Tuesday, January 17, 2012

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, A Hidden Gem!

January 10, 2012     by Valerie Caulin

Royal Caribbean has announced a series of 11-night cruises setting sail for the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  For three months beginning Dec 2012, the Vision of Seas will take 2000 lucky passengers on an 11-night cruise  to this largely unknown, definitely  unspoiled group of islands,  made famous as the location where all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed as well as serving as a Caribbean getaway for both British Royals (Princess Margaret) and Rock Royals, (Mick Jagger) among others.

Secluded beaches, private cays, legend of both real and Hollywood pirates – this is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Located near Barbados,  St. Vincent and the Grenadines is composed of 32 islands, only  9 of them inhabited. It’s capital Kingston will be the port of call for the Vision of the Seas. Kingston is a delightful mix of wonderfully restored colonial architecture, with shops filled with local goods and handcrafted items. And it is not a typical Caribbean port of call.

St. Vincent, The Island of Pirates

 Throughout the centuries,  the many cays and beaches of St. Vincent and its 32 islands have been irresistible to the many pirate ships sailing the waters of the Caribbean. Rumors of hidden treasures have existed since 1500. Pirates from Henry Morgan and Annie Bonny to Jack Sparrow have trod the beaches.  But, in  October 2002,  cast and crew descended on St. Vincent to film the first of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, bringing the biggest treasure of all to St. Vincent, Hollywood gold.  And yet, St. Vincent has dealt with their new-found fame in a way that has not destroyed the charm and history of the islands. 
Best way to spend a day –  St.Vincent

As one of the Vision of the Seas ports of call in the Caribbean for winter 2012 -13, St. Vincent will welcome you with an assortment of activities. A surprisingly perfect blend of sea, sun, and sand, St. Vincent will no doubt be the highlight of your cruise Long a favorite of the yachting set, St.  Vincent offers an unspoiled Caribbean  -  Hiking, bird watching, turtle, whale and dolphin watching compete with simply  lounging on the beach. A journey to the west side of the island brings you to a botanic park where descendants of bread-fruit trees brought to St. Vincent by Captain Bligh after his second, less mutinous sailing to the South Seas still grow.
Royal Caribbean has created a series of shore excursions, designed for every level of activity imaginable. For a more physical challenge, sign up for water sports or snorkeling and diving activities.  Hire a boat and driver to take you to Mopion,  a small sand spit of an island,  all sand, about ½ mile off shore. For cruise passengers who prefer something a little drier, a sightseeing boat tour in Kingston Harbor or an inspection of  Fort Charlotte will fill the bill.  And walking the cobblestone streets will  provide a photographer many interesting sites, and shoppers a great assortment of non-typical trinkets and items. Foodies will love the small restaurants crowding the harbor, each with spectacular views and the freshest fish you can imagine.   

St. Vincent is what the Caribbean should be, hassle free, an escape to the past.  Enjoy and have fun in St. Vincent and the Grenadines while cruising aboard the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas.

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