15 Night Cruise sailing from Santo Domingo to Bridgetown onboard Braemar.
A cruise during the festive period is always a magical experience, and this exhilarating Caribbean adventure is no exception. You’re in for an fortnight packed with sun, sea, sand and an abundance of authentic experiences, as you sail from one spectacular island paradise to the next, while very special celebrations will ensure Christmas and New Year’s Eve are simply unforgettable.
Your friendly home-from-home at sea will be waiting for you in the Dominican Republic, where you’ll have Christmas Eve morning to explore the charming cobbled streets of Santo Domingo – the Americas’ oldest European city – before setting sail. A magical Christmas Day at sea will combine a traditional feast of food, fun and festivity with time to indulge in relaxing sunbathing on deck, as Braemar diverts to Colombia and Cartagena de Indias, a captivating city bursting with Hispanic architectural and cultural highlights. As 2020 ends, your journey of Caribbean island discovery begins with visits to two of the beautiful ‘ABC’ islands. On Curacao, you can wander into the UNESCO-listed centre of Willemstad, packed with European-inspired, colonial-style structures and pastel-fronted houses. The beautifully unspoilt landscapes of Bonaire are then yours to explore, during a call into Kralendijk, before it’s on to St Maarten for a memorable end to the year. Take a day to uncover historic sites such as Willem and Amsterdam Forts, or simply relax at the beach, and then enjoy an evening of New Year’s Eve festivity topped-off by a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Show less
After celebrating the arrival of 2021 in St Maarten, the island-hopping continues, kicking-off the New Year in style. You’ll sail to St Kitts, where the undoubted highlight is the island’s famous scenic railway, regarded as one of the world’s great train journeys. Be sure to take a ride during your call into Basseterre to see the old sugar mills, windmills, and capture incredible vistas. Then there’s Tortola, where you can unravel the myths and legends of fascinating pirate history, and Antigua, famed for boasting over 365 breathtaking beaches, as well as historical highlights such as the English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard. Following on from that, authentic tours will offer opportunities to help students harvest produce at a school in St Lucia; and gain an insight into the life of Grenada’s local cocoa farmers. Alternatively, you could seek-out St Lucia’s soaring Twin Pitons during your call at Castries; and from St George’s, discover Grenadian delights such as Molinière Bay underwater sculpture park and Grand Etang National Park. Finally, you arrive in Bridgetown where, before disembarkation, you’ll have time to sample Barbados’ laidback vibes and authentic rum, admire gorgeous gardens, or even go in search of sea turtles aboard a catamaran.
Highlights of this cruise:
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Discovered by Columbus in 1496, Santo Domingo is the New World’s oldest colonial city. A beautiful place to simply walk around, the cobbled streets of Santo Domingo are lined with 15th & 16th century buildings that remind you of the city’s unique history.
Among the historic buildings you will also find modern creature comforts such as shopping malls, restaurants, bars and cafes. Events and festivals often take place and visitors are encouraged to get involved and experience the Dominican’s exciting, vibrant atmosphere. Be sure to explore the Colonial Zone and the Malecon. These are the most pedestrian friendly areas in the city and are home to the finest architecture, the best places to visit and finest cuisine.
For those who wish to simply lie back, relax and soak up incredible weather, there are several beautiful beaches within easy reach.
Kralendijk, Bonaire Netherlands
Kralendijk, the lively, Dutch-controlled capital of Bonaire, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and fantastic Caribbean climate. This colourful town is characterised by its many beaches dotted with quaint stucco houses in pastel shades of pink, green and blue.
Surrounded by the protected Marine Park, the island’s waters are home to large numbers of tropical fauna, rare seabirds and sea life, including turtles, tuna, Blue Marlin and sailfish. Washington Slagbaai National Park is a great place to spot flamingos, iguanas and giant cacti, while sun-worshippers intent on pure relaxation can enjoy the gorgeous white-sand beach on the nearby uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire.
Road Town, Tortola, Virgin Islands
Tortola Island is a famous pirate haunt of old, and Road Town is typically old-world Caribbean and still retains a surreal charm. Capital of the British Virgin Islands, this picturesque town sat between rolling hills and white sandy bays, has a history to match its beguiling beauty.
Situated on the horseshoe-shaped Road Harbour, Road Town is home to the Sunday Morning Well, the site where the Emancipation Proclamation was read in 1834. Among the old buildings of Main Street – some still complete with their original red tin roofs, shops stacked with local produce and an abundance of restaurants can be found. The oldest building on the street, HM Prison, was built in 1774.
Away from the town along the waterfront, the town’s craftsmen and women sell their own textiles, paintings, rugs and ornaments. The legendary Pussers Bar is the perfect place to try some authentic Caribbean rum, while nearby Cane Garden Bay offers an expanse of gorgeous, sugar-white sands.
Castries, St. Lucia
Castries, the capital of the island nation of St. Lucia, is known for its palm-lined, soft, white Vigie Beach. Like St. Lucia itself, the city combines heritage and culture with peace, relaxation and tranquillity, and Castries is a gateway to St. Lucia’s wealth of national parks with vast forests, native plants and wildlife.
The city’s streets are easy to navigate. Leafy Derek Walcott Square – named after a native noble laureate – is home to a 400-year-old Samaan tree and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception built in 1897. The nearby market in Jeremie Street, sells a wide range of items including fresh local fruit.
Overlooking the town is Morne Fortune, which provides some splendid views alongside Royal Navy history. Here the original French colonists built La Toc Battery, but was taken by the British in 1796, replacing it with a new fort built in 1888 to protect the harbour.
With its balmy climate, buzzing atmosphere, glorious azure waters and incredible beaches, Bridgetown is a tropical city that epitomises paradise. There is rarely a dull day in the capital and largest city of Barbados.
This very British Caribbean island is a favourite with tourists; the city’s streets are lined with shops, boutiques, street vendors, bars and places to eat – there is always something to do. Broad Street, the main street of Bridgetown is often packed with welcoming locals. It's easy to see why Barbados is known as Little England given Bridgetown’s Georgian houses, the horse-racing track, Parliament Square, and a statue of Nelson.
The entire downtown area of Bridgetown and the 17th century Garrison were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 in recognition of their historical significance. Near the central National Heroes Square, which fringes Constitution River, the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and museum explore Barbados' Jewish history.
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