With 229 cruise ship calls scheduled for 2009, including nearly 89 from Carnival Cruise Lines’ vessels, the Grand Turk Cruise Center (GTCC) is on track for hosting a record 500,000 passengers in the coming year.  The unprecedented half-million passenger mark is a 25 percent increase over 2008, during which the GTCC was closed for 30 days following Hurricane Ike.  

          A key reason for Grand Turk’s continued popularity is the wide array of organized excursion opportunities for visitors, from horseback riding and kayaking to world-class diving, snorkeling and fishing.  

           For those guests who want to explore the island on their own, the new Grand Turk Grace Bay Car Rentals recently opened at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.  With this new service, guests visiting Grand Turk will be able to discover the island’s numerous historical sites, gorgeous white-sand beaches, quaint Bermudian-influenced architecture and friendly locals at their own pace.

            Currently, five Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Fun Ships” call at Grand Turk – Carnival Destiny on five-day cruises from Miami; Carnival Liberty on seven-day voyages from Miami; and Carnival Miracle on eight-day cruises from New York.            

            Carnival Pride will also feature Grand Turk as part of its new seven-day schedule from Baltimore beginning April 27 – the first year-round program from that port.  Grand Turk will also be featured on the Carnival Glory’s new seven-day program from Miami beginning December 3.