You’ve made it to Barbados! Your cruise ship is pulling up to the docks at Bridgetown, and you can’t wait to get out and experience this unique Caribbean island. But if you only have one day in Barbados, what will you see first? There’s nowhere our savvy Travel Experts haven’t been – that’s why we’re sharing our top shore excursions, island tours, favourite beaches, and more so you can make the most of your journey.
- What excursions are available in Barbados?
- Can I book my own excursions on a cruise to Barbados?
- Is Barbados safe to travel around?
- Which side of Barbados has the best beaches?
What are the best shore excursions in Barbados?
For those who like to keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with visiting one of Barbados’ picturesque beaches. Easiest of all is an afternoon relaxing at Carlisle Bay Beach, just a few minutes’ drive from the cruise terminal in Bridgetown.
To get a better look around Barbados, try reserving a guided beach hopping tour that whisks you around the small island in just a few hours’ time.
2. Guided Land Tours
Do you prefer to lace up your sneakers and hit the road or enjoy the views from a comfy air-conditioned seat? Either way, guided tours are a great way to give you an inside peek into this country’s famous landmarks.
Try a walking tour of George Washington House and the Garrison Tunnels, a driving tour to Farley Hill National Park, or plan your own custom private tour of Harrison’s Cave, St. Nicholas Abby, tropical gardens, and everything in between.
3. Underwater Experiences
Why stay dry? Some of our favourite Barbados excursions happen below sea level. Plan a trip to Turtle Bay where you can pop on some snorkel gear and explore sunken shipwrecks (and even spot some sea turtles!). Treat yourself to a quiet catamaran sail or board a submarine for a one-of-a-kind nighttime expedition to witness the beauty of ocean life.
4. Sailing Tours
Barbados has a lively sailing culture, including annual races like Mount Gay Round Barbados Race and the Round the Buoys series. Find your inner sailor and enjoy a spin around Barbados’ shoreline. For couples travelling together, a sunset sail with plenty of bubbly is the perfect romantic sparkle that makes your Caribbean cruise stand out.
5. Visit Harrison’s Cave
Do you remember the difference between stalagmites and stalactites? It might come in handy as you ride a tram through over two kilometres of limestone carved out by running water. You’ll get to see The Great Hall, where the cave’s natural ceiling soars over 50 feet high, dip your hand in cool underground streams, and more.
6. 4×4 Adventures
Travelling with kids? We highly recommend a little monkeying around! Embark on a mini safari through the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to see the families of Green Monkeys, peacocks, parrots, iguanas, agoutis, and more.
7. Explore Historic Bridgetown
Some of the most interesting things to do on your Barbados cruise excursions are just around the corner from where your ship will port. Historic Bridgetown, the Garrisons, and the Garrison Savannah racing track are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites and absolutely worth getting to know. You’ll probably have time to squeeze in a visit to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society as well – we say go for it!
8. Eat & Drink
Did you know that Barbados was where the world’s oldest known bottle of rum was distilled? Today, the country continues to make some of the world’s tastiest liquor, and you there are plenty of historic distilleries that offer tours and tastings with expert distillers. Mount Gay Distilleries and the West Indies Rum Distillery are two must-visits for foodies. Pair your rum run with a trip to one of our Travel Experts’ favourite Bajan restaurants.
9. Learn to Surf
Barbados’ south coast boasts ideal conditions for surfing beginners – especially South Point and Brandon breaks. Rent a board or book some surfing lessons at the likes of Barry’s Surf Barbados or Ride the Tide Surf School.
10. Pottery in Action
Just a twenty minute drive from the cruise terminal is Earthworks Pottery, a family-owned and ethically operated pottery studio. Visitors can drop in to chat with the artisans and watch how they bring over 150 styles pottery creations come to life. Step into the gallery next door to shop local art and fine crafts and then pop into the Arthouse Café for a tasty snack
Can I book my own excursions on a cruise to Barbados?
You certainly can! Cruisers have the choice of booking excursions offered by their cruise line or finding a third party experience with the help of Flight Centre’s savvy Experts.
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, check out some of our favourite things to do in Barbados and ask us how we can customize your cruise itinerary or book a private guided tour with local operators like Emmanuel Tours.
While you can also arrange your shore excursions once you dock, we find it’s a lot less stressful and more cost-effective to book in advance.
Is Barbados safe to travel around?
Barbados is a safe country to visit, especially when you travel respectfully. Be aware of the rules of the road, be mindful of the weather conditions, and don’t try to touch or feed wildlife.
Just like any other country, it’s a good idea to know the local emergency numbers just in case. In Barbados, you can reach emergency services with the following numbers:
- For paramedics, dial 511
- For firefighters, dial 311
- For police, dial 211
Which side of Barbados has the best beaches?
Being so far east as it is, Barbados is uniquely situated with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. And since the island is quite small, you can easily visit both bodies of water in a single day if you like! We’ve made a list of the best beaches in Barbados to help you decide which one to visit on your getaway.
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