Silversea’s small luxury ships are able to visit ports that other lines can’t include on their itineraries. In the Caribbean, that means opportunities to explore islands that are wonderfully off of the beaten tourist path.
Imagine your tropical escape to the Caribbean, and what may come to mind are palm-fringed beaches where your only company is colorful birds and the loudest sound is the surf lapping on white sands. It can be a bit of a disappointment, then, if you arrive instead to a row of megaresorts and that turquoise bay of your fantasy is buzzing with jet skis. One cruise line, however, is able to take you to the islands of your dreams. Silversea sails to some 900 ports on all seven continents. Their passion for exploring the world’s most remote ports extends to the Caribbean where you’ll call at islands that few, if any, other cruise lines visit. Here’s a look at some of Silversea’s intriguing ports of call on their Caribbean & Central America cruises.
The location of the capital of the Turks & Caicos, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk is a seven-mile-long and one-mile wide island that is the first stop out of Florida on a number of Silversea itineraries. Though only a day at sea separates it from Fort Lauderdale, you’ll feel like you have traveled far from the US mainland when you arrive. White-sand beaches ring the island, while wild horses and donkeys roam freely. This makes exploring Grand Turk on a horse, albeit a tame one, fitting: On one Silversea excursion you’ll travel on horseback to the Grand Turk Indigenous Horse Shelter, and then follow your ride with a walk on the beach or a swim in the sea.
Grand Turk is also a favorite of divers and snorkelers, thanks to the variety of marine life found in its clear waters. For an excursion to a corner of the Caribbean that is even more off the beaten tourist path than Grand Turk, you can visit Gibbs Cay, a pristine, uninhabited island where you can swim alongside and even handle the stingrays found there.
The British Virgin Islands, or BVI, have been nicknamed “Nature’s Little Secrets,” and it’s a fitting description. This group of 60 low-key and largely undeveloped islands manages to sail under the radar of many Caribbean-bound travelers. Those who make the journey to the BVI tend to be yachters who hop from one emerald bay to the next, as well as guests aboard Silversea cruises, which call at three different ports in the archipelago: Road Town on Tortola, Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda, and the island of Jost Van Dyke.
On Tortola, you can explore the white-sand beaches and take in the panoramic vistas of this island known for its lush tropical beauty, or perhaps snorkel in some of the many bays along the Sir Francis Drake Channel. There you’ll discover the BVI are as colorful below the sea as above thanks to the abundance of tropical fish and various corals. On Virgin Gorda, the islands’ most famous landmark awaits. The Baths are a jumble of granite boulders along the sea, which form a number of hidden grottoes and pools. Finally, Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the major islands, is truly a barefoot paradise with fewer than 200 inhabitants. While Silversea offers a number of excursions, you may want to simply sip a Painkiller at the bar where it was invented with your feet in the warm sand.
The French Caribbean
St. Martin and St. Bart’s are familiar to many travelers to the region, but there’s more to the French Caribbean than those two islands. The Iles des Saintes or as the name is commonly shortened to, Les Saintes, sits off the south coast of Guadeloupe and is one of the Caribbean’s most unspoiled destinations. Life here moves at a decidedly relaxed pace. Only two of the archipelago’s eight islands are inhabited, and on Terre-de-Haut, home to fewer than 2,000 residents, life revolves around the small harbor lined with restaurants serving fresh fish and French dishes paired with chilled glasses of rosé.
Basse Terre, the western island of the two that form Guadeloupe, is a destination for travelers looking to explore the Caribbean’s wilder side. With the Grande Soufrière volcano at its heart, rising to a height of just over 4,800 feet, this is a lush and tropical island—two-thirds of its rainforest is protected as part of the Guadeloupe National Park.
Finally, Silversea also calls at Les Anses-d’Arlet, on Martinique, famously the birthplace and childhood home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, Josephine. From here it’s easy to explore both the beaches and seaside restaurants of Les Trois-Îlets, one of the most beautiful parts of the island, or cross the bay and wander the historic streets of Fort-de-France, a unique French colonial outpost under blue Caribbean skies.
Explore all of Silversea’s Caribbean and Central American itineraries at cruiseafar.com/caribbean