Explore the quaint island charm of Soper’s Hole and the inviting beaches of Jost Van Dyke as you overnight in the harbor. Sail to Virgin Gorda, with its assembly of house-sized rocks called The Baths. Savor the high life on St. Barts.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy, and soon became a bustling center of international trade. Two historic forts bear witness to Philipsburg's strategic importance in St. Martin's history: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem.
The main shopping district, Front Street, is in the heart of the city. Philipsburg has a port that is home to many cruise liners and tall ships.
Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
Falmouth Harbour is the home of the Antigua Yacht Club, the host club for yachts sailing in Antigua Race Week and the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. It is situated on the south side of Antigua, at the opposite end of the island from St. John's the major cruise ship port on Antigua.
During the race & regatta weeks, Falmouth Harbour is filled with some of the most beautiful classic yachts, and the speediest of racing yachts. The races are held just outside the harbor entrance, ranging up to 8 miles offshore. These races are international events, attracting the best of the big yacht sailors from around the world.
Right next door to Falmouth Harbour is English Harbour, and the famous Nelson's Dockyard, Naval Base for the British Caribbean fleet during the great age of sail, from the late 1700's until it was abandoned in 1889. Nelson's Dockyard has since been restored. You can see the capstans used to warp ships into the sheltered anchorage, the remains of a sail loft, shore batteries for the protection of the ships in harbor, Clarence House built for soon-to-be crowned King William IV when he was captain of H.M.S Pegasus, one of the ships in Horatio Nelson's fleet. Around the harbor you can find Shirley Heights and the colonial observation post for the harbor, now a good vantage point to watch the racing yachts maneuver.
Soper's Hole, British Virgin Islands
Soper's Hole is a favorite "gunkhole" on Tortola, a delightful spot to anchor. Soper's Hole exhibits quaint charm and is a center of activity. Soper's Hole is a very picturesque harbor as well as an excellent overnight anchorage.
Blackbeard, rumor has it, used Soper's Hole as a lookout from which his men could spot ships laden with riches headed for Europe. The only Jolly Roger you'll see today in Soper's Hole is the Jolly Roger Restaurant & Inn.
Norman Island is located at the southern tip of the BVI archipelago and it is one of a number of islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate novel "Treasure Island".
Norman Island has a documented history of pirate booty being stowed on the island. Today the island is uninhabited and privately owned. A large harbor known as "The Bright" offers one of the most protected anchorages in the area.
Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke
Great Harbor is a fascinating melting pot of British Virgin Islanders & visiting sailors who land on this perfect BVI beach and stay a while! Great Harbor is the center of activity for Jost Van Dyke, one of the most popular anchorages for yachts in the BVI, with a variety of beach bars, including the famous Foxy's.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
When you think of Virgin Gorda, you think The Baths - one of the Caribbean's natural wonders, a spectacular formation of gigantic boulders, creating grottoes and caves that you can explore on foot. The island is home for the famous resort of Little Dix Bay, as well as the Bitter End Yacht Club.
There was never any hope of lucrative sugar plantations in St.Barts. It was too dry, too steep, too rocky, and, finally, too small. Unsuitable for agriculture, the island was never coveted as a prize during the colonial wars of the 18th century.
The island did, however, have a serviceable harbor, and this allowed the town that grew around it, Gustavia, to play a key role in that intermittent conflict, a role that was to presage much of its future.
As a free port under Swedish rule, Gustavia provided a trade and supply center for the various warring factions. When a sea captain captured a prize or raided a settlement, he could sell the booty in St. Barths, and at the same time resupply his ship. Overflowing warehouses surrounded a harbor packed with ships from many nations, and a mercantile and architectural tradition was established that has lingered to the present day.
Today, the town has adjusted itself to satisfy the increasing number of visiting tourists. Restaurants, boutiques, and gift shops now line streets once busy with merchants, merchant seamen, and adventurers.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten (return)
Return for disembarkation.