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On board ss Caribbean Star during your stop-over on St.Eustatius, you hike the Quill ~ an extinct

volcano ~ and visit the dense tropical rainforest with it’s breadfruit and mahogany trees. You also find over a dozen different types of orchids with their accompanying, brilliantly colored hummingbirds; and from the Panorama Track you view Saba and St.Barts in the distance. ~ Ship Card (visiting Islands L-80, R-117 & R-118) Continue reading

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When ss Magellan docks in Cozumel you visit the temple ruins of Ix Chel, the moon

goddess. Ix Chel, the goddess of renewal, fertility and medicine, travels each day through the Maya underworld, struggling with it’s evil forces, to be reborn the next night as the moon in the heavens. ~ Island Card (visiting Island X-145) Continue reading

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The magic of Colombia is best realised in the writing of one of her favourite sons. Visiting Cartagena

while on board ss Magellan you walk the cobblestone streets, inhale the atmosphere, marvel at the architecture, meet the people, visit churches and museums, sip local coffee and read about love … and other demons. ~ Ship Card (visiting Caribbean destination S-122) Continue reading

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Luckily, ss Neptune does not sail until the early hours of the next morning on her Friday visit to St.Lucia

(pronounced loosha). So go to the Friday night “Jump Up” in Gros Islet and make new friends with the locals, your fellow cruisers and visiting holiday makers along with all the other travelers who gather at this weekly street party to listen to reggae, soca and other Caribbean rhythms ~ then dance the night away … Continue reading

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The Exumas are famed for their sailing and snorkelling. They are a group of islands and cays,

some of which are so small that they disappear with the tides. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a conservation area and “NO TAKE ZONE” where you can view wild life in unspoiled and beautiful natural surroundings. The ss Mayan Sun docks at Staniel Cay so you can spend the day snorkeling in the beautiful … Continue reading

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In memory of the previous evening’s fabulous midnight buffet on board ss Magellan, your exercise

today is a jog down the Bermuda Railway Trail from St.George Parish to Lover’s Lake Nature Reserve with its white Bermuda longtails (Tropicbirds), kiskadees (Flycatchers) or perhaps an Eastern Bluebird hiding among the mangroves. ~ Island Card (visiting Island Parish G-53) Continue reading

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When ss Azure Sea visits Puerto Limon in Costa Rica, go south to the Gondoca-Manzanillo National

Wildlife Refuge and explore the tropical coastline: See the reef while on a glass bottom boat, learn about the medicinal plants of this area, perhaps catch sight of a Blue Morpho butterfly fluttering and floating on the path ahead of you. Afterwards spend the night in a hammock on a suspended platform high in the … Continue reading

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The British Virgin Islands have had an interesting life. Originally formed by volcanic activity many years ago,

they then splintered into the collection of tiny islands and cays that exist today. Settled firstly by the Ciboney Indians, then the Arawak and Caribs; the islands were then fought over by the Spanish, English, French and Dutch. Mix in an unhealthy sampling of pirates and privateers, rumors of buried treasure, plus a plantation economy, … Continue reading

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After departing Miami on board ss Neptune sailing for Key West, you stand on deck in the safety of

your mega-sized cruise ship and are reminded of American painter Winslow Homer’s watercolor “The Gulf Stream” which portrays humanity’s powerlessness against the unpredictability and violence of nature. ~  Ship Card (visiting Islands A-1 & Z-154) Continue reading

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The Trade Winds that blow all year round make art out of Nature in the form of the wind-bent

divi-divi trees that are scattered all over Aruba. They also helped form the natural coral rock bridge at Andicouri; and these same breezes make Aruba the natural place to hold the annual HiWinds (Pro)-Am Windsurfing competition. ~ Island Card (visiting Island R-116) Continue reading

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Relaxing in the crystal waters off Isla Tigre you find a fallen coconut and reflect upon the number

of ways to use the tree and its fruit: 1. Drink the coconut water. 2. Make a fire of the husks to smoke fish. 3. Break off a piece of the shell for a cooking/eating implement. 4. Use trunk as a flotation device. 5. Use trunks for house stilts. 6. Eat the coconut meat. Welcome … Continue reading

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While cruising on board mv Riviera you moor off Small Hope Bay on the island of Andros;

after going ashore, make sure that you do not upset the “chickcharnies” ~ strange little gremlins with three toes and red eyes, which are said to hang upside down in the trees casting good or bad luck spells on people passing by. If you are the recipient of a bad spell no amount of skills … Continue reading

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The Bay Islands have had a variety of inhabitants over the years: From a branch of the Mayan

Indians who originally settled the islands, to the Spanish, the Garifuna (descendants of Carib Indians and African slaves) and Cayman islanders. There were also pirate contingents from England, France and the Netherlands who used the islands of Roatan and Utila, amongst others, as bases to harry and plunder Spanish treasure ships. ~ Continue reading

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A visit to the paradise that are the Tobago Cays (pronounced keys) is the quintessential

Caribbean. These small uninhabited islands are protected from the sea by Horseshoe Reef. The islands have white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, all the better for exploring the underwater wonderland of neon fish swimming among brilliantly colored sponges in a fabulous coral garden. ~ Continue reading

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During your cruise aboard sv Tradewinds from Isla de Baru to Cayos Hollandes, Corn Island and

Cayos Lobos you marvel at the different colours of Lake Bacalar while on your Shore Excursion in Mexico. This Lake of Seven Colours reminds you that water is a universal agent for transformation, balance and healing … and that the sometime soft, smooth music of water can lead you into a relaxing dreamland. ~ Island Card … Continue reading

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During your Shore Excursion on St.Croix while aboard ss Colombia, you visit the Estate Whim

Plantation Museum. This eighteenth century Great House is made from coral and rock bonded together with a mortar of sea shells and sugar molasses: Here you can see the different ways that power drove the mills that were used on this sugar plantation many years ago ~ wind, donkey and steam; and alongside the mills … Continue reading

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When ss Magellen docks at Grand Bahama, make sure that you visit one of this island’s Nature

Centres, where an explosion of colourful bougainvillea, hibiscus, periwinkles and orchids live with multi-coloured butterflies, blue lizards, curly tailed lizards and tree frogs, while hairy woodpeckers, Bahama yellow throats, indigo buntings, redstarts, peewees and red tailed hawks fly overhead. ~ Ship Card (visiting Island B-11) Continue reading

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The multi-ethnic cuisine of Grenada is a reflection of all the changes that have taken place on

this island over the centuries. So, when you and your fellow passengers get together in a local restaurant and feast on callaloo soup, lambi (meat of the conch) souse, stuffed crabs, fried flying fish in breadcrumbs, lamb roti and fish creole, (all washed down with rum punches topped with grated nutmeg), you will have sampled a … Continue reading

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The drift dive called Mayreau Gardens in the Grenadines is the highlight of your diving trip aboard

mv Riviera: Massive schools of brown and blue chromis, red snapper and jacks swim among the hard and soft corals, sponges and great sea fans; as the dive continues you may see brightly coloured angelfish and parrotfish, as well as boxfish and trumpetfish, swimming amid boulder, pillar and plate corals.  ~  Island Card (visiting Island M-90) Continue reading

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When ss Mayan Sun docks off the ever-so-relaxed Isla Mujeres, go with the flow and spend a couple

of days being pampered with stress-busting massages, meditation on the white sand strands, melting into the calm turquoise waters, then freshly-caught grouper with local spices and vegetables for dinner.  ~  Ship Card (visiting Island X-146) Continue reading

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One of the most exciting sailing trips ever made in the Caribbean was the 1997 voyage made by

a handful of Kalinago (Carib Indians of Dominica), who, according to their art of canoe building, chopped down a huge gommier tree, hollowed it out and “opened” (stretched and warped) it; afterwards fitting a sail on which a Gli Gli (small fierce hawk revered by ancient Carib warriors) motif was daubed. These proud warriors then … Continue reading

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On visiting Bluefields and the nearby Deer Island you learn that thousands of Americans wishing

to join the 1849 California Gold Rush left from the U.S. East Coast and sailed here; they then were shipped up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua and ferried across to it’s western shore; this was followed by a short ride down to the Pacific Coast, from where they sailed on up to San … Continue reading

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When visiting the Saints, dock Indigo Sails in the superb harbour at Le Bourg on Terre-de-Haut. The islanders

here catch most of the fish eaten on the nearby island of Guadeloupe. A short boat ride away, the isle of Terre-de-Bas is a hiker’s dream of scenic trails and spectacular views. If you stay overnight on either of these charming islands, walk the cliff paths at twilight, and maybe over the waters you will … Continue reading

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While on board ss Neptune cruising through the Abacos, you see in the distance Hope

Town’s 120-foot-high pink and white lighthouse on Elbow Cay. This lighthouse was built in the 1830s to discourage the islanders from luring shipping on to the reefs and then scavenging the wrecks. ~ Island Card (visiting Island C-16) Continue reading

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While visiting Harbour Island on board the ss Caribbean Star you can still see the influence of

the original British settlers ~ Victorian horse and carriage can be seen on the streets and the Tea Room continues to serve the infusion made famous by the English. Also, Windermere Island, some miles to the south, has been a frequent haunt of British royalty. ~ Ship Card (visiting Islands C-13 & C-15 on the scorecard) Continue reading

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Although the so-called “discovery” of Haitian art is dated to around 1940, the roots of

Haitian primitive paintings go back to the mid-1800s from when we can see a painting of the San Souci Palace which exhibits intuitive organization of space, visionary quality and stunning colors, predating by a hundred years the 20th. century Haitian “primitives”.  ~  Island Card (F-46) Continue reading

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When you visit Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica on board

ss Caribbean Star, you meet fellow travellers who left La Selva Biological Station and took a boat tour down the Puerto Viejo River into the Sarapiqui River then on to the San Juan River, arriving here after white water rafting, volcano tours, natural history walks and the sights of a multitude of endangered species in … Continue reading

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Your timing is excellent as the ss Neptune docks at Guadeloupe during the three-day street party that

is Carnival: Starting on Lundi Gras, followed by Mardi Gras and then Mercredi des Cendres (Ash Wednesday, when the islanders burn the spirit of Vaval), there are parades, colorful costumes, parties and always dancing … to the heavy beat of the Tambout alongside the rhythm of techno and tradition that is called Zouk. ~ Ship Card … Continue reading

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During your cruise aboard the ss Colombia your dive sites in the Bonaire Marine Park are highlighted by

yellow tail snappers, peacock flounders, angelfish, seahorses and a parrotfish munching on the coral reef. The Park is full of different varieties of coral ~ from redlip blenny and yellow pencil corals to forests of elkhorn and staghorn, also gorgonians and giant brain coral. ~ Island Card (visiting Island R-120) Continue reading

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On board ss Magellan sailing past Dominica towards Terre-de-Haut des Saintes in the Caribbean Sea,

you are surprised by a variety of whales and dolphin in the waters off the port side of the ship: You see and hear a very vocal 45 foot long sperm whale breach the water, then spot a school of humpback whales and a single beaked whale along with spinner and spotted dolphins frolicking in … Continue reading