Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk is the capital of the Turks & Caicos, a group of flat, sandy islands south of the Bahamas. The Turks & Caicos were lightly visited until they were "discovered" this century. Divers love Grand Turk for the coral-lined channel, which is over a mile deep and just a few hundred yards offshore.

Cruise ships also love this deep channel, and in 2006 Carnival Corporation opened the 13-acre, $60 million Grand Turk Cruise Center. This modern complex features an 800-foot-long private beach, swimming pool, and FlowRider attraction.

Like other islands in the Turks & Caicos, Grand Turk was damaged by Hurricane Ike in September 2008, but the cruise center was repaired just six weeks later. Carnival even replaced 200 palm trees on the beach!

These photos were taken from a visit of the Holland America Eurodam to the island while on a Caribbean cruise. (Note: Holland America is one of the Carnival Corporation brands.)

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Grand Turk Beach at the Grand Turk Cruise Center

Grand Turk Governor's Beach
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Cruise ships dock at the long pier, and it's just a short walk to the white sandy beach. Shore excursions are geared towards the out of doors and include diving, snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding on the beach, and dune buggy riding.

As the cruise ship slides into the dock, you can see the hundreds of beach chairs and the beautiful beach waiting for the passengers to disrupt the ambiance.

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Grand Turk Cruise Ship Pier and Grand Turk Cruise Center

Grand Turk Cruise Ship Pier and Grand Turk Cruise Center
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Cruise ships dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, and passengers can walk to the beach or shops. It's a short ride into Cockburn Town, the main village. The Turks & Caicos are a spectacular group of islands to visit from a cruise ship or on a family vacation.

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Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops

Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Cruise passengers who tire of sitting on the beach and swimming can browse in the nearby Grand Turk Cruise Center shops.

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Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops

Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Shore excursions meet in this nice plaza, which is surrounded by the Grand Turk Cruise Center shops.

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Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops

Grand Turk Cruise Center Shops
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The Grand Turk Cruise Center has numerous shops, bars, and restaurants within easy walking distance of the pier.

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Grand Turk Cruise Ship Center at Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk Cruise Ship Center at Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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White Sandy Beach on Grand Turk Island - Turks and Caicos

White Sandy Beach on Grand Turk Island - Turks and Caicos
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Doesn't this sand look like powder? The beautiful white sandy beach is one of the best attractions at Grand Turk. Cruise guests love sitting on the beach or swimming in the crystal clear water.

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Grand Turk Margaritaville Bar on Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk Margaritaville Bar on Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Bar and Restaurant has a giant freshwater pool. You can even swim up to the bar!

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Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos, South of the Bahamas

Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos, South of the Bahamas
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Snorkeling and dive boats tie up at this small pier at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.

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Swimming Pool at Margaritaville Bar at the Grand Turk Cruise Center

Swimming Pool at Margaritaville Bar at the Grand Turk Cruise Center on Grand Turk Island
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

This freshwater pool at Margaritaville on Grand Turk is only a little over three feet deep and perfect for those who prefer a pool over the beach.

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Grand Turk Cruise Ship Center at Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk Cruise Ship Center at Grand Turk Island in the Turks & Caicos
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

View of the Grand Turk Cruise Center from the veranda of our cabin on the Holland America Eurodam.

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Gibbs Cay near Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos

Gibbs Cay near Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos
Grand Turk Photo (c) Linda Garrison

We saw several sting rays (and even got to pet and hold them) while on a snorkeling excursion from Grand Turk. Gibbs Cay also features terrific beach combing.

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