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While all beaches promise a certain sense of tranquility and sun-kissed paradise, no two beaches are exactly the same. Case in point: The West Indies. This smattering of pristine ports and tropical islands peeking out from the crisp Caribbean waters is enough to astound even the most worldly of travelers. As such, the offerings of each are distinct enough that it requires careful consideration before you book your cruise vacation. While a discussion on what every island brings would warrant a book, here are few favorites to consider.
North of the Venezuelan coast, Curacao exudes an essence of secrecy: many of the beaches are tucked into coves, and the island has fewer tourists present than some of its regional counterparts. The result is an authentic experience—whether you’re surfing at Playa Kanoa, admiring the iconic waterfront of Handelskade, hiking Mt. Christoffel, or exploring the Hato Caves, the only thing to remind you that you’re a tourist is your sense of wonder.
Thanks to the dual countries residing on the island of Saint Martin, you can experience two different shades of paradise with one visit. On the northern side, you’ll find “Saint Martin,” derived from French roots, which are present in much of the architecture and culture. A stroll through the capital of Marigot provides a day chock-full of sights and sounds, as well as substantial shopping thanks to the market. On the southern side of the island, you’ll find “Sint Marteen,” derived from Dutch roots. While the Dutch capital of Philipsburg offers shopping as well, the real draw of the Dutch side is Maho Beach—a tourist beach where commercial jets roar mere meters overhead to land at the airport located just behind the beach.
More port-city than island, Recife is still entirely paradise. The capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco, Recife offers the trappings of a thriving Brazilian city—the culture, the art, dining and the nightlife while being bordered by pristine expansive beaches and awe-inspiring tropical reefs. Boa Viagem Beach offers fun in the sun to rival any day spent anywhere in the Caribbean, but few places can match the additional options should you ever need a break from paradise. A stroll through the Ricardo Brennand Institute offers an expansive collection of art to peruse, Cais do Sertão Museum provides insight into Brazil’s culture, and Zoo Botanical Park Dois Irmãos triples as a zoo, museum and big forest reserve—making it three times the adventure in one outing.
If all of the paradises listed above sound too good to pass up, you’re in for a tough choice when you discover all of the ones not even mentioned. Instead of limiting yourself to one tropical getaway, experience them all by island hopping.
There are plenty of ways to island hop, but none as luxurious as by yacht. In the off chance that you don’t have your own personal private yacht, fear not: Crystal Cruises is here to help. Thanks to its sophisticated offerings, you can enjoy all the amenities of an all-exclusive cruise line, with the intimacy of your own private personal mega-yacht. With accommodations for just 62 adventurers, every room being a suite, and every guest enjoying the services of a butler, you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s not your own personal sea vessel. The best part? They sail to every port listed above, and then some.
Can’t wait to discover the paradise of the West Indies? To get started booking your Crystal Cruise, contact one of our cruise specialists today!