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Set sail aboard the magnificent four-masted Sea Cloud, and explore the lush islands and vibrant cultures of the Lesser Antilles. Hike in the mountainous rain forests of Dominica, explore an active volcanic crater in Saint Lucia, and glide on a catamaran in the idyllic Grenadines. Amid a spectacular tropical backdrop, enjoy opportunities to swim and snorkel at coral reefs and white-sand beaches, and discover the hidden corners that make this place so special.
Sail the sparkling Caribbean Sea aboard the historic square-rigger Sea Cloud.
Snorkel at pristine coral reefs, swim in tropical lagoons, and explore secluded cays and beaches.
Go on historian-led walks in colonial towns infused with an intriguing mix of cultures.
Experience an array of natural wonders including volcanoes and rain forests teeming with birds and wildlife.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Antigua
Arrive in Antigua and settle into your cabin aboard the elegant Sea Cloud. Cast off this afternoon, and enjoy dinner and our first Caribbean sunset. (D)
Day 2 — At Sea
Begin the morning on deck, where sailors climb the lines to raise the Sea Cloud’s sails by hand. Enjoy a full day skimming across the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Relax with a book, photograph the ship and its exquisite details, and attend talks by our experts on the natural history of the islands we will soon explore. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Dominica
Spend the day exploring rugged Dominica, known as "the nature island" for its spectacular beauty and many protected reserves. Hike in a mountain rain forest where wildlife and birds abound, and discover waterfalls and hot springs created by active volcanoes. Join our historian in exploring the ruins of Fort Shirley, an 18th-century British garrison, and learn about Dominica’s turbulent colonial history. Then head to a secluded beach to swim or snorkel, and spend the evening docked amid the forested tranquility of Cabrits National Park. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Iles des Saintes
Off the southern coast of Guadeloupe lie the French-speaking Iles des Saintes, a group of eight small islands. Dock in the beautiful bay of Terre-de-Haut, the largest island in the archipelago, and watch as fishermen unload their catch and sailors maneuver their traditional boats, or saintoise. Explore the main town, laced with bougainvillea and brightly-painted houses, and walk up to Fort Napoléon, a 19th-century French barracks that now houses a museum and cactus garden. Later, go snorkeling or swimming before we return to our ship and set sail on the Guadeloupe Channel. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Saint Lucia
Rise early to watch as our crew trims the Sea Cloud’s 32,000 square feet of billowing sails. Conditions permitting, we’ll lower Zodiacs so that you can glide alongside the yacht and photograph it from new angles. This afternoon, arrive at St. Lucia, a mountainous island with palm-fringed beaches and a dense rain forest interior. Anchor under the island’s iconic twin peaks, Les Pitons, which rise dramatically above the sea. After exploring the fishing port of Soufrière, head off on a thrilling drive into St. Lucia’s active volcanic crater, where the otherworldly landscape bubbles with mud pools and sulfur springs. Discover the island’s native flora and fauna, take a plunge under a waterfall, and hike up to a nearby bluff for sweeping views.
Day 6 — The Grenadines
After a splendid morning of sailing, arrive among the idyllic Grenadines, where pirates once raided merchant vessels. Today, these islands are known for their golden beaches, superb coral reefs, and relaxed and inviting atmosphere. In the southern Grenadines, the Tobago Cays include a cluster of small, uninhabited islands protected by a horseshoe reef. Sail on a local catamaran to this stunning marine park, and explore its pristine beaches and reef system. Swim in crystal-clear coves inhabited by green and hawksbill sea turtles, or don a snorkel to explore coral gardens teeming with tropical fish, rays, and other marine life. Our spectacular location allows many opportunities to explore, or simply relax. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Bequia/At Sea
Dock at tiny Bequia, and explore the charming waterfront steeped in a lively sailing tradition. Go snorkeling at a nearby reef, swim in turquoise lagoons, or visit a sea turtle sanctuary to learn about local conservation.This evening, toast our Caribbean adventure at a farewell dinner as we return to Barbados. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Antigua/U.S.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight. (B)
Book travel in the Caribbean on the Sea Cloud and we will cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew.
National Geographic Expert
National Geographic photographer and naturalist Jeff Mauritzen traveled to Africa, South America, and the Pacific on assignment photographing wildlife for the Society's Animal Encyclopedia. Jeff is also a seasoned and popular photography expert, guiding and lecturing on natural history-focused trips for National Geographic Expeditions. His adventures have immersed him in vivid landscapes on all seven continents and in more than 60 countries around the world. Whether capturing 360-degree panoramas of wildlife along an African savanna or photographing sharks in the Pacific depths, Jeff’s work expresses an unwavering passion, respect, curiosity, and awe for the natural world. An avid traveler and explorer, Jeff has lived in Venezuela and Ireland, as well as at sea aboard seven different ships. His photography is represented by National Geographic Creative and has appeared in more than a dozen National Geographic books and numerous other publications, as well as on the Society's website.