7 Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Captain Roy Hodges, of 73.2 metre Laurel, which is available for charter with Ocean Independence, suggests an island-hopping route between Antigua and St Lucia

Day 1

Meet Laurel in Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour and start the 42nm cruise to Guadeloupe. The two main islands are joined by bridges and a mangrove swamp. Drop anchor at Basse-Terre, which is home to the Parc National and La Soufrière volcano. Head ashore and hike along the treetops on rope bridges and swim in one of the waterfalls. Overnight at Deshaies Harbour and enjoy a dinner on board.

Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

In the morning, start the 33nm cruise to Îles des Saintes, a group of islands at the southern end of Guadeloupe. En route, stop at Pigeon Island for a lunchtime snorkel in the Coral Garden for the chance to spot angelfish, parrotfish and butterflyfish. Upon arrival at Îles des Saintes, you can either anchor at Bourg des Saintes on the main island in front of the town or opt for a quieter vibe off Îlet à Cabrit.

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Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Early morning, Laurel will make her way to Prince Rupert Bay in Dominica, which is nicknamed the Nature Island. The natural harbour is the perfect base from which to take a tour of the Indian River, which can only be explored by rowing boat and is surrounded by rainforest and teeming with wildlife. In the afternoon, you can either head inland to explore one of the island’s many waterfalls or take the tender to some secluded snorkelling spots.

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Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

After breakfast, head to Martinique’s Fort-de-France to clear customs before heading to one of many anchorages near the Anse-à-L’Ane beach. Either spend some time enjoying Laurel’s extensive toy box or head for a snorkel in the outer reefs, which are famous for the biodiversity of their flora and fauna.

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Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Make the 40nm cruise to Marigot Bay on the western side of St Lucia. After lunch on board head to the Diamond Botanical Gardens, a former plantation bursting with ornamental plants and also boasting geothermal mineral baths. Laurel will anchor overnight below the famous Pitons, so you can enjoy dinner underneath the stunning twin peaks.

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Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Keen hikers can take on Gros Piton: the loftier of the two peaks takes approximately two hours to conquer but offers the best vantage point of the entire island. Those feeling slightly less adventurous can take an island buggy tour or go zip lining in the rainforest. In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise down to Vieux Fort at the southern tip of the island.

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Days island-hopping between the Leeward Islands

Wake for breakfast with views of the mountain range before cruising around to Anse des Sables Beach, where Laurel will drop anchor for a final al fresco lunch. Disembark at leisure and head to nearby Hewanorra International Airport, which also has private jet facilities.

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