Far-flung exotic islands like Aruba, Barbados and Curacao with a potpourri mix of Spanish, Dutch, French and British influences are your heady ports of call in the Southern Caribbean.
Cruise liners visiting Antigua dock at the capital of St. John’s on the island’s west coast, while Antigua’s sister island of Barbuda is an easy day trip by catamaran for shore visitors. In St John’s, visitors can stop at the market, head out on an off-road beach safari or hit the water at Cade Reef for snorkeling. Barbuda has its own pristine beaches, as well as a popular frigate bird sanctuary.
Ships sailing to Aruba dock in Oranjestad, the island’s capital on its southwest coast. You’ll hear English, Spanish and Dutch spoken here, and although the official currency is the Aruban florin, U.S. dollars are widely accepted. A shore excursion tour will show you the highlights with the option to learn to dive, snorkel or sail on at the famous white-sand beaches.
This is a little slice of England in the Southern Caribbean. English is spoken, and U.S. dollar bills (but not coins) are accepted. Ships dock in the capital of Bridgetown, full of shops, historic buildings and the famous Mount Gay rum distillery.
Pastel-painted, gabled houses with red roofs welcome cruise ships to Curacao’s capital, Willemstad. English, Spanish and Dutch are spoken, and although the local currency is the Antillean guilder, U.S. dollars are accepted. Cruise ships dock on the western side of the channel at Otrobanda, just a short walk over the bridge to the shops and restaurants in Punda.
British and French influences are evident on Dominica, and you’ll be docking in the former French port of Roseau on the island’s southwest coast. Water-based activities like kayaking, rainforest river tubing and beach snorkel tours by jeep are popular shore excursions here.
There's so much to do and so many different ways to relax when you're spending time on Grenada, the Caribbean's Isle of Spice. Bring your camera to capture stunning waterfalls, your swimsuit to cool off in tropical pools and a sense of wonder and adventure.
This high, green island is one of the Caribbean's top fashionable resort destinations, but it's still a long way from being overdeveloped. Bananas are still bigger business than tourism in this archetypal island paradise, and the western shores are a mighty fine place to be from February to April when the rain eases off.
St Kitts is as hopping as Nevis is sleepy, but relaxation and a rum punch are requisites on both islands. The dual island nation offers a menu of plantation-cum-boutique hotels, palm tree-lined beaches and adventurous hikes. Between February and May, the hot and dry conditions (think temperatures in the 80s) will trump your tropical dreams. Other months can get quite wet, with a hurricane season from August to October.