Leeward Islands Overview


The Leeward Islands earned their name because they lie in the lee of the wind: the prevailing trade winds are blowing towards them from the east north east. They are situated near the meeting point of the Caribbean sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although they are closely clustered they have had diverging histories of occupation and colonization, and some are still a part of the overseas territories of European nations.

From north to south the main islands are Anguilla, St Martin, Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and Montserrat, together with smaller islands including St Barthelemy and Saba. Many Caribbean cruises combine multiple stops at these islands on one itinerary. They should not be confused with the Society Islands of French Polynesia, which are also sometimes referred to as Leeward Islands.