Grand Cayman - Cayman Islands
Famed for its stunning Seven-Mile beach and an encircling coral reef that offers unrivalled diving and snorkelling, Grand Cayman is the largest (22 miles by 8 miles) and most populated of the three Cayman Islands and lies 150 miles south of Cuba and 480 miles south of Miami. The quaintly elegant and thriving little capital, Georgetown is a relaxed fusion of traditional West Indies architecture and modern office buildings - and today enjoys a reputation as one of the best shopping capitals of the Caribbean, with locally made jewellery and luxury goods a speciality. Landing will be by tender to piers right at the town centre where you can shop. Seven Mile Beach is a short taxi ride away and there are plenty of snorkelling tours to the coral reefs and Stingray City. The world-famous Cayman Wall offers excellent diving with vibrant corals, sponges and tropical fish. The islands comprise three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, all low lying and coral and limestone based. Columbus discovered them in 1503 and named them Las Tortugas, because the only inhabitants were turtles. By 1530 they were known as the Caymanas, meaning "crocodile" in Carib. Although Sir Francis Drake visited the islands in 1568, they did not come under British rule until 1670. The islands remained a dependency of Jamaica until 1959, when they became a self-governing member of the Federation of the West Indies. In 1962 they became a British dependency again.The Caymanians are descendants of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh seamen who settled the islands and later intermarried with Jamaican immigrants. The Caymans' banking and financial services industry is ranked fourth or fifth in the world. This tax haven is still a British colony and is home to more than 500 registered banks with more than US$463 billion in assets and, on paper anyway, nearly 34,000 registered companies. The government even plans to open a stock exchange. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.