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Old 19-08-2016, 14:21   #1
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Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Hello,
I will be arriving in the Caribbean in December and my partner and my two girls 16 and 12 years old will be coming for a 3 week holiday just after Christmas. I would like some advice on the best way to spend the time, considering they would only be interested in short voyages and more interested in snorkeling, swimming, exploring, eating... as you would expect I guess. I don't mind if the fly in and out points are different. I was thinking Saint Martin to Martinique, we could stop at all the islands in between.

As Ive never been to the Caribbean all advice will be welcome.

Geoff
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Old 19-08-2016, 15:10   #2
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Are you on your own boat or chartering?


St Martin to Martinique is great but its all upwindish (there should be northeasters in december but its still quite hard on the wind)
But the other was around would be all downwind.
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Old 19-08-2016, 15:16   #3
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

For something like this, BVI for sure. Lots of stuff to do and short, easy sails.
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Old 19-08-2016, 15:35   #4
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Thanks Mark,
On my Bavaria 46 which is currently in Spain so It doesn't matter where I land. Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated! Geoff
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Old 19-08-2016, 15:57   #5
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

...a 3 week holiday just after Christmas...

Google 'Christmas winds'. If your visitors aren't into lively/spirited sailing, there's a more than fair chance that you might not be going very far at all, so whilst they're far from my favourites, the BVIs might not be a bad option.
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Old 19-08-2016, 17:34   #6
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

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Thanks Mark,
On my Bavaria 46 which is currently in Spain so It doesn't matter where I land. Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated! Geoff
Lots of boats arrive in St Lucia, Rodney Bay. Its where the ARC finishes. Couple of huge supermarkets close to a dinghy tie up... Then cruise north. That would be my idea.
But really on a Bavaria 46 go where you want. I particularly like St Barts at Christmas and New Year. But others prefer a quiet time.
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Old 19-08-2016, 19:22   #7
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

St. Lucia to St. Martin would be a nice three-week trip. Mostly downhill. I think the Virgin Islands are the best of the lot. St. John is my favorite.

But it's all definitely worth a visit.
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Old 20-08-2016, 08:28   #8
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Its really hard to go wrong. We love the French side of St. Martin, and Iles des Saintes on Guadaloupe and Portsmouth on Dominica are among our favorite stops. You will find the voyage from Nevis or Antigua to Guadaloupe to be very long. We have taken to doing this as an overnight trip. I guess if you are willing to stop on Montserrat, its not so bad. The history at St. Pierre on Martinique is fascinating. Plus the Depaz rum distillery is a reasonable walk from the harbor. St. Anne on the south side of Martinique is a very pleasant stop.
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Old 20-08-2016, 11:08   #9

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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Geoff- "I don't mind if the fly in and out points are different." You might want to check airline prices first. What they used to call a "broken leg", meaning, not a round trip between the same two points, can often cost more than TWO round-trip tickets would cost. And if your ports are in different countries...you may wind up paying the equivalent of four round trip tickets, as compared to flying in and out of the same spot. (At least, the US carriers play this game, I have no idea how the international ones will handle the Carib these days.) But worth checking this, before making plans. A local flight or ferry back to the arrival point so you can make it "round trip" may be the way to go.
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Old 20-08-2016, 17:24   #10
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post
St. Lucia to St. Martin would be a nice three-week trip. Mostly downhill. I think the Virgin Islands are the best of the lot. St. John is my favorite.

But it's all definitely worth a visit.
All i've read on st lucia is " real scary" and you're gonna get robbed.. check that first.. all the best
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Old 20-08-2016, 18:54   #11
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

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All i've read on st lucia is " real scary" and you're gonna get robbed.. check that first.. all the best
This appears to be a useful website:

Caribbean Security Index : Free Cruising Guides

This stuff seems to change over time. One good, scary crime, and that country gets painted as dangerous. Years pass, and it's the safest place in the Caribbean.

Be vigilant. Have fun.
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Old 20-08-2016, 19:08   #12
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

Other than the dining request, out I would say the Bahamas/Exumas. Although if you could get a charter out of Georgetown that would be good. But Xmas, may not be best weather. probably BVI.
Antigua ok, St Martin maybe too. But the best beaches, seclusion and snorkeling is the Bahamas.
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Old 21-08-2016, 00:32   #13
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

As an aside - if you use LIAT airline for inter island transport be very prepared for canceled flights and overnight stays even between islands right next to each other! This has happened to me several times...I wonder if LIAT runs the hotel out in nowhere land on Antigua just for these overnight stops. The nicknames for LIAT are legendary - Leaving Island Any Time, Lost Immediately After Takeoff, Luggage In Any Terminal...
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Old 21-08-2016, 04:03   #14
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Wanderlust141 View Post
Hello,
I will be arriving in the Caribbean in December and my partner and my two girls 16 and 12 years old will be coming for a 3 week holiday just after Christmas. I would like some advice on the best way to spend the time, considering they would only be interested in short voyages and more interested in snorkeling, swimming, exploring, eating... as you would expect I guess. I don't mind if the fly in and out points are different. I was thinking Saint Martin to Martinique, we could stop at all the islands in between.

As Ive never been to the Caribbean all advice will be welcome.

Geoff
Because of your timing, and the age of your girls and being your first time, I would suggest flying into St. Thomas and sailing over to Water Island. There are other girls that live on the island that are the same age as your daughters. Heidi (unofficial Mayor) of Water Island has food on the beach, and even sets up a sheet between two coconut trees Tuesday nights for a Caribbean style family drive in movie complete with intermission and pop corn. If you're going to be doing Xmas on island, Heidi also does a pot luck Xmas dinner for the entire island that is an outstanding experience. Your daughters and yourself could explore the island in a rental golf cart, horseshoes on the beach and for the adults, a pot luck at Joe's hut on the beach Sunday night usually with live music and dancing. Water Island is an outstanding Xmas time holiday. Nearby islands you can visit are Culebra, and Vieques which by the way has a bio bay that will make you feel like a teenager again
Quite an experience. island-adventures . There is also buck Island which is a short sail out and has great snorkeling, or you can also sail to Tórtola and BVI in a day easily should you choose to for checking out the baths on VG or Jost Van Dyke.
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Old 26-08-2016, 19:19   #15
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Re: Best 3 weeks in the Caribbean?

I agree with looking into the BVIs. Bunch of islands relatively close together with a lot to see and do. There are also some good restaurants especially on the bigger islands like Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Also check out some of the cave snorkeling on Norman Island, it could make for a great day sail.

Another area you may want to check out are the Grenadine Islands. There will be more than enough in that area to spend 3 weeks and the snorkeling is apparently pretty good. Plenty of islands to explore and the water beautiful.

With both of the above being said, I think you will get the most diverse experience (in terms of culture, landscape, dining, etc.) sailing from St. Maarten to Martinique, as you will be hitting several different countries.

Best of luck.
-Ryan James
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