Sailing with a company such as Silversea is a relaxing and pampering experience, as I discovered aboard luxury ship Silver Spirit.
Every suite has a butler – don’t worry if you can’t think of anything to ask him to do, somehow he’ll anticipate your every need – and a spacious sitting area.
The island has been under United States rule for more than 120 years
The island has been under United States rule for more than 120 years but remains deeply Latin American in its music, cuisine and laid-back vibe, with Spanish widely spoken alongside English.
Active ashore: Enjoy the views whizzing along 11 zip lines through the jungle canopy and abseiling down waterfalls to the tune of a million tiny tree frogs at El Yunque National Forest in the north east.
Cool off after with a dip in a green rock pool in the Mameyes river. (£73pp, junglequipr.
For more ideas ashore visit discoverpuertorico.
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Active ashore: Paddle through the mangroves in Beef Island lagoon in a kayak or on a paddleboard. The remote mangroves are a nursery for wildlife and you could spot baby sharks, barracudas, stingrays and turtles.
Hungry ospreys and pelicans will be looking for fish, too.
Your guide will take you ashore on a tiny coral atoll and explain the ecosystem and history of the BVI (£64, viator.
com). Or, join the ship’s excursion to Jost Van Dyke island (£65) on a high-speed catamaran to White Bay for swimming, sunbathing and dark rum.
For more ideas ashore visit bvitourism.co.
French outpost St Barthélemy is only eight square miles but is the one island where it is really worth hiring a car (about £55 a day, barthloc.
Active ashore: In a couple of hours you can take in the view of islets and neighbouring St Martin from Colombier, passing discreetly gorgeous hillside villas, and get in a traffic jam in trendy St-Jean, with its lively beach bars, while keeping a lookout for strolling tortoises that have a habit of appearing round bends in the middle of the road.
Dominica is an island covered in mountains and lush green rainforest. It has hot springs, 1,200 plant species and exotic birdlife
Mountainous and mostly covered in lush green rainforest, the volcanic ‘nature island’ has hot springs, 1,200 plant species and exotic birdlife.
Active ashore: This is the best island for whale- watching thanks to deep water close to shore and it is the only place in the Caribbean where sperm whales live year-round. Head out with Captain Jerry from the harbour in Rouseau on his small boat as dolphins and flying fish race alongside.
You’re likely to see sperm whales, pilot whales and false killer whales. It costs £56, divedominica.
End your day in Dominica wallowing in the Ti Kwen Glo Cho thermal springs at Wotten Waven, dipping in sulphur pools with restful views of a tumbling waterfall.
£8pp, tel: 001 767 285 9131. For more ideas ashore visit discoverdominica.
Active ashore: Go snorkelling with a difference in the surreal setting of the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park (£37pp, ecodiveandtrek.
com). Float face-down watching brightly coloured fish dart among eerie, life-size, coral-encrusted statues such as a ring of children holding hands and a man sitting at a desk staring at his typewriter.
Have a Creole lunch including home-grown produce at historic plantation Belmont Estate (belmontestate.net).
See how chocolate is made from bean to bar and buy some to take home in the shop. For more ideas ashore visit puregrenada.
Active ashore: Start the day in Bridgetown with coffee and chocolate cake in the cafe in the garden of George Washington House.
Two to six-hour group and individual tours start at £53pp (bikecaribbeantours.
com). For more ideas ashore visit visitbarbados.
com) has a nine-night cruise from Puerto Rico to Barbados aboard Silver Shadow departing on December 28, 2019. Ports of call include the BVI, St Barts and Grenada.