Immerse yourself in the British Virgin Islands, a yachtsman's paradise.
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.
Road Bay, Anguilla
Road Bay is a commercial freight port in Anguilla, but it is also known for its calm, protected waters and water sports activities. The beach is long and features everything from bars to restaurants and shopping.
Seclusion and privacy are part of the draw to Anguilla's beaches, and you'll find a bit of that style of travel at Road Bay though you'll never be too far away, either. Neither too close nor too far from cities you'll have everything you need.
Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda (overnight)
Gorda Sound, commonly referred to as North Sound is a large protective basin in Virgin Gorda where yachts of all sizes and shapes meet, moor and eat at local restaurants. Famous (and not so famous) people are known for anchoring their mega-yachts here.
The Bight, Norman Island, BVI, Sopers Hole, Tortola,
White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI
This pristine beach is among the most spectacular in the British Virgins; it is that perfect Caribbean beach one picture's in the mind's eye. A reef runs nearly the length of beach, just a couple of hundred feet offshore, and provides calm water protection for swimmers and snorkelers. A break in the reef allows sailboats to anchor close to the beach.
Basseterre, St. Kitts (am), South Friar's Bay beach, St. Kitts (pm)
Unlike other islands where traditional lifestyles have been stamped out by mass tourism, St. Kitts boasts a thriving West Indian culture. Her lush and forested slopes rise gracefully to mist-shrouded peaks.
A worthwhile site for history buffs, the imposing 17th century fortress (Brimstone Hill) looms over green fields of sugar cane and banana trees. St. Kitts’ was the first successful colony in the British West Indies. Indeed, when viewed from the top of Brimstone Hill, the “Gibraltar of the Caribbean” appears to dominate everything in the Southern Sea.
Originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island was named for his patron saint, St. Christopher. The British later shortened the name to St. Kitts. The island was colonized beginning in 1623, first by the French, and then by English settlers. Britain and France held the island jointly from 1628 into the 1700's, with periods of fighting. By 1783, the treaty of Paris ceded St. Kitts and Nevis to Great Britain.
Basseterre has been the capital of St. Kitts since 1727, and remains the capital of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis today. It offers elegant Georgian architecture and colorful shopping.
Frier's Beach is a clean and friendly place where a variety of sea life, including squid and sea urchin reside. Chairs are available.
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.