four, the ship arrives at St. John's, Antigua, for a day of scenic drives, deep-sea fishing, or relaxing at the beach.

The next port is Castries, St. Lucia, an island capital with banana farms, rugged green peaks, and a charming marketplace. Activities here include bicycling through the rainforest, snorkeling, and kayaking in the bright blue ocean waters.

Next, head to Gustavia, St. Barts, where you can enjoy the unspoiled natural landscape and Swedish-French culture before the ship continues toward San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a visit to historic Old San Juan, a day at the beach, an excursion to the Museum of Art, or a Saint John the Baptist Cathedral tour.

From San Juan, the cruise heads to Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, known as the Amber Coast for its rich deposits of resin. After a day at sea, the ship stops in the Bahamas before returning to Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Joy of Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Joy of Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian Cruise Lines

Caribbean: Curacao and Aruba Cruise

This seven-day cruise aboard Norwegian Viva embarks from San Juan, where guests can explore Puerto Rico before or after their sailing. Built in 2023, the Norwegian Viva offers guests onboard activities like 10-story slides, a three-level go-kart race track, and an immersive art gallery. There's a variety of dining spots, lounges, a whiskey bar, a cigar lounge, a spa, and a Starbucks. For young cruisers, there's the Aqua Park and Splash Academy.

The first stop is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for snorkeling with sea turtles, surfing, and touring rum and cigar factories. The ship then arrives at Oranjestad, Aruba, for a tour of Dutch colonial buildings, a submarine ride, a Land Rover safari, or a trip to an aloe farm. The next port is Willemstad, Curacao, where guests can tour the island's candy-colored architecture, swim with dolphins, or visit the limestone Hato Caves.

The next stop is Kralendijk, Bonaire, for coral reef diving or catamaran sailing. In Castries, St. Lucia, options include everything from seeing the world's only drive-in volcanic crater to visiting the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths. The next day is spent in St. Kitts with white-sand beaches, shopping, and dining at seaside restaurants. From there, the ship returns to San Juan the following day.

Windstar Cruises

Aerial view of Star Breeze and Whirlpool
Peter West Carey/Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Boston Sights, Warm Caribbean Nights

The all-suite Star Pride, completely renovated in 2021, carries 312 guests and offers new public areas, a spa, an infinity pool, a fitness area, and dining venues. Departing from Boston, the ship spends two days at sea as it cruises south to Hamilton, Bermuda. There, experiences include a guided driving tour and an opportunity to snorkel among one of Bermuda's famous shipwrecks. In St. George's, Bermuda, the next two days, guests can tour the historic Old Town on foot or by van.

Two more days at sea on the way to Gustavia in St. Barts give guests an opportunity to relax and enjoy the ship's amenities. In St. Barts, options include a sunset Champagne cruise, a self-guided rental car tour, a catamaran trip with snorkeling, and an excursion aboard a semi-submersible to look for green turtles and fish among the coral reefs.

The next day, the ship arrives at Basseterre, St. Kitts, where guests can ride a century-old scenic railway, tour one of the oldest towns in the eastern Caribbean, experience local cuisine at Fairview Great House & Tropical Garden, or explore underwater in a snorkel safari. The next port is Virgin Gorda for excursions that include a snorkel adventure and a safari bus trip to The Baths and the white sands of Devil's Bay. The last port is San Juan, and guests can tour the Ron del Barrilito rum factory or tour historic Old San Juan.


deck of Seabourn Odyssey in the Caribbean;
@michutravel/Courtesy of Seabourn

14-day Leeward Island Jewels Cruise

The cruise begins in Miami where guests board the Seabourn Sojourn for two days at sea before arriving in San Juan, where they can tour the city, the beaches, and El Yunque Rainforest.

The next port is Marigot, St. Martin, where guests can enjoy the capital of this Dutch-French island. Take in views of the Riviera village, browse shops stocked in Gallic goods, and take the opportunity to ride aboard a sailing yacht.

Iles des Saintes, off the coast of Guadeloupe, is the next port and offers a glimpse of the Caribbean of the past. Next, enjoy the beaches, rainforest, and French atmosphere of the Caribbean island of Martinique before heading to Bridgetown, Barbados, where you’ll find historic buildings, delicious cuisine, and rum distilleries. In Saint Lucia, visit the Pitons or snorkel one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite dive spots. And then, in St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda, guests can snorkel, kayak, zip line, or relax on a sunset catamaran cruise.

Next, the ship heads to Carambola Beach, Saint Kitts and Nevis, home to luxurious beach clubs and restaurants. Guests can journey around the island on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brimstone Hill Fortress, or embark on a snorkeling adventure.

In Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, guests can snorkel or grab a signature Painkiller cocktail in White Bay. After two days at sea enjoying Seabourn Sojourn's salon, restaurants, bars, and small-ship amenities, the ship returns to Miami.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Infinity Pool on the Viking Ocean Cruises, 13-Day Amazon and Caribbean Adventure
Courtesy of Viking

13-day Amazon and Caribbean Adventure

The cruise boards in San Juan and spends the next day there, giving guests time to explore Old San Juan, El Yunque Rainforest, and the plush Condado District before sailing away to Antigua and Barbuda where guests can take a catamaran cruise, tie-dying class, sugar plantation tour, or spend a relaxing day on the beach. Next, the ship docks in Castries, St. Lucia with options for an aerial tram ride over the forest canopy, a cooking class, or a catamaran cruise. The next port is Bridgetown, Barbados, home of Mt. Gay Rum, St. Nicholas Abbey Rum Distillery, and stunning beaches.

The ship cruises the Atlantic the next day, and guests can enjoy the small-ship amenities, restaurants, infinity pool, and entertainment before arriving in French Guiana, once a French penal colony. After another day at sea, the ship arrives at the mouth of the Amazon to begin sailing the mighty river.

The ship visits the small city of Santarém, founded in 1661, where the Amazon and Tapajós Rivers meet. The next day, the ship reaches Parintins, a river island, for a folklore performance, the Boi Bumbá, a theatrical tradition. One thousand miles upriver from the Atlantic, the ship reaches Manaus, the most populous city in the Amazon basin, for an overnight stay with excursions that include a boat cruise, a motor coach tour, a jungle trek, a birdwatching tour, and a culinary adventure. The next day, guests disembark for the trip home or for additional exploring of the historic city.

Royal Caribbean Cruises

The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Liberty of the Sea ship sits docked at the Port of San Juan in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico,
Derick E. Hingle/Getty Images

Seven-night Southern Caribbean Cruise

This cruise begins in San Juan where guests board Rhapsody of the Seas for a jam-packed week of Caribbean destinations. The first port is St. Croix, where you can tour rum distilleries; dine on fresh seafood with French, Thai, and Dutch flavors; and lounge on sugar-sand beaches. Next, head to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, with sandy beaches, colonial history, and delicious food specialties like conch fritters and coconut patties.

Basseterre, St. Kitts is the next day’s port, and guests can hike the Mount Liamuiga volcano, see sugarcane in the countryside from a double-decker railcar, or kayak the crystal clear water. On the fifth day, you'll visit the island nation of St. Lucia. Explore it capital, Castries, by catamaran or on foot around the peaks of the Pitons, or relax in the thermal pools of Soufriere. Bridgetown, Barbados, next on the itinerary, is home to colonial buildings, open-air markets, and pink-sand beaches. Guests can journey in a solar-powered tram into Harrison's Cave, where they'll see waterfalls, pools, and stalactite formations, or they can explore the Barbados Wildlife Reserve in a 4x4 vehicle.   

After a day at sea, the ship returns to San Juan, and guests can continue exploring the city with a walking tour of Old San Juan and a dinner of local cuisine, like mofongo (fried green plantains) or bacalaitos (codfish fritters).

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