The dockyards, marinas, old inns, venerable pubs and convivial crowds of sun-tanned yacht crews might remind you a bit of Newport or Annapolis, because this is the epicenter of the Caribbean yachting world. English Harbour, just south of where ROYAL CLIPPER docks in Falmouth, is probably one of the most atmospheric ports you'll ever encounter. It was here that a soon-to-be-famous Royal Navy Captain set up his base in 1785. Today, every faded pink brick and weather-worn bollard of Nelson's Dockyard evokes the presence of the greatest naval commander in history.
Anguilla - British Leeward Islands
Columbus thought this long flat island with its multitude of white sand coves looked like an undulating eel, so he named it Anguilla. The island has been a British colony/dependency since it was first settled in 1650. Except for a few half-hearted attempts at invasion by the French during the 18th century, the world has pretty much ignored Anguilla. Recently, Anguilla has been discovered by the cognoscenti, who find the island's small upscale resorts an ideal retreat to get away from it all. Try the haute cuisine at Malliouhana, or the Arabian Nights ambience of Pimms.
On the wild and rugged east coast of Barbados, the isolated beaches are the colour of sunrise, the red sands having blown all the way across the Atlantic from the Sahara. The eastern most island of the Windwards, and indeed, of the entire Caribbean, reaches out to Africa and the Old World, as if not quite part of the New. Bridgetown, Barbados is an interesting town full of contrasts. George Washington actually slept here! Trafalgar Square reminds you that the laid back, rum-and-fun-loving island's British-influenced heritage includes revered traditions like cricket and high tea.
Star Clipper usually anchors in the lee of Young Island which lies just 54 feet off the southern tip of St. Vincent. Young Island is a very small and hilly private island resort with a narrow sandy beach. St. Vincent is just a 10 minute ferry ride away. The island is ruggedly beautiful with tall peaks blanketed by a lush, tropical rainforest. The natural harbor of Port Elizabeth at Bequia is a meeting point for sailors from all over the world. The exquisite waterfront beckons you for a gentle stroll along the harbor. If you are lucky, you will see turtles and a variety of tropical birds.
Dominica is a dream-like island, full of surprises. From Star Clipper's anchorage in remote Prince Rupert Bay, the steep mountainsides and lush jungle-like beauty might remind you of a Rousseau landscape. Glide through a steamy orchid-festooned rainforest in a fascinating boat ride up the winding Layrou River. Alternatively, hike to breathtaking Trafalgar Falls and a bubbling lake.
Grenada (St. Georges)
Nutmeg, cinnamon and aromatic vanilla beans baking in the sun. Grenada, the 'Spice Island' of the Caribbean is redolent in other flavors of the tropics as well. After you've toured the old rum distilleries and spice factories and sampled their wares, try some wonderful West Indian Creole cooking. In pretty St. George's harbor, the fishermen unload the conch caught that afternoon and it will magically turn into a delicious dish called 'lambi' for your dinner!
Carriacou and 30 other islands and specks of sand make up the gloriously untouched Grenadines. We’ll call on Carriacou for a blissful, laid-back beach day. We’re sure, you’ll never be disappointed.
Guadeloupe - French West Indies
Guadeloupe looks like a butterfly from the air. Its giant wings are actually two islands, separated by the Rivière Salée, a natural salt water channel. Basse Terre, the southern or leeward part of Guadeloupe, is lush and rugged, dominated by La Soufrière. A stream of boiling water gushes from the top of the 4,800-ft. mountain, reminding you that this volcano is not dormant, but very much alive. Further downstream you can swim in the beautiful triple falls of Chute de Carbet. Gourmets take note - Guadeloupe is purported to have the best chefs in the Caribbean.
Illes des Saintes
Les Saintes is a thoroughly entrancing group of islands lying off Guadeloupe. The independent, self sufficient inhabitants are descended from Breton fishermen. Wealthy French investors have recently built elaborate vacation homes and exclusive resorts here. You'll enjoy the super beaches, snorkeling, diving and other watersports on offer.
St. Lucia (Marigot Bay and Soufriere)
Marigot Bay, one of the prettiest anchorages in the Caribbean, is surrounded by lush hills and ringed by drooping coconut palms. James Michener described it as the archetype for paradise in the Caribbean. On the bay are restaurants (Doolittle's is the most famous) and inland you can visit a banana plantation. Our alternate stop, the little Port Town of Soufrière was named after a nearby volcano by the French, who ruled St. Lucia before the English took it over. Locals call it the world's only drive-in volcano. Prettier sights are to be seen at Diamond Falls and Mineral Baths where you can walk the gardens and take a dip in the pool under the waterfalls. St. Lucia's lush rainforested mountains including the famous Pitons are truly spectacular.
Martinique is the classic French Caribbean island. Wild and mysterious, yet urbane and sophisticated, it is France with a tropical twist, with something for almost everyone. You won't be able to resist the charms of spicy Creole cooking and tempting boutiques in Fort de France.
Nevis - British Leeward Islands
Nevis is the kind of place you wish they wouldn't write about because you'd like to keep it all to yourself. The island is dotted with old sugar plantations, some of them now turned into charming inns, many with interesting histories. It was at Morning Star Plantation that young Captain Horatio Nelson married Frances Nisbet. Alexander Hamilton was born at a Georgian style mansion in Charlestown, and a resident ghost is said to haunt the 18th-century Eden Brown Estate.
Norman Island, British Virgin Islands
Almost everyone has read Treasure Island. Now, you can explore the real 'Treasure Island' where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his great adventure story. Norman Island has long been a private preserve and little has been disturbed since Stevenson's time. Why not hop in our Zodiacs and explore the old caves where real hidden treasure was said to have been discovered.
Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands
Sandy Cay is a treasured gem in a chain of small islands stretching north-east of Paradise Island. With a white beach cupping a perfect anchorage it is one of the most photographed in the world and has been owned and treasured by one family for five generations, who have preserved and enhanced its natural beauty.
Soper's Hole, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Soper's Hole is where 'laid back' is a jealously-cultivated way of life, and the most relaxing place to anchor for the evening. Visit the nearby ruins of 17th century Dutch Fort Recovery, standing guard over the sleepy village of West End. There are also several favorite 'watering holes', beloved by crews of visiting yachts, where the local gossip flows as freely as the rum.
Long a favorite of the Rockerfellers, Biddles and Rothschilds, sophisticated St. Barts is a true gem. In its elegant little capital of Gustavia, French joie de vivre is tempered by Swedish spic and span neatness. Join your shipmates on our unique Zodiac safari tour of island attractions. Diversions include duty-free shopping in exquisite boutiques, beautiful beaches, excellent dining and people-watching.
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. Shop in colourful Basseterre, play golf and tour old plantation houses. For the adventuresome there's a brisk hike through the rainforest.
The smallest island in the world shared by two countries. St. Martin/St. Maarten is big on shopping. You can also try your luck in one of St. Maarten's many casinos. Whether you go Dutch in Philipsburg or prefer Marigot's French touch, you're always welcome.
Four small islets, virtually deserted but enormously appealing for those who love underwater exploration, Tobago Cays is a national park where snorkeling is superb. There are picnic and camping sites and beautiful protected anchorages for overnight yacht stops.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Take a bath at the "Baths", Virgin Gorda's unique water grottos formed eons ago by ancient lava flows. Huge boulders lie scattered around the natural pools, which are delightful for swimming or soaking. Virgin Gorda is also home to Little Dix Bay, the Bitter End Yacht Club, some excellent beaches, and the best sailing around.
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