Whoa. These 12 Cruise Lines Have Their Own Private Islands & Beaches
Fun fact for those who aren’t already in the know (myself included): There are multiple cruise lines that own private islands and beaches that are exclusive to their ship passengers. Royal Caribbean has a tropical Haitian island...

Fun fact for those who aren’t already in the know (myself included): There are multiple cruise lines that own private islands and beaches that are exclusive to their ship passengers. Royal Caribbean has a tropical Haitian island with a giant overwater zip line. MSC is opening a private marine reserve in the Bahamas. Paul Gaugiun Cruises has a private, bespoke paradise in French Polynesia. Even Disney Cruises are in on the action, with an island in the Bahamas where Disney characters roam. So, next time you’re looking to set sail to a secluded beach, consider taking a cruise to one of these tropical destinations.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown

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Paul Gauguin Cruises: Motu Mahana
French Polynesia

For those who love the idea of a cruise without the mega-crowds, check out Paul Gauguin Cruises for an intimate, luxurious ship adventure with less than 335 guests aboard. With green and purple coral filled with schools of tropical fish, a colorful paradise awaits at the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private South Seas island beach, Motu Mahana, in French Polynesia.
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Disney Cruise Line: Castaway Cay

This one’s for all the families who love traveling with Disney Cruises. Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, where cruisers can swim with manta rays, kayak through a blue lagoon, parasail over the Caribbean and, of course, hang out with a cast of Disney characters.
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Virgin Voyages: The Beach Club at Bimini

An epic beach club awaits at Bimini, filled with cozy hammocks, bubble swings and lounges in the sand. Exclusive to travelers aboard Virgin Voyages, this private beach club is a stop on your way beyond Key West and into the Bahamas. Here, you’ll be treated to an incredible beach bonfire party that’ll have you reeling to book your next rockstar cruise.
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Norwegian Cruise Line: Great Stirrup Cay

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Bahamian private island, Great Stirrup Cay, is a laid-back beach stopover for those on cruises of the Bahamas. Cabanas dot the shoreline, sea turtles swim the warm waters and there’s a free taco stand on the island. As an added bonus, swimming with the pigs of Treasure Island is just a ten minute boat ride away.
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MSC Cruises: Sir Bani Yas
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Photo by MSC Cruises
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas are the three highlights of this Persian Gulf cruise. Sir Bani Yas is a desert island that’s predominantly known for its sprawling wildlife refuge, which is home to 16,000 animals, including oryxes, gazelles, hyenas, jackals and cheetahs. Surrounding the desert refuge are mangroves, beaches and swamps.
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Royal Caribbean: Chill Island
Coco Cay, Bahamas

A massive water park, overwater cabanas, a swim-up bar and lots of white sandy beaches make up this lively, family-friendly island destination that’s exclusive to Royal Caribbean cruisers. Coco Cay sits in the turquoise waters of the Bahamas, and is set to be completely open by December.
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MSC Cruises: Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

Photo by MSC Cruises
You’ll have your choice from one of four towering MSC cruise ships when making your way from Miami to the private island Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, and one of the ships even includes a Cirque du Soleil show. The destination private marine reserve features multiple beaches, a red-and-white striped lighthouse with a bar and outdoor restaurant, various dining spots and a Bahamian village. Visitors here will have the option to spend their days enjoying snorkel safaris, kayaking the crystal clear waters and lounging on white sand beaches.
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Norwegian Cruise Line: Harvest Caye

Southern Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, which can be easily accessed via Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, Harvest Caye. Once you depart the cruise ship and wander onto the island, you’ll be met with tropical beaches, saltwater lagoons, beachfront cabanas and a sprawling pool zone with its own waterfall and private cabanas.
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Royal Caribbean: Labadee

You can take a 5-night or 8-night Royal Caribbean cruise to this Haitian isle filled with lush, green jungles and idyllic beaches. Labadee is home to a collection of beach bungalows, the world’s longest zip line over water, a water park and a waterfront roller coaster.
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MSC Cruises: Portuguese Island

Photo by MSC Cruises
The private island highlight of this Mozambique cruise is the uninhabited Portuguese Island. Surrounded by sparkling, warm water, the island’s activities include exploring secluded bays, searching for dolphins, snorkeling the coral reefs and keeping your eyes peeled for the elusive dugongs (sea cows) of the region.
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Holland America Line: Half Moon Cay

A private island destination for the Holland America cruising set, Half Moon Cay is a much-loved stop on Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. The island’s powdery beaches, personal cabanas with butler service and cozy bungalows guarantee a perfect beach day in the Bahamas. Explore at your leisure on horseback, beach cruiser or glass-bottom boat.
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Costa Cruises: Catalina Island
Dominican Republic

Photo by Costa Cruises
Many of the Caribbean cruise routes with Costa Cruises stop just off the southern coast of Dominican Republic, at the cruise line’s private Catalina Island. The destination is peaceful, secluded and boasts beautiful, tropical beaches and easy access to a nearby barrier reef.

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