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Famous for a Reason: The World’s Best Beaches That You Can Visit on a Cruise

Best Beaches to Visit on a Cruise

  • Trunk Bay, USVI
  • Matira Beach, French Polynesia
  • Waikiki
  • Tulum, Mexico
  • Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman


Cities, sleepy villages, jungles and deserts—they’re all accessible on a cruise. But, let’s face it, one of the main reasons we decide to take a cruise is best summed up in one word: beach.

In fact, cruises are the best way to see as many beaches as you like on the one trip — and they can take you to some of the most breathtaking beaches on the planet.

With so much beach to offer, it can be hard to know how to choose. Which is why we’ve compiled this list of some of the most famous beaches you can cruise to as a solid starting point.

Happy cruising!

Trunk Bay, USVI

When you approach this gorgeous slice of turquoise waters below lush green hills, you’ll wonder if you haven’t seen it before.

Chances are, you have: Trunk Bay is one of the most photographed and beloved beaches in the world.

It’s part of the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John, and its Underwater Trail is a prime place for snorkeling. Getting there by boat is half the fun.

Cruise to: St. Thomas, USVI and book an excursion that includes time at Trunk Bay.

beautiful view of trunk bay

Matira Beach, French Polynesia

French Polynesia, in the South Pacific, is famous for its beaches, and the most spectacular are located on the island of Bora Bora—which is where you will find the white sands and crystal clear, blue and green waters of Matira Beach.

Staying in one of those high-end overwater bungalows celebrities opt for in this part of the world may be out of reach, but Matira is a public-access beach, and it’s yours to explore when you sail on a South Pacific cruise.

Cruise to: Bora Bora, on a Carnival cruise departing from Australia.


Hawaii is obviously overflowing with ridiculously good-looking beaches, and they come in all varieties, whether you like black, volcanic sand, big wave breaks or lush foliage framed coves.

But if you cruise to or from Honolulu, a visit to the iconic Waikiki Beach is a must.

It’s a 15-minute drive from the port and provides hours of entertainment, with shopping and dining options galore, and plentiful people-watching, too. Take a dip, hike to Diamond Head, which overlooks Waikiki, or simply sit back on the shore and watch the local surfers show you how it’s done.

Cruise to (or from): Honolulu. Waikiki is easy to reach from the port via tour, taxi or bus.

the coast of honolulu

Tulum, Mexico

If you’re an avid reader of luxury travel magazines or in-the-know travel blogs, you’ve heard of Tulum. This laidback town in Mexico’s Riviera Maya has a bohemian feel and an ardent following of chic travelers who often stay in eco-resorts just steps from the sand.

But, cruise to Cozumel, and you can take a day trip to Tulum that combines the ancient beauty of the Mayan ruins that rise above the ocean with a dip in the turquoise waters that give this dramatic location its Instagram-worthy status.

Cruise to: Cozumel and book a tour that will take you to Tulum.

tulum beach in mexico

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

It’s one of the most famous beaches in the Caribbean and as is often the case with fame, some misunderstandings have popped up over the years. For starters, this stretch of paradise in Grand Cayman is actually 5.5 miles long, not seven.

It’s also not just one beach, but a collection of beaches that include Cemetery Beach, a popular snorkeling spot, Governor’s Beach and Public Beach, which has facilities and a kids’ play area.

One thing that is undoubtedly true is that this whole area—all open to the public up to the water line, even if in front of a resort—is what the best beach daydreams are made of.

Cruise to: Grand Cayman. There are plenty of Caribbean cruise itineraries sailing from cities across the US that call in Grand Cayman.

two people walking along seven mile beach in grand cayman


This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.