The Most Dangerous Cruise Ship Ports in the World  

Whenever a cruise ship stops at a port, it is important that passengers who choose to go on shore for excursions be aware of their surroundings at all time. In certain ports, however, that need for extra vigilance and safety awareness increases even more.  There are important tips to ensure safety and security while on a cruise ship, but what about when off the cruise ship? The following ports have been identified by the U.S. State Department as some of the most dangerous cruise ship ports in the world.

Roatán, Honduras

Just 40 miles off the coast of Honduras lies the island of Roatán. The island boasts of beautiful beaches and top-notch scuba diving and has quickly become a popular port of call for many Caribbean cruise companies. However, the country of Honduras happens to also have one of the highest murder rates in the world. While many of the Honduran islands still have low crime rates, as compared to the mainland, the island of Roatán has been reported as one of the more dangerous areas.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “Roatan and the Bay Islands are geographically separated from and experience lower crime rates than on the mainland and other Caribbean islands; however, thefts, break-ins, assaults, rapes, and murders do occur.”

Crime is specifically high in the area of Coxen Hole, where the cruise ship docks.

Margarita Island, Venezuela

Venezuela has traditionally been known as a country with high crime rate, including murder, kidnappings and drug trafficking. According to a State Department report, violent crime is at the greatest threat near the country’s capital of Caracas, and this threat affects not just the locals but tourists, as well. In fact, in 2016, Caracas was given the title of most violent city in the world. While the Margarita Island is a thirty-minute flight from the capital city, cruise passengers should exercise extreme caution while at port. 

Mindanao, Philippines

Mindanao is located in the Sulu Sea, in the southwestern area of the Philippines. Violence has become such an issue in this area that a travel warning has been issued, advising people to not travel to Sulu Archipelago due to threats of crime, terrorism, and civil unrest. According to the State Department, “Terrorist and armed groups kidnap U.S. citizens on land and at sea for ransom,” and they “continue to conduct kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks targeting U.S. citizens, foreigners, civilians, local government institutions, and security forces.” Unfortunately, the U.S. government does not have the ability to protect citizens and provide emergency services to U.S. residents while there. 

Acajulta, El Salvador

El Salvador has become a popular tourist destination due to the beautiful scenery, the rain forests and the Mayan ruins. However, the country has also earned a new title, the murder capital of the world. Most cruise ships dock at the port of Acajulta, which tends to be safer than the urban cities in El Salvador. Travelers are told to exercise caution when at port when in Acajulta and to be aware of their surroundings as well as stay on the beaten path while there.

“Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common,” the State Department has reported. “Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread.” 

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Mexico is a very popular port of call for many cruise destinations, and the country hosts 12 operational cruise ports alone, including Quintana Roo. Travel advisories have been issued for Quintana Roo, as well as Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. These travel advisories have been issued after an increase of violence has been reported in the area. In fact, the number of shootings and assassinations, accompanying the rise in organized crime and drug trade. This violence is not specifically targeted to U.S. citizens, but many times, the victims of these crimes end up being innocent bystanders. 

Cartagena, Colombia

Another area with an increase in drug crime is in the country of Colombia. Many of the major cruise lines make stops along the Colombian coast for ports of call, including Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta. While the ports may not be as dangerous as the major cities, the drug crime involving the cocaine trade has been known to extend there, as well. Further, an infamous terrorist organization called the National Liberation Army is from the country of Colombia. Their presence alone drastically raises the risk of violence and crimes targeting tourists to the country.

Izmit, Turkey

A less-common port of call in Izmit, Turkey, has recently fallen out of favor with cruise lines. The reason for recent cancellations from cruise liners who have used this port of call is the increase of terrorists hopping on cruise ships who enter the country. Many of these terrorists are from ISIS and have jumped on board in hopes of entering Syria or Iraq through this channel.


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991.  We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety.  We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits.  You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering.  Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.