22 January 2017
The acclaimed Oceania cruise ship Insignia has undergone a multimillion pound transformation to create a virtually new vessel that is both sleek and elegantly charming. Her decks are resplendent in the finest teak, custom stone and tile work, and her lounges, suites and staterooms boast luxurious, neo-classical furnishings. So relax and enjoy this wonderful Caribbean Delights cruise from Puerto Rico and back calling at the islands of Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and St Barts.
Your Caribbean adventure begins when you board the Insignia at San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico. But there is plenty of time to explore before you set sail. Begin in Old San Juan, a walled enclave of hundreds of restored 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial buildings. Notice the blue-tinged cobblestone streets which were once ballast on Spanish ships. Elsewhere, tour the medieval Saint John the Baptist Cathedral, the Museum of Art, and Casa del Libro, a repository of priceless documents.
The only full day at sea on the cruise so make the most of it and find out all that this luxurious liner has to offer. From reading in the comfortable library to sipping fine vintages at a wine tasting, a wonderful spectrum of enriching activities awaits. Attend a guest lecture about your next destination or enjoy the upper deck and have fun on the putting green. Spend the afternoon with friends at a lively trivia contest or bridge tournament, or lose yourself in deep relaxation with one of Canyon Ranch SpaClub’s signature treatments.
Today the Insignia arrives at St Georges, capital of the beautiful spice island of Grenada. You can smell the cinnamon and nutmeg well before you dock in St. George’s and a tour of the spice estates is almost mandatory. You can also take in a visit to a distillery to see how the island’s sugarcane juice is first turned into syrup and then into rum. A ferry trip to sister island Carriacou offers fantastic diving opportunities, and romantics can climb the waterfalls or just relax on the sun-kissed beaches.
Another day, another wonderful Caribbean island when you dock at Bridgetown, Barbados. This bustling capital city, inscribed along with its garrison on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011, is a duty-free port with a compact shopping area. The principal thoroughfare is Broad Street, which leads west from National Heroes Square. A shuttle service operates during the day, if you want to explore on your own, or there are plenty of tours available that can be booked on board.
Today you can explore this lush, beautiful island and its bustling capital Castries, where the Insignia is moored. Visit the historic La Toc Battery, see banana plantations, and watch silk screening at Bagshaws. Venture south to Soufriere at the base of the stunning Piton peaks and see the unique gingerbread architecture of the marketplace. Take a bike ride through the rain forest to a lovely waterfall, kayak in the deep blue Caribbean, snorkel or dive to spectacular reefs.
As with all destinations on this Delights of the Caribbean cruise, there are a whole range of tours that can be taken at each port of call. Today you can take a scenic drive, enjoy panoramic island views and visit famed Nelson’s Dockyard. Go deep-sea fishing or off road to interesting seaside villages and see the fragile mangrove ecosystem. Play golf, enjoy snorkeling and sea kayaking, or just spend the day relaxing on a fabulous white sand beach.
More great adventures available today when the Insignia arrives at Gustavia on the island of St Barts. Here you can tour this beautiful island and marvel at the rugged coastline and its unspoiled, upscale atmosphere, unique in the Caribbean for its Swedish and French heritage. Enjoy the spectacular beaches and resorts, snorkel or dive in the crystalline waters, see underwater wonders from a semi-submersible marine vessel, or simply relax on one of the lovely beaches and soak up the sun.
Today the Insignia docks back at San Juan, Puerto Rico, and your wonderful Caribbean cruise comes to an end. Say farewell to the crew and new found friends and do some more sightseeing and souvenir shopping before heading to the airport to catch your flight home. You can extend your holiday by staying on and soaking up the sun at one of the many beach resorts on the island ensuring that you leave with even more great memories . . . and an impressive tan.
Oceanview Stateroom fr £2184pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated