A Caribbean cruise conjures up images of crystal clear waters rolling lazily onto white sand. For this reason, the Caribbean is probably the most popular destination for a 5-star cruise. There is a plethora of ports from which to choose, each as luxurious as the next though still boasting some unique qualities. While satisfying the stereotype of endless stretches of beach littered with palms and sun loungers, the region has so much more to offer. There are some 7,000 islands, islets and reefs in the region, all rich in an incongruous mix of laidback, ocean side culture and a historic colonial identity, and ideal for cruising around all through the year.
With so many equally beautiful and culturally rich destinations in the region, choosing some highlights for Caribbean cruises is no mean feat.
For those looking to soak up some of the old colonial history, be sure to make Havana a port of call. The Cuban capital still exudes a curious amalgamation of old Spanish and communist Soviet influences, with grand imposing buildings and white stone churches. Unfortunately, it is still uncommon to find Cuba on cruise itineraries, however there are still alternatives. The walled old city of San Juan in Puerto Rico has been described as "more Cuban than Cuba", while Bermuda and Barbados each boast a strong sense of historical identity and travellers going in search of the Caribbean's colonial past will not be disappointed.
Those sailing in search of the picture perfect beaches the region is famous for are guaranteed to succeed, whatever the itinerary. Antigua boasts some 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, and both the British and American Virgin Islands can satisfy visitors with a plethora of picturesque bays.
For some first class luxury, St. Barts has rapidly become a favourite among the rich and famous with a character and cuisine distinctly reminiscent of its old French imperial rulers. Alternatively, the honeymoon hot spot of St. Lucia has some untouched rainforests to explore behind the stunning hotels that line the beach.
Popular Caribbean ports of call include Antigua; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Bermuda; British and US Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Grenada; Jamaica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Barts; St. Kitts; St. Lucia; St. Martin; Trinidad & Tobago.
With so many cruise lines sailing the region all year round, there is a great variety of cruises on offer. Popular routes include round trips from Miami sailing via Barbados, Jamaica and the British and US Virgin Islands, and round trips from Antigua, Barbados, San Juan in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.
Luxury cruise lines that sail to the Caribbean include Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Sea Cloud Cruises, Sea Dream Cruises, Silversea, Star Clippers cruises, Windstar Cruises & Yachts of Seabourn cruises.
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