Sunset at English Harbor, Antigua

Cunard

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The best time to cruise the Caribbean

Our recommended best time to cruise the Caribbean is between December and April. During these months, the temperature is slightly milder, and the sun is sure to put on a good show, making a Caribbean cruise a perfect winter break. 

Caribbean cruise dates with Cunard

Our famous Cunard Queens sail to the Caribbean in the winter months, coinciding perfectly with the best time to visit this vibrant holiday haven. Our flagship, Queen Mary 2, sails across the Atlantic to the Caribbean islands each winter for guests to celebrate Christmas and New Year in sunny style. On occasion, Queen Victoria also comes along for the ride. With festive dinners and sparkling Christmas trees around every corner, you can top-up your tan by day and indulge in seasonal spirit by night.

 

Starting in 2025, Queen Elizabeth will spend an extended season in the Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Miami from October until April. Will you choose the smooth rhythms and vibrant flavours of the eastern Caribbean, or see the jungle-lined shores and stunning vistas in our western Caribbean cruises? Check our our guide on Caribbean cruise routes to find your perfect pick.

Caribbean weather

The Caribbean boasts consistent temperatures of around 24-27°C year-round. However, the humidity varies, and the region has a dry and wet season each year.

 

Caribbean dry season

The dry season in the Caribbean tends to stretch between December and April, which is when the majority of our Caribbean cruises set sail. The seas are calmer – ideal if you suffer from seasickness – and the sun shines all day long. This season is ideal for those who love the great outdoors. Snorkelling, hiking, and swimming are most pleasant during these months. Rainfall tends to be lowest in January and February. Some of the northern islands, such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, may have colder seas during this season. Islands further south, such as Barbados, St Lucia, or even Aruba, will have warmer water for swimming, so the dry season is perfect if you’re looking to indulge in these activities.

 

Caribbean wet season

As April turns to May, rain becomes more frequent in the Caribbean. By June, the rainy season is in full swing, and this can last as late as November. The humidity rises during these months, as does the temperature; although exact degrees depend on which island you visit. As fewer people flock to the Caribbean at this time of year, the islands will be relatively quiet in comparison to the dry season. The sun still puts in decent appearances, despite the risk of rain, and you’re perfectly likely to experience hours of dry weather each day, albeit between the showers.

 

Hurricane season

The latter months of the rainy season, September and October, see tropical storms and, on rare occasions, hurricanes. Our experienced crew are well versed in weather-watching and will ensure everyone is kept safe by implementing schedule changes to avoid dangerous weather. Cruise fares are often lowered for these months, so if you’re looking for a more affordable Caribbean holiday, one of our early-season Queen Elizabeth itineraries may be the perfect fit. Similar logic applies on shore. Some shops and bars may close due to reduced visitor numbers, but as the islands are inhabited year-round, there will always be places open. Crowds will also be at their lowest during these months, rewarding you with more space to explore and enjoy the Caribbean at your leisure.

The best time to see Caribbean wildlife

Some native wildlife only frequents the Caribbean at specific times of year. If you’ve always wanted to see turtles in their natural habitat, June and November is the nesting season for turtles and gives you the highest chance of glimpsing these incredible creatures in the wild.

 

Whales and dolphins typically make an appearance between January and March, when many local boat tours offer trips to take you closer to these gentle giants. Dolphins often play in the water near islands including Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, whereas humpback whales migrate near southern islands such as Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire, between January and April. Whether you see these from shore, or from the decks of your Cunard Queen, such a sight is sure to stay with you forever.

Explore the Caribbean with Cunard