01 Jul 2024

Welcome to the Caribbean

WORDS by Samantha Coomber

Couple on the beach in the Caribbean Couple on the beach in the Caribbean

Yacht Cruising

Caribbean & Central America

The ultimate island-hopping adventure. 

Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, adrenaline hound, or beach worshipper, you’ll find there’s so much to see, do and discover cruising on a yacht through the gorgeous islands of the sun-drenched Caribbean Sea.

Bounded by the Americas, the breathtaking Caribbean is comprised of over 7,000 multi-sized islands, including 30 sovereign island nations and dependent territories, scattered across the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Basking in a year-round tropical climate with plenty of sunshine, these dreamy islands come blessed with a variety of natural beauty and scenic wonders. 

Get ready for some of the planet’s most beautiful beaches, from picture-perfect white sands to pink-hued coral and shimmering black varieties and crystalline turquoise waters, where an aquatic wonderland of vivid coral reefs and marine life awaits. 

Naturally beautiful landscapes, from jungle-shrouded mountains to lava beds on volcanic archipelagoes, brim with biodiversity that include rare flora. And as an astoundingly diverse region, many of the islands bear their own distinctive personalities and attractions. Just some of the reasons why the Caribbean is so appealing, adored by royals and jetsetters alike, and the world’s most popular cruise destination.  

Embarking on a cruise through the Caribbean Sea is a dream bucket list adventure. You’ll find however, the ultimate way to explore this tropical paradise is island-hopping on board a luxury yacht. 

The Caribbean region is typically divided into two main cruising areas. The northern and westerly parts predominately feature the larger sized islands and some famous names, including the Bahamas and Jamaica. Emerald Cruises’ superyachts, however, sail in the southern and easterly region, a series of smaller-sized islands relatively close to one another. Not only are these latter islands renowned as some of the Caribbean’s most diverse and enthralling, but you’ll be island-hopping to a new island – or new country – practically on a daily basis.  

On board your Emerald Cruises yacht cruise, you’ll also experience some familiar Caribbean lovelies, extending to Barbados, Saint Barthélemy, (St. Barths), the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, you’ll also set sail for some lesser-visited islands, leaving the hustle and bustle behind. Amongst the highlights, delight in Saba, crowned the ‘Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean,’ and the Grenadines, an island-nation regarded as among the planet’s most breathtaking archipelagos, where stunning islands, Mayreau, Union and Bequia, beckon.   

You’ll also get the chance to explore islands generally not frequented by the crowds of the larger cruise ships, including St. Vincent, home of ‘ultimate paradise archipelago’ Tobago Cays. And as our superyachts are designed to nimbly access smaller ports and exclusive anchorage spots that larger vessels can’t, you’ll anchor off idyllic hideaway islands and remote paradises, like Prickly Pear Cays, a dazzling cluster of uninhabited islands with powdery blond sands, typically only accessible by private yacht. 

Kayak in Saint Lucia Kayak in Saint Lucia
Kayak in Saint Lucia

Colonial & Pirate Heritage

The influences of different cultures, notably Europe, Africa and Latin America, has resulted in an extraordinary cultural melting pot and diverse historical legacies across the Caribbean.  

European colonialism has made a significant mark, with numerous islands featuring well-preserved remnants from this bygone era. Discover some of the Caribbean's finest and oldest colonial architecture in former Spanish colony, Puerto Rico and its vibrant capital, San Juan, or Antigua’s 18th-century Nelson's Dockyard, once the naval hub of Britain's Caribbean empire and now a compelling UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Legacies of the colonial-era sugar cane industry, including 17th century plantation mansions and Georgian-style architecture, still stand on Barbados (dubbed ‘Little England’), Nevis and more. Soak up unmistakable French flair on lÎles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, home to quaint, French-style villages, on glamorous, celebrity-haunt, St. Barths, or Martinique, a ‘Little Paris of the Caribbean,’ that charms with a heady elegance. Note too, that Saba and Bonaire are ‘Special Netherlands municipalities,’ while St. Martin is intriguingly a half-French, half-Dutch dual-nation.  

The Caribbean also comes steeped in pirate folklore. Norman Island, remote in the British Virgin Islands, was allegedly a favourite hiding spot for pirates to bury their loot, one of several islands that apparently inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate novel, ‘Treasure Island,’ while St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the main shooting location for the swashbuckling film franchise, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ 

A taste of the islands

Whether dining at a top-notch restaurant or a simple beach-shack eatery, you’ll be spoilt for choice tasting your way through the Caribbean. Various culinary influences, such as Indian, Asian, African, Latin American, Middle Eastern and European, have all contributed to today’s mouthwatering fusion of global and indigenous cuisine. Additionally, island cooks have created their own unique Caribbean twist on traditional recipes, invariably adding a wonderful array of spices. 

Feast on delicious cuisine bursting with tantalising flavours, like Flying fish and Cou-cou, the national dish of Barbados, the French-Creole fare of St. Barths and Martinique, or St. Lucia’s Indian-inspired spicy offerings. Be sure to try the fresh, succulent seafood, sizzling at our exclusive EmeraldPLUS beach barbecues on secluded bays, or al fresco lunches on board, where catches of the day, like spiny lobsters, are delivered directly to the yacht by local fishermen. 

A legacy of the sugar cane industry, most islands produce their own brand of authentic Caribbean rum. A multitude of distilleries are open for tours and tastings, including Barcadi’s ‘Cathedral of Rum’ distillery in San Juan, the world’s largest. Sample a rum punch or rum cocktail, but especially the Piña Colada, a universally-loved Puerto Rico concoction.

Fruit stall in the Caribbean Fruit stall in the Caribbean

Limin' the dream

With Emerald Cruises wealth of included shore excursions, plus specially curated DiscoverMORE experiences (at additional cost), live out your grandest adventures in the Caribbean. You could be snorkeling with sea turtles and giant rays in sand-bottomed, aquamarine waters, hiking through wondrous rainforests and hidden sea caves, or kayaking by moonlight in one of the world’s five bioluminescent bays. 

Or simply relax. Whichever island you moor up at, you’ll experience a seductively laid-back lifestyle and noticeably slower pace. ‘Not doing much’ is almost an art form here and a beloved way of life, known as “Limin’”. Do as the locals do: kick back with friends or loved ones watching the world go by or another memorable sunset. Limin’ may also involve a rum punch in hand, listening to a toe-tapping steelpan band, relaxing on a sun-kissed beach – or semi-submerged in the inviting pools aboard our stylish yachts. 

For your next unforgettable Caribbean yacht cruise with Emerald Cruises or explore our Caribbean page

Super Earlybird Offers are out now. Book with your travel advisor or call 1300 286 110.

Bridgetown to Marigot

15 Days

SEASON: 2024/2025

Discover the Pearls of the Caribbean

Island hop through the Caribbean by luxury yacht

Bridgetown to Marigot

8 Days

SEASON: 2024/2025

Eastern Caribbean with St. Barths

Island hop through the Caribbean by luxury yacht

A luxury yacht cruise brochure cover, featuring a yacht sailing the seas off the coast of an island
A luxury yacht cruise brochure cover, featuring a yacht sailing the seas off the coast of an island

Your guide to luxury yacht cruising

Download your free luxury yacht cruise brochure to start planning your journey.

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