Norman Island Cruise Port

Port of Norman Island: An Overview

Norman Island is an uninhabited, 2.5-mile-long island -- one of the smaller islands in the British Virgin Islands. It offers a quiet beach, a protected harbor, water sports, hiking trails, two restaurants and a floating party bar -- and perhaps some buried treasure.

Rumor has it that Norman Island was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," and there is some historical evidence of pirate booty being hidden and found there. The only treasures you're likely to find are keepsakes in the island's gift shop, colorful fish during a snorkeling or diving outing or some blissful moments of relaxation on the beach at The Bight. Spend too long at The Willy-T bar, and you might not remember too much about your visit to Norman Island.

Norman Island is not a common cruise ship stop. Some small lines, like SeaDream Yacht Club, will anchor offshore for a half day. Otherwise, you'll need to catch a ferry from Tortola. It's mainly a destination for sailboat charters and private yachts.

Don't Miss

Watersports: The big attraction of Norman Island is the snorkeling and diving spots just offshore the harbor known as The Bight. The Caves comprises three caves in the rocky cliffs right around the corner from The Bight, where snorkelers and divers can chase tropical fish and swim into the narrow caverns. Just offshore in the opposite direction, The Indians is an outcropping of rocks in the sea surrounded by coral reefs. Book a tour through your cruise line; otherwise, Sail Caribbean Divers is the snorkel and dive operator on Norman Island.

Beachside fun: Pirates Bight Bar, Restaurant and Gift Shop and The Club are the two open-air, beachside bar-restaurants on Norman Island. Prices aren't cheap, but what else would you expect on an uninhabited island where everything needs to be sailed in?

However, the bar in the spotlight is The Willie-T, a floating bar-restaurant on a sailboat that is known for 24/7 debauchery. There's no dress code as most people are in their bathing suits so they can jump off the deck into the water whenever they feel like it. The Willy-T is moored in the harbor, so the only way to reach it is by skiff or kayak. Your cruise ship can't tender you here.

Otherwise, visitors here hang out on the beach or do a hike up the hill behind The Bight.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency on Norman Island is the U.S. dollar. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit www.xe.com. There are no ATMs on the island.

Language

English is spoken here.

For More Information

On the Web: Norman Island or British Virgin Islands Tourism Website

Cruise Critic Message Boards: Caribbean

The Independent Traveler: British Virgin Islands Travel Guide

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor

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