Roatan is one of the three Bay Islands that lie approximately 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. The island is 37 miles long and five miles wide with a mountainous spine and coral reefs offshore.
Cruise ships calling at Roatan dock in two places. As a general rule, ships belonging to the Carnival Corporation brands (e.g. Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Holland America) use Mahogany Bay. (See profile of Mahogany Bay). Everyone else docks at the Town Center cruise port at Coxen Hole about two miles west of Mahogany Bay.
Town Center (also known as the Port of Roatan) opened in 2008 and is managed by a joint venture between Royal Caribbean and the ITM Group. The 6.5 acre site includes a cruise village with shops, restaurants and stalls selling local products. Plans call for the construction of recreational facilities as part of the site.
The site has two piers. There are about 170 cruise ship calls at the port each year bringing some 580,000 visitors to the island.
Although the site is called Town Center, the main part of Coxen Hole (also called Roatan Town) is about a mile away. It is within walking distance but beyond the fences of the port area, the island takes on a third world character and few cruise passengers venture into town.
The island has a lush natural beauty. Shore excursions and taxis take cruise passengers to the island's white sandy beaches, on eco tours, zip lining and on snorkeling expeditions. There is a popular iguana sanctuary near the town of French Harbor..
The official currency on Roatan is the Lempira. However, U.S, dollars are widely accepted.
Local people speak Spanish. Outside of those involved in the tourist industry, few people speak English
Above: Norwegian Bliss docked at Coxen Hole, Roatan.
Above: Pier 1 and the cruise village at Town Center.
Below: Pier 2 at Town Center.
Cruise destination profile - Roatan - Coxen Hole