Sailing from Puerto Rico
Setting sail from San Juan
Founded by the Spanish in 1521, Puerto Rico's capital is the second oldest European settlement in the Americas. Modern San Juan is a bustling city, home to over a third of the island's population, but the cobbled streets of the Old Town remain the biggest tourist draw. The colonial-era fortifications have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, crowned by the imposing waterfront El Morro fortress, and the Old Town is full of attractive, brightly coloured houses. Outside of the Old Town you can find designer shopping on Avenida Ashford, and the north of the city is fringed by beautiful beaches, including fashionable Condado with its hip hotels and bars.
Here in Puerto Rico it’s all about the history and the sea – you can’t miss the fabulous beaches, and you will enjoy the historic military buildings.
British Virgin Islands: Tortola
Tortola is the largest and most populous of the British Virgin Islands, and the bustling port at Road Town is a magnet for sailors from around the world. The island is blessed with some gorgeous beaches and secluded coves, and it’s a great place for a spot of snorkelling.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Saint Martin: Marigot
Marigot 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.
U.S. Virgin Islands: St Thomas
The busiest and most developed of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is nevertheless blessed with typically Caribbean good looks. The main town, Charlotte Amalie, is situated on a perfect natural harbour, and in its colonial heyday its warehouses were filled with indigo, tobacco and cotton.
Arriving in San Juan
Hunt out the very best chuletas Can-Can and pastelillos – local food at its best is great. Don’t settle for sorry imitations.
Your home from home
Viking’s hugely successful river cruise operation is now expanded with contemporary 930 guest ocean ships – three lovely sisters to start with – featuring attractive inclusive pricing and interesting itineraries.
What we love
The airy contemporary style of the ships, with fresh Nordic décor, is most appealing. Add to that the huge choices in dining and other facilities, and veranda staterooms throughout, not to mention included shore excursions and an excellent spa, and you have a winner.
|Crew||602 International Staff|
On Viking it is all about the destination. Back on board, expect to socialise with like-minded travellers, in an easy, spacious and understated hotel style environment.
|Year Built||2015 (Viking Star) / 2016 (Viking Sky & Viking Sea)|
|Cruising Speed||20 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Puerto Rico
If you want to stay in San Juan itself, El Convento is definitely the nicest choice. For resort hotels, we love the Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach.
Explore Puerto Rico
In the El Yunque rainforest you will find the habitat of Puerto Rico's endangered wildlife - not to mention beautiful views.