The Caribbean is perhaps the most perfect sailing ground in the world in terms of wind, sunshine and variety of places to visit. What could be better than island hopping on a tall ship, barque or three masted schooner in brisk trade winds, with the canvas sails white against the blue skies driving you along without fossil fuels, but also offer cooling shade on wooden decks. On Classic Sailing ships you are participating in the sailing as guest crew so you can go ashore for a rum punch, talk to locals about your voyage, or a wander along another beautiful beach satisfied you have earned your place in the tropical sun.
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The Caribbean for Trade Winds & Tropical Sun
The whole Caribbean Island chain from Grenada to Cuba is perhaps the most perfect sailing ground in the world in terms of wind, sunshine and variety of places to visit. The Windward and Leeward Island Groups sits squarely in the North East trade wind belt and Classic Sailing only offer voyages outside the most typical hurricane season. Our tall ships revel in strong winds and turquoise seas and the canvas sails look magnificent against the deep blue skies.
The Real Pirates of the Caribbean - Lush rainforests, mountains and waterfalls
There are few things which beat a tropical sunset below the yard-arm whilst at anchor in a timeless setting. A sailing ship as your base gives you access to the unspoilt Caribbean; Fishing villages where the chickens roam the shore, or landing like an early explorer on a remote beach anchorage under a forest covered volcanic peak.
If you have been dazzled by the natural scenery in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies then both Guadaloupe and Dominica are much closer to that lush volcanic island paradise than more well known Caribbean tourism locations. The second movie 'Dead Mans Chest' and 3rd Capt Jack Sparrow adventure At 'World's End' were filmed in the rainforests of Dominica, close to Guadaloupe.
Coral Reefs & Marine Wildlife
Some of the best dive sites in the world are in the Caribbean, but you don't have to be a diver to enjoy them. In Scott's Bay, Dominica you can swim off the beach with a snorkel and face mask and swim from shallow coral and 12ft of water to a sheer underwater wall of coral and cliff - descending 4000ft. Alive with fish and coral and upwelling plankton, this sunken volcanic crater is also deep enough for Sperm Whales to swim close inshore. Further North the Bahamas Banks contain approximately 5 percent of the worlds coral reefs and the crystal clear visibility over white sand bottom means you may see sharks, dolphins and turtles from the ships deck without getting wet.
Sailor to Sailor - Connect with Caribbean Island Life
The cliche is that the Caribbean is very laid back. The reality is that every island community and culture is different. Compare the French sophistication and fashion conscious young people of Guadaloupe and Martinique, where people watching is an art form, to the Caribs of Dominica pushing their solid dugout canoes out into the ocean with hand woven fish traps.
South - The Windward Islands
These include Grenada, The Grenadines, Carricou, Tobago, Bequia, St Vincent and St Lucia. Out on a limb about a hundred miles to the East is Barbados.
We occasionally have ships using the Panama Canal with stops en route in the Dutch Antilles or Cartegena.
Middle of the Chain - French Caribbean
Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique have French sophistication, wild jungle and waterfalls.
Leeward Islands around Antigua
Antigua is famous for yachting and Antigua Classics is held every year. Our bigger ships often use English Harbour or Falmouth Harbour as a joining port and there are lots of flight choices out here. Nearby is Barbuda, the island with the volcano - Monserratt, Nevis, St Kitts and to the North is St Martin/St Maarten.
Northern Caribbean - Puerto Rico, Cuba and Bahamas
There is a break in the chain above St Martin with the Anegada Passage to cross before you reach the Virgin Isles and Puerto Rico. Further North still are the Turks and Caico Islands and the shallow Bahamas to navigate. Cuba is becoming a regular sailing destination for our adventure charter sailing ships.
Bermuda - Island out in the Atlantic
Bermuda is often considered part of the Caribbean Region but it is actually in the Sargasso Sea and really part of North America. It has coral reefs and beaches so what's not to like.