Dominica cruises bring you to the lushest island in the eastern Caribbean. Dominica has a crystal-clear river, dramatic waterfalls, and dense foliage all accessible via boat trips or hikes along jungle trails. It’s no wonder this nation served as a backdrop for the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies—this beautiful, untamed land has a wild, swashbuckling heart.
Go down the pristine Layou River as it winds through the jungle.
Soak in the hot mineral pools at Papillote Wilderness Retreat.
Tour Carib Indian Territory, home of the world’s last surviving Carib Indian tribe.
While in Dominica, try to spot the locations and landscapes seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Dominica is the whale-watching capital of the Caribbean, with sightings of sperm whales reported year-round but particularly in the winter months.
The Portsmouth cruise dock, on Dominica’s northwest coast, leads directly to Cabrits National Park, with stunning mountain scenery, tropical deciduous forest, volcanic-sand beaches, and coral reefs.
The impressive 18th-century Fort Shirley military complex, in Cabrits National Park, comprises more than 50 major and historic structures.
Within Walking Distance
In the capital Roseau, the Dominica Museum provides an overview of the island’s history and culture. It took more than 100 years to build the Roseau Cathedral of Our Lady of Fair Heaven. Made of cut volcanic stone in the Gothic-Romanesque Revival style, it was completed in 1916.
The 19th-century Botanical Gardens lie at the base of Morne Bruce, the mountain overlooking the town. Experiments in the gardens to discover what could grow in Dominica revealed that, well, everything does. Just 3 miles east of Roseau, peacocks strut in the lush gardens at Papillote Wilderness Retreat, where you can enjoy a therapeutic soak in volcanic hot pools. Join a whale-watching tour from Roseau to ply the nearby waters in search of killer whales and dolphins on your Carnival cruise to Dominica.
Beyond the Port Area
On Dominica’s rugged northeastern coast, the Carib Territory is home to the world’s last surviving Carib Indians. The Caribs today live like most other rural islanders—growing bananas and coconuts, fishing, and operating small shops—but their sturdy woven baskets and canoes carved from gommier trees are evidence of their links to the past.
Let Carnival take you approximately 20 minutes from port to find the cascading white torrents of Dominica’s Trafalgar Falls, which dazzle in the sunlight before pummeling the black-lava boulders below. To reach the lookout to the natural pool at the base of the falls, you’ll have to step along slippery rocks. Along the road to Castle Bruce, in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, take a dip in the Emerald Pool, fed by a rainforest waterfall. Get a bird’s eye view of the treetops from the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, near Titou Gorge outside of the park.
Beaches In Dominica
Much of Dominica’s rocky beaches have dark, volcanic sand. At Champagne Beach, on the west coast, volcanic jets spurt steam into the water. The effect is like swimming in bubbly champagne—though scuba diving and snorkeling are great here, too. Golden-sand beaches on the northern coast—include Hampstead and Hodges beaches, L’Anse Noire, and Woodford Hill Bay.
Shopping In Dominica
On your Carnival cruise to Dominica, don’t miss the chance to buy unique handicrafts and art found nowhere else. The best buys are Carib Indian baskets made of dyed larouma reeds and balizier (heliconia) leaves, their designs handed down from generation to generation. More than souvenirs, these baskets are a real link to the pre-Columbian Caribbean, and among the most authentic items you can buy in the whole Caribbean. Purchase Carib crafts directly from the craftspeople in the Carib Territory or in Roseau. In town, the Old Market Square sells mostly handicrafts and souvenirs. Other good local buys are soaps, rum, condiments, woodcarvings, and masks made from the trunks of giant fougère ferns.
- English is Dominica’s official language.
- The Eastern Caribbean dollar is Dominica’s official currency, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted.
- Dominica’s warm, tropical climate has plenty of sunshine and humidity, and frequent rain showers.
- Cruises to Dominica can dock in one of three ports. The most frequented is in Roseau, the capital.