When to go – Mid-December to Mid-April
It’s one of the most sought after cruise destinations in the world – and for good reason. You could say the Caribbean was built for cruising, with an eclectic mix of islands just waiting to be explored. Arriving at each port against the backdrop of turquoise seas, palm trees swaying in the breeze and long white sandy beaches, this is the destination of choice for many a discerning holidaymaker. Year-round sunshine also makes this one of the most popular and prestigious destinations for cruise ships, and you can choose from hundreds of sun-shine packed itineraries.
Whether you prefer relaxing on a beach, sipping on a cocktail, swimming with dolphins or exploring the islands’ colourful and colonial towns, there is something for everyone in the Caribbean. Perhaps the best thing about a cruise in this part of the world is being able to explore numerous cultures in just one holiday. Each island is unique in its own way with British, French, Dutch and Spanish influences leaving their imprint on the islands’ food, culture, language and architecture. Breathtaking beaches and incredible scenery are guaranteed on a once in a lifetime Caribbean cruise.
Most people prefer to cruise between mid-December and mid-April, although it’s possible to cruise the Caribbean all year-round.
You might want to avoid hurricane season which can be as early as June and as late as November. If your ship was to change direction due to adverse weather, the cruise company is not obliged to compensate you.
Other popular times include Christmas, New Year and from February to mid-April. The low season runs from late April to May and from September to early January, excluding holiday weeks.
Much of life on Curacao revolves around Willemstad, the capital has a rich history dating back 500 years and its four historic quarters and old town boasts fascinating candy coloured Dutch colonial buildings and excellent museums. Ambling across the Queen Emma pontoon bridge is a must for exquisite views of the shimmering St. Anna Bay.
If travellers head north of Willemstad they’ll find the Christoffel National Park which offers an excellent museum exploring the island’s colonial era in the main house of a 17th century plantation. There’s also plenty of wildlife and cave drawings to look at along eight hiking trails, and visitors may be lucky enough to spot the indigenous White Tailed deer of which there are only about 250 left.
Grenada’s capital, St. George’s, is the perfect place to start an exploration of the island. Fort George, built in 1705 is a standout as is the nearby Pingouin Beach.
The incredibly fragrant Nutmeg Processing Cooperative is well worth a visit and gives an insight into the ‘Island of Spice’s’ moniker.
Snorkelling in the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park is perhaps one of the most unique experiences in the Caribbean. The world’s first underwater sculpture gallery features 65 pieces created by renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor and is just a short trip away from St. George’s.
Volcanic Dominica is the ideal Caribbean island for nature lovers and anyone after isolation– the island is carpeted with rainforest, thermal springs and stunning vistas. The vibrant capital Roseau is worth a visit but the real treasures lie inland.
The Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to many of the islands’ top attractions including the massive Trafalgar falls, where hot and cold natural pools await tired hikers, the fascinating Boiling Lake and the Emerald Pool.
Boat trips along the Indian River are also highly recommended, floating casually and quietly among mangroves, you’ll see plenty of wildlife before heading to the Bush Bar where smoked fish and rum cocktails are the speciality.