Best Caribbean Cruises in 2016
In the Caribbean, you’ll discover beautiful islands rich in culture, people, cuisine and tropical landscapes, while along the coast of Central America and Mexico, you’ll find ancient historical sites, national parks and vibrant cities. Here are five top ways to cruise the Caribbean.
Seabourn’s Caribbean Circle
Want it all? Look no further than a 27-day round trip aboard Seabourn Odyssey departing from the hibiscus-covered capital of Barbados, Bridgetown. It takes you around the Caribbean’s island and coastal highlights, from nations such as Costa Rica and Dominica to culture-rich Dutch, French and British islands, and big cities like Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Colon in Panama. One of the top spots is Cartagena in Colombia, whose Spanish-era old town is one of the most beautiful, historical spots in the Caribbean.
Azamara’s West Indies Hideaways
This 11-night cruise on boutique ship Azamara Quest provides a lingering look at the Caribbean, with long stays in port and an attractive mix of popular destinations and intimate islands. Swim and hike at St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, explore the idyllic delights of Terre-de-Haut, take a horse ride or swing on the golf course at Nevis, and enjoy the blue lagoons, white beaches and French cuisine of St Barts. Finish on the boulder-tumbled beaches of Virgin Gorda, where swimming with dolphins is a highlight.
Royal Caribbean’s Western Caribbean
For some, the Caribbean is about having fun in the sun, and this seven-night cruise out of Tampa in Florida provides just that. Rhapsody of the Seas features pools, spas, rock climbing, casino, live entertainment and plenty for the kids. With two days at sea, you can enjoy all the ship has to offer, but the cruise also makes interesting port calls, with snorkelling and water sports at Roatán in Honduras, Mayan ruins in Belize and a full day at Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico.
Ponant’s Grenadine Islands
You really can sail the Caribbean on this journey. Le Ponant is a three-masted sailing ship where the crack of the wind in the sails accompanies you on a seven-night itinerary out of Fort-de-France in Martinique. This is for those who like cruising on a small scale, with just 64 passengers and a focus on the Grenadines, where volcanoes, tropical rainforest, coral reefs and rugged landscapes combine to provide quintessential Caribbean scenery. There are calls at St Lucia, Bequia, Carriacou and Tobago, which has outstanding coral reefs for snorkelling.
Norwegian’s Eastern and Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral
This 14-day return cruise out of Florida is great for those wanting an energy-filled journey with plenty of activities both on and off the ship. Port Canaveral has theme parks and the Kennedy Space Centre, Nassau in the Bahamas offers great shopping and swimming with dolphins, and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands is great for hikes, birdwatching and beaches. The cruise also calls in at St Thomas, Key West in Florida, Grand Cayman for shipwreck diving and Ocho Rios in Jamaica, to see its many waterfalls.