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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Labadee, Haiti is located on a remote peninsula on Haiti’s northern coast. It is part of Hispaniola, the island that is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  

Travel to Haiti has declined in recent years due to the political unrest that has been prevalent in this region, however, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line took on a major development project turning Labadee into a private resort complex, exclusively for its cruise ship passengers. They are the only visitors who get to experience the natural beauty of this island paradise in total safety and security.  

There are a variety of things to see and do on the island, including taking narrated coastal tours that provide details of the life and customs of the Haitian people. Hiking trails take visitors past 200-year-old ruins and snorkelling excursions are also offered, which take guests to nearby Amiga Island where they snorkel among submerged anchors and cannonballs. You may also be lucky enough to see a variety of pottery and other 16th century artefacts.

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Western Caribbean (Cozumel Plus) from New Orleans, La

20 Feb 2020 (4 Nights) Cruise Only from £243pp
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Royal Clipper

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Celebrity Infinity

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Norwegian Encore

United States, Bahamas, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

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MSC Seaside

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Why visit Labadee ?

Labadee location iamge - CruiseDirection

Island paradise

A private Royal Caribbean Cruise Line resort complex

For an even more in-depth tour, guests can opt for Royal Caribbean’s Seatrek Snorkelling excursion, which is a combination of sightseeing and snorkelling. This excursion starts with a 45minute coastal cruise, during which guests can retrace the path Christopher Columbus took when he discovered the island. Along the way, guides provide a running narrative about the history and cultures of this unique part of the Caribbean. Guests then have a chance to take to the water on a guided snorkelling tour, viewing the myriad coral formations and colourful reef that makes up this area.  

For those who don’t want to venture too far, Royal Caribbean has provided a beach complex immediately adjacent to where the ship docks. Here guests can rent floats, paddleboats or sailboats. They can go for banana boat rides or take out a wave-runner and even take in a game of volleyball. There is also plenty of good swimming and snorkelling right off the beach, in beautiful turquoise waters or, away from the beach, there are ruins that are over 200 years to explore. A variety of shops dot the area, where shoppers can find a treasure trove of authentic Haitian art, as well as other items indigenous to this island. Other craft-type items are offered for sale in the variety of artisan booths and the talented craftsmen are only too happy to demonstrate their skills to inquisitive guests.  

Labadee enjoys a truly tropical climate, with temperatures in the afternoon climbing into the 90’s, so it can get quite warm. The currency on the island is the US dollar or you can simply charge purchases to your Royal Caribbean Cruise card, since they are the only visitors.  

A visit to Labadee is almost reason enough to book a Royal Caribbean cruise, because the island has some of the best scenery and beaches in the entire area. While the political situation in the region caused this island to suffer a downturn in tourism before Royal Caribbean took over Labadee, today it is once again one of the favourite island destinations for the company’s customers. Hopefully, one day soon, other parts of Haiti will open up to general tourism and development so that we can all share in this unique island’s treasures.

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