Barbados Cruise Port: Getting Around, What’s Nearby and Guide

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We’re going to explain everything you need to know about Barbados Cruise Port, ensuring your visit to Bridgetown is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Formerly known as the Bridgetown Harbour Cruise Pier, we’ll explain how to get around, with transportation options, along with terminal information and nearby attractions that are easy to get to. 

Let us guide you through everything you need to know!

Barbados Cruise Port Location and Accessibility

Barbados Cruise Port, known officially as the Bridgetown Cruise Ship Terminal, is conveniently located one mile west of downtown Bridgetown. Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and the nation’s largest and most populous city. 

The port and Bridgetown itself are located on the southwestern side of the island nation. Thanks to its deep waters and eye-catching coastline, it is a popular stop for many top cruise lines. The port’s address is listed as Princess Alice Hwy, Bridgetown, Saint Michael, Barbados.

The location is ideal for cruise passengers, as the port is just outside of the city’s downtown core and is just 10 miles away from Grantley Adams International Airport, the main airport in Barbados. Passengers embarking on their cruise from Barbados can take a roughly 30-minute taxi or shuttle ride directly to the cruise port.

Entrance to Port of Bridgetown, Barbados
Entrance to Port of Bridgetown, Barbados (Photo Credit: AlanMorris / Shutterstock)

From the airport, passengers would travel along the Tom Adams Highway until exiting onto Errol Barrow Highway. The cruise port is well-marked from the highway, with ample parking and drop-off zones, so the commute is straightforward. Plus, there are plenty of hotels just outside the cruise port, so passengers can arrive early and enjoy the city before boarding. 

Cruise Terminal Facilities and Services 

Given the importance of cruise-related tourism to the economy of Barbados, it is no surprise that the cruise terminal is one of the best you will find anywhere in the Caribbean. It features all the modern amenities and facilities passengers could hope for, including a helpful Barbados Tourist Information Center.

There is also a well-marked free Wi-Fi zone, US dollar ATMs, modern restroom facilities, and even a post office, where passengers can purchase and send postcards and purchase commemorative stamps and coins that make excellent souvenirs. 

For those not planning to shop in downtown Bridgetown, there are even a few souvenir and duty-free shops located directly within the cruise terminal. This is helpful for those who have booked an excursion or plan to visit one of the many beaches near the cruise port rather than spending their time shopping and dining in the city itself.

Cruise Ship Docked in Barbados
Cruise Ship Docked in Barbados (Photo Credit: thosgra / Shutterstock)

You will also find two convenience stores within the terminal, which are helpful if you want to pick up a few snacks or bottled drinks to enjoy during your time in Bridgetown. 

In terms of accessibility, the Barbados Cruise Terminals are equipped to handle all guests, so you can easily find wheelchair-friendly ramps and elevators. Outside the terminal are car rental booths, shuttle bus pickup zones, and taxi lines. 

Cruise Lines Operating Out of Barbados Cruise Port 

Bridgetown, Barbados, is one of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean, so it is no surprise that Barbados Cruise Port welcomes some of the world’s most renowned cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Marella Cruises and P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruise Ship Docked at Barbados Cruise Port
P&O Cruise Ship Docked at Barbados Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Roger Utting / Shutterstock)

Transportation Options from Barbados Cruise Port 

While you can wait for a shuttle bus, most people choose to walk into Bridgetown along the ocean path or opt for a taxi. Taxi services are available in the shaded taxi dispatch center. Fares are always listed in US dollars, and a taxi into the downtown core costs roughly $2.00 per person.

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Although ride-sharing services are starting to pop up in Barbados, you’re better off sticking with a taxi, as they are readily available and affordable. Bajans also tend to be friendly people, so there is a good chance your taxi driver will be able to recommend a few things to do while you explore the city. 

Weather Conditions in Barbados by Season 

Although Barbados is famous for its tropical weather, it’s still essential to know what to expect and how to pack for the season when you visit:

Rainbows in Bridgetown, Barbados
Rainbows in Bridgetown, Barbados (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Spring (March to May)

Average temperatures sit between 77° and 88° F during spring. Humidity is also relatively low, which explains why this is such a popular time of year to visit Barbados. Since the spring months fall within the dry season, you shouldn’t have to worry about more than a few brief showers. 

Light and breathable clothing is a good idea, given the warm and dry weather. Don’t forget sun protection, as the UV rays can be quite intense, even with cloud cover.

Summer (June to August)

Temperatures stay relatively the same, so expect 80° to 90° F during the daytime. While the temperatures are enjoyable, the wet season also lands during the summer, so you can expect high humidity levels and regular rain showers and thunderstorms.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean?

These tend to be at their most frequent during the afternoons. Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing and a lightweight rain jacket you can pack away are recommended. 

Fall (September to November)

Temperatures drop a bit during the fall but stay relatively warm, with daytime averages between 70° and 85° F. The rainy season also continues into the fall months, so humidity levels are quite high, and rainfall can be an issue. Again, bring lightweight, breathable clothing, a waterproof jacket, and quick-dry footwear.

Winter (December to February)

Barbados is both warm and dry during the winter months, which partially explains why it is such a popular winter destination for those living in the colder climates of North America and Europe. Average temperatures are about the same as during the later fall, so expect it to be roughly 75° F during the day. Wear light, comfortable clothing, and pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat. 

Exploring Nearby Attractions 

Another reason the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal is such a popular port of call for so many cruise lines is that there is so much to do in Bridgetown. The Barbados cruise port is within walking distance to some delightful attractions, and it is also easy to get a shuttle bus that will take you directly into the historic Bridgetown downtown core from the cruise terminal. 

Explore Downtown Bridgetown

For those who want to enjoy some fresh air and an opportunity to stretch their legs, a footpath can follow from the main cruise terminals along the ocean to the downtown area. On foot, it takes about 25 minutes to get from the Bridgetown Harbour Cruise Pier to the historic downtown area, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Downtown Bridgetown
Downtown Bridgetown (Photo Credit: Luciavonu / Shutterstock)

Once you have walked to the downtown core along the ocean-view path, you can take a leisurely stroll along the city’s iconic Broad Street, packed with shops and restaurants. At the end of Broad Street, you’ll find the country’s beautiful and historic parliament buildings.

Broad Street is a great place to start if you hope to bring back a one-of-a-kind souvenir from your time in Barbados, with a perfect blend of duty-free shopping and locally owned souvenir shops. There are also plenty of jewelry boutiques selling affordable, hand-crafted goods, which is a particular specialty of the area. 

Visit the Historical Sites

For those who are not interested in shopping, visiting St. Mary’s Church is a must. The historic church is in the center of town, just a short distance from the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal. Due to the area’s colonial roots, the church has a distinctly English style. It’s open to the public and is a great way to experience the distinct history of the island nation.

St. Mary's Church, Bridgetown
St. Mary’s Church, Bridgetown (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock)

History buffs will also enjoy discovering the rich history of the nation at the George Washington House, Barbados Garrison, and the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, all three of which are less than 3 miles from the cruise terminal. 

Wander and Enjoy the Local Flavors

With all of that said, one of the best things to do is simply walk around Bridgetown without a plan. With so many unique eateries and bars offering local cuisine and unique Barbadian cocktails, you can always make a quick stop to get out of the sun.

The Bridgetown Fish Market is also exciting to visit, and it’s located just half a mile from the port. As you wander, you will also find numerous shops selling local cigars and rum, especially if you visit the Pelican Village Craft Center

Neighboring Beach Escapes

The entire nation of Barbados is renowned for its stunning beaches, and fortunately, many of the island’s best are within easy reach of the Bridgetown Port: 

Brandons Beach

About a 20-minute walk from the cruise port, you can find Brandons Beach. The calm waters and wide-open white sand beach make it the perfect spot for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. You can rent plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas for a small fee, as well as beachfront restaurants and snack bars.

Brandons beach, Barbados
Brandons beach, Barbados (Photo Credit: photobeginner / Shutterstock)

Plus, on your way to Brandons Beach, you will pass the Mount Gay Rum Distillery along your walk to the beach, so you can enjoy a guided tour or lunch and a tasting flight. 

Brighton Beach

Also located roughly a 20-minute walk from Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, Brighton Beach is a popular snorkeling destination. Unfortunately, there are no public restrooms or lifeguards, so you may want to choose Brandons if you’re not planning to snorkel. 

Brownes Beach

Located along the crescent-shaped interior of Carlisle Bay, Brownes Beach is another popular Bridgetown beach. It is about double the distance from the other two beaches, so you may want to opt for a taxi, but it has plenty to offer.

Brownes Beach at Carlisle Bay Near the Cruise Port
Brownes Beach at Carlisle Bay Near the Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Mario Hagen / Shutterstock)

With numerous shipwrecks and a wide range of marine wildlife, like sea turtles and tropical fish, it’s really popular with snorkelers and scuba divers. The beach also has plenty of beach umbrellas and the highly popular Harbour Lights Beach Club, a great place to stop for lunch. 

Dining in Bridgetown, Barbados

Make sure you take some time to try some of the local dishes. Plenty of restaurants offer fried flying fish, cou-cou, Bajan-style macaroni pie, brown stew chicken, curry beef, and other classic examples of Bajan cuisine. 

Rolli’s Bar and Grill is just an 8-minute walk from the cruise port. Its fresh seafood menu and variety of vegetarian-friendly options make it a great place to enjoy some local flavors. With a casual patio and an impressive selection of beers and rum cocktails, you can also kick back and enjoy the famous hospitality of Barbados.

Dining Venues Near Barbados Cruise Port
Dining Venues Near Barbados Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

If you’re willing to travel a little further, Harbour Lights is one of the most famous restaurants in Bridgetown. With its Caribbean-style BBQ buffet, refreshing rum punch, and tropical atmosphere, it’s always worth the 1.5-mile journey. If you plan to make your way to Carlisle Bay, grab a to-go plate at Cuzz’s Fish Stand. The fried seafood sandwiches have been a Bridgetown favorite for over 50 years. 

Remember, Bridgetown is filled with cafés, bars, snack stands, and restaurants, so don’t be afraid to wander and discover somewhere of your own to eat. Oh, don’t forget to try some of the famous Barbados chocolate while you’re out exploring the city. We highly recommend The Green Monkey Chocolatier

Shopping in Bridgetown, Barbados

If you want to shop, we highly recommend strolling down Broad Street. With duty-free shops, souvenir stands, jewelry stores, and so much more, it’s a one-stop destination for anyone who wants to shop until they drop.

Gift Stores Near Barbados Cruise Port
Gift Stores Near Barbados Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Pelican Craft Center and Cheapside Street Market are also great places to find unique gifts and souvenirs. We’d recommend giving the malls a pass, as they tend to cater mostly to locals and do not offer anything overly unique. 

Excursions and Adventures 

While Bridgetown has plenty to offer, one of the highlights of visiting Barbados is the opportunity to enjoy the wide array of excursions available to cruise passengers. We recommend trying one of the following: 

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Plenty of excursion providers will take passengers from the cruise port to snorkel and scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters off the coast. Folkestone Marine Park is home to a large population of sea turtles, which makes it one of the most popular destinations for those looking to enjoy this type of once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Guided Walking Tours of Downtown Bridgetown

While you can certainly explore the area for yourself, a guided tour will allow you to learn more about the area’s unique culture and history. Plus, these excursions are affordable, and many will include lunch at one of the city’s more iconic establishments. 

Touring Harrison’s Cave Eco-Adventure Park

Adventure lovers will enjoy a visit to this enormous underground limestone cave. Located in central Barbados, it takes a while to get to, but it is one of the nation’s most iconic natural wonders. An underground tram car takes tourists through the cave to explore flowing streams and towering stalactites. 

Catamaran Tours

Just outside the cruise port, plenty of catamaran tour operators will take you around to see the area’s stunning coastline. Some also include stops to view shipwrecks and sea turtle breeding grounds. Plus, most will include a catered lunch and cocktails made with locally-made rum. 

Visits to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Want to try feeding monkeys after strolling through the lunch, the natural habitat of a fully functional wildlife preserve? Book a guided excursion! It will include transportation to and from Saint Peter, where the reserve is located, and you will be offered lunch and refreshments.

Remember, always try to book excursions through your cruise line. Not only will they have you back in time for your ship’s departure, but these providers are vetted to ensure they are reputable, qualified, and adhere to all of the relevant legal regulations. 

FAQ on Barbados Cruise Port

Where does the cruise ship dock in Barbados?

All cruise ships dock at the Barbados Cruise Port, located less than a mile outside the downtown core of Bridgetown, the nation’s capital city.

Can you walk to Bridgetown from the cruise port? 

Yes, Bridgetown is within walking distance from the cruise port. The city even maintains a scenic walking path from the cruise port to the edge of the downtown core, so visitors can easily explore the city’s attractions, shops, and restaurants after a 20-minute stroll along the water. 

Can you walk to the beach from Barbados cruise port? 

Yes, two beaches are located less than a mile from the cruise port, so cruise passengers can easily enjoy an afternoon at the beach during their visit to Bridgetown.

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