The History of Cruising in Barbados

Welcome to the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc.

Nes­tled on the out­skirts of Bridgetown lays one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean. With the move­ment of peo­ple and cargo, the Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal Inc. (BCTI) is the hub that make these every­day activ­i­ties seam­less. From the peak of the Cruise Sea­son in Octo­ber which runs to April the fol­low­ing year the Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal is work­ing to ensure a safe and enter­tain­ing hub cruise pas­sen­ger and crewmem­bers alike.

The Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal is one of the unsung gems of Barbados.The Cruise Ter­mi­nal as it is abbre­vi­ated by locals, has an excel­lent port espe­cially for depar­ture. Many cruise ves­sels have Bridgetown as a sta­ple des­ti­na­tion on their itin­er­ary: Car­ni­val Cruise Lines, P & O Cruise, Princess Cruise and Wind­star Cruise just to name a few. The Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal was orig­i­nally called the Deep Water Har­bour and can accom­mo­date up to six large cruise liner at one time. The har­bour is divide into four quays. BCTI pro­vides ser­vice facil­i­ties such as Health Cen­ter, Ani­mal Quar­an­tine, Bar­ba­dos Tourism Office, Cus­toms, Immi­gra­tion and Post Office.

The Cruise Ter­mi­nal was con­cep­tu­al­ized to pro­vide con­ve­nient access to the island’s shops and ser­vices. BCTI has been oper­a­tional since Jan­u­ary 14, 1994 and pro­vides over 20,000 sq. ft. of retail shop­ping includ­ing: cafes, bars, duty free shops, car rental offices, just to name a few. You can pur­chase sou­venirs, art, T-shirts, per­fumes, crys­tal, jewellery, cig­ars, cig­a­rettes, liquor. The Cruise Ter­mi­nal also pro­vides free Wi-Fi to all cruise pas­sen­ger and crewmem­ber where you can read our Free online Mag­a­zine About Barbados.

The Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc. welcome persons daily from all over the world. You are sure to received a warm and friendly Barbadian welcome and be entertained by local artist either through dance, song or instrument. The Cruise Terminal has over 40 shops and push carts as well telecommunication and visitor services. From exquisite jewelry and fine china to souvenirs and locally produce treats. Check out the Terminal Listing to see which shops are available at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc.

The History of Cruise Development in Barbados

Bridgetown was the first port of call in the New World for ves­sels arriv­ing from Europe for over three hun­dred years. Thus Bar­ba­dos became a cen­ter of com­merce, and the trans-shipment cen­ter of the Lesser Antilles. To the south­west of Bridgetown lies Carlisle Bay, it was the most shel­tered area for ships, and pro­vided ease of access to land­ing. Carlisle Bay was thus estab­lished as a prin­ci­pal anchor­age port from 1641 until the offi­cial open­ing of the Deep Water Har­bour in 1961. The Deep Har­bour now renamed Bridgetown Port­ was estab­lish to solve the prob­lem of the then steam­boat ves­sels dis­plac­ing sail­boats.

Aerial view of Bridgetown Port 2
Aerial view of the Bridgetown Port

The Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal is an inte­gral part of the Bridgetown Port and which has a long his­tory dated back to May 1961 when the Deep Water Har­bour was opened by Sir Grant­ley Adams, then Prime Min­is­ter of Bar­ba­dos, on Pel­i­can Island located just 600 yards away from the main­land. Pel­i­can island has a unique past of its own, until the 1940’s, Pel­i­can Island served as a quar­an­tine sta­tion. It was here that per­sons; Bar­ba­dian nation­als as well as crew and pas­sen­gers of the many ships cross­ing the Atlantic and within the Caribbean were process. Pel­i­can Island was joined to the main­land by fill­ing in the sea between the two, adding just over 90 acres of land to Bar­ba­dos. The Pel­i­can Island his­toric site is marked by a lone carved pel­i­can perched atop a one- ton boul­der just inside the main entrance of the Port.

This land­mark in the infra­struc­tural devel­op­ment of Bar­ba­dos signalled a real­iza­tion of an effort that had started in 1694 when work began to “form a har­bour at the town of St Michael (Bridgetown’s for­mer name), capa­ble of accom­mo­dat­ing and pro­tect­ing ships of 200 tonnes”. This project was in the final phase of com­ple­tion when the entire struc­ture was destroyed by a vio­lent hur­ri­cane. The cost of recon­struc­tion was pro­hib­i­tive and the gov­ern­ment was forced to aban­don it.

Entrance to the terminal 2


Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Entrance

The ground break­ing for the Bridgetown Cruise Ter­mi­nal took place on August 1, 1993 and the ter­mi­nal was offi­cially declared open by the then Prime Min­is­ter, the Right Honourable Lloyd Ersk­ine San­di­ford, on Jan­u­ary 14, 1994 as the cen­ter for all ser­vices pro­vided for the use of cruise pas­sen­gers and crewmem­bers vis­it­ing Bar­ba­dos. It offers free Wi-Fi, more than 60,000 square feet of space. Some 20,000 square feet is allo­cated to duty free shops, the remain­der com­prises space for quaint push­carts, unique Chat­tel Houses, the offices of Cus­toms, Immi­gra­tion, Port Health, Plant and Ani­mal Quar­an­tine, Post Office and the Bar­ba­dos Tourism Prod­uct Author­ity

{gallery}Cruiseterminal{/gallery}© Photos Compliments The Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc.



 NEARBY - Bridgetown – The Capital

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Bridgetown is the largest town in Bar­ba­dos and also the cap­i­tal city of the island. Bridgetown, pre­vi­ously known as “Indian Bridge” and the “town of St. Michael” obtained sta­tus as Bar­ba­dos’ cap­i­tal in 1838 after slav­ery was abol­ished and in June 2011 was des­ig­nated as a UNESCO World Her­itage Site. The Careenage in Bridgetown facil­i­tated trad­ing and com­mer­cial activ­ity among ves­sels. Bridgetown is almost always active, bustling with peo­ple; except for Sun­days and Bank Holidays.

Bridgetown is located south of the terminal and is just a 10-minute walk away. If you prefer not to walk a taxi is the next best option or you can rent a car; do keep in mind with this option a car park structure is a must. Bridgetown has a unique blend of Historic, Military and Sightseeing Tour influence to full an entire day; and of course Duty-free Shopping.  Read more about a Self Guided Walking Tour of Barbados or Lil tings about de island or Our Barbados Bucket List!

Click the image to read the articles below

walking tour bucket list 2


Shop­ping and Stores

  • Broad Street – the largest depart­ment stores and malls for duty free shop­ping are located on Broad Street. These include the Colon­ade Mall, Mall 34 and Cave Shep­herd. Cave shep­herd – the lead­ing depart­ment store in Bar­ba­dos and over 100 years old. Offers the best from footwear, to elec­tron­ics, cloth­ing, books, chil­dren clothes and toys and cos­met­ics all at duty free prices
  • Nor­man Cen­tre Mall – house pop­u­lar inter­na­tional stores such as Con­verse and Pay­less.
    The Colon­ade Mall – for­merly called Dacosta’s Mall, is the old­est mall in Bar­ba­dos. Not only does it have a vari­ety of shops to do your shop­ping but the food court also allows you a place to relax and unwind and take a bite to eat.
  • Har­risons – Offers the best in cos­met­ics and high end shoes and bags at duty free prices.
    Pel­i­can Vil­lage – located just on the out­skirts of the town and offers the best in local arts and craft. Steel pan music is also played here at times.

Other stores and shops are located on the main streets in Bridgetown – Swann Street, James Street, Tudor Street and Roe­buck Street. These streets house the smaller but pop­u­lar retail stores such as NuLook Bou­tique, Dal­las Dis­counts, Ouch! and Super­style Shoe Store. Also, as you walk along these streets there will be no short­age of ven­dors sell­ing a vari­ety of items rang­ing from purses, clothes and shoes.

Dont Miss out on these Sights! and Other Must -See - Ums 



a bajans fav food2 There is no short­age of food places in Bridgetown as it houses most of the major fast food joints on the island Burger King, Chefette and KFC. How­ever, other restau­rants serv­ing local and inter­na­tional cui­sine include, Ryannes Restau­rant, The Bal­cony and Ideal restau­rants in Cave Shep­herd, The Water­front Café oppo­site inde­pen­dence square and Tim’s Restau­rant on Broad Street.


Beau­ti­ful white sandy beaches, per­fect sunny weather, clear waters– it’s just another gor­geous day in Bar­ba­dos. Features are beaches on the South and West Coast of the island. On the South Coast has many beach gems nes­tled within its ter­ri­tory. From swim­ming and snor­kel­ing, to the wide vari­ety of water­sports avail­able, it is no won­der that the South Coast is often referred to as the “Fun Coast’. This coast also reveals sev­eral street ven­dors, rang­ing from food to arts and crafts. You may even pass some coconut ven­dors on the sides– be sure to take a taste of the refresh­ingly cool and deli­cious coconut water. As this Coast is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean see, the waters are gen­tler than those on the East Coast, yet rougher than those on the West so swim­mers must be aware of pos­si­ble unex­pected, strong sea cur­rents that may nat­u­rally occur.

On the West Coast, from the cap­i­tal city of Bridgetown, the coast runs upwards to the parish of St. Peter. The West Coast is a favorite for many tourists look­ing to expe­ri­ence sun, sea and sand. With jet skis, snorkelling adven­tures, swim­ming with the tur­tles, as well as numer­ous bars, shops and restau­rants, there are a host of activ­i­ties to par­take in. Also dubbed as the ‘Plat­inum Coast’, the West Coast of Bar­ba­dos can pro­vide a truly spec­tac­u­lar time with tons of wtaersports, and ameni­ties for all.

1. Watch out for sea urchins when swimming/snorkeling near reefs.

2. Where there are water-sport activ­i­ties per­sons should be cau­tious when enter­ing out­side the area marked with orange coloured buoys!


 If you only have a few days to Play in Barbados Read our Article - 5 Days To Play 

5 days5 days to play


View Beaches of the North Coast
View Beaches of the East Coast
View All Bar­ba­dos Beach Ameni­ties
A Night on the Ocean
All Things Ocean
Fish­ing in Bar­ba­dos
Bar­ba­dos Fish Mar­kets
Activ­i­ties For Kids
Sports In Bar­ba­dos
Bar­ba­dos Kayak­ing