Santo Domingo

An old colonial section
Plaza de la Cultura complex
Salto de Socoa

Find Caribbean, Cuba & Antilles Cruises

Santo Domingo

A throbbing capital

A stop at the Dominican Republic during an MSC cruise to the Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles means experiencing the everyday life of Santo Domingo.

Earthquakes and pirates have erased most of the city constructed by the Spanish in the 16th century

In spite of this, the old colonial section of the city still contains some important well-restored examples of buildings from the period, which you will be able to easily visit once disembarked from your cruise ship. Some of the most important architectural sites include the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor and Alcázar de Colón, the former residence of the island’s governor, which overlooks the nearby Rio Ozama


Five hundred years ago, the entire city of Santo Domingo fit into this small neighbourhood, which was restored and filled with bars and shops in the second half of the 20th century. Traces of the antique city walls as well as its entrance, Puerta de la Misericordia, can still be seen. Beyond the walls, Santo Domingo offers its visitors some enchanting spots. To the west of the colonial sector and to the north of Malecon, there is the district of Gazcue: a quiet residential area shaded by trees that plays host to the Plaza de la Cultura cultural complex. 


Here, four museum stand within a short distance of each other: the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, the Museo de Arte Moderno, the Museo de Historia y Geografia and the Museo de Historia Natural. About 70 km from Santo Domingo, there is a popular natural tourist destination, a waterfall so perfect that it seems unreal, the Salto de Socoa. Santo Domingo is famous of its waterfalls, but this one is the closest to the capital and the most easily accessible of all; this MSC excursion to the Province of Monte Plata will let you experience first hand the marvels of the island’s interior covered with lush vegetation. Keeping to the coast, another excursion will take you to the clear waters and white sands of Boca Chica, located just 40 km outside Santo Domingo. 

Must see place in Santo Domingo

Discover our excursions

6 results found

Limited number of guides in languages different from English. Should your language be not available the tour will be performed in English.
  • CITY TOUR (3 hours)

    CITY TOUR

    SDQ01

    Give yourself a break from the ship, board a modern coach and venture out to see the sights of Santo Domingo, the lovely capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic. The first stop is at the resplendent National Palace, after which you will continue on through Gazcue, one of the city's oldest and most beautiful districts with an abundance of elegant art deco architecture. A stop will then be made at the "Plaza de la Cultura” complex, which is home to the National Theatre, several museums and other cultural institutions. Also, you will enjoy a view of the Palace of Arts and the "Centro de los Héroes”, buildings that are an integral part of the contemporary history of Santo Domingo. Your visit to the bustling Plaza España, the Cathedral and the Alcázar de Colón, an impressive vice-regal residence in the city's so-called "Colonial Zone” forms the highlight of your tour. You will also have time to do some shopping before returning to your ship. Note: This tour ends at the port for transit guests and at the airport for guests who are disembarking and booked on flights after 6pm. The duration of the tour also includes the time for transfer to the airport. To book and prepay this tour before your cruise, please use code SDQ01 if you will be in transit in Santo Domingo or code SDQ01D if you will be disembarking in Santo Domingo.
      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3 h

      • AdultsR835Price per person

      • ChildrenR595Price per person

    • Wonder Cave & San Pedro

      NATURAL WONDERS

      SDQ13

      Wonder Cave & San Pedro
        • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

          Difficulty Level
          Strenuous

        • Duration
          5 h

        • AdultsR935Price per person

        • ChildrenR885Price per person

      • Panoramic Zona Colonial by train

        SCENIC ROUTE

        SDQ12

        Panoramic Zona Colonial by train
          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Easy

          • Duration
            1:30 h

          • AdultsR665Price per person

          • ChildrenR495Price per person

        • RELAX AT BOCA CHICA BEACH (5 hours)

          SEA & SUN

          SDQ08

          Situated about a 30-minute drive to the east of Santo Domingo - the capital of the Dominican Republic - lies one of the nation's most popular beaches in the charming seaside town of Boca Chica. This is the perfect spot to swim, relax and enjoy the amenities of the Don Juan Beach Resort Hotel, which was purpose-built to be a holidaymaker's delight. Grab a beach chair and hit the beach for some time in the sun. A 500-m reef closes off the bay to the sea and forms a natural pool whose beauty has to be seen to be believed. The mill-pond stillness of the water here is an open invitation to jump in and indulge in all sorts of water-based fun. Food and drinks are also available at the resort at an additional charge. Your beachy day out comes to a close with your return to the port and your ship. Notes: Umbrellas are available for rent.
          • Drink included

          • Possibility of swimming

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            5 h

          • AdultsR1225Price per person

          • ChildrenR835Price per person

        • CHOCOLATE TOUR (4.5 hours)

          SOMETHING SPECIAL

          SDQ02

          In taking you to discover the wonders of one of the Caribbean's largest organic cocoa processing plants, where only the most exquisite raw materials are used, this tour is sure to appeal to your inner chocolate connoisseur. Continuing along the chocolate theme, the second leg of the tour will see you visit to a cocoa farm to witness how a team of highly-skilled chocolatiers roasts and grinds the cocoa beans to produce the finest hand-made chocolate for your personal enjoyment. The third leg will then give you an opportunity to watch artisan potters while they recreate the kind of pottery their ancestors used to make. To add a savoury note to this chocolaty tour, you will enjoy a typical local snack before you return to the port and your ship. Please note: in general, children must be at least 8 years of age and accompanied by a parent to take part, but exceptions can be made at the discretion of the parents of children under the age of 8. The maximum age for participation is 75. Max. weight per guest is 250 lbs; max. height is 6'4”. You are recommended to take sunscreen, comfortable shoes and insect repellent.
          • Snack included

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            4:30 h

          • AdultsR1225Price per person

          • ChildrenR835Price per person

        • Dominican Show & Lunch at Conuco

          SOMETHING SPECIAL

          SDQ11

          Dominican Show & Lunch at Conuco
          • Lunch or dinner included

          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Easy

          • Duration
            2:30 h

          • AdultsR1105Price per person

          • ChildrenR765Price per person

        The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
        Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
         
        Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

        Dominican Republic

        Where the sun always shines
        Where the sun always shines

        A world-famous magnet for sun worshippers, the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s most visited holiday destination – yet it still holds plenty of surprises.


        There’s the geographic diversity, for starters – how many outsiders know that the country boasts five distinct mountain ranges, seemingly endless swathes of rainforest, regions of cactus-strewn semi-desert, plus the Caribbean’s largest metropolis, highest peak and biggest lake? Or that the capital, Santo Domingo, is the oldest colonial city in the Americas? For a country significantly smaller than Scotland, it certainly packs a lot in. A cruise to the Dominican Republic will take you to its celebrated coastline – all 1000km and more of it – where you can count on hundreds of beautiful, white-sand beaches, 166km of coral reefs and 325 square kilometres of mangroves.

        Besides rainforest there are vast tracts of pine forest, much of which can be found in the country’s many national parks and nature reserves. Occupying gentler plots of land are the manicured greens of over 25 designer golf courses, complementing the countless locations for other outdoor pursuits, including one of the world’s best kitesurfing spots in Cabarete, and the largest breeding ground for the North Atlantic humpback whale population in the Samaná Bay, providing the scene for some of the most unforgettable nautical excursions anywhere.