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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Bridgetown has beautiful beaches, dotted with seaside villages, and peppered with dramatic scenery.  

A popular cruise location for many lines, including Cunard, Fred Olsen and Regent, Bridgetown has several berths at the terminal where there is a shopping arcade for gifts or jewellery, but it would be a pity to miss the chance to properly explore this tiny easternmost isle of the West Indies.  

Barbados is one of the strings of the volcanic Lesser Antilles Islands that start from the northern coast of Venezuela and include Martinique, Saint Lucia and the US Virgin Islands.

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Why visit Bridgetown ?

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Situated on the west coast of Barbados

Bridgetown is the capital and largest city on this tiny island

When cruising to Bridgetown, preparing for the weather is simple – Its climate is sunny, with warm days, cool winds and comfortable evenings. The wet season is during the summer and autumn, but downpours are normally followed by sunny skies, and everything dries within minutes. Temperatures vary between 30°C during the day and mid-20s at night all year round.  

During the Caribbean hurricane season between June and November, hurricanes usually miss Barbados, and instead, Bridgetown can have tropical cyclones and rain storms.  

In Bridgetown, you can visit Parliament Square, the Kensington Oval Cricket Ground and the statue of Lord Nelson. Further afield, you can enjoy the palm-fringed coast and dramatic interior, all within easy reach.  

Harrisons Cave in St Thomas is a spectacular mix of limestone stalactites and grottoes, with rock pools, streams and shimmering light. Take the electric tram on a 1.6km-long tour through this magical place, regarded by the locals as one of the seven wonders of the island.  

Try a visit as well to the Andromeda Botanical Gardens, which have winding streams and one of the best collections of exotic plants in the Caribbean, and Welshman Hall Gully is a dramatic ravine full of tropical trees, exotic plants and caves. If you would like some exercise, try snorkelling to search for hawksbill and green turtles, which were once endangered because of over-fishing. These species are now cherished, protected and monitored around the island. Alternatively, if you prefer not to get wet, the Atlantis Submarine descends into the ocean and allows you to look out of the portholes to see turtles and shoals of colourful tropical fish.  

Of course, there are the beautiful beaches – take your pick. The eastern edge of Barbados is on the Atlantic Ocean and is rugged and hilly, and the area around Bathsheba is very popular with surfers. The west coast faces the calmer Caribbean and has breathtaking views. Carlisle Beach is one of the islands most famous and has underwater shipwrecks close to its shore.  

Barbados may be small – just 34km by 23km – but a cruise to the port of Bridgetown is a real treat, and Bridgetown is an excellent stopping-off point for exploring a myriad of attractions virtually on your doorstep. With its white sands, tropical plants and English-style country churches dating from the 17th century, it is a pocket-sized gem.

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