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Cruises to St. Vincent

St. Vincent (Photo:Achim Baque/Shutterstock)

About St. Vincent

With little cruise traffic and few all-inclusive resorts, St. Vincent is one of the Caribbean's least traveled islands -- and that makes visiting this small volcanic island simultaneously exciting and challenging. On the plus side, the lack of development means that its landscape is still breathtakingly unspoiled; in fact, parts of St. Vincent are so densely forested that you can't circumnavigate the island by car. But it also means that if you're seeking boutique shopping, large-scale cultural attractions or haute cuisine, you may have to wait for your next port call.

St. Vincent is an ecotourist's dream, filled with plunging waterfalls, abundant rainforests and colorful coral reefs. The adventurous can climb to the rim of La Soufriere, the volcano that looms over the northern end of the island, or go swimming in the Falls of Baleine, a waterfall so remote it can only be reached by boat. Travelers looking for a more laid-back eco-experience can stroll the peaceful paths of the Montreal Gardens or take a drive among the lush banana groves and rainforests of the hilly Mesopotamia region. Mingled in with all the natural beauty are traces of St. Vincent's diverse cultural heritage, from 19th-century European forts to ancient petroglyphs etched into rock by some of the island's earliest inhabitants.

St. Vincent was initially settled by the Ciboney, a hunting/gathering society, and later overtaken by the Arawaks and then the Caribs. European ships arrived in the late 15th century and met fierce resistance from the Caribs, who fended off multiple attempts by the British and the French to colonize the island. But after two wars and several centuries of defiance, the Caribs were finally exiled in 1797 by the British, who then ruled the island until St. Vincent achieved independence in 1979. Want to learn more? Fort Charlotte, on a promontory overlooking the capital city of Kingstown, has a small museum where visitors can delve deeper into the island's history.

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27 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Southampton
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La Coruna, Porto ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
230 Ship Review
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DAY 1: Miami

73 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
St. Barts, Martinique ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: Miami

24 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Tortola, Antigua ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Croix, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Croix, Antigua ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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62 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
San Juan
Visiting:
St. Croix, St. Maarten ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Thomas, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, San Juan ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Marseille
Visiting:
Barcelona, Seville ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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6 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Barbados
Visiting:
Tobago, Grenada ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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10 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Barbados
Visiting:
Port of Spain, St. George ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Martinique
Visiting:
Guadeloupe, St. Lucia ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Thomas, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Grand Cayman, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Guadeloupe
Visiting:
St. Lucia, Barbados ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Thomas, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Corsica, Marseille ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
St. Thomas, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Barbados
Visiting:
St. Vincent, St. Lucia ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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18 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
San Juan, St. Kitts ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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22 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Genoa
Visiting:
Marseille, Barcelona ...
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Cruise Line:
Costa Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
St. Martin
Visiting:
St. Barts, Antigua ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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7 Night
Cruise to St. Vincent

Leaving:
Guadeloupe
Visiting:
St. Lucia, Barbados ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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Why go to St. Vincent?

Pros:

Ecotourists flock here for volcano hikes, waterfall swims and scuba diving

Cons:

Don't expect much high-quality shopping, dining or cultural attractions

Bottom Line:

Plenty of scenery to go around whether you're driving, walking or swimming

St. Vincent Cruise Port Facilities?

Shops in the Kingston Cruise Terminal offer souvenirs, local crafts, duty-free goods and other odds and ends. It's a clean, attractive space with shops arranged around a terra-cotta-tiled courtyard. A mural depicts a scene at St. Vincent's annual Carnival celebration; dubbed Vincy Mas, it's held for 10 days starting the last weekend in June. The retail area presents the best shopping opportunity for those on a quick port stop. There's also a helpful tourist office in the complex.

The bustling streets and markets of downtown Kingstown are within easy walking distance of the cruise terminal. If you need Internet access, visit E@gles Internet Cafe (Beachmont Street, Kingstown; 784-457-2020; one hour of access costs about EC$5). A longer walk from the port (30 to 40 minutes, some of it uphill) or a quick cab ride will bring you to the Botanical Garden.

Good to Know?

If you choose to rent a car, look out for the privately owned vans that make up St. Vincent's public bus system. The locals who drive the vans are used to the island's narrow roads and often go careening around curves at a speed much higher than yours. If possible, let them pass you when it's safe to do so.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Walking to Kingstown from the cruise terminal takes only about five minutes, and the whole city is easily navigable on foot.

By Taxi: Taxi drivers line up outside the cruise terminal. Cabs aren't metered, so be sure to agree on the price beforehand (and be aware of which currency is being quoted). The fare to Villa Beach is about $10; a quick ride to the Botanical Garden is even less. Cab drivers can also take you on guided tours of the island; expect to pay about $25 to $30 per hour.

By Car: You'll need to purchase a temporary driver's license (about $28) at either the police station on Bay Street or the Licensing Authority on Halifax Street, both in Kingstown. Car rentals start at about $55 a day. One local operator is Star Garage (Grenville Street, Kingstown, 784-456-1743). Note that St. Vincentians drive on the left, and many rural roads are winding and poorly maintained. Be sure your rental car has a spare tire before you leave.

By Bus: St. Vincent's bus system is an informal network of privately owned vans that do ongoing loops around various parts of the island. You'll recognize them by their bright colors and personalized decals -- gems like "Hot Wax," "Burps," "Ooh-La-La" and "Jesus the Finisher." The vans are a much cheaper alternative to cabs (we paid about $0.40 each to ride from the Botanical Garden down into town), and are a good option if you're willing to deal with the informality of the system and the fearlessness of the van's drivers.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. For current exchange rates, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. The nearest ATM to the cruise terminal is at Heritage Square, a 10-minute walk. A number of banks are a 5-10 minute walk from the terminal. All stores accept U.S. dollars, though you'll receive change in local currency.

Language?

English is spoken in St. Vincent.

Where You're Docked?

The cruise ship terminal is just a few minutes' walk from downtown Kingstown, the island's largest city.


St. Vincent Cruise Reviews

elklemi
Sail Date: Mar 2019
This was Union Island which if part of St Vincent and Grenadines, beach stop with little beach bars and I went to Sunset Beach Bar and they had a steel drum player and had a wonderful time.... Read More
Tripaway
Sail Date: Feb 2019
Loved St Vincent, took an island tour. Great to see how they live.... Read More
wrightj6
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Toured the gardens and Fort Charlotte.... Read More
jerseyv
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We found a 3 hour tour outside the Port that took us to to the Pirates of the Caribbean filming area and also a one hour stop at a beach. The whole trip took almost 6 hours and was $25 per person for a group of ten.... Read More
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