ISLAND

The Caribbean has an incredibly diverse and vibrant culture shaped by its turbulent past and it offers a joyous cocktail of landscapes ideal for activities ranging from kitesurfing and snorkeling to exploring the lush nature on shore.

An island = an identity

The key features of this destination?

Each stopover captivates with its unique geographical and cultural features: hot springs, boiling lakes stemming from volcanic activity, cane sugar farming and rum-making know-how, coral reefs perfect for snorkelling and surfing, colonial architecture with UNESCO listed ruins of fortifications, deserted white sandy shores, etc.

Every route between the Bahamas and the Grenadines promises a myriad of discoveries.

itinerary suggestions

Martinica’s windward coast, kitesurfing paradise.

7 nights

Highlights : Kitesurfing , snorkeling, short sailing, unspoiled anchorages

On arriving in Le Marin, in the south of Martinica island, you will be welcomed by the crew and make yourself comfortable onboard for a first night at anchor or if there is still enough time we’ll sail to the white sand beach of Sainte Anne bay for the night. On the next day, a morning navigation will lead us to the East Coast, passing by wild landscapes, to arrive to a narrow channel between coral reefs and finally drop anchor in The Englishmen Bay. Mangrove vegetation and birds offer a peaceful anchorage. Here we have reached the Windward coast, a huge playground for kite surfing: wind is blowing steady over this big emerald lagoon protected from the swell by the coral reefs. On the following days we will sail short hops from one anchorage to another where you can kite surf, snorkel, enjoy paddle and kayak, swim in natural pools of cristal waters. This idyllic coast is not frequently visited and the playing field rivals the Grenadines for beauty and kite surfing spots. Kite surfing spots are: Pointe Faula, Anse Michel, Anse Trabaud, Anse Petit Marabou… Back to Le Marin with a stopover at Salines beautiful sandy beach surrounded by palm trees, where you can pick local handicraft.

Martinica and Saint Lucia, sailing and hiking.

 7 nights

Highlights: A cocktail of sea and mountains

On arriving in Le Marin in the south of Martinica island, you will be welcomed by the crew, and make yourself comfortable onboard for a first night at anchor. On the following day, a short navigation will take us to the stunning long white beach of Les Saline. From there a trail runs alongside the coast up to the wild windward side with cliffs and beautiful untouched beaches. At sunset we will set sails to the picturesque village of Ste Anne for the night. On the next day after a 3 hours sail crossing the channel between the 2 islands, welcome to Saint Lucia! We will stay in Rodney Bay where the skipper will deal with the immigration documents for all the crew. An easy trail will take you to the remainings of a Fort on the top of Pigeon island inlet and a 360° view over Martinica and Saint Lucia. At sunset, relax and sip one of the best piña colada of all the Caribbean in the beach bars. On the next day, you may rent a car or a taxi for the day to explore the luxurious forest of the inland and its many hikes on « Nature Trail » and « Forest Trail ». The following days we will sail smoothly along Saint Lucia leeward side to the anchorages of Marigot Bay, tiny bay surrounded by coconut trees and Soufrière Bay located at the foot of the imposing Deux Pitons. These two sharp mountains falling in the sea are symbols of the island and you will even find them on the local beer label. From the shore, don’t miss the nice trips to the Diamond Botanical Garden with profusion of tropical flowers and a secret waterfall rich in minerals. On the last day we will set sail back to Le Marin, Martinica.

The Grenadines, kite-surfing and snorkeling paradise.

10 to 14 nights.

Highlights: A destination accessible only by sea, an incredible palette of turquoise waters, lots of sailing.

From Le Marin in Martinica we will sail for nearly 2 days with stops at anchor for the nights. We will sail along the scenic leeward sides of St Lucia, St Vincent and Bequia. From Bequia we enter the Grenadines archipelago, where we will hop from one island to another: stunning lagoons, amazing beaches, rich underwater wildlife with lots of turtles and rays, colorful villages of rasta influence… Each island has a kite-surfing spot and you won’t want to leave � The snorkeling lovers will be in heaven too, as the Grenadines coral reefs have been protected as a marine reserve for a while and that makes all the difference. You might be lucky enough to meet a peaceful sleeper shark, not dangerous but impressive. It will take a full day of sailing to get back from Tobago Cays to St Lucia and then on the next day to Martinica. Another option, if you’d rather stay longer in the Grenadines and sail less, is to come back with a small aircraft from Union, Canouan or St Vincent to Martinica. Duration: the Grenadines are far from Martinica therefore I recommend a minimum of 10 days in order to have time to explore and enjoy the archipelago instead of spending most of the time sailing. Ideally a 2 weeks cruise is the best way to go to the famous spots as well as other beautiful, off the beaten tracks, such as Cariacou. With more time (14 nights), add other stopovers in quieter bays or stay longer in your favorite spot! It is possible to keep going southward, to Grenada via Cariacou. These islands are off the beaten tracks and offer wonderful anchorages, such as the tiny “Morpion” island! Don’t count the days anymore, and enjoy this mythic destination!

Guadeloupe and its islands, beach and creol culture.

7 to 10 nights.

Highlights: A great variety of stopovers, an authentic culture, short sailing.

Discover Guadeloupe by the sea, with kite surfing spots on the East coast (Bois Jolan for beginners and Le François for experienced) and the North-West coast (îlet Caret). Turquoise waters and coral reefs enable those who don’t kite, to enjoy snorkeling among the fish. We will also discover surrounding islands: Marie-Galante, the “beautiful sleeping island”, with a round and flat shape, encircled by large beaches of white sand in the South-West. There the main activity is sugar cane, still harvested with ox carts. A nice option is to rent a car or scooters to tour the island, visit artisanal rum distillery (tasting!), see the roaring devil hole on the windward coast, and enjoy fish or seafood specialties in the beach restaurants. Good to know: the famous “Terre de Blues” festival takes place each year in may. This festival aims at linking the 3 St Louis: St Louis, heart place of the blues in the States, in the 30’s; St Louis of Senegal, symbol of an African descent, and St Louis of Marie-Galante, creole. These three cities meet around the music, born from this melting. Head for Les Saintes Islands: an archipelago of two main inhabited islands, and seven small desert islands. Here, the setting is that of a post-card: exquisite lovely creole villages, where you won’t miss the delightful “tourment d’amour” a local pastry, small beaches in each bay, snorkeling spots, remarkable geological formation in sugar loaf… And between the two main islands: a windy kite surfing spot. What else? Depending on the length of your stay, we may either sail toward the West coast of Guadeloupe, to the Cousteau Reserve (best spot for snorkeling) or anchor at the authentic village of Deshaies, with diving centers and whale watching tours during spring.

Antigua and Barbuda, kite-surfing and snorkeling, an air of Polynesia.
10-13 nights  Highlights: the turquoise lagoon of Barbuda, the Caribbean English touch of Antigua and Nelson’s Dockyard UNESCO site. Starting from Guadeloupe, we will set the sails to reach Antigua within 6-7 hours of sail. Countless battles between the French and the British have left some nice vestiges, such as Admiral Nelson quarters in English Harbour. While the skipper is making the clearance in this charming natural port, enjoy the attracting pubs, small hikes on the surrounding hills or a kayak and paddle tour at the foot of the Hercules Columns, wave-sculptured rocks. All year long and especially during the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the Antigua Sailing Week, English Harbour gathers an impressive fleet of beautiful classic boats and modern racing boats. Head now toward the East coast and the “Green Islands” anchorage: a labyrinth of small deserted islands and coral reefs breaking the waves but not the wind. So it is a nice kite surfing spot to discover. Within a 4 or 5 hours navigation, we get to the idyllic Barbuda island. Welcome to Coco Point, a huge but quiet lagoon, surrounded by coconut trees and a white sanded beach as far as your eyes can see. It feels like being in Tahiti! A true jewel for kite surfing on calm and turquoise water, to make long down-wind… Snorkeling lovers will be happy: Barbuda is a marine reserve and fish, turtles and leopard rays are plenty. A second anchorage in the North-West of Barbuda, “11 miles beach” is characterized by a long and thin sand strip, between the Caribbean sea and the inner lagoon. These anchorages are two outstanding kite surfing spots. Sail back to Guadeloupe with a stopover at Five Island, peaceful West coast of Antigua, before reaching the nice creole village of Deshaies, in Guadeloupe.

Logbook

Dates:

December 2022 to May 2023

Flights:

International flights to Grenada, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Sint Maarten and Nassau

Activities included:
Kayak and SUP, snorkeling gears onboard -mask and fins

Activities on option:
Clubs on each island offer deep sea diving of wrecks, reef walls, caves, etc.

A taste For...

Bathed by the Caribbean Sea to the west and by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Caribbean offers stunning variety, influenced by the Creole, English, Spanish and French languages and the turbulent past of its island nations. Each island of Caribbean is a few hours’ sail from the next, offering a succession of steep terrain, dense tropical forests, cool waterfalls and idyllic small sandy islands surrounded by lagoons perfect for kite surfing and wing foiling. Its warm waters are home to a large number of coral reef species, as well as protected stingrays and turtles which are easy to observe. There’s something for everyone, including water sports, sunbathing, hiking, exploring markets and discovering local traditions. It is a popular destination with lots of secrets to reveal to anyone who chooses to unravel them on board La Surprise! Together we will chart a route for your cruise, from island to island, based on your interests!

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