Summary : Stand on deck as Sea Cloud’s 30 white sails fill with wind, and measure the passage of time by a distant island’s approach on the horizon. The reliability of the trade winds in the Caribbean makes this an ideal place to explore under sail. While there are many ways to experience the Caribbean, you’ll find that exploring aboard an authentic square-rigged tall ship offers an unrivaled experience and guarantees you an in-depth encounter with all its wonders.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Snorkeling
Just-Released Offer Bar Tab and Tips Included
$8,640 to $17,170
Embark Sea Cloud in the late afternoon and begin your voyage in the Caribbean.
You have the day to enjoy one of the great pleasures of travel anywhere: sailing aboard an authentic barque, seeing the crew go aloft unfurling the sails the traditional way—by hand—as you ride the trade winds. Watch as the crew climbs the rigging and trims the Sea Cloud's 32,000 square feet of canvas, and follow the action with sail plan in hand. This is surely one of the best ways possible to learn about the art and science of sailing, and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the many amenities of this historic tall ship.
Dominica is called the “Nature Island” because of its beauty and many reserves. Dock at historic Prince Rupert Bay, where sailing ships of all flags put in for water, citrus fruits, and solid timber after a long Atlantic crossing. In the morning, drive through a succession of tropical ecosystems and fruit plantations into the Morne Diablotin National Park and rainforest. The spectacular canopy trees with their buttress roots and liana vines are home to Dominica’s two endemic parrots, keep an eye and an ear open on your rainforest hike. After lunch, join your historian for a walk up to beautifully restored Fort Shirley, where English cannons protected the strategic bay below. Have your first opportunity to snorkel in the warm, clear Caribbean waters.
Distinctly French in character and culture, the shops, homes and people of Les Saintes are colorful and full of taste and flavor. Enjoy picture-postcard views from Fort Napoléon, with its cactus garden, iguanas and maritime museum. Then stroll through French colonial Terre-de-Haut and swim and snorkel from a nearby sandy beach. In the afternoon, set sail in the Guadeloupe Channel for a short but powerful downwind sail, as the winds fill the square sails in a glorious spectacle.
In the morning, sail aboard the magnificent ship, and in the afternoon, visit Bequia. With a historical mix of Scottish indentured servants, buccaneers, whalers and mariners, Bequia has a maritime culture unlike any other. Scrimshaw and model-boat building endure in this long-time sailors’ watering hole. Get to know the local Bequians on a short drive around the island in covered pick-up trucks, stopping at a view with gorgeous overlooks and at a very interesting local hawksbill turtle revival initiative. In Port Elizabeth, find local crafts, the Rastafarian fruit and vegetable market, elegant Belmont Walk and one of the best bookstores in the West Indies. A good swim, snorkel, and tropical beach are a short walk or Zodiac ride away, near the local beach bar.
In the morning, enjoy a rousing sail through the idyllic Grenadines, passing Mustique, Canouan, Tobago Cay, Mayreau and Union Islands. Then anchor in one of the lovely white-sand arcing beaches that are the quintessential image of a Caribbean bay, with protected waters for easy swimming and snorkeling, and a few local beach bars with colorful Caribbean names and characters completing the scene.
Anchor under the iconic twin peaks of St. Lucia, called “Les Pitons.” There is no more iconic image of the Windward Islands than these famed mountains. Stop beneath Petit Piton at the port of Soufrière, whose name derives from the active sulfur pools indicative of ongoing volcanism. Explore the active crater and the geologic origins of Les Pitons, before taking a delightful walk through the local botanical gardens that are fed by mineral-rich hot spring run-off. The gardens are a gallery of tropical blooms and color, alive with hummingbirds, bullfinches and the backdrop rush of Diamond Falls. Spend the afternoon sailing as you return to Barbados.
Disembark the Sea Cloud in Bridgetown, Barbados. Drive to the north along the west coast and through Holetown, site of the first settlement in 1627. The first stop is at the St. James Parish Church, the oldest Anglican Church in Barbados. Continue your drive through Speightstown to St. Nicholas Abbey. Built in 1660, St. Nicholas Abbey is not a church but one of the only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere. It was recently refurbished, and the distinguishing features of this magnificent, well-preserved mansion include curved Dutch gables, chimney stack and coral stone finials, a Chinese Chippendale staircase and fine antiques. The last stop before Bridgetown Airport for departure flights is Bathsheba, with spectacular views of the rugged East Coast Hills on the side and the pounding Atlantic surf on the other. Stop at one of the parks nearby for a picnic lunch before continuing to the airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Accommodations aboard ship; meals and non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship as per itinerary; shore excursions; transfers to and from group flights; use of snorkeling equipment and wetsuits; gratuities (except to ship’s crew); taxes and service charges; services of expedition staff. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport, visa, and immigration fees; some meals; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, Internet access, and laundry; gratuities to ship's crew are at your discretion.