With a population hovering around 35,000, the small island of St. Kitts is a gem of the Caribbean. Home to a plethora of beautiful beaches, the island also holds Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean and among the best preserved in the Americas.
We booked with Grey's Island Excursions for another wonderful day of touring. There were 8 people in the small bus. I loved the Batik demonstration and the Brimstone Hill Fortress. We bought BBQ chicken and coke at the fort for lunch. Delicious for just $5. Again, loved the scenery.
After the tour he took us to a beach for a little over an hour. We rented chairs and umbrella. He was very accommodating and asked us when we wanted to be picked up to return to the ship. We were at ship about 4 pm.
Great value for the price. Tour guide "Sackville" was very knowledgeable and fun. It was a full day tour that went around most of the island. Included the Fort, botanical gardens and the beach. Smaller buses (maximum 12) made it easy to manage and allowed the guide to focus on everyone.
The Fairview Great House was good. You could easily envision the lives of its owners, and the flora were varied and intriguing. One of the few places on our cruise that had a nice area to sit and have a cold drink. LOVED the opportunity for free time in Basseterre. One of the few islands where the cruise ship port is in close proximity to the city center, so you can explore with no worries about getting back to the ship on time.
Really enjoyed our “Grand Tour of St. Kitts” with Henry Williams of Thenford Grey Tours
We were met at the visitors center by a young woman who put us into the very capable hands of our guide, Henry Williams, and we boarded a small, comfortable van with just 4 others. Started with a quick drive through of Basseterre pointing out the important sights. (Some day I’d like to spend more time exploring the “city.”) Then a drive along the coast through an area of “offshore” medical and veterinarian schools. (I didn’t realize there were so many on St. Kitts.)
The grounds at Romney Manor were lovely and Henry pointed out many of the unusual plants and trees such as the Traveler Palm. Good amount of time to shop at Caribelle Batik there and enjoy rum punch and a small piece of locally made rum cake. (These snacks and later lunch were not included in the price of the tour. That was fine as the cost of $55 was so reasonable.)
From Romney Manor it was just a little further to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth the climb up the stone steps to the top for the fort and beautiful views of St. Kitt’s coastline. Fort was really well preserved and fun to explore as well with many exhibits.
None of us felt we needed to shop (one of the options) so we drove instead out onto the Southeast Peninsula stopping for pictures of the Atlantic and the Caribbean (in just one shot). When we arrived at South Friars Bay on the Caribbean side, we were given the choice of beaches between a more upscale resort or less expensive but with all the amenities. We decided on Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill and it made for a very fun afternoon. Rustic décor but good showers, changing rooms, and excellent drinks and local menu with fresh seafood. Picnic tables under shady pavilion or trees. Beach was a little narrow but they had plenty of umbrellas and lounges available. We brought our own snorkel masks and blow-up vests but rented fins for just $5 for the two of us. There was a sign warning about black sea urchins, but we only saw them on the reef further out where the water was deep and they could easily be avoided. Not spectacular snorkeling but life along reef was good. The day would have been perfect if the monkeys on the hill behind the beach had decided to come out but not my cruise for monkeys. (Didn’t see them on Antigua either.) Easy ride from there back to the ship and arrived in plenty of time before sailing.
Definitely the best value excursion of our cruise. Saw the best of St. Kitts in a comfortable van with only 2 other couples, excellent guide, fun beach/snorkel time, and fresh a la carte food from the Shipwreck Grill. Can’t believe it was all for just $55 per person!
The taxi/tour leaders that bombard you as you arrive off of the ship is OVERWHELMING! We opted to ignore their aggressiveness and walk into town. Along the way, we were approached by Bertram who arrived the four of us a van ride around the island for a very nominal fee. Something about his pleasant, non-aggressive demeanor, and his "uniform" won us over. He took us from tip to tip in ST Kitts with a stop at the Fort, the Romney House of Batik, and the point where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean sea! He initially offered a three hour tour which because of his expertise and pride in the sites of the Island turned into a four memorable trip.
Thenford was very knowledgeable and entertaining, and we enjoyed touring the island. He took us to the fort, the batik factory, and to the beach. Check it out on trip advisor. Very popular and highly rated.
We have been to St. Kitts several times and this time we elected to take a tour over to Nevis. The tour started with a ferry ride of approximately 40 minutes over to the island where we were met by our guide who gave us a 3 hour round trip tour of the island and then dropped us off at a restaurant on the most beautiful beach. The restaurant (sorry, I do not remember the name) offered up locally caught fish and other varied fare (approximate cost $15-$25 USD). The walk to the beach from the restaurant was under 4 minutes and the beach was clean and there were chairs available. Because our port stay was cut short our guide took us to the dock closest to St. Kitts and a powerboat (600HP engines) raced us across the water to the island where a bus met us for the ride back to the ship. Another very scenic island. Next time, I will just take a day trip to Nevis and sit on their beaches. A lovely day
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