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You’re ready to book the cruise of your dreams – but are you headed to a safe destination? Below we are going to cover some of the most dangerous ports in the world, including tips for staying safe, and what you can do if you get hurt while on a cruise.

Crimes that can occur in port include mugging, extortion, robbery at gunpoint, assault, and even murder. Criminals know that tourists carry cash, are unfamiliar with the area, and don’t speak the language. That’s why cruise ship travelers are often easy targets.

In some parts of the world, your dangers are greater than in others. Here are the ports with the highest instances of crimes.


This country has a murder rate over three times higher than that of New York City.


The violent crimes are most prevalent in certain districts of Nassau, which tourists need to avoid.


Tourists may be victims of terrorist attacks or assaults.


Currently a country on the U.S. blacklist for drug trafficking. Also known for gang activity and murder.


Rio de Janeiro is plagued with breakouts of disease and high theft rates.


The 17th most dangerous country in the world has high crime areas related to gangs, theft, and drug trafficking


Violence, civil unrest and suspicious police make this an unsafe destination. It is ranked as the 22nd most dangerous country in the world.

El Salvador

Unfortunately, this developing nation still has the highest murder rates in the world.


Armed robbery and theft pose a threat to tourists.


The country has one of the worst murder rates in the world, though the crime rate has gone down somewhat since 2015.


A country known for piracy, terrorism, and theft.


Due to its placement within a conflict zone, Israel is not considered a safe cruise destination.

Ivory Coast

Crimes related to terrorist and drug activity are common in Africa.


Though it is a very popular destination, Mexico is plagued by poverty and crime. Robbery at gunpoint has been reported, as well as assaults and murders.


In certain urban areas, crimes of assault, theft, and robbery are common. Kidnapping is all too common, and methamphetamine-related crimes pose a significant threat.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Some tourists have been held at gunpoint.

St. Lucia

Robberies have been reported on this Caribbean island.


Recent terrorist attacks have put this country on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory warning list.


Affected by terrorist attacks, Turkey experienced over 200 homicides in 2016.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Crime is prevalent on this poverty-stricken island.


A country in the top 25 most dangerous in the word, Venezuela has elevated rates of kidnapping, theft, drug trafficking, and murder.


High rates of terrorist activity make this country especially unsafe for U.S. citizens.

Tips for Staying Safe No Matter Where You Cruise

Dangerous Ports You Should Avoid When Cruising

That’s a lot of “dangerous” ports and countries. Do you really have to avoid all of them? Not necessarily. Bad things can happen no matter where you go, and if you truly have your heart set on heading to one of these destinations, it may be worth the stress and potential trouble.

You just need to make sure that you take all possible steps to protect yourself. These measures will help you stay safer when your cruise ship docks:

  • Always travel with someone else
  • Avoid isolated areas
  • Avoid public demonstrations
  • Be vigilant against pickpocketing when in a crowd
  • Don’t leave your beverage unattended
  • Keep valuables hidden from sight
  • Stay alert at all times

If you experience injury while you are on shore, legal help may be available, but you need to make sure that you work with an experienced Florida maritime lawyer. For a free case review, reach out to our office today.



About the Author: 

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.