Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Grenada Cruise Port Guide

Grand Anse beach. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Grand Anse beach. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
A Grenada cruise visit falls in the same league as Dominica, Jamaica and other island nations known for their mountains, lush rainforests and waterfalls.

Cruise ships and resort visitors don't necessarily go there just for the beaches. They go there as much as anything for the beauty and eco tourism.

The “Isle of Spice" consists of the main island of Grenada and the smaller islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. It is not the most popular Caribbean island, but it does have some unique qualities that attract cruise and resort visitors alike.

Cruise ships dock at the Grenada Port Authority cruise ship terminal. Passengers will walk off the docks and into St. George's. Grenada's capital has a horseshoe-shaped harbor surrounded by multi-colored dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of shops and homes.

The city is filled with English, French and West Indian history and also has many options to view French and British Colonial architecture.

Quick Travel Tips

  • Old military forts make up the most important historical attractions.
  • Hiking and waterfalls are popular natural attractions.
  • Grand Anse is a must-see beach.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Walking Around Attractions

Attractions in St. George's for walking tours include the Grenada National Museum on Young Street near Vendors Market. It is in an old army barracks and prison built in 1704.

The city is known for French, English and West Indian history and also French and British Colonial architecture. Other attractions in the city include the pink Anglican church, Market Square and Fort George.

Fort George, built in 1705, is less than a half mile from the cruise terminal. It has excellent views of the city and the harbor. It is still in use as a police headquarters. Its battery of old cannons are still in use during special ceremonies.

Shore Excursions

Fort Frederick Grenada
Fort Frederick has panoramic views of St. George's and the harbor. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Grenada is one of the better island destinations in the Caribbean for old military forts. Shore excursions from cruise lines include them in tours of the island.

A common shore excursion includes Fort Frederick, Annandale Falls and Grand Etang Lake & National Park. Prices usually range between $60 and $100 per person depending on the length, amenities, sale date and other factors.

Fort Frederick is better preserved than Fort George., but it is two miles outside of the city. Like Fort George, it has 360-degree views of St. George's and Grenada.

Otherwise, Grenada's tourist attractions are mainly outdoors and created by nature. The main island has many hiking opportunities and quite a few waterfalls.

Annandale Falls, the most popular with shore excursions, are easily accessible from St. George's. It has restrooms and nearby shops.

Otherwise, anyone exploring Grenada on their own or as part of an island-wide guided tour can see plenty more waterfalls. Concord Valley has three waterfalls known together as Concord Falls. Fontainebleau has a waterfall dropping off a 65-foot cliff into a clear pool. The Royal Mt. Carmel Falls have two that drop more than 70 feet.

Island tours may also include the Grenada Sugar Factory in St. George's, the River Antoine Rum Distillery in St. Patrick parish, Westerhall Rum Distillery in St. David and Grenville Nutmeg Processing Station in St. Andrew.

Attractions near the St. John parish include Dunfermline Rum Distillery, Douglaston Spice Estate and Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station.

Anyone who wants a little more adventure can try river tubing on Balthazar River. This three-hour shore excursion has prices starting at $80 per person. (Prices vary according to the sailing date.) The trip includes a 45-minute drive through the island's lush interior.

Nearby Beaches

The best beach on Grenada and one of the closest to the St. George's cruise port is Grand Anse beach. It has a reputation as one of the best beaches in the world by top travel writers and critics.

Grand Anse beach is two miles of white sand in a sheltered bay and is a favorite of many locals and visitors alike. It is four miles or 20 minutes south of the cruise terminal over a slow road.

Grand Anse is heavily featured in advertisements about the island, and several major hotels are located next to it. Indeed, the beach has a lot to offer, from water sports and scuba diving shops, to the vendors markets with local crafts and several restaurants.

Cruise line visitors can take a $5 water taxi to get there (if the line isn't too long) or a somewhat more expensive taxi cab. Anyone who wants to see both Grand Anse and more of Granada can take a shore excursion for $50 to $100 per person that includes the beach as well as other major attractions such as Fort Frederick and Annandale Falls.

If several ships are in port, Grand Anse may get crowded. Morne Rouge Bay beach is an option for anyone who wants a smaller, less crowded and more secluded beach with calmer waters. It is only one mile south of the Grand Anse beach.

Otherwise, some shore excursions are available for closer beaches and a visit to Fort Frederick for prices starting at about $50 per person.

Shopping / Restaurants

St. George's is one of the less-visited cruise ports in the Caribbean, and the small cruise terminal reflects the number of visitors. But the streets of St. George's make up for the difference with souvenir shops, restaurants and art galleries.

Esplanade Mall on St. Juilles Street, less than a half mile north of the cruise terminal, is the only shopping mall in St. George's. It has about 50 shops covering the usual range of duty-free goods such as jewelry, clothing, perfumes and crafts.

The open-air Market Square on Young Street is a closer option at a quarter of a mile east of the cruise terminal. It may not appeal to cruise visitors as much because it has quite a bit of fresh produce that can't go back on the ship. Daring visitors can eat their lunches right there. It's colorful, lively and has some crafts for sale.

Visitors to Grand Anse Beach can go to Spiceland Mall, which has about 20 shops, or Vendors Market, which has about 80 booths with arts, crafts, spices, produce and other goods for sale.

Getting Around / Transportation

Land and water taxis are also available for hire. Hotel and airport taxis have fixed rates, while rates vary for other points of interest around the island. Always ask for the rate before getting into the taxi.

Rental car drivers must be at least 25 years old, have a valid driver's license and get a $60 EC driving permit from the police station at The Carenage in St Georges. Some rental agencies provide the permit.

The island has a public bus system that runs between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to the Grenada Tourism Authority. Each bus has a zone sticker in the front and a conductor to help passengers. Fares cost between $2.50 and $6.50 EC.

Weather / Best Time to Go

Grenada is one of the warmer islands in the Caribbean with an average high temperature of about 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 Celsius almost year round.

The dry season is February through May with an average rainfall of one inch or less. The rainy season begins in June. Total rainfall keeps climbing until it reaches more than 10 inches historically in November.

The most popular month to visit is August followed by December, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The least popular is September and then a tie between June and October.

Even though August is the most popular month to visit, May is better because of a low risk of rain.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the America.

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February 17, 2020
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