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Setting sail from Philipsburg
Philipsburg is the gateway to an intriguing little Caribbean island with a dual personality: the Dutch side, St. Maarten, is the livelier of the two, with shopping malls, casinos and more of a nightlife scene, while French-speaking St. Martin is a more refined (and more expensive) affair, with a laid-back, continental air and a host of exclusive resorts and restaurants. Travelling between the two halves of the island is hassle-free, and both sides boast beautiful beaches, friendly locals and pleasant little towns and villages.
Air enthusiasts get really overexcited at Sunset Beach bar on Maho Bay, where the landing planes seem almost close enough to touch. It’s really quite dramatic.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: Saint Kitts
Laid back and low key, Saint Kitts is an island typified by rolling green hills, characterful beach bars and the lingering remnants of the sugar cane trade that once dominated here. Attractions include the UNESCO-listed Brimstone Hill fortress, the 18-mile Scenic Railway and the faded Georgian elegance of the capital, Basseterre.
Tiny Anguilla is home to no less than 33 beaches, blessed with some of the most gloriously white sands in the Caribbean. A clutch of high end hotels and gourmet restaurants attract a well-to-do crowd, but the island has a more low key, laid back vibe than its glitzy neighbours, St Martin and St Barths.
Antigua and Barbuda: St John's
Antigua is famously home to 365 beaches - one for every day of the year - and there is an undeniable allure to the many white sand coves dotted along the coast. The capital, St John’s, is worth a look, but if you’ve got time to visit the south coast you’ll find historic Nelson’s Dockyard a lot more interesting.
Guadeloupe is made up of two main islands that resemble the wings of a butterfly, and several smaller islands offering a diverse array of cultural, historical and natural attractions. The islands are swathed in lush rainforest and fringed by golden beaches, and a strong French influence is discernible in the flavoursome Creole cuisine.
Saint Lucia: Castries
Castries, Saint Lucia’s diminutive capital, is home to some interesting markets and colonial buildings. The island’s highlights are situated elsewhere, however, and we’d recommend either heading south towards Soufrière, where the iconic Piton mountains guard a beautiful bay, or north to the bars, restaurants and beaches of Rodney Bay.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Bequia
Bequia is an incredibly friendly, laid-back island blessed with pristine golden sand beaches and some excellent restaurants. It’s also a popular sailing destination; the yachts tend to congregate around Admiralty Bay, where you’ll find the little waterfront town of Port Elizabeth.
There’s more to Barbados than just beaches; the delightful colonial architecture of the old garrison in Bridgetown, the capital, is fully deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, and the island interior is littered with old sugar plantations and natural wonders such as Harrison’s Cave.
Funchal, Madeira’s bustling capital, tumbles down a dramatic hillside towards a beautiful sweeping bay. Highlights include colourful markets, wine lodges and the spectacular cable car ride up to the village of Monte, home of the famous toboggan run.
Portugal: Porto Santo (Madeira)
Arriving in Lisbon
The roots of historic Lisbon's fame lie in its strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and the fact it offers one of the world's greatest natural harbours. No surprise therefore that it became the home of the world's most famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Built on seven hills, we always find Lisbon to be soulful, captivating and picturesque, with architecture which reflects its status as a great port.
The appeal of Lisbon lies in the city itself with its two distinct architectural styles: the 16th century Belem district (Manueline) and the 18th century city centre (Pomabaline). Our tip: potter about...
Your home from home
Any one of Seabourn's lovely little trio of spacious and elegant sisters is the perfect choice for a combination of contemporary style and traditional expert hospitality.
What we love
When Seabourn built Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, over a period of just three years, we were delighted. Not only because each one is beautiful, but also because their similarity means that they are interchangeable, enabling you to travel all over the world in a familiar environment.
|Crew||330 International Staff|
|Style||The contemporary décor appeals to a sophisticated and cosmopolitan crowd. With lots of outside space, you can enjoy an al fresco experience if you choose.|
|Odyssey 2009, Sojourn 2010, Quest 2011|
|Cruising Speed||19 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Saint Martin
Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case is such a fantastic choice – right on the beach, and great value.
What to do in Saint Martin
There are some amazing hikes on the island, so if you feel up to it, hire a guide to take you on one of the trails.
Our recommended hotel
The Pousada de Lisboa, newly opened in May 2015, has a great location in the heart of the city and an interior to wow you.
Take a day trip from Lisbon
Visit Sintra – Roman and Moorish influences make this magical city with its fairytale palaces and extravagant villas a must.