21-day Ultimate Caribbean
Sat Jan 4th 2025
Onboard Volendam
Itinerary Summary
Miami, Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, San Juan, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua , Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale
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Itinerary

Day 1 : Ft. Lauderdale

-- - 3:00 pm

Originally a fort built by the U.S. Army in 1838 during the Second Seminole War, Fort Lauderdale welcomes visitors with broad, palm-fringed beaches and an easy pace of life. Stroll along fashionable Las Olas Boulevard with its stylish shops or enjoy a sightseeing cruise through the city''s canals, boasting more waterways than Venice. Or, venture out and explore the cosmopolitan city of Palm Beach, or the wildlife sanctuary of the Everglades.

Day 2 : Half Moon Cay

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Half Moon Cay has the attraction of other private islands plus some! This 2500 acre island, prides itself in maintaining the natural ecology; it protects 2400 of its acres by keeping them wholly unspoiled. Located one hundred miles SE of Nassau, its large protected bay used to be a famous refuge for pirates (or as famous as a pirate refuge can get). Enjoy nature activities, beach fun, or just swing in the hammock to the island steel band. Make sure to take at least one dip in the beach which is only chest deep 60 ft out!

Day 3 : At Sea

Day 4 : Amber Cove

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Day 5 : San Juan

1:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The fortress of El Morro guards the harbor against long-gone Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. The colorful streets of Old San Juan retain the Latin flavor of its seafaring past, when this was the heart of the Spanish Main. Sample the fiery rum made here, or indulge in an icy treat made from fresh tropical fruit and enjoy the Caribbean atmosphere.

Day 6 : Tortola

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tortola, the tiny island that starts the long crescent of the Lesser Antilles, is a fragment of Britain, complete with right-hand drive automobiles, High Teas and soft-spoken graciousness to visitors. Wander through genteel, laid-back Road Town, then select one of the marvelous beaches, and enjoy the most un-British eternal sunshine.

Day 7 : St. Maarten

8:00 am - 11:00 pm

Dutch St. Maarten is a great place to stop just to shop. Its capital is Philipsburg and fills a narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond. It is a bustling center of international trade with lively shopping streets, cafes, and hotels. Strangely enough it has two main streets called Front Street and Back Street.

On Front Street, which is the main thoroughfare, duty-free shops line the road as far as the eye can see. These duty-free shops offer everything from Italian leather goods and Japanese cameras to native crafts. Don't be afraid to venture the alleyways that will lead you to arcades and courtyards filled with flowers.

The Courthouse is the most prominent landmark on Front Street. It is a grand white wooden structure topped with a cupola built in 1793. Front Street also includes the Simartin Museum so that visitors can get and excellent introduction to local St. Maartin history. There are also historical forts that are monuments to Philipsburg's strategic importance in St. Maarten's history.

Philipsburg has not been left behind in the time, however. It has combined its historical legacy with 20th century excitement. Since its waterfront has become a popular stop for cruise ships, the shore of this town is covered with restaurants, cafes and nightclubs that offer entertainment well into the night.

Day 8 : Antigua

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

St. John's, Antigua is one of the oldest trading posts in the Caribbean Sea. It is a mixture of restored buildings that date back to the 1600s and some more modern buildings. One of the great things about St. John's is that most of the sights are within walking distance; so go explore the town as soon as you disembark. As you take a stroll along the streets lining the wharf, you will notice vendors hawking everything from clothing to local crafts, artwork, and jewelry. The Public Market is arrayed with an assortment of tropical fruits that you may not recognize. If you are up for a little bit adventure, sample something that appeals to you. Just make sure to ask if it needs any preparation first.

Day 9 : Dominica

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Day 10 : St. Lucia

7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Just recently, St. Lucia, and Castries in particular, has become one of the most popular regions for tourists. The accommodations and facilities are top of the line, and the restaurants and activities fabulous. The majority of travelers reside between Castries, which is the capital of St. Lucia, and the northern end of the island. The entire north side of the island is comprised of white-sand beaches to dazzle even the most seasoned and experienced traveler.

Day 10 : At Sea

Day 11 : Barbados

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Bajan British accent is very distinctive, reflecting both the Scepter'd Isle and the lovely one they live on. Barbados still has lovely parish churches, great manor houses and a proper Trafalgar Square along with white-sugar beaches and waving fields of cane.

Day 12 : Grenada

7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Called the "Spice Island" for its abundance of cinnamon and nutmeg, still sold at the waterfront market, Grenada is spicy in many other ways. St. George's has historic buildings in brick and mellow stone, and one of the loveliest harbors in the Caribbean. The coastline is full of secluded coves, while the mountainous interior is rich in rainforests and frothy rivers.

Day 13 : At Sea

Day 14 : At Sea

Day 15 : Bonaire

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Bonaire has consistently been ranked as the finest snorkeling and scuba diving destination in the Caribbean for two decades. This is because of the island's diligent stewardship of its marine resources. Since 1979, all the waters of Bonaire's coast have been legally protected.

Besides snorkeling and scuba diving, there is plenty more to be done here. Bonaire has trade winds that are usually steady and wash over the island. This creates ideal conditions for windsurfing. The sere beauty of this semi-desert landscape is home to an assortment of wildlife. Atop the rock formations of Washington Slagbaai you can find iguanas toasting themselves, while they watch a vast cloud of orange-pink flamingoes drift across the bone-white salt flats. The divi-divi trees bending into the surreal sculptures of the wind, and towering cacti represent the Caribbean's diverse ecology.

Another great thing about Bonaire is that it has a yearly average temperature of 82 degrees F (27.8 degrees C) with an average water temperature of 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C). All year, Bonaire is not likely to see more than 22 inches (56 cm) of rain. This can be attributed to its nearly constant humidity of 76% and year round sunny forecast.

Day 16 : Aruba

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The tiny island of Aruba is the smallest of the ABC Islands, which include Barbados and Curacao. Aruba lies about 15 miles north of Venezuela and has limited vegetation. The landscape consists of cacti and the curiously wind-bent divi divi trees. You may also be interested in climbing atop some of the huge boulders and exploring some of its caves. Of course, the main attractions to this island are its magnificent beaches against the turquoise waters full of spectacular marine life, which lure scores of sunbathers, snorkelers, and divers each year to the island.

Though small, Aruba has room for some luxury as well. If you travel along Palm Beach, you will find the several miles of this white sand lined with a string of hotels with glitzy casinos, restaurants and exotic boutiques. The crystal-clear waters of this beach are ideal for swimming and all kinds of watersports. However, if you prefer to stay dry, you are more than welcome to enjoy Aruba''s exotic underwater world from the glass bottom boats or on a submarine excursion.

Day 17 : At Sea

Day 18 : Ocho Rios

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

With its swaying palms, glistening white beaches and sophisticated resorts, Ocho Rios is a favorite vacation spot. For a splendid view, visit Shaw Park Gardens, overflowing with fragrant flora and refreshing waterfalls or enjoy a refreshing trek through Dunn's River Falls-one of the most celebrated attractions in the Caribbean.

Day 19 : Grand Cayman

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Survey the neatly shuttered shops for bargains, or the twisted rock formations known as "Hell." But there's nothing hellish about the white-sand heaven of Seven Mile Beach. Sample the rum distilled here and be sure to visit the world's only sea turtle farm.

Day 20 : At Sea

Day 21 : Key West

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Key West is the southernmost point in the Continental United States and home of "Papa" Hemingway's noted hangout, Sloppy Joe's. Tour Presiden Truman's "Little White House" or bask on a beach that's just 90 miles from Cuba.

Day 22 : Ft. Lauderdale

7:00 am - --

Originally a fort built by the U.S. Army in 1838 during the Second Seminole War, Fort Lauderdale welcomes visitors with broad, palm-fringed beaches and an easy pace of life. Stroll along fashionable Las Olas Boulevard with its stylish shops or enjoy a sightseeing cruise through the city''s canals, boasting more waterways than Venice. Or, venture out and explore the cosmopolitan city of Palm Beach, or the wildlife sanctuary of the Everglades.