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What Cruise Lines Have Private Islands


by Elga Paquette



When it comes to planning a cruise vacation, one aspect that can truly elevate the experience is a visit to a private island. These exclusive destinations offer a secluded and luxurious escape for passengers, where they can enjoy pristine beaches, indulge in exciting water activities, and relax in beautiful surroundings. Many cruise lines have their own private islands, providing guests with the ultimate tropical paradise.


Private islands are typically located in the Caribbean or Bahamas, and serve as ports of call exclusively for cruise ship passengers. These islands are owned and operated by the cruise lines themselves, allowing them to curate a unique and tailored experience for their guests. From thrilling water parks and beachside cabanas to delicious dining options and exciting shore excursions, private islands offer a wide range of activities and amenities.


In this article, we will explore some of the top cruise lines that have their own private islands. Each of these cruise lines offers a distinct experience, allowing passengers to enjoy exclusive access to stunning beaches and a plethora of activities. Let’s embark on a journey to discover these incredible private island destinations and find the perfect cruise line for your next vacation.


Overview of Private Islands

Private islands are a highlight of many cruise vacations, offering passengers a unique and luxurious experience. These exclusive destinations provide a secluded getaway where guests can unwind, explore pristine beaches, and enjoy a range of recreational activities. Let’s delve into the key features and attractions you can expect to find on private islands.


One of the main draws of private islands is the serene and untouched natural beauty they offer. These islands are often carefully developed by the cruise lines while preserving their ecological integrity. You can expect to find stunning white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes. These picturesque settings provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.


Private islands also boast a variety of amenities and recreational facilities to enhance your stay. Most islands feature multiple beach areas where you can soak up the sun and take a dip in the sparkling waters. There are also often water parks or water sports centers offering activities like snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, and even parasailing. In addition, you’ll find beachside bars and restaurants serving delicious food and refreshing cocktails.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, private islands offer a range of shore excursions and activities. You may have the opportunity to go on guided nature walks to explore the island’s flora and fauna, or take part in thrilling water adventures such as scuba diving or deep-sea fishing. Some islands even have zip lines, rock climbing walls, or mini-golf courses for added excitement.


Furthermore, private islands often have exclusive areas or cabanas that can be rented for extra privacy and comfort. These cabanas are perfect for those looking for a VIP experience, offering amenities such as plush loungers, private showers, and dedicated food and beverage services. They provide a luxurious retreat where you can relax in style while enjoying the stunning surroundings.


It’s important to note that access to private islands is typically exclusive to passengers of the cruise line that owns the island. This means you won’t have to contend with crowds from other cruise ships, allowing for a more intimate and tranquil experience.


Now that we have an overview of the features and attractions found on private islands, let’s explore the cruise lines that have taken the concept of private island getaways to the next level.


Cruise Lines with Private Islands

Several cruise lines offer the fantastic opportunity to visit their very own private islands, giving passengers an exclusive experience unlike any other. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top cruise lines with private islands and what they have to offer.

  1. Royal Caribbean International

    Royal Caribbean International owns two private islands: CocoCay in the Bahamas and Labadee in Haiti. CocoCay, known as Perfect Day at CocoCay, underwent a major transformation and now features a thrilling water park, Oasis Lagoon – the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, and various dining options. Labadee offers stunning beaches, water sports activities, and a unique cultural experience with local vendors selling crafts and artwork.

  2. Norwegian Cruise Line

    Norwegian Cruise Line offers Great Stirrup Cay, located in the Bahamas, as its private island destination. Passengers can indulge in beachside relaxation, enjoy water activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding, and even go on a thrilling zip line adventure. The island also features a luxurious lagoon retreat for those seeking a more secluded and upscale experience.

  3. Disney Cruise Line

    Disney Cruise Line has Castaway Cay, which offers a paradise for families and Disney enthusiasts. This private island in the Bahamas features a picturesque beach, exclusive areas for adults, a water play area for kids, and even a supervised children’s club. Guests can also embark on various water activities, explore walking trails, or relax in beachside cabanas.

  4. Holland America Line

    Holland America Line’s private island destination is Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. This idyllic island offers pristine beaches, turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and horseback riding adventures. Guests can also enjoy watersports activities, rent private cabanas, or savor a delicious barbecue lunch on the beach.

  5. Carnival Cruise Line

    Carnival Cruise Line has its private island, called Half Moon Cay, as well. This tropical paradise in the Bahamas features a 700-acre lagoon, stunning beaches, and various recreational activities including a water park, horseback riding, and snorkeling. Guests can also relax in beachside cabanas or indulge in a beachside massage.

  6. MSC Cruises

    MSC Cruises offers Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas as its private island destination. This marine reserve was developed with a focus on ecological preservation, featuring stunning beaches, a family-friendly lagoon, and a lighthouse that offers panoramic views. Guests can also enjoy snorkeling, paddleboarding, and exploring the island’s biodiversity.

  7. Princess Cruises

    Princess Cays, located in the Bahamas, is Princess Cruises’ private island retreat. Here, passengers can relax on pristine beaches, enjoy watersports activities, and savor a delicious outdoor barbecue. The island also offers various excursions, including deep-sea fishing, glass-bottom boat rides, and snorkeling adventures.

Each cruise line with a private island destination offers its own unique blend of luxurious amenities, thrilling activities, and picturesque beaches. Whichever cruise line you choose, you can be sure to enjoy an unforgettable experience in these exclusive tropical paradises.


Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is renowned for its impressive fleet of cruise ships, but it also boasts two private islands that offer guests a truly extraordinary experience. Let’s explore these exclusive destinations offered by Royal Caribbean.


CocoCay, now known as Perfect Day at CocoCay, is Royal Caribbean’s private island located in the Bahamas. Recently revitalized with a multi-million dollar transformation, it offers a plethora of activities and attractions for guests of all ages.


One of the highlights of CocoCay is the Thrill Waterpark, featuring the tallest water slide in North America, the Daredevil’s Peak. Thrill-seekers can also enjoy various other water slides, wave pools, and a massive adventure pool complex. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, CocoCay offers pristine white sandy beaches where you can soak up the sun or take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters.


In addition to the waterpark and beaches, CocoCay has a dedicated area called Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. It’s the perfect spot to cool off, unwind, and enjoy a refreshing cocktail while overlooking the stunning views of the island.


Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the variety of dining options available on CocoCay. From beachside BBQs to upscale eateries, there are plenty of choices to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re in the mood for grilled burgers, seafood, or international cuisine, there’s something for everyone.


For those seeking adventure, CocoCay offers activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, and parasailing. Thrill-seekers can also take part in a helium balloon ride, providing breathtaking views of the island and its surroundings.


Another private island destination owned by Royal Caribbean is Labadee, located on the northern coast of Haiti. This secluded paradise offers guests the chance to enjoy stunning beaches, exhilarating water activities, and unique cultural experiences.


Labadee features a beautiful beachfront area with access to pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Here, guests can simply relax, swim, and sunbathe or venture into the water for exciting water sports like jet skiing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.


One of the distinctive aspects of Labadee is the cultural experience it offers. Local artisans set up shops in the marketplace, allowing guests to purchase handmade crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. This immersion in Haitian culture adds an authentic touch to the visit and provides an opportunity to support the local community.


Food lovers will also find a delightful array of dining options on Labadee. From themed beachside buffets to refreshing cocktails at the beach bars, there are plenty of choices to satisfy your cravings.


Overall, Royal Caribbean’s private islands, CocoCay and Labadee, offer an incredible array of activities, amenities, and natural beauty for guests to enjoy. Whether you seek adventure or relaxation, you’ll find it all on these exclusive tropical retreats.


Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is renowned for its innovation and freestyle cruising experience. Alongside its impressive fleet of ships, Norwegian Cruise Line offers passengers the opportunity to visit their private island paradise, Great Stirrup Cay.


Located in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay is a tropical oasis exclusively owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. This private island destination offers a multitude of activities and amenities that cater to all interests and age groups.


One of the main highlights of Great Stirrup Cay is the pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Guests can relax on the beach, swim in the tranquil waters, or simply bask in the tropical sun. The island also boasts numerous beachside loungers and hammocks, perfect for unwinding and enjoying the island’s serene beauty.


For the more adventurous guests, Great Stirrup Cay offers a range of exciting water activities. Passengers can snorkel and explore the vibrant coral reefs, embark on a kayak adventure around the island, or try paddleboarding in the calm waters. Thrill-seekers can also take part in an adrenaline-pumping parasailing experience, soaring above the island for breathtaking views.


No visit to Great Stirrup Cay would be complete without indulging in some delicious cuisine. Norwegian Cruise Line offers several beachside dining options, allowing passengers to enjoy a variety of cuisines. From tasty barbecue specialties to refreshing tropical drinks, there’s something to satisfy every palate and craving.


Guests seeking a more exclusive and luxurious experience can rent a private cabana or villa on the island. These secluded retreats offer additional privacy and comfort, complete with amenities such as plush loungers, personalized food and beverage service, and breathtaking views of the ocean. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind in style.


Great Stirrup Cay also hosts live music performances and beachside entertainment, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the lively island ambiance. Whether you choose to dance to the rhythm of the music or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, there’s never a dull moment on Great Stirrup Cay.


All in all, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, provides the perfect mix of relaxation, adventure, and entertainment. It’s a must-visit destination for those seeking a tropical getaway with all the amenities and features of a world-class cruise line.


Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line, known for its immersive and magical experiences, offers passengers the opportunity to visit their exclusive private island destination, Castaway Cay.


Situated in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay is a tropical paradise that has been transformed into a beachfront oasis, perfect for families and Disney enthusiasts of all ages.


One of the main highlights of Castaway Cay is Serenity Bay, an adults-only beach area. Here, adults can enjoy some relaxation and tranquility away from the bustle of the main beach areas. Serenity Bay features a pristine white sand beach, loungers, hammocks, and a beachside bar where you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail while taking in the stunning views of the turquoise waters.


For families, there are several beaches to choose from, each offering its own unique set of experiences. Pelican Plunge, a floating water park, is a favorite among kids and adults alike, featuring water slides, water cannons, and a large floating platform to explore and play on. The whole family can also enjoy snorkeling to discover the underwater wildlife or embark on a scenic bike ride around the island.


Disney Cruise Line’s attention to detail shines through even on Castaway Cay, as the island offers character meet and greets with beloved Disney characters throughout the day. Kids can have their photos taken with Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and other favorite characters, creating unforgettable memories.


Castaway Cay also offers a wide range of dining options, including a beach barbecue and a themed buffet. Guests can feast on delicious dishes that cater to various tastes and dietary preferences, ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy.


The island is designed with families in mind, even providing dedicated areas for children to have their own fun. Scuttle’s Cove is a supervised children’s club where kids can engage in organized activities and games under the watchful eye of trained staff, giving parents some free time to relax and explore other areas of the island.


Disney Cruise Line has taken extra steps to make Castaway Cay accessible to all guests, including those with mobility challenges. The island offers accessible transportation, beach wheelchairs, and accessible restrooms, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy the island’s beauty and amenities.


With its enchanting atmosphere, family-friendly activities, and unique Disney touches, Castaway Cay is a private island destination that truly captures the magic and wonder of Disney Cruise Line.


Holland America Line

Holland America Line, known for its classic elegance and exceptional service, offers its passengers an exclusive private island experience at Half Moon Cay.


Located in the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay is a pristine paradise that showcases the natural beauty of the Caribbean. The island is owned and operated by Holland America Line, ensuring a tailored and luxurious experience for its guests.


One of the main highlights of Half Moon Cay is its stunning beach. The powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters create a picture-perfect setting for relaxation and beach activities. Whether you choose to lounge under a palm tree, take a stroll along the shoreline, or swim in the inviting waters, the beach at Half Moon Cay offers a peaceful escape from everyday life.


For those seeking more adventure, a variety of water sports and activities are available. Guests can snorkel to explore the vibrant marine life, take a kayak or paddleboard excursion, or even go horseback riding along the shoreline. The island’s natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for these exciting experiences.


Holland America Line has also created a private retreat area on Half Moon Cay called the “Private Oasis.” This dedicated section offers guests a more exclusive and luxurious experience. Here, you can rent your own private cabana, complete with plush seating, shade, and personalized service. The Private Oasis also features a private beach area exclusively for cabana guests, ensuring a tranquil and intimate setting.


Food lovers will be delighted with the dining options available on Half Moon Cay. The island offers a variety of culinary experiences, from beachside barbecues to seafood feasts. Guests can indulge in delicious meals and tropical beverages while taking in the breathtaking ocean views.


Half Moon Cay also has facilities and activities for families and children. The island’s “Half Moon Lagoon” is a designated area where kids can splash and play in a safe environment. Parents can relax knowing that their little ones are entertained and supervised.


Holland America Line’s commitment to environmental stewardship is evident on Half Moon Cay. The island has been carefully developed to minimize the impact on its natural surroundings, ensuring that guests can enjoy the beauty of the island while preserving its ecological integrity.


With its pristine beach, exciting water activities, luxurious private retreats, and delectable dining options, Half Moon Cay is a private island destination that embodies the elegance and exceptional service of Holland America Line.


Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line, known for its fun-filled atmosphere and lively entertainment, offers passengers a private island experience like no other at Half Moon Cay.


Half Moon Cay, located in the Bahamas, is a tropical paradise exclusively owned by Carnival Cruise Line. The island boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an array of exciting activities for guests of all ages.


One of the highlights of Half Moon Cay is its expansive 700-acre lagoon, providing a stunning backdrop for relaxation and water activities. Guests can swim, snorkel, or simply float in the calm waters while enjoying the warm Caribbean sun. The island’s white sandy beaches are perfect for leisurely strolls or sunbathing under the palm trees.


For those seeking thrill and adventure, Half Moon Cay offers a variety of water sports such as jet skiing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The island’s aqua park features giant water slides, water trampolines, and other inflatable water attractions, providing endless fun for guests of all ages.


Carnival Cruise Line has also created an exclusive area on Half Moon Cay called “Serenity Beach.” This adults-only retreat provides a tranquil escape with luxurious amenities, including comfortable loungers, shaded cabanas, and a beachside bar where guests can sip on refreshing cocktails while gazing out at the turquoise waters.


Food lovers will be delighted by the delicious dining options available on Half Moon Cay. The island offers beachside barbecue buffets, featuring a variety of grilled specialties, fresh seafood, and tropical fruits. Guests can also enjoy a refreshing drink from one of the beach bars while soaking up the island vibes.


Kids and families will find plenty to do on Half Moon Cay as well. The island offers a dedicated children’s play area with supervised activities, ensuring that young cruisers can have a fun and safe experience. Families can also enjoy horseback riding excursions, explore nature trails, or take a thrilling banana boat ride together.


Half Moon Cay has been carefully designed to preserve its natural beauty and protect the environment. Carnival Cruise Line is committed to sustainable practices on the island, ensuring that guests can enjoy the stunning surroundings while minimizing the impact on the ecosystem.


With its beautiful beaches, exciting water activities, exclusive retreats, and mouthwatering dining options, Half Moon Cay offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure for Carnival Cruise Line guests.


MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, known for its Mediterranean-inspired style and elegant ships, offers passengers the opportunity to visit their private island paradise, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.


Located in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay is a unique private island destination exclusively owned and operated by MSC Cruises. The island reflects the company’s commitment to sustainability and marine conservation, providing a serene and ecologically responsible experience for guests.


One of the main highlights of Ocean Cay is its stunning seven pristine beaches that stretch for miles. Guests can relax on the powdery white sand, take a dip in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, or snorkel to discover the vibrant marine life in the surrounding coral reefs. The island’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring.


MSC Cruises has created a variety of experiences for guests to enjoy on Ocean Cay. The island has a family-friendly lagoon with shallow waters, perfect for children to play and swim safely. For those seeking relaxation and tranquility, there are dedicated adults-only beach areas where guests can unwind and soak up the sun in a serene atmosphere.


Ocean Cay features a variety of dining options, including beachside grills and bars serving delicious snacks and tropical drinks. Guests can savor the flavors of the Caribbean while enjoying stunning ocean views. The island also has a food court with a range of international cuisines, providing something for everyone’s taste.


MSC Cruises has taken great care to preserve and protect the marine ecosystem surrounding Ocean Cay. The company has established a coral nursery and engaged in extensive restoration efforts to revitalize the coral reefs, ensuring that guests can witness the beauty of the underwater world for years to come. In addition, eco-friendly practices are implemented throughout the island, including sustainable energy systems and waste management initiatives.


During the evening, guests can take part in enchanting activities such as stargazing rituals and beachside bonfires. The island also showcases Bahamian culture with live music, colorful performances, and local artisans selling handmade crafts.


Whether you prefer to relax on the beach, explore the marine life, or immerse yourself in Caribbean culture, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve offers a truly unique and environmentally conscious private island experience that showcases MSC Cruises’ commitment to sustainable tourism.


Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises, known for its refined elegance and exceptional service, offers its passengers a private island retreat known as Princess Cays.


Situated in the Bahamas, Princess Cays is a pristine paradise exclusively owned by Princess Cruises. With its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of activities to enjoy, the island offers a perfect escape for guests seeking sun, relaxation, and fun.


One of the main attractions of Princess Cays is its stunning white sand beach. Stretching over half a mile, it offers ample space for lounging, building sandcastles, or taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. Guests can unwind on a beach chair, soak up the sun, or dive into the inviting waters for a refreshing swim.


The island also offers a range of water activities for guests to enjoy. Snorkeling enthusiasts can explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish and colorful coral reefs. Those seeking more excitement can rent paddleboards or kayaks to explore the surrounding coast, or take a thrilling banana boat ride with family and friends.


Princess Cays also features a variety of beachside amenities, including shops where guests can purchase souvenirs, locally-made crafts, and beach gear. Additionally, there are beachside bars serving refreshing tropical drinks, ensuring a delightful experience as you relax under the shade of an umbrella.


Food lovers will appreciate the mouthwatering dining options available on Princess Cays. The island offers a beachside barbecue buffet where guests can savor delicious grilled specialties and seafood. Whether you’re in the mood for freshly grilled burgers, juicy ribs, or tropical fruits, there’s something to please every palate.


For those seeking adventure, Princess Cays offers shore excursions such as deep-sea fishing, snorkeling safaris, and guided nature walks. These excursions allow guests to explore the beauty of the island and its surroundings, immersing themselves in the natural wonders of the Bahamas.


Guests can also relax in beachside cabanas, providing a private oasis with comfortable seating, dedicated service, and stunning views of the turquoise sea. It’s the perfect option for those who desire a more exclusive and intimate experience on the island.


With its breathtaking beaches, exciting water activities, delicious dining options, and opportunities for relaxation and adventure, Princess Cays is a private island destination that perfectly complements the refined elegance and exceptional service of Princess Cruises.



Private islands offered by various cruise lines provide passengers with an exclusive and unforgettable experience during their vacation. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, exciting water sports adventures, mouthwatering cuisine, or unique cultural encounters, these private islands have something for everyone.


Royal Caribbean International’s CocoCay and Labadee, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay, Holland America Line’s Half Moon Cay, Carnival Cruise Line’s Half Moon Cay, MSC Cruises’ Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, and Princess Cruises’ Princess Cays all offer their own distinct features and attractions.


From exhilarating water parks and thrilling water sports to luxurious beachside retreats and dedicated areas for families and children, these private islands cater to different interests and offer a range of activities and amenities.


Guests can relax on picturesque beaches, snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs, embark on thrilling water adventures, indulge in delicious beachside barbecues, shop for unique souvenirs, and enjoy lively entertainment. Many private islands also prioritize sustainability and ecological preservation, ensuring that guests can enjoy the natural beauty while minimizing the impact on the environment.


Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly retreat, a romantic getaway, or a fun-filled adventure, the private islands offered by these cruise lines deliver unparalleled experiences in tropical paradises. So, choose your preferred cruise line, pack your bags, and set sail for an extraordinary vacation filled with sun, sand, and the ultimate luxury of a private island getaway.