Caribbean with Explora Journeys

I celebrated my birthday in the Caribbean!

I have just recently returned from a fantastic birthday trip to the Caribbean, sailing with Explora Journeys. This is a ship that I have been really looking forward to experiencing since she was launched last Summer, and it’s fair to say that she didn’t disappoint!

Explora Journeys strapline is all about embracing The Ocean State of Mind, and this itinerary was the perfect combination of Island hopping, along with some nice relaxing sea days (I must admit, I do love a good sea day). Sailing the Caribbean on a ship this size means that you get to fully immerse yourself in the destinations and explore all the hidden gems that the Caribbean has to offer.  

Explora ship from beach
Our Itinerary was called ‘Island of Desire’, which embarked in Barbados, and sailed to Saint-Pierre, Martinique; Basseterre, St Kitts; Samana, Dominican Republic; and Ocean Cay, Bahamas. Before finally arriving back to Miami, where we de-barked for our journey home. 

Our first port of call was the lovely port of St Pierre in Martinique. I was celebrating my birthday, so before getting off the ship, we indulged in a delicious champagne breakfast on our private veranda, whilst taking in the beautiful views across the bay. This port is tendered and took just a couple of minutes to get to the shore. There were plenty of trips on offer, but we chose instead to have a leisurely walk around the town and learn all about the history of this historic French port, with its bustling markets, memorial museum, monuments, and old building’s. We then walked out of the town along the sandy black beaches, which were ideal if you fancied a refreshing dip in the water. It was a beautiful port for our first stop in the Caribbean. 

Explora Journeys breakfast

The next port of call we arrived at Basseterre, St Kitts. I think this ended up being one of my favourite islands. This port is docked, and the port itself is beautiful with lovely colonial style buildings, and plenty of bustling shops everywhere. This island has the most spectacular scenery, everything is so lush, green, and mountainous. We decided to explore the island independently, with our lovely Panache customers Liz & Richard Sykes, who had hired a car for the day. It was a real adventure, and one of my most memorable ports. We drove through different villages, stopping off at beaches along the way, and ended up at UNESCO world heritage site, Brimstone Hill Fortress, which has spectacular views across the island. It was such a fantastic experience. There was so much to see and do here, this is definitely one island I would love to revisit.  

St Kitts sign
We then arrived at Samana, Dominican Republic, which is tendered. The Island has lovely golden beaches, lush mountainous scenery again, and a Hispanic vibe. There were lots of different excursion options, including snorkelling, sailing, trekking through the forest, with an option to brave it on the zip wire, or just visit the local towns and take in the atmosphere. We just decided to explore some of the local beaches.

Our final port of call was Explora Journey’s private Island, Ocean Cay. They definitely saved the best until last! Sailing into port was simply stunning, we have never seen the ocean so calm and blue before. The big red and white lighthouse stands out for miles around as you are sailing into port. It was a real focal point, alongside all the pastel-coloured buildings. It really is a Bahamian paradise island, so beautiful. There was an option to visit one of the many private beaches dotted around the island, where you can swim, snorkel, sail, paddle board, surf, the choice of activities was endless. We decided to try an afternoon of paddle boarding, where our Panache customers Liz and Richard Sykes decided to join us. It was so much fun, and such an amazing experience. The waters were so calm, and crystal clear, we could see all the marine lines underneath whilst we paddle boarded around the Island.  

Ocean Cay
This trip I will never forget, so many memories to last a lifetime, take this as a sign to head to paradise, or at least add it to your bucket list destinations!

Call Panache Cruises on 0161 513 8200 if you want to learn more about Explora Journeys.

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