Often times, when we think of cultural meccas we think of destinations like Europe and urban centres such as New York City, but there is an emerging trend in the Caribbean you might want to consider for your next vacation…Barbados, the easterly most island of the Caribbean.Explore
Moments after casting off from San Juan Marina, in a vast harbour embracing Puerto Rico’s biggest city, I throttle up our rubber dinghy’s outboard and the lively craft surges forward. Two other vessels complete our fleet. A Puerto Riqueño, with his wife for crew, pilots one. Our tour guide, Elvis Monge, handles the other. Our manifest includes my wife and our friend, Rebecca Keddie, who’s lived on-island for roughly a year. I’m on the helm. No big-box excursion this, but an amphibious city tour, thanks to San Juan Mini Boats.Explore
Despite the ongoing lure of the deep blue Caribbean seas, a day pass at La Marina at the Casa de Campo resort is worth squeezing into your itinerary. You’re already in the Caribbean…your next destination won’t mind if you arrive a day or so late. Mañana. Mañana.
Not all marinas are created equal and this one certainly stands out. But you have to reserve ahead if you want to really enjoy all that the 370-slip La Marina has to offer. Renowned as one of the best billfishing spots in the world, La Marina attracts the most serious of the serious from February through June who come to catch a prized blue marlin, mahi mahi, or yellow fin tuna so plan to visit from November to January to ensure a good spot.Explore
Dominica has been on “the” list for quite some time now and when I actually get to do something on “the” list, my heart skips a beat!
Although Dominica still remains somewhat off-the-beaten track for boaters, it is located right in the middle of the chain of Caribbean islands and can be easily accessed from Antigua and Guadeloupe to the north or Martinique and St. Lucia to the south. Chartering boats from any of these islands is easy.
Dominica’s best anchorage is Prince Rupert Bay in the north, off the town of Portsmouth – a popular destination for yachts. And although the marine services are sketchy here, a quick ship-to-shore call to Andrew O’Brien (fondly known as Cobra) will provide you with whatever you need from custom and immigration clearance, provisioning, transportation and access to yacht services nearby.Explore
It’s just so easy to get to Antigua with direct flights offered by Air Canada and West Jet several days a week in season, Antigua also offers one of the best kick-off points for exploring so many other Caribbean islands…if you have the time and the winds are prevailing in the right direction.
However, don’t get me wrong. There’s lots to do in Antigua and since it’s pretty much a year-round destination, you could customize your charter vacation by planning it around Antigua Sailing Week in late April or the annual carnival in late July.Explore
I boarded the Celestyal Crystal ship in Havana, after a tour of the city in a 1950 red and white Chevy convertible, one of 70,000 classic American cars that account for half of the vehicles on the island. After a couple of hours, we reluctantly left Lucito, our driver and his grandfather’s car and strolled around Old Town Havana. I dearly wished I had more time there to explore the cafes, shops and see more of the faded elegant beauty of the historic buildings. But the ship was waiting.Explore
We are taking off from Antigua and are tightly belted into our twin-engine, seven-seater Britten-Norman Islander – operated by Fly Monserrat and captained by John, formerly pilot to the Toronto Blue Jays. Minutes later, we catch site of our tiny destination. To the south lures Montserrat and to the north, St. Kitts, Nevis’ big sister, from where one can fly or take a ferry to the land of stillness.
In traditional Caribbean style, we are greeted by a delightful welcome cocktail, this time of mango juice, rum and cassis and then swept off to our suites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a view of which I will never ever tire.Explore