As highlighted in the above video, Holland America Line’s seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises feature the gorgeous port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in addition to Grand Turk, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay. Puerto Rico is the largest island that the ships visit on this exciting itinerary. Rich in history and culture, it is always a guest favorite.
Dating back to the early 1500s, Puerto Rico is surrounded by high stone wall and dotted with examples of Spanish Architecture. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, provides a cultural experience that is unmatched. The island is about 100 miles long and 35 miles wide. Puerto Rico’s entire population is around 5 million, while the population of San Juan itself is 1.6 million.
Like most of the other islands visited on the Caribbean cruises, Puerto Rico was once home to the Arawak people. Because of the size of this island, it was home to more Arawak settlements than any other island. Of course, this all changed with the arrival of Europeans, beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was on his second trip to the new world that Columbus found Puerto Rico. Though he named the island, he named it not what it is today. The name he gave to the island was San Juan Bautista, honoring St. John the Baptist.