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Setting sail from Miami
Miami is a pulsating modern city, a cultural crossroads where Cuban émigrés rub shoulders with affluent New Yorkers topping up on winter sun, and where you're just as likely to hear Spanish or Caribbean patois being spoken as you are English. Downtown Miami is a destination in its own right, with a host of world class galleries including the fantastic MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), but it's still Miami Beach that draws the biggest crowds. The Art Deco district around South Beach is very much back in vogue, with new restaurants, bars and luxury developments sprouting up all over the place.
People watching in South Beach – glamorous gay guys on skates with miniature dogs in slings…
United States: Key West
Colourful and eccentric, the island city of Key West stands apart from the rest of Florida. A strong Caribbean influence reflects the city’s proximity to Cuba and the Bahamas, and it has long been known as a bohemian hangout, a welcoming and open-minded place that Ernest Hemingway once called home.
Cozumel first made its name as an off the beaten track destination for divers, thanks to the crystalline waters and low key beach vibe. These days the cat is very much out of the bag, but get away from the craft shops and jewellery stores of the busy port and you’ll find a welcoming island community that is still authentically Mexican.
Belize: Belize City
Belize’s capital does not enjoy the best reputation, and we wouldn’t recommend spending too much time here; use it instead as a jumping-off point to explore the fascinating Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, Lamanai and Altun Ha, or take a snorkelling trip to the beautiful Barrier Reef, including the famous Blue Hole.
Roatán is the largest and busiest of the Bay Islands, which sit off the coast of Honduras in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a fantastic destination for divers and snorkellers, with a stunning reef just offshore, and also boasts some lovely beaches.
Costa Rica: Puerto Limón
Puerto Limón is a busy port on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, and plays a vital role in the export of bananas. Take a trip out of the city and explore the lush rainforest, with nearby attractions including the canals of Tortuguero National Park, a key breeding site for green turtles.
Situated at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, Colón is not somewhere you will want to hang around for long, and serves merely as a gateway to the Canal, which will carry you to much nicer places.
Jamaica: Montego Bay
Montego Bay is Jamaica’s tourism capital, and is the second largest city on the island after Kingston. The beach bars along the ‘Hip Strip’ offer a taste of the Jamaican way of life, with the ubiquitous Bob Marley providing the soundtrack; alternatively you may prefer an excursion to nearby sights such as Dunn’s River Falls or Seven Mile Beach.
Arriving in Miami
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach on the tip of Key Biscayne is a great place to get away from the crowds and spot some wildlife.
Your home from home
Viking’s hugely successful river cruise operation is now expanded with contemporary 930-guest ocean ships – six 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.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Miami
Glamorous, hip, or so cool you freeze? Lots of choice… but we really like the Betsy.
See more of Florida
If you have a few days get down to the Florida Keys – magnificent.