One of our favourite ways to explore the islands is with SeaDream Yacht Club, who cater to a maximum of just 112 lucky guests on board their diminutive yachts. With outstanding food, attentive service and a wonderful casual style, SeaDream is a world away from what most people think of as a cruise. From the marina at the back of the ship you can use kayaks, paddleboards, jetskis and Laser sailboats, and your fare is all-inclusive, so once you're on board you needn't pay a penny more.
We wanted to give you a flavour of what a small ship cruise around the Caribbean is like, so we've pulled together a collection of books, TV, music, food, drink and more that encapsulates one of SeaDream's Caribbean sailings, designed to transport you to other shores and inspire your wanderlust…
Sunday 6th February 2022 - Bridgetown, Barbados
The tiny eastern Caribbean island of Barbados is one of our favourites, thanks in no small part to the platinum sands and warm 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. Every Caribbean holiday should start with a classic rum punch, and we recommend using the famous Mount Gay Rum for a taste of things to come.
Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th February 2022 - Man O War Bay / Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Enjoy two days discovering Trinidad and Tobago from Man O War Bay and Port of Spain, showcasing the variety of the southernmost island nation in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of steelpan music, so get into the rhythm of the islands with this Spotify playlist. As for reading material, try A House for Mr Biswas, V.S. Naipaul's unforgettable masterpiece; it's a heart-rending and darkly comic story that evokes a man's quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.
Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th February 2022 - St George's, Grenada
Enjoy an overnight stay in Grenada, with plenty of time to browse the markets of charming St George's, fragrant with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. This is one of the Caribbean's most enchanting islands, fringed by gorgeous beaches and largely unsullied by mass market tourism. Known as the 'isle of spice', Grenada is the source of some of the world's best chocolate, and those with a sweet tooth should check out Rococo Chocolates' close ties with the island.
Thursday 10th February 2022 - Union Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines / Carriacou, Grenada
Today explore Union Island and the bustling town of Clifton, dominated by the striking silhouette of Mount Parnassus, where you can jump on a water taxi to the famous Happy Island, a man-made islet with its own bar that sits out in the middle of the harbour. Then travel on to Carriacou, one of three islands that make up the nation of Grenada. It's a small and rather hilly place, with a sleepy, laid back atmosphere that evokes the Caribbean of old. It's also known as the 'Land of Reefs', with world class snorkelling and scuba diving just offshore.
Watch the swashbuckling adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, filmed across the Caribbean including St Vincent, and be entertained by Johnny Depp and the various beautiful backdrops.
Friday 11th February 2022 - Mayreau, St Vincent & Grenadines
Situated just to the west of the Tobago Cays, Mayreau is a tiny, barely inhabited island that can only be reached by boat. There is very little to do, which is the main attraction for those lucky few who wash up here; the palm-fringed beaches and gently lapping waters are the Caribbean island idyll par excellence. For a hint of what this might be like, grab a book, relax, and enjoy this three-hour video of the ocean gently lapping a tropical beach.
Saturday 12th February 2022 - Bequia, St Vincent & Grenadines
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. Island People: The Caribbean and the World by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, an elegant travelogue which delves deep into the region's history and unique allure, is a great companion for anybody traveling to the Caribbean.
Sunday 13th February 2022 - Bridgetown, Barbados
Returning to Barbados, there is time for either a final day to relax before an evening flight home, or to extend your stay for a little more time in paradise - we can arrange a hotel day pass, or a longer stay at one of our favourite west coast retreats. For a little more inspiration, tuck into the island's national dish of flying fish with red pepper sauce and cou-cou, and watch Caribbean with Simon Reeve for a look beyond the usual tourist haunts.
Pricing from £2,839 per person cruise only, based on two people sharing a Yacht Club Deck 2 Stateroom including all meals, all drinks including Champagne and spirits, water toys including jetskis from the marina at the back of the ship, bicycles to take ashore when it suits, snorkel equipment, Champagne and caviar beach barbecue, gratuities and taxes.