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CARIBBEAN’S WINDWARD ISLES – SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

from $4,930

DATES: 2023 – FEB 25-MAR 05

DURATION: 9 DAYS 8 NIGHTS

EMBARK: SAINT LUCIA

DISEMBARK: BARBADOS

SHIP: LE DUMONT-D’URVILLE

FROM: $4,930* – All Inclusive – Port Charges, Open Bar, Gratuities to ship crew, Shore Excursions

*SAVE 25% – BOOK EARLY

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All about the CARIBBEAN’S WINDWARD ISLES – SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS.

In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.

PONANT brings you an itinerary to the heart of the most enchanting islands in the Caribbean Sea. Board Le Dumont-d’Urville for a 9-day cruise combining long stretches of white-sand beach, idyllic turquoise waters, and the laid-back island way of life.

Board your ship in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, whose two majestic volcanic peaks – the Gros and Petit Pitons –  jut dramatically from sea to sky and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You will then set sail for Portsmouth in Dominica, a mountainous island where inland rivers and nature trails provide a glimpse into the intriguing flora and fauna of the island and – if you are lucky – the chance to see the nation’s national bird, the Sisserou Parrot. Do not miss the opportunity to sample some native chocolate from a local maker.

Continue north to Les Saintes, a small archipelago of Guadeloupe, a highly popular anchorage site with crystal-clear waters and fabulous seabeds where opportunities to enjoy the seascape abound.  Snorkel, swim, or kayak in the shadow of the imposing 19th-century Fort Napoléon.

Your ship will then sail south to the archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Here, begin on the island of Bequia, where small, picturesque villages, unbelievably clear waters, and brightly colored coral reefs prove main attractions. Then, enjoy a day on your magnificent private beach on the island of Mayreau.

Continue to Saint George’s, the capital of Grenada, a hilly island of unspoiled beauty and the southernmost isle of the Lesser Antilles. Nicknamed the Spice Island, Grenada is home to a number of nutmeg plantations, which you may choose to visit.

Anchor next in the Tobago Cays Marine Park. This circle of islands, bound together by arguably the most beautiful coral reef in the West Indies, will reveal its incredible underwater wildlife during your visit.

Le Dumont-d’Urville sails on to Bridgetown, Barbados, whose UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center reveals touches of its British colonial past around every corner. Toast the end of your cruise with a glass of the island’s famous rum as you relish the memories of your week at sea on this breathtaking stretch of the Caribbean!

Expedition Highlights

  • A voyage specially tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion or activity in each port of call.
  • Engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts.
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Pitons of St. Lucia and Historic Bridgetown in Barbados.
  • A true picture-perfect sampling of the West Indies: endless white-sand beaches, colorful reefs, idyllic turquoise waters, and the laid-back island way of life.
  • A discovery of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, considered one of the world’s most stunning archipelagos.
  • A barbecue lunch on your private beach on the island of Mayreau.
  • Opportunities to sample local specialties, such as chocolate, spices, and rum.
  • Exceptional seabeds and reefs with the possibility to observe turtles, barracudas, spiny lobsters, and parrotfish.
  • Myriad opportunities to swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters.
  • Possibility of diving (PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board (additional cost).

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NOTE: There are other dates and similar itineraries without Smithsonian Journeys. Just ask.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

Included features:

  •  All accommodations, meals, and excursion described above
  • Gratuities to crew, guides and drivers on included excursions
  • Comprehensive 8-night cruise aboard the deluxe LE DUMONT-D’URVILLE, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
  • All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation)
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands… list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • Room service 24h (special selection)
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Park entry fees into protected areas

Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Airfare
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Pre- and Post-cruise programs

  1. Day 1 VIEUX FORT, SAINT LUCIA

    Embarkation from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Departure at 6:30 PM

    Vieux Fort lies to the far south of the island of Saint Lucia. This town, which was a strategic location in the sugar industry from the 18th to the 19th centuries, derives its authenticity from its rich history. Renowned for its lush nature and beaches typical of the Caribbean, it is also famous for its mythical Moule-a-Chique Lighthouse. Built in 1912 and standing 200 meters (656 feet) tall, this lighthouse will be visible as soon as you arrive on the Saint Lucian coastlines. The beauty of Vieux Fort is also reflected in the underwater kingdom that surrounds it. It is home to an abundance of marine species, such as eagle rays or leatherback sea turtles. Vieux Fort is most likely to evoke feelings of enchantment and it reserves a soothing welcome, paced by the rhythm of its waves, for each of its visitors.

     

  2. Day 2 PORTSMOUTH

     With its mountainous terrain, vast tropical forest, hot springs, rivers and spectacular waterfalls, Dominica is undoubtedly the wildest island in the Caribbean. Protected by several national parks, this little-known land, located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, between Guadeloupe and Martinique, will inspire adventure and exploration. During your port of call, do not miss out on discovering the enchanting landscapes of the Indian River: navigating through this dense mangrove, in which creepers, ferns, forest trees and giant roots are interweaved, is a magical experience, a fascinating voyage into the heart of an almost mystical natural universe.

  3. Day 3 LES SAINTES

    During the feast of All Saints in 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered this archipelago of nine islands that he named ”The Saints”. Today, only two of them are inhabited. Terre de Haut, in the east, is dominated by the Morne Mire hill; at the summit stands Fort Napoleon, paying homage to the islands’ history. In the heart of the botanical garden, shared by iguanas and cacti, there is an exceptional view of the Baie des Saintes, one of the most beautiful in the world. The long shady beach of Pompierre, where it is forbidden to drop anchor, is a peaceful place for a swim, while Pain de Sucre Beach offers wonderful opportunities for snorkeling. On the island, don’t forget to taste the local specialty, the “tourment d’amour”, a cake made with coconut.

     

  4. Day 4 PORT ELIZABETH, BEQUIA ISLAND

    In the heart of the Caribbean, Bequia is the second-largest of 32 islands that make up the country of St Vincent and the Grenadines. You will love the lively and picturesque atmosphere of Port Elizabeth, the island’s main town. From the port, a promenade lined with beautiful traditional houses, landscaped gardens and small restaurants runs along the shoreline. It leads to Princess Margaret Beach, a wild beach where Princess Margaret herself has stayed and which seems to emerge directly from the tropical forest. From rainforest to lush meadows and long stretches of sand, Bequia will offer you a natural setting that is conducive to lovely walks and to spending time on the beach.

  5. Day 5 MAYREAU ISLAND

    Among the string of paradisiac islands with their sandy beaches that form the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines archipelago, Mayreau is the smallest. Its peaceful and idyllic atmosphere, far from the madding crowd, invites you to relax. On shore, enjoy a shaded and fully equipped beach from which to go snorkeling if you’d like to observe the colorful fish around the coral sitting at the foot of the rocks that stretch across the bay.

  6. Day 6 SAINT GEORGE'S, GRENADA

    Delicately set in the curve of a bay on the west coast of Grenada, Saint George’s lively commercial fishing harbor is especially colorful when the boats are being loaded with fruit and vegetables destined for neighboring islands and when all the little fishing boats return from their day out at sea. This “spice island” capital is an excellent base for visiting the surrounding natural sites : its picturesque coast or the artisanal producers of chocolate and nutmeg, Grenada’s gold. Five kilometers (3 miles) to the south, you will be able to visit Grande Anse and Morne Rouge, two long sandy beaches.

     

     

  7. Day 7 TOBAGO CAYS

    Scattered between St Vincent and Grenada, the Tobago Cays comprises five little islands: Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby. This rosary of uninhabited cays in the southern West Indies is a marine park whose turquoise lagoons provide a home and safe haven for some outstanding marine fauna, including peaceful green turtles. Girded and united by a coral reef, these secluded islands are a peaceful paradise for divers, swimmers and snorkelers.

  8. DAYS 8-9 BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS

    Arrival 3/4/2023 early morning
    Disembarkation 3/5/2023 at 7:00 AM

    Bridgetown, the bustling capital of Barbados, is located on the island’s south-west coast. Its historic quarters are UNESCO World Heritage sites and contain prime examples of British colonial architecture, which you will see between the postcard-perfect fishing harbor and St Ann’s Fort. Streets shaded by palms and flamboyant trees lead you to the Anglican cathedral church of St Michael, built from coral stone, the Barbados Museum and George Washington House, a Georgian-style mansion. There’ll be plenty of time to relax on the Caribbean beaches of Carlisle Bay, a few paces from the old town center.

     

LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE

LE DUMONT-D’URVILLE

Like the other ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series,  this beautiful has been designed to provide absolute comfort for its passengers, even at the heart of the world’s most remote and isolated regions.

Racy lines, state-of-the-art equipment, a refined design, a softly muted and at the same time convivial ambiance together with a deliberately restricted number of cabins all contribute to the modernity of this unique ship in the world of cruising.

You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.

 

Fast Facts:

  • Length: 430 ft
  • Beam: 59 ft
  • Draft: 15 ft
  • Cruising speed: 12.5 knots
  • Guest decks:  5
  • Guest capacity (double occupancy): Up to 184 PAX
  • Normal crew size: 118
  • Gross tonnage: 9976 UMS

 

RESTAURANTS

Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.

The Le Nautilus gastronomic restaurant
Towards the rear of deck 4 you’ll find a panoramic restaurant large enough to accommodate all our passengers at one sitting. Offering a different concept than on our other ships, this space is open to the exterior and serves buffets of salads, desserts and cheeses. Our discreet and attentive staff provide a table service for hot meals.

Grill Restaurant

An exterior grill restaurant on deck 3 offering a relaxed ambiance and atmosphere:

PUBLIC AREAS

Main Lounge

Able to accommodate all our passengers at once for moments of shared conviviality, and as a venue for both daytime and evening shows and entertainment.

Panoramic Lounge

Library, internet desk, cocktail bar, live entertainment on selected evenings. Direct access to the panoramic terrace.

Wellness Area

Spa treatments, L’Oreal Paris hair salon, free access sauna and open gym

Pool deck

A swimming pool offering panoramic views and equipped with a counter-current system.  A pleasant, attractive sun deck.  An exterior bar and lounge equipped with armchairs and sofas

The Theater 
188-seat capacity, cutting edge audio and lighting technology and LED stage background wall enabling the projection of ultra-high resolution media

ACCOMMODATIONS 

A contemporary and warmly welcoming design
All the 92 staterooms and suites are equipped with private balconies or terraces. Like the rest of the ship’s spaces, they have been designed to be exceptionally open to the exterior. Brightness and radiance, discreet luxury, ethnic touches, contemporary design and unparalleled levels of comfort add the finishing touches to the all-round voyage experience.

  • Individually-controlled air-conditioning
  • Cabin layout: king-size bed, or twin beds, adjoining cabins available (children welcome)
  • Minibar
  • Flat screen satellite TV
  • Video on demand
  • Bose™ Bluetooth speaker
  • Desk with stationery
  • Electronic safe
  • Hermès® bath products
  • Dressing table and hairdryer
  • Bath robes
  • Direct line telephone
  • 110/220 volt outlets
  • 24hr room service
  • Inclusive Internet access Wifi

DELUXE STATEROOM

  • Area : 19 m²
  • Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin

DELUXE SUITE DECKS 3-6

  • Area : 27 m²
  • Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin (Deck 4 & 6; 3 passengers per cabin)

GRAND DELUXE SUITE DECK 6

  • Area : 45 m²
  • Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin

PRESTIGE DECKS 4-5

  • Area : 19 m²
  • Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin

PRESTIGE DECK 6

  • Area : 19 m²
  • Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin

PRESTIGE DECKS 5-6 SUITE

  • Area : 38 m²
  • Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin

PRIVILEGE SUITE DECKS 5-6

  • Area : 32 m²
  • Capacity: up to 3 passengers per cabin

OWNER’S SUITE

  • Area : 45 m²
  • Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin