The Caribbean – but not as you know it
All at sea in the BVI
Clustered more closely than the Caymans, the British Virgin Islands are another good idea for vacationers who want more than a place in the sun. This “overseas territory” is a cornucopia of Caribbean life, its four main outcrops – Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke – complemented by 50 other islets and cays. Road Town – the capital, on Tortola – has a nice unavoidable charm. Mount Sage National Park, near the western end of the same island, encompasses 1,716 feet of volcanic magnificence.
How to do
Abercrombie & Kent (0330 173 4712; abercrombiekent.co.uk) offers a stylish way to tour the BVI – six-berth yacht The Moorings. A seven-night charter costs from £5,999 pp (based on six sharing – including flights, and a dedicated captain and chef).
Living life on the lee side
The easiest way to cruise the Caribbean islands is, of course, via cabin and cruise… On December 4, small ship specialist Seadream Yacht Club (00 47 6779 2585; seadream.com) will launch a six-week voyage day Leeward Islands Explorer cruise which will slip into a range of exotic ports along the line where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic meet. The BVI and Puerto Rico (the end of the trip) will be part of the itinerary, as will the French-Dutch island of St Martin (the starting point), the always refined St Barths and Nevis. The latter, the junior partner of the larger St. Kitts, may prove the highlight – its central peak rising visibly volcanically. From £3,170 pp (plus flights)
Windward ho with a fortnight on deck
If ‘just’ glimpsing the Leeward Islands on a Caribbean cruise sounds like an abbreviated attempt, what about a more detailed voyage that also calls into the Windward Islands? Silversea (0844 251 0837; silversea.com) offers a cruise from Bridgetown to Bridgetown scheduled for November 24 to December 5. As the title suggests, this 11-day trip will begin and end in Barbados. It will also go south to Bequia and Grenada, as well as northwest to the Virgin Islands (US and UK) and Puerto Rico. Other stops will be Antigua, lava-engulfed Montserrat (where major eruptions in 1995 and 2010 buried half the island) and the French connection to Martinique. From £5,300 pp (including flights)
For full details of entry requirements and Covid rules for your favorite destinations, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-travelrules. Refer to gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for more travel information.