14 Night cruise sailing roundtrip from Bridgetown onboard Seabourn Odyssey.
Seabourn Odyssey was built by the Italian company T. Mariotti S.p.A., located in Genoa, Italy and named in Venice in June of 2009. On that occasion, the guests on board for the maiden voyage were all honored as the ship’s godparents, and a plaque with their names was permanently mounted on a wall inside the ship. Seabourn Odyssey was designed by the same architectural team, Petr Yran and Bjorn Storbraaten, who designed the original Seabourn ships. Seabourn Odyssey’s 229 ocean-view suites are divided into 13 categories, with interior measurements from 295 to over 1,200 square feet. Ninety percent have private verandas, which add from 65 to over 350 square feet of additional private living space.
Highlights in accommodations are the exceptional Wintergarden Suites, which have a private glassed-in Solarium with a soaking tub and a lounging bed. This suite also features a veranda that is bowed out, giving wonderful views along the side of the ship. The Signature Suites, located all the way forward on Deck 7, have over 900 square feet of inside space and a spectacular wrap-around veranda of 353 square feet. In addition to more larger suites, Seabourn Odyssey’s additional size is utilized to create more open deck space, and a variety of public rooms and dining venues.
Highlights of this cruise:
Barbados has retained many of the trappings of its British colonial heritage. Judges and barristers wear proper robes and wigs, police don helmets styled after London bobbies and cricket remains a national passion. Barbados also has all the sporting appeal of the rest of the Caribbean, with pristine beaches, powerful surf and crystal clear waters. Brightly colored homes and hibiscus flowers mingle with mahogany trees and English churches dating back to the 17th century.
Port Elizabeth, Bequia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Bequia’s Admiralty Bay is a favorite yachtsman’s anchorage. They ferry ashore to join the friendly, low-key locals “under the almond tree,” the chosen meeting place. Stroll along the Belmont Walkway to the Gingerbread for homemade nutmeg ice cream, or Frangipani, run by the daughter of a former prime minister. Continue to lovely, golden Princess Margaret Beach, or round the bend to Lower Bay. Don’t miss the excellent craftsmanship at the Sargeant Brothers Model Boat Shop, it’s a Bequia specialty.
Trois Ilets, Martinique
Martinique is one of the most colorful and interesting islands in the Caribbean. Trois Ilets lies just across the Bay of Fort-de-France from the capital, on the peninsular arrondissement of Le Marin. Perhaps the most famous attraction in this area is the colonial plantation called La Pagerie, the birthplace and childhood home of Josephine Beauharnais, the Martinique-born woman who became the second wife and Empress to Napoleon Bonaparte. The stately plantation house and its manicured grounds are now a museum, furnished with period pieces and illustrating the privileged lifestyle of the master class during the French colonial slave period. Nearby, a gentleman named Gilbert La Rose has painstakingly recreated the complementary lifestyle of the slaves who supported this luxury, with a garden and museum called La Savane des Esclaves that includes thatched dwellings, artifacts and plantings of the era. Taken together, they serve to educate visitors about the early days of the island’s European occupation. Fort-de-France is a bustling seaport and market town, with handsome reminders of its colonial past including the ornate Schoelcher Library imported stone-by-stone from France. Furtyer afield, the previous capital of St. Pierre was unexpectedly inundated with lava and ash from a disastrous eruption of looming Mt. Pelée in 1902, leaving a sort of latter-day Pompeii for visitors to see. The graceful cathedral and lush botanical gardens of Balata provide some relief, in the form of luxuriant tropical flowers, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Basse-Terre, St. Kitts And Nevis
Located on the smaller of Guadeloupe’s two “butterfly wing” lobes, Basse-Terre is the capital of the French overseas department, although smaller than Point-a-Pitre on Grand Terre. It was the island’s first town, founded in 1643, and Fort Saint Charles, now called Fort Delgres, was built in 1650 to protect against English attacks. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, with its separate Bell Tower, and the Town Hall dating from 1889, which holds seven paintings added in the 1930s and now all registered historical landmarks. The island offers many picturesque fishing villages now welcoming tourists, including Deshaise near Grand Anse beach and Saint Claude in the forested hills. The towering volcano of La Soufriere is part of the National Park, as is the Reserve Cousteau at Pigeon Island, where divers and snorkelers flock to reefs that enchanted the late undersea explorer. The towering Chutes de Carbet waterfalls are another popular natural attraction.
Charlestown, Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis
Pretty, unassuming Nevis might be the definition of laid-back. Charlestown gets excited by the arrival of the daily ferry from St. Kitts. Stroll by the Museum of Nevis History, built on the foundations of the birthplace of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. The 17th and 18th centuries, in fact, were a heyday here. A group of Sephardic Jews arrived from Brazil, from where they had been evicted. They brought with them the secret to crystalizing sugar, which transformed the economy of the Caribbean. Their humble cemetery’s headstones are inscribed in Hebrew and Portuguese, dating from between 1672 to 1768, during which time they made up 25 percent of the island’s populace. Another nice walk is the Nevis Botanical Gardens.
St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua is blessed with an abundance of shining white beaches, and many of these have sprouted top-end resort hotels that engender golf courses and other amenities counted among the best in the Caribbean. A pleasant drive up through farms and tiny villages leads to the commanding fortress on Shirley Heights, from which you can survey the town and the harbor of Nelson’s Dockyard across the island. Once a carenage for British frigates, today it is an enclave of shops and restaurants.
Carambola Beach, St Kitts and Nevis
A classic golden arc of sugary sand at South Friar’s Bay, Carambola is home to the island’s most luxurious beach clubs and restaurants. Umbrellas, loungers and optional water sports abound for those so inclined. Otherwise St. Kitts has other attractions, including a number of lovingly preserved plantation great houses, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brimstone Hill Fortress and a scenic narrow gauge sugarcane railway.
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Since 2010, Sint Maarten has been a constituent country within the kingdom of The Netherlands. It comprises the “Dutch Side” of the island of Saint-Martin, the other half being a French overseas territory. Philipsburg is its capital and a busy deep-water port city. It is a popular port for cruise ships, and consequently boasts a thriving duty-free shopping community, a range of resorts and villas, and numerous leisure and sightseeing activities, as well as a well-served airport.
Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy
Tiny St. Barts, as it is commonly called, lies 125 miles northwest of the French island of Guadeloupe, of which it is a dependency. Its geographic features include steep, green, once-active volcano hills, deep valleys, and beautiful beaches. Founded by the French, ceded to Sweden then returned to France, the toy-scaled capital of Gustavia is built around the harbor on the island's southwest coast. Many of the island's inhabitants are descendants of settlers from Brittany, Normandy and Sweden. Today they operate small inns, cafes, restaurants and boutiques that are housed in old buildings of Swedish colonial and French Creole architecture. Too small for most cruise ships, Gustavia's harbor is a favorite layover for sailing yachts, and with prices well beyond the means of the masses, visits are mostly limited to a few hours of day-trippers from nearby St. Martin/St. Maarten. The majority of visitors staying on the island still come from among the privileged who treasure the laid-back atmosphere and small-gem perfection of St. Barts.
Terre-de-Haut, Iles Des Saintes, Guadeloupe
The Iles des Saintes, a tiny cluster of islets off the southern coast of Guadeloupe is what the doctor ordered, if he ordered an unspoiled Caribbean experience. No franchise duty free, no big hotels, no casinos. It is what much of the Caribbean used to be like. Stroll around the little town of Bourg de Saintes. Shop for real French cosmetics from the sidewalk vendors. Grab a seat and a beer and revel in the weather and the pace of the past.
Castries, St Lucia
St. Lucia is the sort of island that travelers to the Caribbean dream about--a small, lush tropical gem that is still relatively unknown. The Atlantic Ocean kisses its eastern shore, while the beaches of the west coast owe their beauty to the calm Caribbean Sea. St. Lucia seems like an island plucked from the South Pacific and set down in the Caribbean. Its dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, soar 2,500 feet up from the sea, sheltering magnificent rain forests where wild orchids, giant ferns, and birds of paradise flourish. Brilliantly-plumed tropical birds abound, including endangered species like the indigenous St. Lucia parrot.
Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
At this idyllic islet in the Tobago Cays, we sometimes anchor and indulge in a water sports Marina Day.
A1 - Oceanview Suite
PS - Penthouse Spa Suite
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