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Arriving in town on a cruise ship isn’t exactly a quiet way to go somewhere. These enormous floating cities sail right into the port, and every local knows that soon the town will be swarming with tourists and large groups going on excursions. Unfortunately, the inability to come into port unnoticed puts passengers at risk for crimes at ports – some places more dangerous than others.

The destinations to which cruise ships sail have an economy based on tourism, so they want to keep people coming. But not all of the ways people make money in these ports are legit, and some include crimes that can end in an injury like armed robberies.

What are the most dangerous cruise ports in the world, and how can you avoid becoming one of the unfortunate statistics when traveling there? Read on to find out.

Dangerous Cruise Ports

Cruise ships offer you a way to see the world and perhaps go places you never would otherwise. That’s the lure of cruising, but it also can make you susceptible to danger if you’re not familiar with the dangers each port can bring.

The U.S. State Department has designated a few places as some of the most dangerous ports in the world, so stay cautious if you’ll be traveling to any of these:


Roatan is an island off the coast of Honduras. It has picturesque beaches and is a great place for scuba divers, which is why many cruise ship companies have made this a port of call. However, the country of Honduras has one of the highest rates of murder in the world. The islands off the coast, like Roatan, have less crime than the mainland, but it is still considered dangerous for tourists. This island has a lot of thefts, rapes, murders, and break-ins.

Dangerous Cruise Ports

Margarita Islands

These islands can be found off the coast of Venezuela, a country that is known for its high crime rate. It experiences its fair share of drug trafficking, murder, and kidnapping, so it’s a good idea to make sure you stay aware of your surroundings when visiting this island.

Quintana Roo

Quintana Roo is a very popular destination in Mexico for cruise ships. Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel all have had travel advisories issued due to an increase in crime in these Mexican destinations. It is believed that the drug trade and organized crime are the reason behind the violent crimes that occur, with victims often being innocent bystanders.


Izmit is in Turkey, and while it may not be as popular as other destinations for cruise lines, it still sees its fair share of cruisers. What plagues this area is an increase in terrorists who board the cruise ships in order to travel to other countries such as Syria and Iraq.


Acajulta is located in El Salvador. It has amazing scenery, including Mayan ruins deep in the rainforest. It also happens to be located in a country that is now considered the murder capital of the world. Cruise ships dock at this port, which tends to be a little safer than in other countries, but it’s still a place you must stay on your toes.

How to Stay Safe

You cannot protect yourself from all dangers in the world. After all, bad things happen to careful people all of the time. But it’s still a good idea to do all you can to protect yourself and stay vigilant as a traveler, no matter where in the world you go.

As a cruise ship passenger, you must take extra precautions to ensure you’re not victimized while on vacation, which you can do by:

Assessing Your Risks

Research the places you will be visiting on your cruise so you know the types of criminal activity to be on the lookout for. Remember, some crimes are common all over the world, while others may be specific to certain places. Almost universally you’ll want to be on the lookout for small theft such as pickpocketing and larger theft of bags, backpacks, or purses.

Watch out for crime on the streets in parts of the world where there is a lot of poverty, corruption of law enforcement, and political upheaval. Americans may be at a higher risk, because they are perceived by others around the world as wealthy, making them big targets for theft.

Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer

Ask Someone

Don’t be afraid to talk to the cruise director or the manager of score excursions if there is anything you need to be aware of when going into a certain port. Cruise lines are obligated by law to inform passengers of any known dangers associated with the places passengers are expected to visit.

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 countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston 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 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.