Cruise Port of Call Wheelchair Accessibility Review: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

Grand Turk Island is part of the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory comprised of 40 islands and cays. Seven miles long and 1 ½ miles wide, Grand Turk has served as the seat of government for the territory and the British governor since 1766. The island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and inspiring and colorful British/Bermudian colonial architecture, with its own quaint Caribbean charm. Approximately 3700 people called grand Turk home. The island is well known for its scuba diving offerings, and the shallow banks surrounding the islands are also a winter calving ground for humpback whales.

Upon arrival, your cruise ship will dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. You will only have to roll about 100 yards to enter the facility, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. Even from the end of the pier, on your left you will see a beautiful white sand beach dotted with numerous lounge chairs and colorful umbrellas. The entire cruise center is wheelchair accessible, and you will have no problem entering any of the restaurants or shopping in any of the stores. Like many other Caribbean islands, you will be able to find duty free goods such as cigar, perfume, and liquor, as well as Caribbean themed clothing and trinkets.

Before you arrive in Grand Turk, it’s important to know that the island was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Irma. Much of the damage is still readily apparent. This is also a small, flat island with a small population, and it is largely residential without much to see. If you are interested in shopping or scuba diving, then this will be a good port of call for you. However, there is really only one option for wheelchair users to see the island. I highly recommend taking the Great Salt Tram Tour with Island Trams. The comfortable, open-sided trams wind past centuries old buildings, churches, homes and inns, cannons, windmills, salt ponds and the Lighthouse. Along the way, you will see wild horses, donkeys and exquisite bird life. The trams are accessible and have a metal ramp to allow up to two wheelchair users to board. If you have a particularly large power chair or scooter, call the company first to make sure you will fit.

In order to get to the tram, you will meet the tour representative in the marketplace on the beach side between the craft market and Margaritaville. From there you will need to roll about 200 yards to exit the shopping village and cross a large parking lot. Then you will continue down the road through a metal gate to board the tram. The tram will drop you off here as well. If you are not in a wheelchair or scooter and use crutches or otherwise can’t walk long distances, please keep this in mind as the tram does not pick up passengers immediately outside of the terminal/port area.

Grand Turk is also not a port where you can walk or roll around on your own outside of the terminal area. Plainly put, there is just absolutely nothing to see, as it is a residential area that is sparsely inhabited. Probably for this reason, cruise ship calls on this port are generally relatively short. There is a taxi service called ANC Taxi and Tours that has recently begun providing wheelchair taxi service for cruise ship passengers. For questions and reservations, you can call Albert Capron at -649-244-0988.

Are you interested in booking a wheelchair accessible cruise that calls on Grand Turk? Contact me at Spin the Globe/Travel and we’ll get started!

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