POSTCARDS FROM

THE CARIBBEAN


THE CARIBBEAN IS CALLING… LET OUR LOCAL SHORE EXPERIENCE PARTNERS INSPIRE YOU WITH TALES OF NATURAL WONDERS, CULTURAL TREASURES AND MUST-TRY LOCAL TREATS

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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

NEIL KEELING, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE RENDEZVOUS CO, EXPLAINS WHY HE LOVES THESE MAGICAL ISLANDS

‘The Caribbean is a melting pot of ideas, cultures and cuisines and they’re brought together here in Antigua and Barbuda. With so many influences, there’s no end of ways to enjoy our islands.

‘To get a taster of local life, start the day with a drink of fresh coconut water. A vendor will take the top off with a cutlass – a sight and experience in itself. Then head down Market Street in St John’s to the bustling fruit and vegetable market with its colourful stalls. Look out for the Antigua Black pineapple, one of the sweetest in the world. You’ll want to try local dishes, too. I love goat water, a spicy soup made with goat meat, and you have to try ducana (sweet potato dumpling), our national dish fungee and pepperpot (a kind of stew), plus a savoury roti or Jamaican patty. Enjoy with a fresh juice, a cool Wadadli beer or a shot of Antigua Cavalier rum.

‘The heritage of our islands is fascinating, so I recommend taking a walking tour of St John’s. My favourite sights are the 18th-century fortifications Fort James, Fort Barrington and Fort Berkeley, and the only twin sugar mills in the Eastern Caribbean at Betty’s Hope Plantation. Take a drive out to Parham (St Peter’s church is a hidden gem) then take in the wild beauty of Devil’s Bridge on the east coast. The geysers, blowholes, archway and crashing waves are the stuff of myths.

‘With our 365 white-sand beaches, we’re spoilt for choice. I have so many favourites; however, Runaway Beach is what I think a perfect Caribbean beach should be. It’s about half a mile long and safe for all ages.

‘The marine life and wildlife here are special. I’m lucky enough to have visited Long Island and seen endangered sea turtles nesting – a truly magical event. And for bird lovers, we’ve the world’s largest breeding and nesting colony of the magnificent frigate in the Codrington Lagoon on Barbuda.

‘Antiguans are protective of the island’s natural wonders and we’re thrilled to have won Lonely Planet’s Emerging Sustainable Destination of the Year 2021. I’m so proud of this – and so much more: the fantastic sailing around the coast; the majestic outer islands; the varied island terrain; numerous historical sites; interesting local cuisine; and our warm and welcoming people. But don’t take my word for it: come and see it all for yourself.’

Three of the best

Antiguan Local Life: visit Smith’s Hall Estate for a slice of Antiguan history, followed by lunch at Claremont Farms.

Nelson’s Dockyard: explore one of the Caribbean’s most historic and enchanting sites.

Prickly Pear Island Escape: swim, snorkel or just soak up the sunshine vibes on this secluded island.

Book shore experiences up to 365 days before you sail:

mypocruises.com


SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

JUSTIN JOHNSON, ASSISTANT MANAGER, KANTOURS, SHARES HIS ISLAND TOP TIPS

‘I’ve always been a proud ambassador of my islands and all their wonders, and the fact that, despite being little, we’ve always led the crowd! Thanks to our economic and political stability, we’re a strong, progressive and successful twin-island federation.

‘There’s much to see here. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is our most impressive and imposing fortification, and it has a significant history. Known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies, it protected British interests in this part of the Caribbean during the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the citadel and parade ground, you get stunning views of the national park and the neighbouring islands. And you must visit the gardens at Romney Manor. This eight-acre setting is simply stunning – a photographer’s dream. At this glorious location, local artists produce traditional batik fabric and apparel for the island’s acclaimed Caribelle Batik brand.

‘Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden gives insight into the island in colonial times. Visit the beautiful 18th-century Great House, with its original baths, kitchen and chapel, and stop off at the only slavery exhibit on the island. This self-guided exhibit provides glimpses of the African-Caribbean slavery story, depicting life on the plantations during the pre- and post-emancipation period.

‘Of course, we have fabulous beaches. Cockleshell Beach is my favourite. Apart from the beautiful waters, powder-white sand and wide variety of water sports to choose from, it’s home to the world-famous Reggae Beach Bar and Spice Mill Restaurant – a must.

‘For an authentic taste of Saint Kitts, Belle Mont Farm is perfect. Located at Kittitian Hill, a sustainably-minded community set in 400 acres of organic tropical farmland, it’s awe-inspiring for many reasons. The breathtaking views, ambience and farm-to-table dining is worth the effort of getting there.

‘Across Saint Kitts, the friendly locals will make you smile – as will the island’s cheekiest residents, green vervet monkeys. They were brought to Saint Kitts by the French in the mid-1600s as exotic pets and, despite their pesky ways, are now one of our greatest attractions.’

Three of the best

Amazing Grace and Romney Manor: discover slave-trade history and more.

Party Bus and Vibes Beach Bar: all aboard for a fun adventure to Frigate Bay Beach.

Snorkel Saint Kitts: explore warm seas and virgin reefs alive with tropical fish, turtles and corals. Book shore experiences up to 365 days before you sail:

mypocruises.com


SAINT LUCIA

PEARL RAMBALLY-LEONCE, COX & CO LTD MANAGER, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING, ON SAINT LUCIA’S CHARMS

‘As the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life”, and here in Saint Lucia, choices are abundant, from gorgeous beaches and rewarding hikes to tasty local dishes and fun activities.

‘You can’t ignore the iconic Pitons. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has hiking trails on both peaks, but hiking to the summit of Gros Piton is most popular. It’s also home to the world’s only drive-in volcano, Sulphur Springs. It’s extinct but you’ll see bubbling hot mud pools emitting sulphurous steam.

‘It’s easy to head off the beaten track. Go to Grand Eden Estate high in the hills of Soufrière, for great hikes, organic farmlands, a bird sanctuary and amazing vistas. Let the owner regale you with anecdotes as he walks with you. You may be blessed with a sighting of our national bird, the Amazona versicolor parrot.

‘My favourite escape is Pigeon Island National Landmark inside the park at Pigeon Island. It offers the privacy of the beach, with shaded areas of the overhanging trees, but also the history of the location where Admiral Rodney defended the island of Saint Lucia against the French. You can also stroll around the park to view the many ruins and hike up to Fort Rodney for a panoramic view of the bay. On a clear day, you can see Martinique.

‘For a more cultural experience, Fond Latisab is a heritage site in the north-eastern section of the island in a community called Chassin. Saint Lucians are open, friendly and engaging people who are always willing to help. At Fond Latisab, the welcome is typically warm – they’ll show you the traditional way to make cassava bread, teach you some wood-cutting skills and a couple of our traditional dances.

‘For local dishes, you have to try our national dish, green figs and salted fish. The green figs (bananas) are boiled, and the salted fish is marinated with onions and tomatoes and seasoned with hot peppers.

‘For shopping, I recommend the arts and crafts section of our local Castries Market. Here, you’ll find authentic clay, straw and wooden crafts, as well as items that support local communities such as Choiseul. You’re sure to see something special.’

Three of the best

Climb the Pitons: commune with nature on a guided hike up Gros Piton with a tasty lunch afterwards.

Saint Lucia Highlights and Rum: enjoy close encounters with local rum, handicraft and the island’s best views.

Saint Lucia’s Scenic North: take in some of Saint Lucia’s most captivating scenery, including Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island.

Book shore experiences up to 365 days before you sail:

mypocruises.com

GO ISLAND HOPPING WITH ARVIA

Explore Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Saint Lucia with Arvia:

Search and book holidays at www.pocruises.com or call us on 0333 300 0108*

*Local call charges apply

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