The Southern Caribbean
With fabulous beaches, stunning scenery and year-round sunshine, the Southern Caribbean is a destination you won't want to miss. It's the perfect exotic getaway - and by cruising, you can explore more of the region on one vacation!
Enjoy the Good Life
Relax on white sand beaches; hike tropical rain forests; visit world class museums and enjoy shipboard life. Every day is a new adventure when you cruise the Southern Caribbean.
Beyond the beach, there's plenty to pique your interest as this region has a fascinating history and some wonderful natural landscapes to explore.
Aboard your cruise ship you'll find no shortage of enriching and fun experiences as cruise lines cater to today's active travellers. Dining is also a true delight with many venues to choose from as well as convenient room service.
Floating from port to port, carefree and relaxed; cruising is certainly an idyllic way to enjoy the Southern Caribbean.
Southern Caribbean Itineraries
- Cruise ships visit the islands of the Southern Caribbean from Guadeloupe to Aruba including Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Bonaire and Curacao. There is great diversity of cultures and landscapes across these islands. For details on what to see and do, see the Spotlight article.
- For the real Southern Caribbean, choose a port-intensive itinerary which will take you to more than one or two southern islands. Some good examples are ms Maasdam 14 days r/t Ft. Lauderdale; Celebrity Constellation 14 days r/t Ft. Lauderdale; Celebrity Millennium 10 days r/t San Juan; Caribbean Princess 14 days r/t San Juan; Silver Spirit 7 days r/t Barbados; Sea Princess 14 days r/t Barbados.
- There are many one-week cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico which call at the Southern Caribbean. San Juan is a lively city makes a great pre or post cruise destination. Visit the charming old town, the second oldest in the region after Santo Domingo; head out to El Yunque National Park; tour the largest rum distillery in the world and don't miss the exciting night life.
- Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, you'll see more of the south on itineraries of at least 10 days. Any seven-day sailings will spend about 3 days at sea, like Holland America's ms Westerdam which calls at three ports in a week - Half Moon Cay, Aruba and Curacao.
- The engineering marvel of the Panama Canal is the highlight of some southern itineraries. Cruise ships sail a partial transit of the canal to Gatun Lake then return to the Caribbean and/or they offer exciting excursions in Panama. These itineraries also call at Costa Rica and Colombia making for a very exotic vacation. Most of these are 10-day cruises, round-trip from Florida. (See RCI's Jewel of the Seas, Princess Cruises' Island Princess, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Equinox and Holland America Line's Panama Canal Sunfarer sailings.)
- An excellent addition to a vacation in Panama is RCI's Grandeur of the Seas' one-week cruises round-trip from Colon, Panama. These unique sailings call at Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and two ports in Colombia; Cartagena and Santa Marta.
- For those with lots of time, Holland America offers a series of Caribbean Collector sailings of 20 to 35 days which take you to islands across the Caribbean including many in the south.
As you spend a day in each inviting port, there is a variety of optional excursions you can take from your ship which introduce you to the local highlights.
If you want to tour independently, taxis and local tour companies often turn up at the cruise pier or you can make arrangements ahead of time. Larger centres have car rentals which can also be arranged before leaving home. Give us a call as we can help with any special local arrangements you want to make.
For an exotic cruise experience that is a short flight away, definitely consider the Southern Caribbean.
For a list of great options, see the Southern Caribbean Cruise Specials page.
By Susan Milne