Haiti Cruises

Cruising in Haiti

There is only one cruise ship port in Haiti: the privately owned resort of Labadee, built on a peninsular off the north coast of the island on land leased by the cruise ship company, Royal Caribbean International. Although there is no access to the rest of the country from the resort, the company pays a revenue to the Haitian government for each visiting tourist, employs 300 local people and allows further 200 people to sell their goods to tourists. The resort is set among lush tropical hills on a part of the island untouched by the 2010 earthquake that decimated a large area of the country, including the capital Port-au-Prince.

Labadee covers an area of around half a square mile, so most of it is within easy walking distance. Ships dock just offshore at a jetty that leads straight to the end of the peninsular and which encloses one of the resort’s beautiful little bays. For any visitor, your first impression will be of a lovely tropical paradise consisting of tree covered foothills backed by a high ridge of mountains and fringed by pure white sandy beaches. Many visitors are happy to settle here in the sun just a short walk from the dock, although there are water taxis that will take you to any of the other four beaches that surround the peninsular. For real exclusivity, you can book a boat ride to Malfini beach, just minutes away, but which is limited to only 25 visitors at a time.

The main focus of activities at the resort is on watersports, including jetskiing, snorkelling, kayaking, parasailing and powerboating. The Arawak AquaPark features slides, trampolines, see-saws and climbable icebergs. The Dragon’s Breath Flight Line is reputed to be the world’s longest zip-cable ride over water, and the Dragon’s Tail Coaster is a rollercoaster that takes you on a two-seater ride through the tops of the trees. After all that, you’ll want to relax: there are five beach bars, and the bartenders come to you with offers of a refill so you don’t need to move. For lunch there’s a free barbeque of burgers, hotdogs, jerk chicken and salads.

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