Caribbean, Central America & the Azores
This cruise has now set sail.
Immerse yourself in the rich history, heritage and culture of diverse South and Central American destinations, and indulge in a slice of paradise in the idyllic Caribbean on this epic 30-night adventure. You can explore historic cities; uncover ancient treasures; marvel at unspoilt island scenes; and much more. With a memorable journey across the Atlantic to experience too, you’re sure to be enthralled until the very last moment.
After meeting Braemar in La Romana, you’ll head to the historic city of Santo Domingo for a short stay. Then it’s on to the Mexican island of Cozumel, with its remarkable Mayan ruins and stunning coral reefs, before the South and Central American leg of your adventure begins in Belize. Historic sites such as St John’s Cathedral – the oldest Anglican Church in Central America – await in Belize City, while Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve will be within your reach. Continuing on to Costa Rica, a visit to Puerto Limón offers you the chance to delve into the historic heart of one of Latin America’s oldest cities; or go in search of wonderful wildlife at beautiful national parks found nearby. Colon will then serve as your gateway to the wonders of Panama; don’t miss your chance to see the impressive locks and dams of the Panama Canal in action. For a host of Hispanic highlights, Braemar will also take you to captivating Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias. Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, which overlooks the city, is a fine example of the colonial Spanish structures to uncover. [ReadMore]
Your week of exploration in the Caribbean, which sees Braemar cruise between six spectacular islands, kicks-off in Curacao. The charming UNESCO-listed centre of Willemstad and Curacao’s postcard-perfect beaches will provide the perfect introduction to this gorgeous part of the world. Five consecutive days of island-hopping will then include an overnight stay in Bridgetown, affording you time to experience the Barbadian way of life; a stop at the quintessentially Caribbean island of St Lucia, home of the soaring Twin Pitons; and a full-day in St Kitts, where you can ride one of world’s greatest scenic railways. Enticing, sun-soaked golden sands and a kaleidoscope of coral reefs await you in Antigua, famed for its 365 beautiful beaches, before a call at St Maarten concludes your time in the Caribbean. Philipsburg’s maze of alleyways and courtyards are a delight to explore, while Marigot is well worth visiting to sample St Maarten’s French flavours. After departing the Caribbean full of lasting memories, you’ll cross the Atlantic – one of the great cruise experiences – back to the UK. En route, Braemar will take you to the awe-inspiring Azores to uncover São Miguel Island’s Sete Cidades Volcano and Terra Nostra Gardens, before visiting the laidback Spanish city of La Coruña for one final day of memorable sightseeing.
- Immerse yourself in the rich history, heritage and culture of diverse South and Central American destinations, and indulge in a slice of paradise in the idyllic Caribbean on this epic 30-night adventure.
- Visits to incredible destinations in Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia will offer plenty of unforgettable experiences – highlights include chances to see the impressive Panama Canal in action; explore captivating Cartagena de Indias; and go in search of wonderful wildlife from Puerto Limón.
- For glorious sunshine and spectacular sights, Braemar will take in a collection of stunning Caribbean islands. Jamaica, St Lucia – home to the soaring Twin Pitons, Barbados, St Kitts – with its world-famous scenic railway, St Maarten and Antigua, boasting 365 gorgeous beaches, all await you.
Adult Only SailingView Itinerary Close Itinerary
La Romana, Dominican RepublicFeb 27 - 28 | Depart - late night
La Romana is the Dominican Republic’s 7th largest city and one of the country’s top holiday destinations, boasting gorgeous beaches bathed in tropical sunshine, fantastic scuba-diving hotspots rich in marine fauna and flora, and luxury resorts such as Casa de Campo, famous for its world-class golf courses and the artists’ village of Altos de Chavón.
Situated on the Caribbean coast, La Romana is also an ideal place from which to embark on Caribbean cruises, thanks to the city’s convenient proximity to the stunning islands found just a short sail southeast from the Dominican.
Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicFeb 28 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - early afternoon
Discovered by Columbus in 1496, Santo Domingo is the New World’s oldest colonial city. A beautiful place to simply walk around, the cobbled streets of Santo Domingo are lined with 15th & 16th century buildings that remind you of the city’s unique history.
Among the historic buildings you will also find modern creature comforts such as shopping malls, restaurants, bars and cafes. Events and festivals often take place and visitors are encouraged to get involved and experience the Dominican’s exciting, vibrant atmosphere. Be sure to explore the Colonial Zone and the Malecon. These are the most pedestrian friendly areas in the city and are home to the finest architecture, the best places to visit and finest cuisine.
For those who wish to simply lie back, relax and soak up incredible weather, there are several beautiful beaches within easy reach.
Cozumel, MexicoMar 02 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - early evening
Cozumel, is famed for its Mayan history, coral reefs and scuba diving. Lying off the Yucatan coast, the island has over 40 shrines to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, the sea and fertility. Many are carved from coral – the island is part of the Great Maya Barrier Reef – and archaeologists regularly find the small clay dolls, which were offerings to the goddess.
The eco-park, Chankanaab, is the number one attraction in Cozumel; a lagoon with underwater caverns, and home to dolphins, manatees, iguanas and sea turtles. The relaxing haven of the National Marine Park boasts stunning beaches and beautiful botanical gardens. The popular diving spot around a section of the Mesoamerican Reef is the location of the amazing submerged sculptures of Museo Subacuático de Arte.
Museo de la Isla de Cozumel, in the small town of San Miguel, has interesting exhibits about the island, its flora and fauna, and the formation of the coral reef. There are also Mayan artefacts and various items from its time as a Spanish colony, including cannons, swords and armour.
Belize City, BelizeMar 03 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - early evening
Belize City is an intriguingly beautiful jumble of narrow streets and canals to explore, the perfect destination for those who love a little adventure. Largely surrounded by water, the city has a vast maritime history and was formerly a pirate base before the British turned Belize into an important timber city.
Among the paths and water ways you will find beautiful architecture that harks back to Belize City’s past. Old Belize is a living museum with entertaining and interesting exhibits that showcase the history of the nation, while the Museum of Belize, a former prison, is filled with a vast collection of archaeological finds and documents. The Eco-museum - a living museum that showcases some of Belize's finest treasures is also well worth a visit.
Puerto Limon, Costa RicaMar 06 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late afternoon
Although the harbour was not built until 1870 – to export Costa Rican bananas and grain – Puerto Limon is one of the oldest cities in Latin America. It was established in 1502 by Christopher Columbus and that long history has given the place some fascinating architecture and a vibrant atmosphere. The open-air market in the centre of town is a must-see, the place to buy anything from local handicrafts to clothes and household goods. In the side streets are interesting little bars and cafés: cashew nuts are an important crop locally, and the cashew wine is a speciality.
With enough time, it is fun to take a trip in a panga – a motorboat – along the Tortuguero Canal, which runs parallel with the coast for about 200km. Even during a short trip it is possible to see many unusual birds, as well as alligators, turtles and bats.
Colon, PanamaMar 07 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late afternoon
At the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean Sea, lies the country’s second city, Colón. Initially established as the terminus of the Panama Railroad, the town was originally called Aspinwall, after Railroad’s promoter, William Aspinwall. It was built to provide a fast overland route to California and the gold rush, but the local Hispanic population soon renamed it in honour of Christopher Columbus.
Outside the city port are several reminders of Panama’s rich history, including the Canal’s impressive Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam. Fort San Lorenzo, built by the Spanish to guard the strategically important Chagres River, is a well-preserved colonial military structure.The vast Colón Free Trade Zone offers tax-free shopping.
Cartagena de Indias, ColombiaMar 08 | Arrive - early afternoon | Depart - late night
An enthralling and staggeringly beautiful city, Cartagena is one of Colombia's true gems bursting with Spanish heritage. Dominated by the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the captivating city of Cartagena is also home to the wonderful Santo Domingo Plaza, Palacio de la Inquisicion and its 16th century cathedral.
Taking time out to relax at one of Cartagena's many open-air cafés is a popular pastime; perfect for watching the parade of horse-drawn carriages, fashionable locals and romantic street life. From one of its many beaches, many take the opportunity to mingle with the sea life on a Cartegena snorkelling trip, passing San Jose and San Ferna en route.
Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands AntillesMar 10 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late afternoon
UNESCO-protected Willemstad on Curaçao has narrow-gabled, 18th century houses in cool pastel shades, juxtaposed with intense yellows and royal blues. It’s akin to a carbon copy of Amsterdam, but with the gorgeous Caribbean climate thrown in.
The town has a number of intriguing museums worth visiting: the Curaçao Museum, the Maritime Museum and Kura Hulanda, which tells the history of the local slave trade. At Scharlooweg 77 is the house known as the 'Wedding Cake', a near perfect example of Dutch colonial architecture.
Willemstad is actually divided into two sections, Otrobanda and Punda, and both boast a rich, cultural heritage. They are connected by the Queen Emma Bridge, also known as the Swinging Old Lady, a floating, pontoon bridge powered by diesel, which swings open daily to allow ships in and out of the harbour.
Situated not far from the waterfront, the crowded streets of Punda are packed with smart galleries and shops, while nearby Pietermaai is alive with cool restaurants, bars and clubs. The island’s fantastic beaches are a true delight, with Santa Barbara Beach probably the pick of them all.
Bridgetown, BarbadosMar 12 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late night
With its balmy climate, buzzing atmosphere, glorious azure waters and incredible beaches, Bridgetown is a tropical city that epitomises paradise. There is rarely a dull day in the capital and largest city of Barbados.
This very British Caribbean island is a favourite with tourists; the city’s streets are lined with shops, boutiques, street vendors, bars and places to eat – there is always something to do. Broad Street, the main street of Bridgetown is often packed with welcoming locals. It's easy to see why Barbados is known as Little England given Bridgetown’s Georgian houses, the horse-racing track, Parliament Square, and a statue of Nelson.
The entire downtown area of Bridgetown and the 17th century Garrison were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 in recognition of their historical significance. Near the central National Heroes Square, which fringes Constitution River, the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and museum explore Barbados' Jewish history.
For a change of pace, the shore and the glorious sands offer a haven from the bustling centre. Carlisle Bay is home to six shipwreck dive sites, while a catamaran ride on the Caribbean Sea may offer the chance to swim with the once endangered Hawksbill and Green Turtles. The wonder of the impressive stalactites and stalagmites in Harrison’s Cave is another experience that will linger in the memory.
Castries, St. LuciaMar 13 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late afternoon
Castries, the capital of the island nation of St. Lucia, is known for its palm-lined, soft, white Vigie Beach. Like St. Lucia itself, the city combines heritage and culture with peace, relaxation and tranquillity, and Castries is a gateway to St. Lucia’s wealth of national parks with vast forests, native plants and wildlife.
The city’s streets are easy to navigate. Leafy Derek Walcott Square – named after a native noble laureate – is home to a 400-year-old Samaan tree and the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception built in 1897. The nearby market in Jeremie Street, sells a wide range of items including fresh local fruit.
Overlooking the town is Morne Fortune, which provides some splendid views alongside Royal Navy history. Here the original French colonists built La Toc Battery, but was taken by the British in 1796, replacing it with a new fort built in 1888 to protect the harbour.
Basseterre, St KittsMar 14 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late evening
With some of the oldest colonial buildings in the Caribbean, the elegant St. Kitts & Nevis capital of Basseterre is a beautiful town bursting with history.
Established by the French in the 17th century, and claimed by the British following the Napoleonic War, much of Basseterre’s original Georgian architecture still stands and begs to be explored. The domed Old Treasury Building on the waterfront – now the National Museum – is worth a visit, as is the Victorian Berkeley Memorial Clock, a four-face, cast-iron tower that sits on the Circus, an original 19th century traffic roundabout. St George’s, an Anglican church originally built by the French, has been destroyed by fire several times, and was rebuilt to its present form in 1869.
Away from the town, visitors can take a tour to Brimstone Hill Fortress to admire magnificent views across the island, travel on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway – said to be one of the most attractive train journeys in the world.
St John's, Antigua and BarbudaMar 15 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late evening
A sunbather’s haven, St John’s is the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, an island often referred to as the crown jewels of the Caribbean. With its large selection of beaches, typically hot climate and an array of cool seaside bars, the city of St John’s is a sun worshipper’s paradise.
In the city itself, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has exhibits on island history and St. John’s Cathedral, a 19th-century Anglican Church, sits sweetly on a hill near the 17th century Government House. The city’s vibrant red and yellow colonial buildings reflect the personality and warm welcome from locals, while a monument to the nation’s founder, V.C. Bird, is next to the colourful street market which sells flowers, fruit and handicrafts.
St. George’s fascinating history is brought to life on the stunning English Harbour and celebrated Nelson's Dockyard. Also known as Britain's West Indies naval base, it has now been restored to its 18th century glory.
There is shopping and speciality restaurants to be found in Heritage Quay and, of course, no visit would be complete without a spell on one of the island’s 365 stunning beaches – one for each day of the year say the Antiguans.
Philipsburg, St Maarten, Netherlands AntillesMar 16 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - late evening
Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch half of St. Maarten, a Caribbean island amicably shared between Holland and France for centuries. The town is known as a shopper’s paradise, while its charming sandy beach, studded with colourful clapboard restaurants and outdoor cafés, is accessible via water taxi.
Front Street, Philipsburg’s long main street, is festooned with shops, but the alleys and courtyards down to Back Street are also worth exploring. There are some stylish restaurants, but the Lo-Lo huts, which sell grilled chicken, fish and cakes from home-made barbecues, are great for a cheap snack of authentic Caribbean food.
This tiny island was divided between the Dutch and French in the 1600s, as a bastion against the Spanish. This melting pot of rich cultures and old-world charm was supposedly divided up by someone from each country walking round the coastline in opposite directions until they met up again.
Two historic forts reflect the island’s colonial past: Fort Amsterdam, built in 1631 and soon after captured by the Spanish, offers fine views over Philipsburg from the original walls, and Fort Willem, built by the British during the Napoleonic War.
Ponta Delgada, PortugalMar 23 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - early evening
Ponta Delgada, the main town on the island of São Miguel, is the capital of the Azores archipelago of Portugal. The town’s cosmopolitan atmosphere belies its 500 year history, and the surrounding island boasts beautiful lakes, mountains, sandy beaches and the stunning crater lakes of the extinct Sete Cidades volcano.
A fine collection of buildings, narrow cobbled streets and squares, are a firm reminder that this was once a key staging post between Europe and the Americas. Intermingled are cool parks, enchanting squares, a modern marina, restaurants and waterside cafés. Its lakeside, whitewashed houses with terracotta roofs look out to enchanting mountain plains.
The striking, three-arched city gates, Portas da Cidade – which once stood in the harbour and now reside in Gonçalo Velho Cabral Square, were dedicated to the Portuguese navigator who discovered the Azores. The Gothic Church of St. Sebastian and The Convent and Chapel of Our Lady of Hope, which is home to a revered image of Christ, are both worth uncovering. The Carlos Machado Museum offers diverse artefacts of Azorean culture, while Igreja Matriz Church, with its splendid clock tower, is one of many beautifully ornate towers to be found.
The ‘Green Island’ also offers canoeing and other sports activities on lakes located in the craters of its dormant volcanoes. The island’s beauty can also be enjoyed by horse riding or cycling.
La Coruña, SpainMar 26 | Arrive - early morning | Depart - early afternoon
The city of La Coruña is the capital of the province and a busy seaport situated in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Most famous for its Roman lighthouse, the diverse architectural styles of La Coruña make the city an absolute delight for sightseeing.
La Coruña boasts an impressive seafront promenade, beautiful beaches and a host of attractions such as the Domus Museum, the Casa del Hombre and Torre De Hercules – said to be the only Roman lighthouse in existence – which offers sweeping coastal views from the top of its 60 metre high tower. The Paseo Marítimo, a lovely 13km walkway and bike path, runs from the port, around the peninsula, and along the ocean beaches.
The compact Ciudad Vieja – La Coruña’s old quarter – is a must-visit area. Often referred to as “the city” by the locals, the medieval centre contains remains of the centuries-old Roman wall that once protected it. The arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianized lanes, is a popular spot, and features the Estatua de María Pita, a statue of a 16th century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake. The medieval Church of Santiago, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Military Museum are all fine places of interest.
Beyond the historic city is a proud, modern metropolis, which boasts a superb food scene and a buzzing nightlife. The world’s best picnic food, empanadas, and the locally produced beer, Estrella, both demand trying.
Southampton, EnglandMar 28 | Arrive - early morning
Considered the 'Cruise Capital of the UK', Southampton is the departure port for hundreds for cruise holidays every year, including a number of Fred. Olsen sailings on our smaller sized ships. But beyond being the starting poing for many cruise adventures, you can be assure that this historic city on England's sunny south coast has much to offer as a destination in its own right.
Whether you enjoy a call at Southampton as part of your cruise itinerary, or choose to spend time exploring either before of after your cruise from the city, you'll find there are plenty of attractions, highlights and sights to discover, showcasing fascinating history and local culture. Perhaps see the timber-framed treasures of the Old Town, including the beautiful Tudor House and Gardens, and visit the Sea City Museum to learn of Southampton's links to the Titanic's ill-fated voyage. Other Titanic-related sights include war memorials, the former White Star Line HQ and the Grapes Pub - wander the 'Titanic Trail' to take them in.
There are art galleries and museums aplenty too, as well as an abundance of places to shop, and a number of trendy bars, restaurants and cafés where you can always stop for something delicious. Alternatively, you might opt to explore nature trails and wetlands near to the city, or simply stroll through one of the green spaces or pretty parks.