Itinerary 1 – Flavour of the Caribbean
Day 1 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Depart 07:00PM
Philipsburg is the main town settled on the Dutch side of the island of St. Maarten. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, it later served as an international trade post as well as a setting for salt production. Colourful Creole buildings greet guests and pay homage to the island’s history along celebrated Front Street. They now house the town’s abundance of restaurants, store fronts, and casinos that engage guests seeking an upbeat island experience.
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Le Marin, Martinique Arrive 08:00AM Depart 17:00PM
Martinique is a Caribbean island that is an overseas department, (or dependent territory), of France in the Caribbean Sea, to the north of Trinidad and Tobago. Martinique is a dependent territory of France and retains both French and Caribbean culture. The island cuisine is a superb blend of French and Creole cooking that is worth trying. The north part of island lures hikers who seek to climb the mountains and explore the rain forests while the southern portions offer shopping and beaches for those who chose to just relax. In the South of the island, there are many beautiful beaches and in the North, the rain forests and the black sand beaches are worth seeing. The interior of the island is mountainous.
Day 4 Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Arrive 08:00AM Depart 18:00PM
The twin towers of the Pitons, two volcanic peaks rising to more than 2,400 feet, mark St. Lucia, an island of lush green valleys, acres of banana plantations, and bubbling sulphur springs. 24 miles of vibrant reef make St. Lucia a haven for divers and snorkelers. Pigeon Island National Park, a 40-acre island connected to the mainland by a causeway, was once a pirates' hideaway. Today, impressive ruins of old English forts, archaeological relics of Arawak Indians, and splendid beaches make this a fascinating place to explore.
Day 5 Roseau, Dominica Arrive 08:00AM Depart 22:00PM
Roseau is the capital and major port of Dominica. Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Roseau River and Morne Bruce Hill, it was built on the site of an ancient Kalinago Indian village. Within the city there is not much open space, the houses and buildings are tightly packed together, making the open space of the Botanical Gardens a must see. Established in 1891, these lovely gardens contain an aviary of Sisserou parrots. Explore the Old Market Plaza, once a slave trading market, and the museum there, with a walk-through-time of Dominica’s history. Fort Young Hotel, Dominica’s most notable structure was built on the 1720 site of their old French fort. Nearby is Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Caribbean. Nature lovers will appreciate the nearly 300 miles of hiking trails on this island full of waterfalls, thermal springs and scenic plateaus, the real treasure here.
Day 6 Les Saintes, F.W.I Arrive 08:00AM Depart 16:00PM
A small archipelago, fully encircled by shallow reefs, Les Saintes is made up of two mountainous inhabited islands, Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de Bas, and seven other uninhabited islets and many, many beaches. Fishing has long been the main economy but in the last 30 years tourism has become very important as well. The variety of wildlife is amazing in this area, characterised by numerous ground iguanas, the strictly endemic Les Saintes Anole, agoutis, and praying mantis. The archipelago itself is home to damselfish, moray eels, ballonfish, royal spiny lobsters, sea anemone, seahorse, corals, sharks, rays and many, many more varieties. Les Saintes is a turtle reserve for seven varieties of sea turtle, among which the green, the hawksbill and the leatherback lay eggs on the beaches there.
Day 7 Basseterre, St. Kitts Arrive 08:00AM Depart 22:00PM
Settled by the French in 1628, the island capital, Bassèterre, on the Caribbean coast, has one of the most tragic histories as it has been destroyed numerous times by wars, fire, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. Remarkably a number of well-restored buildings still exist. As St. Kitts main industrial and commercial centre, Bassèterre is also the main port, with two centres, The Circus and Independence Square. The Circus is modelled after Piccadilly, in London. The Berkeley Memorial Clock stands in the middle of the Circus and features a drinking fountain and four clock faces, each facing one of the four streets that lead to the Circus. Independence Square was the site of the slave market of slaves arriving from Africa. The domed Treasury Building standing right at the waterfront and St. George’s Anglican Church, built and rebuilt five times are also interesting sites to see.
Day 8 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Arrive 06:00AM
Itinerary 2 – Yachtsman Caribbean
Day 1 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Arrive 07:00PM
Day 2 & 3 Falmouth, Antigua Arrive 08:00AM Depart 1:00PM
Surrounded by many abandoned sugar mills, the small village of Falmouth is protected in a large horseshoe-shaped bay. Falmouth was the first settlement on Antigua set up by the British. Today Falmouth is a quiet village surrounded by old sugar plantations and mills with the main historic building of interest being St Paul's Church. The main centre of activity in Falmouth Harbour is on the eastern side of the large horse-shoe bay where the shops, restaurants and marina are located.
Day 4 Soper'S Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. Arrive 11:00AM Depart 18:00PM
Located on the west end of Tortola and surrounded by mountains, Soper’s Hole is a quiet, charming port of West Indian architecture that is also one of the most popular marinas in the BVIs. It is the home of the main ferry terminal that services St. Thomas, St. John and Jost Van Dyke, boasts several delicious restaurants, like the Jolly Roger, Frenchman’s Cay and Pusser’s Landing, and an interesting array of shops along the wharf, including the Harbour Market. Not far from Soper’s Hole see the ruins of Fort Recovery, believed to have been built by Tortola’s first Dutch settlers in 1648. Birders can observe heron and frigatebirds perched and hovering around the piers and beach lovers have many inviting choices for sunbathing and relaxing in the tropical Caribbean climate.
Day 5 & 6 Jost Van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I Arrive 07:00PM Depart 15:00PM
Known as the “barefoot” island for its casual lifestyle, Jost Van Dyke is just four miles long and surrounded by a treacherous reef that is home to many exotic fish and marine life making it a true delight for snorkelers and divers. The lovely coral sand beaches of Jost Van Dyke are quiet and relaxing. The highest point on the island is Roach Hill at 1054 feet, when stunning views of the Caribbean are found at every angle. Great Harbour is a busy port for yachters, making yachting tourism a mainstay of the economy. The strip of beach around the harbour is full of bars and restaurants, reinforcing the point of being on Jost Van Dyke, which is to relax and do a little as possible. Notable bars include Foxy’s, particularly known for its New Year’s Eve party and The Soggy Dollar, home of the island specialty drink the “Painkiller” and without a dock so can only be reached using a dinghy or swimming. Walking the island reveals views of nearby Tortola, St. John and St. Thomas and a visit to White Bay, with its breathtaking beach is worth the effort.
Day 7 & 8 Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I. Arrive 18:00PM Depart 17:00PM
The most chic resorts of the British Virgin Isles are located on Virgin Gorda, an eight-square-mile island divided nearly in two, with settlements at each end. The south of the island is best known for the curious assembly of house- sized rocks called “the Baths,” which are jumbled together to form huge underground pools and caverns. The beach at the Baths is large, wide, and sandy – perfect for sunning and swimming.
Day 9 & 10 Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Arrive 10:00AM Depart 22:00PM
First claimed by France in 1648, Gustavia was named for King Gustav III of Sweden, after the island was given to Sweden in exchange for trade rights in 1784, then sold back to France in 1878. Quaint Gustavia wraps around a deep, U-shaped harbour where the unofficial pastime is yacht-watching and wine drinking at one of the many waterfront cafes. Along the Rue de la République, the main street in town, are dozens of duty-free boutiques. Beautiful beaches and gorgeous scenery abound across the island and in Gustavia lies the pink seashell-covered Anse de Grands Galets (Shell Beach). Architectural highlights include Swedish Wall House, built in 1800 and now a restaurant, the 1855 St. Bartholomew Anglican Church, with the original marble floor, and Notre-Dame de l'Assomption. Hikers will enjoy seeing Fort Karl, which overlooks Anse de Grands Galets and Fort Gustav, near the lighthouse.
Day 11 Philipsburg, St. Maarten Arrive 06:00AM