Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Philipsburg, Sint MaartenDeparts 11:00 PM "This Leeward island has been famously bisected into French and Dutch territories since 1648, and is referred to both as Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. In their respective capitalsMarigot and Philipsburgthere are ancient stone forts and candy-colored buildings lining winding streets. The Dutch side has a slightly larger population but is a bit smaller, at 34 square kilometers (13 square miles), versus the 53-square-kilometer (20-square-mile) Saint Martin.
Named for its founder John Philips, Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side, has some excellent international art galleries, thumping discos and popular casinos. Farther afield are beautiful beaches and a seemingly endless array of nature conservancies. With them come extensive opportunities for adventurehiking, biking and zip liningand amazing wildlife sightings in the sea, on land and in the sky."
Day Sopers Hole (Frenchmans Cay), BVIArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM This snug harbor at the West End of Tortola is the classic Caribbean yacht haven, tucked between the high ground of West End on one side and Frenchmans Cay on the other. It was a notorious den for pirates in the past, who used the high ground to watch for naval ships or potential victims. The marinas and resorts were hard hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in August and September 2017. But most services have been restored and the community is eager to welcome visitors again. Check on the progress at Pussers Landing, the multi-service home of the famous wood-distilled rum and the Painkiller cocktail, which is good even if youre not in pain. There are numerous restaurants, cafes and bars providing hospitable rest stops for people-watching and yarn-spinning.
Day Gustavia, Saint BarthelemyArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "St. Barts, a French territory in the Caribbean's Leeward Islands, is the ultimate jet-set beach destination. Its 14 pristine beaches are jewels set in sparkling waters, the cuisine is infused with a French flair and the scene is cosmopolitan chic. Other islands in the region might be casual and laid-back, but here the dress code is stylish caftans, oversize sunglasses and sky-high heels. And the preferred mode of transportation is the yacht.
Gustavia, the capital and main port of St. Barts (also spelled St. Barths), embodies the island's international appeal. A former fishing village, it was named for King Gustav III of Swedenthe Swedes occupied the island in the early 19th century, leaving a legacy of names and sites. The town's winding streets are lined with high-end boutiques, excellent restaurants and plenty of bars where you can toast your visit with a glass of refreshing rosé. A handful of historic sites, including forts and a lighthouse, add to the attractions.
Day Basseterre, St Kitts and NevisArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "The Beautiful Sisters," St. Kitts and Nevis are separated by a two-mile-wide strait but joined together as an independent island nation. Known and loved for their sleepy pace, these islands are awakening to become an "in" place among well traveled North Americans and Europeans. A small, green volcanic speck in the blue Caribbean, St. Kitts offers quiet beaches, remnants of the old British plantocracy, and dreamy days under silk-cotton trees, soothed by the scents of flamboyants and frangipani. The native Arawak and Carib Indians called St. Kitts the fertile isle, and until as recently as 2005, the island was still dependent upon sugar for a large segment of its economy.
Day Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, GuadeloupeArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM The Iles des Saintes, a tiny cluster of islets off the southern coast of Guadeloupe is what the doctor ordered, if he ordered an unspoiled Caribbean experience. No franchise duty free, no big hotels, no casinos. It is what much of the Caribbean used to be like. Stroll around the little town of Bourg de Saintes. Shop for real French cosmetics from the sidewalk vendors. Grab a seat and a beer and revel in the weather and the pace of the past.
Day Castries, Saint LuciaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM So you think you've "done" the Caribbean? St. Lucia kindly asks you to think again. With mountain peaks, plunging valleys, lush rain forests, historic sites, tropical flora and fauna and the world's only drive-in volcano, this island of 165,000 residents is more than just pretty palm-fringed beaches along a turquoise seathough there happen to be plenty of those, too. No wonder France and England battled for nearly 200 years to control this sun-kissed island. Wayfarers arriving these days have less nefarious plans and want only to preside over St. Lucia's legendary natural wonders and eco-adventures. Choose a heart-thumping hike up the Pitonsnamed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004or a treetop tram ride over the flower- and bird-filled rain forest. Humdrum may be hard to find, but there are plenty of warm welcomes from friendly locals. The island's eclectic culture and history are shared daily through the Creole patois spoken in markets and on street corners, in the French names of colorful fishing villages and in savory recipes infused with African, French and Carib heritage. And have we mentioned the sublime sunsets? Some Caribbean islands really do have it all.
Day Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent and the GrenadinesArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM This wonderful hike-with-a-difference takes you from one idyllic beach and bay to another, enjoying magnificent views of the Tobago Cays, and passing through one of the quaintest and friendliest villages in the Southern Grenadines.
Day Bridgetown, BarbadosArrives 07:00 AM Departs 09:00 PM "Barbadians, or Bajans in local parlance, consider their island nation the most British of the Caribbean: Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state, and English products are stocked in many of its stores and restaurants. Barbados is known as the birthplace of international pop star Rihanna, but it has also produced some of the biggest Caribbean calypso and soca music stars. The summer Crop Over festival is a huge carnival event. With live music and crafts for sale, the popular Friday fish fry at Oistins Bay is a fun place to mingle with the locals.
Centered around a waterway called the Careenage and its handsome Chamberlain Bridge, the historic center of Bridgetown, the country's capital, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011 for its wealth of British colonial architecture dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Among the famous figures who visited Bridgetown when it was at its peak was none other than George Washington, who spent two months in 1751 in a house that still stands today, on his only trip abroad."
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Day Funchal (Madeira), PortugalArrives 12:00 PM Departs 11:00 PM "When Portuguese navigators set foot on the island of Madeira in 1419, they were convinced that they had arrived at the Garden of Eden. Today, the experience is no different for cruise passengers docking in Funchal, Madeiras largest city and the capital of a namesake autonomous region. Madeiras consistently warm weather and volcanic mountains lush with tropical flowers and gardens drew European settlers whose influence gave rise to much of what its known for: Madeira wine, poncha (a traditional drink made of distilled sugarcane, honey and lemon) and handiwork such as embroidery.
Wander cosmopolitan Funchals streets paved with black and white mosaics, a grand seafront promenade and old-fashioned shops, restaurants and cafés housed in terra-cotta-roofed buildings."
Day Porto Santo, Porto Santo Island, PortugalArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Located 27 miles northeast of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, Porto Santo enjoys the same climate of eternal springtime. However, the small 9-mile by 5-mile island also boasts an extensive strand of wide, soft sand beach, which its larger neighbor lacks. The northern end of the island is tall and rugged, showing off the columnar basalt formations and tortured geological evidence of is volcanic origins. The southern end is flat and mostly low, ringed by the beach. The main town of Vila Baleira is centered around a triangular plaza, the Largo de Pelhourinho, shaded by date palms and Dragon Trees. Here you will find the Old Town Hall and the Nossa Senhora da Piedade church, rebuilt in the 17th century on the site of a 16th century original. The Via Cristovão Columbo leads to the small house where it is supposed Columbus lived for some years after his marriage. Back up north, the village of Camacha holds a small Cardina museum created by a local man who crafted small-scale models of many of the islands water fountains (fresh water was always a scarcity) and gathered traditional farming implements and other historic artifacts. The Fonte de Areia is a geologic oddity, an endless cascade of sand resulting from erosion of the soft sandstone cliffs. For golfers, the island has a new 18-hole course designed by Spanish champion Seve Ballestreros.
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Day Lisbon, PortugalArrives 07:00 AM "Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a wealth of sights, tastes and sounds. An ensemble of neighborhoods both old and new, its a city full of history, culture and tradition. After the devastating earthquake that struck in 1755, reconstruction began and the rebuilt Baixa area quickly became one of the city's busiest districts. From there, you can glance up at São Jorge Castle on one hill while in another direction you'll find Chiado, one of the trendiest and most elegant neighborhoods.
The spirit of Lisbon can be encapsulated by the soulful musical genre, fado, which can best be enjoyed in the Alfama, the city's oldest neighborhood. Enter one of the area's old-school taverns and listen to passionate renditions of Fado Vadio, sung by amateurs, often after a round of aguardiente, an anise-flavored liquor."