Breathtaking Cruises

Haiti Cruises

Introduction to Haiti Cruises

With all its troubled history, Haiti has an enormous potential for tourism. Haiti is an island in the middle of the sea, close to the Caribbean with a breath taking natural landscapes. It is a place that's worth visiting at least once and it did become a part of the cruise lines' itinerary for a while. Currently though all the best offers come from just one of them: Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean's History in Haiti

In 1986 the Royal Caribbean cruise line leased Labadee, a former slave plantation in Haiti's northern side and turned it into a luxurious private beach. Since 1986, Labadee is one of the most visited destinations on the Royal Caribbean itinerary and it was the maiden destination for the largest passenger ship, the Oasis of the Seas. In 2009, the Royal Caribbean cruise company invested $55 million in upgrading the resort. The location has been isolated from the rest of the island through a large fence and it is being guarded by armed security forces who do not allow anyone but authorized personnel to walk through the doors. Not even passengers are allowed to pass from one part on the island to the other.

It is safe to say that Royal Caribbean is one of the companies with the most influence in Haiti – its contributions to the Haitian government amount to about a third of the Haitian GDP. But in light of last year's Haitian tragedy, the cruise-line has been under intense scrutiny.


Only nine days after the devastating Haitian earthquake in January 2010 Royal Caribbean announced that its cruise ships will continue to dock in Labadee. The resort in itself was not affected by the earthquake, but very close by, the capital city of Port-au-Prince was in ruins while cruise passengers were docking on the luxurious beach.

The topic raises a lot of questions – on one hand constant tourists on the island raise the Haitian revenue (through taxes, support of local employees, etc.). The cruise line also donated all revenues from sailings to Haiti in the period after the earthquake to the Haitian government, which added quite a lot to the island’s income. The Royal Caribbean ships also brought in food and clothes to donate to the people affected by the earthquake. The Haitian government itself is supposed to have asked the Royal Caribbean cruise ships to keep docking on the island.

On the other hand the announcement created a stir due to the fact that passengers docking in Haiti and partying in the resort were perceived as insensitive to the Haitian troubles. This doesn't seem to have affected many of them – for the first trip after the earthquake 85% of the passengers docked while for the following trips the percentage increased.


Other possible stops for cruises docking in Labadee:

  • Western Caribbean cruises: Fort Lauderdale, Costa Maya, Cozumel, George Town, Falmouth, Ocho Rios
  • Southern Caribbean cruises: Samana, Charlotte Amalee, Bridgetown, Roseau, St John's, Philipsburg, Baseterre, Tortola
  • Eastern Caribbean cruises: St Croix, Cape Liberty, Nassau, San Juan