Cruises to Cartagena (Colombia)

828 Reviews
Cartagena (Colombia) (Photo:rocharibeiro/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Cartagena (Colombia)

You're in for a big treat if you've booked a Caribbean or Panama Canal cruise with Cartagena on the itinerary, as this lovely old town and resort on Colombia's Caribbean coast is quite deservedly the country's most popular tourist destination.

There, you'll find everything a cruise passenger's heart could desire: a fascinating -- and often dark and bloody -- history embedded in ancient forts, churches and palaces; a walled town filled with exquisite 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial architecture; soft beaches; world-class snorkeling and scuba diving reefs; delightful restaurants; and enough shops to capture your interest without the place feeling like one gigantic mall.

Your only regret, as your cruise ship steams away at the end of the day, will be that you didn't have longer to explore.

  • More about Cartagena (Colombia)

  • Why Cruise to Cartagena (Colombia)?

  • Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade

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Norwegian Sun
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Panama Canal - Miami

2,167 Reviews
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Norwegian Jewel
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2,352 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

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Panama Canal - Miami

2,587 Reviews
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20 Night
Transcanal Cruise

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14 Night
Panama Canal Cruise

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14 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

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10 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

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15 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

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21 Night
Repo - Panama Canal

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11 Night
11 N Panama Canal & Perfect Day Holiday

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14 Night
Panama Canal Eastward Cruise

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15 Night
Transcanal Cruise

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11 Night
Southern Caribbean Cruise

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More about Cartagena (Colombia)

Why Cruise to Cartagena (Colombia)?

Pros:

This beautiful, colorful old city boasts museums, shaded parks and a welcoming vibe

Cons:

You likely won't have enough time to explore everything, so choose carefully

Bottom Line:

Cartagena stands out from most other Spanish-speaking ports, which are quite commercial

Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Facilities?

The visitors' area offers an indoor/outdoor cafe; restrooms; an ATM; a menagerie of wildlife, including flamingoes, peacocks, macaws and monkeys; places to sign up for private shore excursions; an Internet cafe; and a sizeable (and overpriced) gift shop, where you can buy everything from coffee, jewelry and clothing to candy, postcards and postage stamps. Tip: We recommend purchasing your souvenirs elsewhere if you're venturing out into Cartagena. You'll find much more reasonable prices.

Good to Know?

Cartagena is beautiful and clean, and most locals are friendly, but take usual caution. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or flashing large amounts of cash. If you have a sensitive stomach, avoid any fruits or vegetables without peels, and stay away from fountain drinks or drinks with ice in them. (Sin hielo, por favor means "no ice, please.")

Getting Around?

By Taxi: This is really the only means of transportation for cruise passengers who haven't booked shore tours. From the visitors' area, make your way to the gates, where taxi drivers in blue shirts with "TAXI" imprinted all over them wait to take you where you want to go. On our visit, a driver took four of us on a four-hour tour of Cartagena's highlights for $20 per person.

Cabs aren't metered, but there will be tourism officers near the taxi area to help you negotiate a fair price ahead of time. If your driver is taking you somewhere and bringing you back, you won't have to pay until the conclusion of your return trip to ensure that you won't be ripped off. You can choose to have a driver drop you off and pay a one-way fare, but be aware that it can be difficult to find transportation back to the port. Also be aware of enterprising locals who offer rides to tourists on the backs of their motorbikes. It's unsafe, and it's unregulated.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency in Cartagena is the peso, but U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted everywhere. If you run short, an ATM is located at the port. You'll find currency conversion rates at www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language?

Spanish is widely spoken in Cartagena, but most vendors, store operators and attraction employees will be able to speak enough English to communicate with you. If you catch a taxi in port, it's likely the driver will know a decent amount of English. That said, it's a good idea to download a translation app to your phone or bring an English-Spanish phrasebook with you.

Where You're Docked?

Your ship will dock in the port of Cartagena, where you can either walk five minutes or (for those with mobility issues) take a free shuttle to the visitors' area.


Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Reviews
Cartagena, Columbia -We did the Princess tour Aromas of Colombia. This tour was fantastic. We sailed from the port to the Old city while tasting coffee and enjoying local fruit, coconut lemon and a delicious cevichRead More
Pirateskigirl
The tour and the guide were both informative. It was my second time visiting Cartagena. Read More
Phil G.
We did a private excursion with Dora of Cartagena Tours which was good. There is definitely a problem with aggressive vendors. Two days in port were too many, the ship was crowded like a sea day on the second day as Read More
bdodan
Enjoyed both days in Cartagena extremely extremely hot, humid weather the lovely little park and Avery at the end of the port is also a nice touch for shopping ,animals, etc. Be careful with the shore excursion team Read More
Sail81

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