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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: Iles des Saintes
Eight tiny islands make up the Iles des Saintes, a sparsely inhabited archipelago off the southern coast of Guadeloupe. The most interesting island is hilly Terre-de-Haut, almost entirely populated by the fair-skinned descendants of Breton sailors and home to a beautiful bay reminiscent of a mini Rio de Janeiro.
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.
Arriving in Bridgetown
The tiny eastern Caribbean island of Barbados has long been a favourite for British holiday makers, thanks in no small part to the platinum sands and warm, crystal clear waters of the west coast. But 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. Perhaps the island's biggest asset, however, is the Bajans themselves, who are some of the friendliest people you're ever likely to meet.
Check out the open house programme during your visit – you might get to see something normally closed to the public.
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.
The best place to stay in Barbados
There are so many fantastic hotels to choose from, but the Mundy favourite is Cobblers Cove.
See more of Barbados
This is a lovely island to explore with amazing views, particularly on the East (Atlantic) coast, so get a driver to take you on a circuit.