Sailing to the southern West Indies during Christmas- approximately 10 stops along the way.
The port city of Guadeloupe, Pointe-à-Pitre, is located on the Grande-Terre side of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe. It's narrow streets are filled during the day with colorful crowds. Along the waterfront are cafes where you may sit to enjoy the passing scene. Or enjoy the outdoor market in the early morning. Take in the shopping at your leisure.
Les Saintes, French West Indies
Just south of Guadeloupe, these idyllic tropical islands float like jewels in the Caribbean sea. Les Saintes are perfect for the kind of sailor who relishes unspoiled tropical beauty and the serenity that comes from doing next to nothing on a vacation. Only two of the eight little islands are inhabited, and Terre-de-Haut is the one travelers visit first. With superb beaches, lovely bays, great snorkeling and fascinating historical sites, this small island has a charming village with excellent restaurants, interesting shops and unique art galleries. The other populated island, peaceful Terre-de-Bas, is only a few minutes by boat from Terre-de-Haut. There are only 3,000 inhabitants in the islands. About half of them live on Terre-de-Haut with just a few dozen four-wheel drive vehicles on its roads.
Marigot Bay & Soufriere, St. Lucia
James Michener called this Bay the best he's ever seen.
A yachtsman's haven, this picturesque bay has been used for background shots in many Hollywood films such as Dr. Doolittle and Fire Power. Also there is a national park and lovely beaches.
Soufriere, St. Lucia
Soufriere is a fishing town on St. Lucia's southwest coast. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, Soufriere sits below the Pitons, St. Lucia's landmark volcanic peaks. The town is small and simple, with a central square on which is located the Church of the Assumption, and narrow streets lined with bright-painted houses. You can wander with your camera, stop at a local seafood restaurant, or buy some treats to eat from a street vendor, or perhaps linger at a bar for a rum drink. The people are friendly and fun-loving. There are spas for massage, and hot, volcanic spring-fed mineral baths for soaking. Visit an old sugar plantation. Rent a trail bike to ride along the French Wall Trail, an old hand-built stone wall, or any of several other trails. Go diving among the coral formations on the reef in the Soufriere Marine Management Area. Or try snorkeling if you prefer.
Take a walk through the rainforest, visit a botanical gardens, or use binoculars to seek the elusive St. Lucia parrot. You'll not lack for things to do on this laid-back island.
Pretty as a picture describes our beloved Bequia. You’ll be captivated by the island’s charm while strolling along the lovely harbor with its shops, restaurants, and pastel-painted gingerbread homes. There’s a long tradition of boat building and you’ll find a slew of handcrafted model ships, old nautical charts, and rare sailing books to bring back home.
Chatham Bay, Union Island
A key feature of the Union Island region is the Tobago Cays National Marine Park. The Tobago Cays are a group of small uninhabited islands surrounded by reefs – snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the sea turtles are all favorite pastimes of visitors. Entry to the park (for visitors) costs EC$10/person/day – park fees can be paid in Clifton at the Custom's Offices, the Tobago Cays Marine Park office at the waterfront, or in the park itself from park rangers.
Peaceful and removed describes this patch of paradise. Green rolling hills descend to sandy white beaches (typical of the Grenadines.) At Tyrrel Bay, under the shade of palms at the edge of the sea, you can watch local men building schooners by hand. Still unspoiled by mass tourism, this is the perfect spot for getting away-from-it-all.
St. George's, Grenada
An attractive colonial-era town spilling down a hillside above the Carenage, with its horseshoe-shaped harbor, Grenada's capital of ST GEORGE'S received the full brunt of Hurricane Ivan's high winds, and the bevy of new terracotta-coloured roofs stand in testament to the power of the wind.
St George's won't take more than a day to explore, and it's worth taking time away from the beach to do so. Though the market is at its liveliest on Saturday morning, most shops close on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays, making the town a quiet place during those times – except when a cruise ship moors at the spanking new docks, in which case the town explodes into a frenzy of activity, market stalls spring up on shore, restaurants and bars fill up, street vendors and local guides come out in force.
Mayreau, Grenadine Islands
The island of Mayreau is a true break from reality, with only one road, virtually no development, and farm animals outnumbering the inhabitants. One of the Grenadines, in the larger chain of Windward Islands, it has beautiful beaches, and plenty of solitude. View it as your own private island.
Canouan Island, Grenadines
Canouan is a tiny island, one of the Grenadines Islands belonging to St Vincent. Its capital village is Charlestown. A barrier reef runs along the Atlantic side of the dry island. It is outlined with rounded hills beneath the “Maho”, a 900-foot tall Mount Mahoult, the highest point on the island. Two bays, Glossy and Friendship, separate the southern side of the island.
Canouan's history goes back more than 200 years before Christ, when a cultivated tribe called the Arawaks arrived on the island. These new residents brought fire-burners, plants and animals, basic farming and fishing skills with them. They lived in peace for 1500 years until a tribe of fierce fighters called the Caribs, invaded and killed the Arawak men and took off with their woman.
More than 200 years after Columbus, Europeans established a kind of permanent settlement. The island's mountainous and heavily forested geography allowed the Caribs to defend against European settlement here longer than on almost any other island in the Caribbean. After the Caribs were defeated on other islands they joined slaves who had escaped repression on Barbados, as well as those who had survived shipwrecks near St. Vincent and Bequia, by following the current and trade winds westward to St. Vincent.
The mixed descendants of the island warriors and the freed Africans (who became known as the Black Caribs), with their common distrust and disgust for the Europeans, proved to be a fearsome foe. The Caribs feared complete domination so they allowed the French to construct a settlement on the island in 1719. The French brought slaves to work their plantations.
St. Vincent is the only Caribbean country where whale hunting is allowed. A small group of hunters carries on the tradition off the small island of Bequia.
Fort de France (Martinique)
Fort de France is the capital of France's Caribbean overseas territory of Martinique. It is also one of the major cities in the Caribbean with it's busy commercial center and historic fort mentioned above.
Fort de France has a lot of history dating back to 1638 when the first fort was build. It was subsequently battered with military mite then rebuilt in 1669. A series of volcanic eruptions destroyed part of the area only to be rebuild to what you see today. Most sailing vessels pass by since there is not much to see other than what you see from your ship.