Vantage celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!
Join Vantage Deluxe World Travel for a sun-soaked, island-hopping, 16-night luxury cruise to some of the most picturesque and popular islands in the Caribbean.
Beginning in vibrant Barbados, your small ship Caribbean cruise will stop at some of the world’s most breathtaking islands — including St. Lucia, Martinique, and Antigua — concluding in the beautiful Bahamas. You’ll delve into the colonial history of Puerto Rico, enjoy a lively musical performance in Martinique, and savor locally made rum at a Bahamian distillery. In all, you’ll have 12 included features and Cultural Discoveries, plus leisure time explore on your own. Extended stays in Barbados and Nassau bookend this fun-loving, luxury small ship cruise.
Throughout your Caribbean cruise, you’ll experience the true luxury and personalized service on board a Vantage Deluxe World Travel journey. Step aboard the elegant Ocean Explorer and savor expertly prepared cuisine, pamper yourself with an indulgent massage at the spa, soak up the sunshine with a refreshing cocktail at the top-deck bar, or relax with a book or puzzle from the well-stocked library. Every onboard amenity is designed to with your comfort in mind.
Please note that the nature of these journeys requires a certain level of physical fitness, and guests should be able to walk three miles unassisted over potentially-uneven terrain and cobblestones.
Depart home and arrive in Bridgetown, Barbados
Welcome to Barbados! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you and assist with the transfer to your hotel. You'll have the day to relax and get settled. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Enjoy Barbados at your leisure
You’ll be able to explore more of Barbados for yourself with a full day at leisure today.
Pay a visit to Harrison’s Cave, an amazing gallery of stalactites and stalagmites, with streams of crystal-clear waterfalls forming deep emerald pools. Or, pop into historic Mount Gay Rum Distillery, established in 1703 and known as the birthplace of rum, and follow up a tour of the fully-operational rum making facilities with a tasting. Barbados is also known for having some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with crystalline waters and powder-soft sand. Spend an afternoon soaking up the sum on one of these legendary beaches.
Embark the Ocean Explorer in charming Barbados
Following breakfast at your hotel this morning, you’ll head to the pier to begin the cruise portion of your journey, with an enlightening tour of Barbados on the way.
Thanks to its rich British heritage, few places can blend calypso music and cricket as seamlessly as Barbados. And Bridgetown is the heart of this picturesque island. From its glorious beaches and historic architecture to the 17th-century churches and UNESCO-listed Garrison, this is one island worth visiting.
Upon arrival at the pier, you’ll board your elegant small ship. There will be time to settle in and perhaps have a drink on deck as you set off on your adventure. Tonight, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers.
Discover the splendors of St. Lucia
This morning, you’ll arrive in Soufriére, the scenic and pastel-hued capital of St. Lucia. Embark on a scenic drive showcasing its abundance of natural and cultural riches, stopping at Sulphur Springs Park. This is the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano, where pools of bubbling hot springs create an ethereal landscape. Continue on to the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths, an alluring retreat from the outside world. Later, visit the island’s Old Sugar Mill. Its waterwheel, built in 1765, once generated the island’s first electricity. During your visit, sway to the rhythms of a local band over a refreshing drink and snacks. Following your tour, you’ll have the afternoon at your leisure to explore more of St. Lucia on your own. As you depart St. Lucia, you will cruise past the island’s most famous landmark — the twin volcanic spires of the Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Savor the sites — and rum — of Martinique
Today you’ll enjoy a tour of magnificent Martinique, beginning with a stop at Balata Church. The church is an exact replica of the Parisian Basilica de Montmartre, and features a spectacular view of Fort de France and the neighboring bay. Continue on through the rainforest to Depaz, one of Martinique’s best rum distilleries. Here you’ll learn about the process of rum production and enjoy a tasting, before continuing on to the site of the 1902 volcano eruption. You will then return to Fort De France, passing through the village Le Carbet, where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502. At the conclusion of your tour, you will have free time to continue your discoveries on your own.
Enjoy a day of scenic sailing on board
You’ll have a full day of scenic sailing to indulge in your ship’s 5-star amenities. Relax on the sundeck, visit the spa for a soothing treatment, and shop for souvenirs at the onboard gift shop. At mealtimes, savor culinary creations prepared by your skilled onboard chefs. In the evening, head up to the Observation Deck for magnificent stargazing.
Onboard Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional onboard experience. Enhance your time on board with one of our Vantage-exclusive activities, including wine and whiskey tastings, a multicourse Chef’s Table Dinner, or an exclusive wine-pairing dinner. Learn more
Go beyond the beach in Antigua
Antigua’s turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and friendly locals beckon you ashore today. Once there, you’ll be utterly charmed by the candy-colored buildings and beautiful Baroque-style churches. Today’s tour will highlight this picture-perfect island with a look at its yacht-lined coast, golden beaches, and lush, tropical jungles. Later, you’ll have free time to pop into an upscale boutique, savor a tasty local delicacy, or simply stroll along its sunny streets.
Step ashore in friendly St.Maarten
St. Maarten’s lush emerald mountains, clear turquoise waters, and year-round sunshine make this island one of the true jewels of the Caribbean. This culturally diverse nation, shared by both the Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, is known for its kind, welcoming, people and the abundance of beautiful, white-sand beaches. Known as the “Friendly Island” due to its openness to visitors, St. Maarten is filled with rich history and unique stories, as evident by the many museums found throughout, highlighting both historical events and artistic talents. You’ll enjoy a scenic tour of the island today, with free time to explore on your own afterward.
Be captivated by the beauty and lore of St. Thomas today
Equally known for its idyllic beaches and impressive snorkeling as for its pirate history and duty-free shopping opportunities, St. Thomas is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. This much-loved island draws visitors in with its picturesque harbor and soft-sand beaches, then captivates their imagination with its memorable sites and storied past.
Among the island’s historic sites are Fort Christian and the Pirates Treasure Museum. The Dano-Norwegian Fort Christian, constructed in 1672, was the first successful colonial establishment on the island. Today, it serves as a historical museum showcasing a central clock tower, three of the original curtain walls, and part of the original living quarters. St. Thomas was also a “hot spot” for 18th-century pirates in search of bounty. Among them was Edward Teach, more widely known as the notorious Blackbeard. The legends and lore of these seafaring escapades are brought to life via interactive exhibits at the Pirates Treasure Museum.
Today, you’ll set out on a tour of St. Thomas’ highlights, with leisure time to continue exploring on your own later.
Lively and historic San Juan awaits you
As Puerto Rico’s capital and its largest city, San Juan is one of the most beloved travel destinations in the Caribbean. This charming city, with a storied history dating back to the 15th century, delights visitors with its colonial treasures and cosmopolitan charisma.
Originally named San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the city was officially founded by Juan Ponce de León in 1521. This is the third-oldest European-founded city in the Americas and home to one of the Caribbean’s largest natural harbors. Nicknamed La Ciudad Amurallada (the walled city), Old San Juan was originally conceived as a military stronghold for the Spanish empire. One of the most iconic sites in San Juan is its once impenetrable Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Constructed in 1539, this castle became a six-level fortress designed to protect Puerto Rico from invaders approaching by sea. Today, visitors can stroll along the city’s ancient cobblestoned streets, taking in the colorful pastel-hued buildings and the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Enjoy another leisurely day on board
Enjoy another day at sea aboard your elegant small ship. Visit the spa, relax in the well-stocked library, sip a cocktail as you take in the panoramic views from the sundeck, or perhaps get a workout in the gym. At mealtime, savor incredible culinary creations thoughtfully prepared by your onboard chefs.
Explore the Dominican Republic’s northern coast in Puerto Plata
The oldest city in the northern region of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is full of vibrant shops, Victorian-era architecture, long stretches of beautiful beaches, and expansive cacao and coffee farms. Adventure-lovers here are known to seek out pulse-pounding experiences such as ziplining through the tropical jungle or driving a 4-wheel vehicle through sugar cane fields. Calmer pursuits include exploring Parque Central — the city’s historic center — or visiting Fortaleza San Felipe, a 16th century fortress constructed by the Spanish and the only remaining colonial-era structure in Puerto Plata. You’ll head out on a guided exploration of the city’s highlights today, with leisure time to explore on your own at the conclusion of your tour.
Relax on board with two days at sea
Enjoy two leisurely days at sea as the Ocean Explorer sails along the historic waters of the Caribbean. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, relax with a great book on the sundeck, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are cooking up.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and explore historic Nassau
Following breakfast on board, you’ll disembark the Ocean Explorer and head to your hotel in Nassau. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour expanding on the history and laid-back culture of the island.
In downtown Nassau, you’ll see Parliament Square, with its pink stucco Georgian neoclassical buildings that house the Supreme Court, Senate Chambers, and House of Assembly. You’ll also see the Government House and Graycliff, a stunning 18th-century mansion that has been converted to a chic hotel. You’ll also pass additional landmarks such as the College of the Bahamas, Sir Harry Oakes Monument, and the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
During your tour you’ll also stop at John Watling’s Distillery, housed in the historic 1789 Buena Vista Estate, where you will enjoy a self-guided tour and rum tasting. Following your distillery tour, you’ll visit Aradastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Center. Set among more than four acres of lush tropical gardens, this wildlife preserve — the only one of its kind in The Bahamas — is inhabited by a variety of animal species, including the Caribbean flamingo, the national bird of the Bahamas. After your tour, you'll check into your hotel and have the remainder of the day at your leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Get into island time in Nassau
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Nassau as you like. Perhaps you’ll visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, or shop for handicrafts at the Straw Market. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are spectacular dive sites, and plenty of opportunities to swim with dolphins, feed sharks, or enjoy water sports, from kayaking to jet-skiing and more. At the Pirates of Nassau museum, you can learn about infamous privateers through fun, interactive exhibits, and performances. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.