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  • carnival-triumph-in-amber-cove.jpg - Carnival Triumph docked in Amber Cove.

Amber Cove: Playground & excursion staging ground for cruisers

The vibe

Amber Cove, an $85 million purpose-built cruise port on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, opened in fall 2015 after its development by Carnival Corp. for its brands' ships. 

The scenic area is known as the Amber Coast for the ubiquitous burnt-orange stone found in the region. But most of the action takes place right at the resort: Amber Cove has a huge swimming pool with a swim-up bar, ziplines, two waterslides, hundreds of lounges, lots of bars, restaurants, shopping, private cabanas and a large excursion-staging area. 

What Amber Cove lacks is a beach. But you can still snorkel in the crystal-clear waters or head off to explore the nearby exotic city of Puerto Plata, established by Christopher Columbus as the first European settlement in the Americas. 

 

A 5-minute video tour (without narration) of the cruise port at Amber Cove.

 

Amber Cove has two berths for ships to dock and can hold up to 10,000 visitors.

The port receives calls from ships from Carnival, Holland America, Cunard, Costa and P&O, though more than half of the passengers come from Carnival Cruise Line. More often than not, Amber Cove is a temporary stop on the way to various shore excursions.

Organized tours

Nearby Puerta Plata area is one of the most diverse and unspoiled port areas in the Caribbean, so travelers have a lot to choose from in the area. All told, more than 40 excursions are available. Excursions at Amber Cove include:

  • Swimming with the dolphins and interactions with sea creatures at Ocean World
  • Watersports & eco-tours
  • Cable car ride up to Mount Isabel
  • Culinary tours
  • Outback Terracross Adventure
  • Paradise Island by speed boat & snorkel
  • VIP catamaran to Cayo Arena
  • Cultural excursions, such as the oldest fort in the New World and a community of Jewish refugees in the 1940s
Gazebo at Amber Cove
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line Main public square at Amber Cove.

Activities

There’s fun for the whole family at Amber Cove. Choose your speed: If you prefer active mode, you can ride the 650-foot zipline that runs across the resort's Aqua Zone or you can rent snorkeling gear, kayaks, paddleboards, aqua bikes and other sporting equipment for an additional charge.

If relaxation is the goal, you won't have to fight for a lounge chair — you'll find more than 1,000 circling the immense pool. Swim up to the pool bar for drinks or wait for a server. The pool is available to every cruiser who visits Amber Cove at no additional charge.

As travel bloggers Justin & Lauren write: “Amber Cove is great for couples, families, and friends and there’s always something to do.”

Social impact

The Puerto Plata area has been ground zero for a lot of impact travel in recent years. And while Carnival discontinued its Fathom line in June 2017, visitors who want to help the local community can still perform volunteer work for local schools and civic projects. Inquire with your cruise line ahead of time. 

Fun fact

The opening scene from the first “Jurassic Park” movie was shot in Amber Cove.

Your take

How about you? Have you been to Amber Cove? Have any tips for visitors? We'd love to hear about your experience.  

Help improve this article! See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator! 

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