Getting there & away
About 450, 000 cruise-ship passengers arrive in Barbados each year as part of eastern Caribbean itineraries. Ships dock at Bridgetown Harbour, about 1km west of the city center. The port has the usual duty-free shops and a branch office of the Barbados Tourism Authority (426-1718; when ships are in port).
Nearly all visitors will enter the country through Grantley Adams International Airport or Bridgetown’s cruise-ship terminal. All foreigners entering Barbados should be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket. Cruise-ship passengers who stay less than 24 hours are not required to carry a valid passport.
Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI; 418-4242; www.gaiainc.bb) is on the island’s southeast corner, about 16km from Bridgetown. It is the largest airport in the Eastern Caribbean and the major point of entry for the region.
The Barbados Tourism Authority (428-5570; 8am-10pm or until the last flight arrives) booth can help you book a room and is a good place to pick up tourist brochures. There are a number of ATMs in the departures area of the airport (we’d put them near arrivals ourselves…) as well as the Barbados National Bank (8am-3pm Mon-Fri) which exchanges money.
Once through security, departing passengers will find numerous shops, including a good bookstore and a food court.
Unless noted otherwise, airlines have offices only at the airport. The following connect Barbados with these cities (some services are seasonal and only weekly) :
BMI (800-788-0555; www.flybmi.com) Manchester
British Airways (436-6413; www.britishairways.com) London
Virgin Atlantic (228-4886; www.virgin-atlantic.com; Parravicino Office Complex, Hastings; 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, to noon Sat) London
XL (www.xl.com) London