• Cheers to 25 years: Celebrate with Us!
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Labadee vs. CocoCay: Royal Caribbean's Private Islands
7 Cruise Line Private Islands and Who Owns Them: A Guide to Cruise Line Private Islands
Harvest Caye (Photo:Norwegian Cruise Line)

7 Cruise Line Private Islands and Who Owns Them: A Guide to Cruise Line Private Islands

7 Cruise Line Private Islands and Who Owns Them: A Guide to Cruise Line Private Islands
Harvest Caye (Photo:Norwegian Cruise Line)
Cruise Critic
Staff
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Since the 1990s, cruise lines have been investing in land-based private islands that allow them to offer passengers exclusive beach time as an extension of the onboard experience. As cruise lines continue to build out new exclusive destinations and upgrade their longtime island enclaves, it can be difficult to know which lines are associated with which swaths of land. Check out our cruise line private islands guide below.


1. Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay is an ultra-tidy, 1,000-acre splash of sun and sand located in the northern Bahamas. Owned by the Walt Disney Company, the island is used exclusively for Disney passengers -- though alert cinephiles might also remember it as the spot where Tom Hanks finds his mermaid (Daryl Hannah) in "Splash."


2. Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line

In 1997, Holland America Line purchased Little San Salvador from its previous owners for $6 million. Today, the 2,400-acre island is known as Half Moon Cay and serves as a private retreat for passengers on the line's Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings. Carnival ships also make use of the port.

Featured Videos

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

4 Cool Features on Holland America's Nieuw Statendam

4 Cool Features on Holland America's Nieuw Statendam

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises! (VIDEO)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises! (VIDEO)

Live Interview With Frank Del Rio, NCLH President And CEO, About Company's "Safe To Sail" Campaign

Live Interview With Frank Del Rio, NCLH President And CEO, About Company's "Safe To Sail" Campaign

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Video: Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Video: Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Princess Family Fun

Princess Family Fun

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line – Video

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line – Video

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship - Video

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship - Video

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Highlights

Norwegian Breakaway Highlights

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

Norwegian Getaway Highlights

Norwegian Getaway Highlights

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Highlights

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough

Highlights From Regal Princess

Highlights From Regal Princess

Inside Look  Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Inside Look Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream – Behind The Scenes Video

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream – Behind The Scenes Video

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Carnival Corporation Introduces the Ocean Medallion at CES

Carnival Corporation Introduces the Ocean Medallion at CES

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

4 Types Of Cruisers Who Would Love Holland America's Koningsdam

4 Types Of Cruisers Who Would Love Holland America's Koningsdam

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin'  Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin' Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Gavin Macleod - Capt. Stubing On "The Love Boat" -- Cruise Critic Interview

Gavin Macleod - Capt. Stubing On "The Love Boat" -- Cruise Critic Interview

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour

Baltic Family Cruise On Disney Magic - Day 5

Baltic Family Cruise On Disney Magic - Day 5

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour   Main Dining Room

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour Main Dining Room


3. Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean International

Perfect Day at CocoCay, formerly Little Stirrup Cay, is a Bahamian island located between the popular cruise ports of Freeport and Nassau. In 1990, Royal Caribbean started leasing the 140-acre plot of land, which features beaches, shopping venues and activities exclusively for passengers sailing with Royal Caribbean or sister line Celebrity Cruises.


4. Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay -- located in the Bahamas' Berry Island chain, 130 nautical miles due east of Fort Lauderdale -- is a 250-acre island. The cay features dining and bar areas, private beachfront cabanas, a straw market, a kid-friendly Aqua Park and more.


5. Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line

Harvest Caye opened in 2016 and represents a partnership between the cruise line and the government of Belize, which owns the island. It serves as a private outpost for Norwegian, Oceania and Regent passengers cruising through the Western Caribbean. While Harvest Caye has typical private-island amenities like beachfront villas (and unique additions like a nature center and an enormous pool), one notable difference between the island and other private islands is that there is no free buffet lunch ashore. Ships dock rather than tender, so it's easy for cruisers to head back onboard for lunch.


6. Labadee, Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean's Labadee is a 260-acre private beach resort carved out of Haiti's rolling, densely forested north coast. A typical day in port might include snorkeling, filling up a plate or two at the all-you-can eat barbecue, zipping across the water on the 2,600-foot-long Dragon's Breath Flight Line or snoozing soundly in a beach chair.


7. Princess Cays, Princess Cruises

Exclusive to Princess Cruises passengers on Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries since 1992, Princess Cays -- located 70 miles east of Nassau, on the southern tip of the island of Eleuthera -- comprises 40 acres that offer more than 1.5 miles of white-sand beaches, food, water sports and even shopping.

Updated October 10, 2019

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Circuit Court Flips on Stay Order; Previous Ruling That CDC is Overstepping in Cruise Stands
5
Silversea Cruise News: Door-to-Door Car Service Now Part of Luxury Cruise Perks
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

We have updated the Cruise Critic Privacy and Cookie Statement effective on October 1, 2020. Please click here for more information.