Southern Caribbean

 

Cruises to Southern Caribbean islands are the stuff vivid tropical daydreams are made of. The rainforests of Dominica, crystal-clear waters of US Virgin Island St. Thomas, seaside villages of Barbados and white-sand beaches of Aruba are just a few of the exotic treasures you’ll find on your travels — and each of these iconic island experiences can be yours on cruises to the Southern Caribbean. These far-flung islands were made for getting out and swimming, snorkeling, hiking… not to mention excellent shopping and beach lounging. .

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Aruba

Island country

 
Aruba, a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, has dry, sunny weather, blond beaches and gentle surf. Constant trade winds bring cool breezes and cause the divi-divi trees to slope southwesterly. European influence shows in architecture that features Dutch gables painted in tropical pastels. It’s also evident in language, with English, Dutch and Spanish spoken alongside the local tongue, Papiamento.
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Bonaire

 
Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands, lies off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean. Its reef-lined coast is protected by Bonaire National Marine Park. Beyond its rich marine life, the island shelters lizards, donkeys and birds within its immense Washington Slagbaai National Park, marked by beaches, lagoons, caverns and desert-like hills.
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Curaçao

 

 
Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known for its beaches tucked into coves and its expansive coral reefs rich with marine life. The capital, Willemstad, has pastel-colored colonial architecture, floating Queen Emma Bridge and the sand-floored, 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. It’s also a gateway to western beaches like Blue Bay, a popular diving site.
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Grenada

 
Grenada is a Caribbean country comprising a main island, also called Grenada, and smaller surrounding islands. Dubbed the “Spice Isle,” the hilly main island is home to numerous nutmeg plantations. It’s also the site of the capital, St. George’s, whose colourful homes, Georgian buildings and early-18th-century Fort George overlook narrow Carenage Harbour. To the south is Grand Anse Beach, with resorts and bars.
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St Marteen

 
Sint Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a country on the southern part of a Caribbean island shared with Saint Martin, a French overseas collectivity. Its natural features span lagoons, beaches and salt pans. The capital, Philipsburg, has cobblestone streets and colorful, colonial-style buildings lining its Front Street shopping area. The port is a popular cruise-ship stop.
 
 
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Barbados

Isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 miles (161 km) due east of St. Lucia, Barbados stands apart from its neighbors in the Lesser Antilles archipelago, the chain of islands that stretches in a graceful arc from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad. It's a sophisticated tropical island with a rich history, lodgings to suit every taste and pocketbook, and plenty to pique your interest both day and night.