Well-kept secret:

With itineraries in places such as the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Bermuda, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, South America and the South Pacific, cruise ships make it easy to get to some of the best beaches in the world.

Cruise ship captains and other officers, when they get some time off, are likely to head to the sand and surf. They have their favourite beaches.

Cruise Caribbean web

Steve Howarth, captain of Oriana from British line P&O Cruises, smiles with fond family memories when he thinks of Cane Garden Bay Beach in Tortola. “There is soft white sand, warm seas, palm trees for shade, and it’s where my son built his first-ever sand castle when he was a year old,” Howarth says. The beach is about five miles from the port in Road Town.

On the other side of the world, Bas van Dreumel, captain of Holland America Line’s Maasdam, has a soft spot for Cottesloe Beach in the port city of Fremantle, near his hometown of Perth, Australia. “Cottesloe is one of the nicest white beaches for our crew and guests for some R & R,” van Dreumel says. “Plus you can purchase fish & chips and enjoy the uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.”

For Pierre Camilleri, hotel director on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista, a goal is finding a great place to swim. Trunk Bay on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, is his favourite swimming spot in the world.

“Some of the most beautiful beaches I have visited are on the Isle de Pines in New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific,” says Kevin Boag, hotel director on P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Eden. “It’s a place I’m sure our guests will remember for a long time.”

Nisbet Beach

Champagne Bay in the remote island nation of Vanuatu has long been voted the best beach in the South Pacific and is a favourite of Michael Mihajlov, destination director for Carnival Australia. “This perfectly undisturbed white sand beach lies within an undeveloped, perfectly natural bay,” Mihajlov says. “It’s beach nirvana.”

“There are few places in the world that compare to Myrtos Beach on the little island of Kefalonia in the Ionian sea of Greece,” says Paolo Viscafè, captain of the Costa Pacifica.

“When I saw this island for the first time I was fascinated by the view of the unspoiled and beautiful beach from the mountain above. The silence was as timeless as the ancient history of this place,” Viscafè says. Captain’s tip: For an unforgettable experience head to the terrace of a sea-view taverna to sample local products such as cheese and olives with a glass of Robola wine.

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