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Dominican Republic - Getting There by Sea

Not surprisingly, being an island, the Dominican Republic is a cruise destination. Several of the major cruise lines call in to one of the three main ports; Samana in the north east, La Romana in the south east and some years, Santo Domingo, the capital. Samana and La Romana are the most popular ports and there are several shore excursions from there. In Samana the most popular is humpback whale watching during February and March in the bay of Samana, as well as visiting waterfalls or desert islands. In La Romana the most popular excursion is a day trip to Catalina island, again a desert island with white sandy beaches and it is also a national marine park with spectacular snorkelling and diving. The majority of the cruises begin in the United States and call into the Dominican Republic on their way down to the rest of the Caribbean islands. In addition Thomson UK have their own cruise ship which leaves from La Romana and offers a two week holiday; one week cruise and then a one week on land.

The cruising season begins in November and lasts until the end of April. There are now plans by Carnival Cruise Line to build a new cruise terminal in Maimon just outside Puerto Plata which should be ready in a couple of years.

There is also a car and passenger ferry which sails from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, leaving from Santo Domingo. It takes around 13 hours and is an overnight journey. As well as seats it is also possible to book cabins in order to arrive refreshed in Puerto Rico. It has been known to go out of service for six months or so at a time, so it is always worth checking if it is still running. Whilst there are regular air flights the ferry can be useful if you have a lot of things to buy in Puerto Rico, avoiding the baggage limit. Users of the ferry should however be aware that the same customs restrictions apply.

Useful Resources

Ferry Santo Domingo to Puerto Rico
Tel: 809 688 4400

Cruise lines

This guide was compiled with the help of Lindsay de Feliz, a British expat blogger living in the Dominican Republic. Visit her blog at

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