Day by day itinerary
Coast of the Carribean Sea, Bridgetown, Barbados
Located beside the island’s only natural harbour, the capital of Barbados combines modern and colonial architecture with glorious palm tree-lined beaches and a number of historical attractions. Experience the relaxed culture of the city renowned for its British-style parliament buildings and vibrant beach life, and seek out the Anglican church and the 19th-century Barbados Garrison. The distance between the ship and your tour vehicle may vary. This distance is not included in the excursion grades.
The small island of Mayreau, just one and 1/2 square miles in area (3.9 square kilometres) is the smallest inhabited island of The Grenadines, and is part of the independent state of St.Vincent in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Two of the best known islands in The Grenadines are Mustique and Bequia, the second largest island in this group. The Grenadine Islands are strung out in a gentle sweep between St.Vincent and Grenada. Most visitors to Mayreau arrive from cruise ships, on the regular ferry, or by yacht. There are no proper roads on the island, only a few vehicles, no airport and only a single unnamed village. Mayreau and the neighboring Tobago Cays are very popular for divers and snorkellers. Saline Bay, on the west coast of the island, has a wonderful broad beach and a few local vendors selling T-shirts and local craft. A climb up the road to the hilltop village on the island provides breathtaking views across Mayreau, Canouan, the Tobago Cays and Carriacou.
Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa those heady aromas fill the air in Grenada (pronounced gruh-nay-da). Only 21 miles (33½ km) long and 12 miles (19½ km) wide, the Isle of Spice is a tropical gem of lush rain forests, white-sand beaches, secluded coves, exotic flowers, and enough locally grown spices to fill anyone's kitchen cabinet. St. George's is one of the most picturesque capital cities in the Caribbean, St. George's Harbour is one of the most picturesque harbors, and Grenada's Grand Anse Beach is one of the region's finest beaches. The island has friendly, hospitable people and enough good shopping, restaurants, historic sites, and natural wonders to make it a popular port of call. About one-third of Grenada's visitors arrive by cruise ship, and that number continues to grow each year. Grenada's capital is a bustling West Indian city, much of which remains unchanged from colonial days. Narrow streets lined with shops wind up, down, and across steep hills. Brick warehouses cling to the waterfront, and pastel-painted homes rise from the waterfront and disappear into steep green hills. The horseshoe-shaped St. George's Harbour, a submerged volcanic crater, is arguably the prettiest harbor in the Caribbean. Schooners, ferries, and tour boats tie up along the seawall or at the small dinghy dock. The Carenage (pronounced car-a-nahzh), which surrounds the harbor, is the capital's center. Warehouses, shops, and restaurants line the waterfront. The Christ of the Deep statue that sits on the pedestrian plaza at the center of The Carenage was presented to Grenada by Costa Cruise Line in remembrance of its ship, Bianca C, which burned and sank in the harbor in 1961 and is now a favorite dive site. An engineering feat for its time, the 340-foot-long Sendall Tunnel was built in 1895 and named for Walter Sendall, an early governor. The narrow tunnel, used by both pedestrians and vehicles, separates the harbor side of St. George's from the Esplanade on the bay side of town, where you can find the markets (produce, meat, and fish), the Cruise Ship Terminal, the Esplanade Mall, and the public bus station.
Although it's one of the smallest capitals in the Caribbean, Roseau has the highest concentration of inhabitants of any town in the eastern Caribbean. Caribbean vernacular architecture and a bustling marketplace transport visitors back in time. Although you can walk the entire town in about an hour, you'll get a much better feel for the place on a leisurely stroll. For some years now, the Society for Historical Architectural Preservation and Enhancement (SHAPE) has organized programs and projects to preserve the city's architectural heritage. Several interesting buildings have already been restored. Lilac House, on Kennedy Avenue, has three types of gingerbread fretwork, latticed verandah railings, and heavy hurricane shutters. The J.W. Edwards Building, at the corner of Old and King George V sreets, has a stone base and a wooden second-floor gallery. The Old Market Plaza is the center of Roseau's historic district, which was laid out by the French on a radial plan rather than a grid, so streets such as Hanover, King George V, and Old radiate from this area. South of the marketplace is the Fort Young Hotel, built as a British fort in the 18th century; the nearby statehouse, public library, and Anglican cathedral are also worth a visit. New developments at the bay front on Dame M.E. Charles Boulevard have brightened up the waterfront.
You can easily explore all of Gustavia during a two-hour stroll. Some shops close from noon to 3 or 4, so plan lunch accordingly, but stores stay open past 7 in the evening. Parking in Gustavia is a challenge, especially during vacation times. A good spot to park is rue de la République, alongside the catamarans, yachts, and sailboats.
The capital of Dutch St. Maarten stretches about a mile (1½ km) along an isthmus between Great Bay and the Salt Pond and has five parallel streets. Most of the village's dozens of shops and restaurants are on Front Street, narrow and cobblestone, closest to Great Bay. It's generally congested when cruise ships are in port, because of its many duty-free shops and several casinos. Little lanes called steegjes connect Front Street with Back Street, which has fewer shops and considerably less congestion. Along the beach is a ½-mile-long (1-km-long) boardwalk with restaurants and several Wi-Fi hot spots.Wathey Square (pronounced watty) is in the heart of the village. Directly across from the square are the town hall and the courthouse, in a striking white building with cupola. The structure was built in 1793 and has served as the commander's home, a fire station, a jail, and a post office. The streets surrounding the square are lined with hotels, duty-free shops, restaurants, and cafés. The Captain Hodge Pier, just off the square, is a good spot to view Great Bay and the beach that stretches alongside.
St. John, the smallest most idyllic of the three United States Virgin Islands, is best known for its dozens of post card perfect white sand beaches, turquoise bays abounding in colourful corals & rainbows of tropical fish endless vistas of green velvet hills. Only nine miles long (14.5 kilometres) and three miles (4.8 kilometres) wide, two thirds of the island is the Virgin Islands National Park, so its spectacular beaches & untouched forests will remain that way for generations to come and remain accessible to all. There are tours of the National Park by Jeep or safari bus and hikes on spectacular trails led by Park Rangers who enrich the experience with talks on the island's history and geology as well as its flora & fauna. While it is only twenty minutes from St. Thomas by convenient hourly ferry, St. John is the peaceful, uncommercialised paradise of island fantasies. It has no high-rise buildings, cruise ship docks or airport. Visitors can obtain discounted air fares to St. Thomas. Despite its unspoiled atmosphere, it offers every facility and amenity found at major resorts.
If you associate Puerto Rico's capital with the colonial streets of Old San Juan, then you know only part of the picture. San Juan is a major metropolis, radiating out from the bay on the Atlantic Ocean that was discovered by Juan Ponce de León. More than a third of the island's nearly 4 million citizens proudly call themselves sanjuaneros. The city may be rooted in the past, but it has its eye on the future. Locals go about their business surrounded by colonial architecture and towering modern structures.By 1508 the explorer Juan Ponce de León had established a colony in an area now known as Caparra, southeast of present-day San Juan. He later moved the settlement north to a more hospitable peninsular location. In 1521, after he became the first colonial governor, Ponce de León switched the name of the island—which was then called San Juan Bautista in honor of St. John the Baptist—with that of the settlement of Puerto Rico ("rich port").Defended by the imposing Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and Castillo San Cristóbal, Puerto Rico's administrative and population center remained firmly in Spain's hands until 1898, when it came under U.S. control after the Spanish-American War. Centuries of Spanish rule left an indelible imprint on the city, particularly in the walled area now known as Old San Juan. The area is filled with cobblestone streets and brightly painted, colonial-era structures, and its fortifications have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Old San Juan is a monument to the past, but most of the rest of the city is planted firmly in the 21st century and draws migrants island-wide and from farther afield to jobs in its businesses and industries. The city captivates residents and visitors alike with its vibrant lifestyle as well as its balmy beaches, pulsing nightclubs, globe-spanning restaurants, and world-class museums. Once you set foot in this city, you may never want to leave.
Located closer to Havana than Miami, Key West is synonymous for all that is fabulous. Whether it’s beaches, back country or just a brilliant time that you’re after, Florida’s most southern point holds a wealth of intrigue, both past and present. Famed for its unique originality, Key West is a condensation of the best of the sunshine state – fantastic weather, laid back attitude, deep-rooted history and masses of fantastic, fresh seafood; it’s little wonder that nobody ever wants to leave.Floating in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the island has two very definite personalities: bookish and bizarre. On the one hand, the literary festivals, exquisite Caribbean architecture and splendid art galleries attract the bourgeoisie, while on the other, the eccentricity and reticence to be associated with “the mainland” attracts all kinds of “happies” –new era hippies. The two dichotomies live peacefully side by side and have done ever since travellers started arriving in the 1960s — Key West being one of the three big K’s on the hippie path to enlightenment (Kuta and Kathmandu are the others).But past the idiosyncrasies of the Key Westers, and you will find an island that is literally brimming over with spectacular sights and wonderful wilderness. From Henry S. Truman’s Little White House and Ernest Hemmingway’s house and studio, to botanical gardens and marine sanctuaries, visitors will leave this fascinating island wanting more.Best seen by foot, bike or boat, this is an island to be explored al fresco.
Like many southeast Florida neighbors, Fort Lauderdale has long been revitalizing. In a state where gaudy tourist zones often stand aloof from workaday downtowns, Fort Lauderdale exhibits consistency at both ends of the 2-mile Las Olas corridor. The sparkling look results from upgrades both downtown and on the beachfront. Matching the downtown's innovative arts district, cafés, and boutiques is an equally inventive beach area, with hotels, cafés, and shops facing an undeveloped shoreline, and new resort-style hotels replacing faded icons of yesteryear. Despite wariness of pretentious overdevelopment, city leaders have allowed a striking number of glittering high-rises. Nostalgic locals and frequent visitors fret over the diminishing vision of sailboats bobbing in waters near downtown; however, Fort Lauderdale remains the yachting capital of the world, and the water toys don’t seem to be going anywhere.
Silver Whisper, the sister ship to Silver Shadow, launched in 2001, with unmistakeable Italian luxury and 6-star service.