The smallest island in the world to have been partitioned between two nations (France and the Netherlands), St. Martin/St. Maarten has prospered in peaceful coexistence for nearly 350 years. Embark the Tere Moana on the French side of the island, St. Martin, then perhaps enjoy the open-air markets, outdoor cafés, and duty-free shopping of this elegant and sophisticated island. The ship sets sail late in the evening.
The largest and by far the most populous of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola attracts visitors for its white-sand beaches framed by lush mountains and an azure sea. The ruins of an ancient fort and a restored sugar plantation are among the island’s main attractions. Or simply enjoy the laidback ambience of the capital city, Road Town, and take advantage the excellent diving and snorkeling here.
In the early morning, the ship sails to Frenchman’s Cay. Once a pirates’ hideaway, this spit of land is connected to Tortola’s west coast by a sand bar and a small bridge. Here, the ship drops anchor at Soper’s Hole, a quaint marina area that many consider the best in the British Virgin Islands. Take a full day to browse the shops or indulge in local watersports, including diving and windsurfing.
Sometimes called the “Barefoot Island,” Jost Van Dyke offers picture-postcard scenery and a relaxing, casual ambience. You have a full day to wander the beach that serves as its main street or relax on the island’s coral sands, considered among the loveliest beaches in the Caribbean. Ships wrecked on the coral reefs in days of old provide fascinating diving and snorkeling today. Back aboard this evening, perhaps admire one of the spectacular sunsets for which Jost Van Dyke is renowned.
A mix of African, Indian, and Spanish cultures distinguishes Virgin Gorda, whose jagged landscape rises sharply from a turquoise sea. Among the nature trails and nature reserves that showcase the island’s spectacular beauty are the ruins of an abandoned 19th-century copper mine on Handsome Bay, now a national park. Or visit The Baths, where giant boulders strewn about by nature have created a patchwork of pools, beaches, and trails.
The northernmost of the Leeward Islands, Anguilla was colonized by the British during the 19th century and given independence with St. Kitts and Nevis in 1967. Following two rebellions during the 1970s, Anguilla was allowed to secede from the federation and return to British control. Along the island’s 45 miles of coastline lie 30 sparkling white-sand beaches considered among the best in the Caribbean, as you discover today.
Chic shops are a hallmark of this “Manhattan-sur-Mer” (“Manhattan on the Sea”), known for its duty-free shopping. Others include the island’s balmy climate and brilliant blue skies, iguanas, and night-blooming cactus. Distinctly French in language, culture, and cuisine, St. Barts remains thoroughly independent in spirit. Enjoy excellent snorkeling and diving from the island’s fabulous cove-style beaches. The Tere Moana remains moored here late into the evening, so that you can also experience the island’s vibrant nightlife.
Your Caribbean idyll ends where it began, in glittering St. Martin. Enjoy breakfast aboard before disembarking for your return flight home.
|C - Window Stateroom||B - Window Stateroom||A - Balcony Stateroom|
|Port charges: $375|