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Caribbean Escapes in European Outposts

Caribbean Escapes in European Outposts

Cruise Only
10 nights

Luxury Holiday
Castries , St Lucia
Bridgetown, Barbados
South Beach, Miami
Barbados

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

EJ

In the spirit of you-never-regret-an-indulgence, we call seductive islands adorned with alluring landscapes. Bathed in sun from day one with ten glorious nights aboard EXPLORA I, where everything sizzles a bit more. The pageantry of beach and city play out for us in Miami. Wholly glamorous, rakishly aplomb, and mythically fabled in literature and film, this seaside city lives more like a small global country with residents and guests from around the world. No passports are required in the last bolt hole of America as we glide into Key West where local characters are as colourful as the scenery.

We depart while the setting sun is pitching slanted rays across Sunset Key and focus on the sumptuous offerings of our ship. For two languid days, time loses its tug and we learn that slow is not a speed but a tempo best marked according to massages at the Spa and well-crafted cocktails. Pristine Virgin Gorda greets us with a riot of dreamlike landscapes too vivid for words. See for yourself the marvel of cathedral-like grottos created by sky-high boulders and the offshore schools of silvery bonefish. Saint Barthélemy, named for the brother of Christopher Columbus, is now the pin-up poster boy of French swagger and yacht-set good looks.

Temptations of joie de vivre continue in Deshaies where boulangeries dish-out coconut sorbet, waterfalls tumble into vast canyons and a jade mountain peers magnificently over an aquamarine bay. In style and en-vogue, Castries is the most haute with her gob smacking Pitons, hot mineral mud baths, banana plantations and a volcano we can actually drive into! We end our reverie in Bridgetown which has the high-tea reputation of being more British than the British! Cheers to a jolly good Journey.

EJ124 Operated by Explora Journeys

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Caribbean Escapes in European Outposts Itinerary

Day 1 - Miami, Florida

Welcome to Miami and the sweep of South Beach - backdrop to every iconic Miami movie, and forefront of Latin American culture. Stroll through pastel-hued geometric buildings in the art deco district, to graffiti mural masterpieces at Wynwood Walls. Watch Latino life unfold in Little Havana - the heartbeat of this great city - where walk-up windows sell café cortadito, sweet sugarcane juice, hatuey beer and guava ice-cream. Watch passionate locals discuss politics, play dominoes and smoke cigars. Shimmy at a salsa class, shop designer boutiques and race marlin and sharks by speedboat. Then slow your pace to uncover rare and endangered species at the Everglades National Park outdoor oasis. You’ll find the Miami dream is real – and it’s not just Cuban heels that will give you a spring in your step.

Day 2 - Key West, Florida

Key West might end at Florida’s most southern point, but here is the start of real laid-back life. Nearer Cuba than Miami, this last in line of small coral reefed islands is famed for history, culture, fishing, cuisine, and candy-coloured homes. Surf, snorkel, shop by appointment and attend a private seafood tasting. Hop aboard the Old Town Trolley tour, visit Hemingway’s quirky former house, study over 50 different butterflies at the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory and watch leggy flamingos strut their stuff. Key West is not just a deep tan Floridan beach town, it’s a way of life, with the only rule being to come as you please.

Day 5 - Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

Slip into a tranquil, tropical paradise of sparkling waters, coral reefs and powder white beaches. Switch off and slowly shop, swim, snorkel and sip within the peace of sand, sea and sky. Sink into a beachside boulder-forming pool at The Baths, admire spectacular villas scattered on the Great Mountain, sit back on a safari bus ride or sunbathe aboard a catamaran. Prepare to be mesmerised by this softly lit, sun-drenched heaven.

Day 6 - Gustavia

Mingle amongst other discerning guests on this French isle that exudes relaxed glamour. Wander along secluded beaches, harbourside Creole huts, drop into bohemian bars and snorkel gently through warm turquoise waters. Visit La Tourmente, the peaceful salt ponds and admire uninterrupted views on a local boat trip. And as you sip your second (or third) glass of champagne to the lull of the gentle waves, it might be time to learn the French for "paradise found".

Day 7 - Saint John's

An adrenaline rush awaits. Swim with stingrays. Zip-line through lush forests. Walk across a gorge on a scenic suspension bridge. Sip excellent aged rums. Taste the island with a chef. Or stroll St. St. John's old town to tour cottages laden with cheerful fretwork. Explore British forts atop Shirley Heights and Goat Hill. Then rest and rejuvenate with VIP reservations at one of Anguilla’s snow-white beaches and enjoy a cozy lounger and rum drinks.

Day 8 - Deshaies

Slowly amble into little sleepy Deshaies. Stroll around the sheltered bay brimming with Creole homes, restaurants and a cosmopolitan crowd. Stroll along to the best of Guadeloupe; the fine golden sands of Grande Anse and the wonderful botanical garden with dreamy plants and ponds. Visit the Cocoa House for a taste of dark chocolate’s rich roots, climb the summit of La Grande Dame at La Soufriere, wander to waterfalls and visit Christopher Island bird reserve. Coconut palms, protected wildlife and a slow pace – you’ll be filled with love in this relaxed fishing village.

Day 9 - Basseterre, Saint Kitts

Formed by volcanoes, St Kitts fertile soil is so rich it turns monkeys green. Trek through miles of rainforest amongst colourful wildlife to conquer the highest peak of Mount Liamuiga so you can peer into the mile-wide crater, or bravely descend to sniff the sulphur. Experience a train ride, sailing trip, cooking class, sky safari zip-line, or creative batik fabric workshops. Visit sugarcane plantations, the Narrows between St Kitts and Nevis and the UNESCO Brimstone Hill Fortress for spectacular views of neighbouring islands. You’ll find this special island small in size yet tall in standing, as well as big on charm.

Day 10 - Castries

Wind your way through the romantic island of St Lucia. Hike up the majestic UNESCO-listed Pitons, wallow in a volcanic mud bath, lounge on black sand beaches, explore botanical gardens and venture into a tropical jungle scattered with banana, coconut and mango plantations. Choose between calm Caribbean or choppy Atlantic seas to skim through waters by catamaran, private boat or kayak. Refresh beneath a waterfall, watch gliding whales and enjoy freshly caught mahi mahi with local Piton beer. Or just relax into an inner glow of serenity as you unwind in this tranquil tropical isle.

Day 11 - Bridgetown

Gently breeze into the vibrant capital of Barbados. Steeped in fascinating history, with architecture to match, uncover the wonderfully laid-back West Indian ambiance. Embrace the slow Bajan rhythm of this welcoming island; surf, snorkel and try spotting turtles in balmy azure waters. Explore subterranean Harrison’s Cave, Jacobean St Nicholas Abbey and zipline high above bountiful tropical flora. Then return to restore on pastel pink sands at palm-studded beaches, where you’ll discover cocktail hour is endless, and measures of rum are copious.

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