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Roatan Cruise Port: Including 40+ Best Things to Do!

Discover Roatan, a hidden gem in the Caribbean and a favorite among cruise enthusiasts.

Our comprehensive guide delves into the logistical nuances of Roatan cruise ports, showcases the variety of cruise lines visiting, and explores over 40 exhilarating activities.

Overview of the Roatan Cruise Ports

Roatan, a verdant island nestled in the Caribbean Sea, is an increasingly popular cruise destination known for its stunning natural beauty and welcoming atmosphere.

The island hosts two main Roatan cruise ports: Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole, also known as the Port of Roatan. Each port offers a unique gateway to the island’s many charms, from breathtaking beaches to lush tropical forests.

Mahogany Bay

Developed by Carnival Corporation, Mahogany Bay is a purpose-built port designed to offer a seamless and immersive experience for cruise passengers.

Situated near Dixon Cove, this port can accommodate up to two large cruise ships simultaneously. It boasts a modern terminal with a range of amenities:

  • Shopping: A variety of shops selling local crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs.
  • Dining: Multiple dining options ranging from quick bites to sit-down restaurants offering local and international cuisine.
  • Beach Access: A stunning 10-acre private beach, accessible via a chair lift or a short walk, provides the perfect spot for relaxation and water sports.
  • Facilities: Restrooms, free Wi-Fi zones, and comfortable seating areas.

Mahogany Bay is designed to offer a convenient and enjoyable experience, with everything a traveler might need just steps from the dock.

Roatan Cruise Port

Coxen Hole (Port of Roatan)

The Port of Roatan, located in Coxen Hole, is the island’s original cruise port and caters to a variety of cruise lines.

It offers a more authentic Roatan experience, with easy access to the island’s local life and culture. The port has been updated to provide excellent facilities to visitors:

  • Shopping and Dining: A range of shops and restaurants are available, featuring local artisans and cuisines that reflect the island’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Transportation Hub: Taxis, buses, and rental services are readily available to take visitors on island tours or to specific attractions.
  • Cultural Experience: Proximity to Coxen Hole town offers a chance to explore local markets, historic sites, and interact with the friendly locals.

Both Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole Roatan cruise ports serve as ideal starting points for exploring Roatan.

They provide not just the convenience of modern facilities but also a glimpse into the island’s vibrant culture and natural splendor. Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or relaxation, these ports offer easy access to all that Roatan has to offer.

Roatan Cruise Port

Cruise Lines Visiting Roatan

Roatan has become a favored destination for many cruise lines, thanks to its natural beauty, diverse activities, and welcoming locals.

Throughout the year, the island plays host to a variety of cruise lines, each offering unique experiences and itineraries that include Roatan as a key port of call.

List of Major Cruise Lines

  1. Carnival Cruise Line: Known for its fun atmosphere, Carnival frequently visits Roatan, docking primarily at Mahogany Bay. Their ships offer a range of onboard activities and shore excursions tailored to explore the island’s attractions.
  2. Royal Caribbean International: Royal Caribbean cruises to Roatan offer a blend of luxury and adventure. These cruises often dock at both Mahogany Bay and the Port of Roatan, giving passengers a comprehensive Roatan experience.
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL): NCL is renowned for its freestyle cruising concept, and its visits to Roatan reflect this philosophy. The line provides passengers with ample opportunities to explore the island’s natural and cultural highlights.
  4. MSC Cruises: Offering a more European flavor, MSC Cruises include Roatan in several of their Caribbean itineraries. Their visits to the island allow passengers to enjoy a day of exploration and relaxation.
  5. Celebrity Cruises: Known for its upscale and elegant cruises, Celebrity often includes Roatan in its luxury itineraries. Passengers can enjoy a range of exclusive shore excursions.
  6. Disney Cruise Line: Ideal for families, Disney’s cruises to Roatan bring a touch of magic to the island. Their family-friendly activities and excursions make Roatan an exciting stop for guests of all ages.
  7. Holland America Line: This line is favored by those seeking a more traditional and relaxed cruising experience. Holland America’s visits to Roatan often focus on the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Schedules and Frequencies

  • Peak Seasons: The high season for cruises to Roatan typically runs from October to April, aligning with the Caribbean’s dry season. During this time, the island sees a higher frequency of cruise ships.
  • Length of Stay: Most cruise ships dock in Roatan for one day, arriving in the early morning and departing by late afternoon or early evening. This schedule gives passengers a full day to explore the island’s many attractions.

The variety of cruise lines visiting Roatan ensures that there’s something for everyone, whether it’s a family adventure, a luxurious getaway, or a culturally enriching experience.

Each line offers its own unique take on this Caribbean paradise, providing passengers with a memorable stop on their journey.

Roatan Cruise Port

40 Roatan Cruise Port Excursions

Beach and Water Activities

  1. West Bay Beach: Relax on the powdery white sands of this world-famous beach.
  2. Tabyana Beach: Snorkel amidst colorful coral reefs and vibrant marine life.
  3. Half Moon Bay: Explore the underwater wonders through snorkeling and diving.
  4. Diving Adventures: Discover Roatan’s renowned dive sites, including Mary’s Place and Blue Channel.
  5. Glass-Bottom Boat Tours: Observe marine life without getting wet on a glass-bottom boat.
  6. Paddleboarding: Glide along calm coastal waters on a paddleboard.
  7. Kayaking: Paddle through mangrove tunnels and tranquil bays.
  8. Jet Skiing: Get an adrenaline rush while jet skiing in the Caribbean Sea.
  9. Parasailing: Soar above the azure waters for breathtaking views.
  10. Fishing Charters: Try deep-sea or reef fishing for a chance to reel in your catch.

Roatan Cruise Port

Adventure and Eco-Tourism

  1. Zip-lining: Glide through the rainforest canopy on thrilling zip-line tours.
  2. Monkey and Sloth Encounters: Interact with adorable sloths and playful monkeys.
  3. Hiking Adventures: Explore lush trails and visit scenic viewpoints.
  4. Island ATV Tours: Embark on an off-road adventure through Roatan’s interior.
  5. Gumbalimba Park: Discover the park’s botanical gardens, animal encounters, and zip-lines.
  6. Horseback Riding: Ride horses along pristine beaches or through tropical forests.
  7. Island Buggy Tours: Navigate rugged terrain on guided buggy tours.
  8. Zorbing: Experience the thrill of rolling downhill in a giant inflatable ball.
  9. Cave Tours: Explore fascinating limestone caves like the Arch’s Iguana Farm Caves.
  10. Mangrove Kayak Tours: Paddle through mangrove forests teeming with wildlife.

Cultural and Historical Sites

  1. Roatan Museum: Dive into the island’s history and culture at the museum.
  2. Gumbalimba Preservation Park: Learn about Roatan’s flora, fauna, and history.
  3. Garifuna Cultural Village: Experience the traditions and music of the Garifuna people.
  4. Cameo Factory: Witness the art of cameo carving and shop for unique souvenirs.
  5. Mayan Eden: Discover the connection between Mayan culture and Roatan.
  6. Iglesia de Punta Gorda: Visit a picturesque Garifuna church in Punta Gorda.

Roatan Cruise Port

Shopping and Culinary Experiences

  1. Mahogany Bay Market: Shop for souvenirs, crafts, and local products.
  2. Local Cuisine: Savor delicious Honduran dishes at beachfront restaurants.
  3. Local Markets: Explore local markets for handmade crafts and gifts.
  4. Cooking Classes: Learn to prepare Honduran specialties like baleadas and plantain chips.
  5. Chocolate and Rum Tasting: Indulge in chocolate and rum tastings at local shops.
  6. Cigar Rolling: Witness the art of cigar rolling and purchase hand-rolled cigars.

Relaxation and Wellness

  1. Spas and Wellness Centers: Relax with massages, facials, and yoga sessions.
  2. Yoga and Meditation Retreats: Find inner peace in serene natural settings.
  3. Beachfront Hammocks: Unwind in beachside hammocks with ocean views.
  4. Lush Botanical Gardens: Stroll through Carambola Botanical Gardens for tranquility.
  5. Sunset Cruises: Enjoy breathtaking sunsets on evening cruise excursions.

Family-Friendly Activities

  1. Butterfly Garden and Nature Park: Explore a magical world of butterflies while visiting Roatan cruise port.
  2. Iguana Farm: Get up close with iguanas and learn about their habitat.
  3. Glass-Bottom Kayaking: Combine kayaking with underwater views for the family.

Roatan Cruise Port

Practical Information for Visitors

Before embarking on your Roatan cruise port adventure, it’s essential to have some practical information and cruise tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to the island. Here’s what you need to know:

Travel Tips and Guidelines

  1. Currency: The official currency is the Honduran Lempira (HNL). US dollars are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to carry some local currency for small purchases.
  2. Language: Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken and understood in tourist areas.
  3. Communication: Consider purchasing a local SIM card for your phone or using international roaming options to stay connected.
  4. Climate: Roatan enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Pack lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  5. Electricity: The standard voltage is 110V, and the plugs are of the Type A and Type B varieties. It’s a good idea to bring a universal adapter.
  6. Tipping: Tipping is customary in Roatan. In restaurants, a 10-15% tip is appreciated. Tip tour guides, drivers, and service staff accordingly.

Safety and Health Precautions

  1. Safety: Roatan is generally safe for tourists, but exercise the same precautions as you would in any other destination. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items.
  2. Health: While tap water is treated, it’s safer to drink bottled water. Apply sunscreen liberally and stay hydrated to avoid sunburn and dehydration.
  3. Medical Services: There are medical facilities on the island. Make sure you have travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses.
  4. Mosquitoes: Roatan has mosquitoes, so use insect repellent, especially during evenings and when exploring nature.

Roatan Cruise Port


  1. Taxis: Taxis are readily available at the cruise ports and around the island. Negotiate fares before starting your journey or ask for metered rates.
  2. Rentals: Car rentals are available for those who want to explore independently. Remember to drive on the right side of the road.

Local Customs and Etiquette

  1. Respect Local Culture: Roatan has a diverse cultural heritage. Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting villages and cultural sites.
  2. Bargaining: Bargaining is common in markets, but be polite and respectful when negotiating prices.
  3. Dress Code: Dress modestly when visiting local communities and religious sites.

Environmental Responsibility

  1. Coral Reefs: If snorkeling or diving, avoid touching or damaging the fragile coral reefs. Practice responsible reef etiquette.
  2. Plastic Waste: Help protect Roatan’s natural beauty by minimizing plastic waste. Use reusable water bottles and shopping bags.

Local Time Zone

Roatan operates on Central Standard Time (CST), which is UTC-6. Be sure to adjust your watches accordingly.

By keeping these practical tips and guidelines in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Roatan cruise port, ensuring a safe, enjoyable, and culturally enriching experience on this stunning Caribbean island.

Roatan Cruise Port

Booking Excursions through Cruise Line vs. Private Company

When visiting Roatan on a cruise, one of the important decisions you’ll need to make is how to plan your onshore excursions.

You have two primary options: booking excursions through the cruise line or opting for a private tour company. Each approach has its pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities.

Booking through the Cruise Line


  1. Convenience: Cruise lines offer a seamless booking process. You can reserve excursions online or onboard the ship, making it hassle-free.
  2. Reliability: Cruise line excursions are vetted and coordinated by the cruise company. You can trust that they will be well-organized and adhere to your ship’s schedule.
  3. Safety: Cruise lines prioritize passenger safety and have established protocols for excursions. They typically work with reputable tour operators.
  4. Guaranteed Return: If your cruise line excursion runs late and causes the ship to depart without you, the cruise line is responsible for getting you to the next port.
  5. Variety: Cruise lines offer a range of excursions to suit different interests and activity levels.


  1. Cost: Cruise line excursions can be more expensive than booking independently, as the cruise line adds a markup for convenience and coordination.
  2. Crowds: Cruise line excursions may have larger groups, potentially reducing the personalized experience.
  3. Limited Flexibility: Itineraries and schedules are fixed, leaving limited room for customization.

Roatan Cruise Port

Booking through a Private Tour Company


  1. Cost Savings: Private tour companies often offer excursions at lower prices, allowing you to get more value for your money.
  2. Personalized Experience: Smaller group sizes mean you can enjoy a more personalized and intimate experience.
  3. Flexibility: Private tours can often be customized to your preferences, allowing you to explore Roatan at your own pace.
  4. Local Knowledge: Local tour guides can provide insights into the island’s culture, history, and hidden gems.
  5. Diverse Options: You can choose from a wide range of specialized tours that may not be available through the cruise line.


  1. Coordination: You’ll need to coordinate transportation to and from the cruise port, which can be less convenient than cruise line excursions.
  2. Safety: While many private tour companies are reputable, there is a degree of responsibility on your part to research and choose a reliable operator.
  3. Time Management: Private tours may not adhere to your ship’s schedule as rigorously as cruise line excursions, so you need to be mindful of the departure time.
  4. Risk: In the unlikely event of tour delays, the cruise ship may not wait for passengers on private excursions.

Tips for Choosing

To make an informed choice, consider the following tips when looking at Roatan cruise port:

  • Research: Read reviews, check ratings, and gather information about private tour companies to ensure they have a good reputation.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and compare the cost of cruise line excursions with private options.
  • Interests: Choose excursions that align with your interests and the type of experience you seek.
  • Group Size: Consider whether you prefer a larger group experience or a more intimate one.
  • Flexibility: If you value flexibility and customization, private tours may be the better option.
  • Safety: Regardless of your choice, prioritize safety by following the guidance of tour operators and respecting local rules.

Ultimately, both cruise line and private company excursions offer unique advantages.

Your decision should be based on what matters most to you—whether it’s convenience, cost, personalized experiences, or exploring Roatan cruise port’s hidden gems with a local touch.

Roatan Cruise Port


Roatan, with its captivating beauty, diverse activities, and warm hospitality, promises a cruise port experience like no other.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or nature exploration, Roatan has something to offer every traveler. From the moment your cruise ship docks at Mahogany Bay or the Port of Roatan, you’ll be greeted with a world of possibilities.

As you embark on your Roatan excursion, remember to savor the flavors of local cuisine, explore the island’s historical and cultural sites, and immerse yourself in its natural wonders.

Whether it’s the adrenaline rush of zip-lining through the jungle, the tranquility of a beachfront hammock, or the awe-inspiring marine life during a snorkeling adventure, Roatan’s charms will leave you with cherished memories.

FAQs – Roatan Cruise Port

General Information

Where is Roatan located?

Roatan is an island located in the Caribbean Sea. It is part of Honduras and is situated off the northern coast of the mainland.

How many cruise ports are there in Roatan?

Roatan has two primary cruise ports: Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole (Port of Roatan).

When is the best time to visit Roatan on a cruise?

The best time to visit Roatan is during the dry season, which typically runs from October to April. These months offer pleasant weather with less chance of rain.

Cruise Lines and Itineraries

Which cruise lines visit Roatan?

Cruise lines that frequently visit Roatan include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Holland America Line, among others.

How long do cruise ships typically stay in Roatan cruise port?

Cruise ships typically dock in Roatan for one day, with the duration of the visit ranging from early morning to late afternoon or early evening.

Can I choose excursions through my cruise line?

Yes, cruise lines offer a variety of excursions that can be booked online before your cruise or onboard the ship.

Port Facilities and Services

What amenities are available at Mahogany Bay cruise port?

Mahogany Bay offers a range of amenities, including shopping, dining options, a private beach, restrooms, free Wi-Fi zones, and comfortable seating areas.

What services can I find at Coxen Hole (Port of Roatan)?

Coxen Hole provides shopping, dining options, transportation services (taxis, buses, rentals), and opportunities to explore the local culture.

Is there free Wi-Fi at the cruise ports?

Both Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole offer free Wi-Fi in designated areas.

Activities and Excursions

What are some popular activities in Roatan during a cruise stop?

Popular activities in Roatan include snorkeling, scuba diving, beach visits, zip-lining, wildlife encounters, hiking, cultural tours, shopping for local crafts, and culinary experiences.

Can I book excursions independently in Roatan?

Yes, you can book excursions independently through local tour operators. This allows for more customization and potentially lower costs compared to cruise line excursions.

Is it safe to participate in water activities like snorkeling and diving?

Yes, water activities in Roatan are generally safe, especially when booking with reputable operators who adhere to safety standards. It’s important to follow safety guidelines and wear appropriate gear.

Practical Information

What currency is used in Roatan, and can I use US dollars?

The official currency in Roatan is the Honduran Lempira (HNL). US dollars are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to have some local currency for small purchases.

Is English spoken in Roatan cruise port?

Yes, English is widely spoken and understood in Roatan, especially in tourist areas.

Do I need a visa to visit Roatan on a cruise?

Most cruise passengers do not require a visa to visit Roatan as long as they stay within the designated port areas. However, it’s essential to check your specific visa requirements based on your nationality.

What should I pack for a day in Roatan?

Pack lightweight clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent, and any necessary travel documents.

Is there a time difference in Roatan?

Roatan operates on Central Standard Time (CST), which is UTC-6.

Safety and Health

Is Roatan a safe destination for cruise passengers?

Roatan is generally safe for tourists. Exercise common safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding displaying expensive items.

Are there any health concerns in Roatan?

While tap water is treated, it’s safer to drink bottled water. Apply sunscreen to protect against sunburn, and stay hydrated in the tropical climate.

Are there medical facilities on the island?

Yes, Roatan has medical facilities, but it’s advisable to have travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses.