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Cruises to Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda (Photo:BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock)

About Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda ranks as a popular cruise destination because of its white sands and clear, turquoise seas. Plus, the island is undeveloped enough to still feel like a private, exclusive place.

One of the most popular and fascinating natural attractions in the Caribbean is also located here -- a beach strewn with giant boulders known as The Baths. Brought to the ocean's edge by volcanic activity, the boulders form caves, grottoes and tidal pools, well worth exploring.

Christopher Columbus spotted the island in 1493, on his second trip to the New World, and gave Virgin Gorda its name. Looking at the island's mountain ridge -- and no doubt tired of being at sea with a bunch of sailors -- he thought what is now called Gorda Peak looked liked the belly of a reclining chubby woman. Hence, he called it Virgin Gorda, or "fat virgin" in Spanish.

A no man's land for a time, Virgin Gorda and other British Virgin Islands were used by pirates as a base for raids on Spanish galleons (large sailing ships). Capt. William Kidd was among the more notorious.

The British established a sugar trade on the island in the 1700's, but that ended when Britain abolished slavery in 1838. A copper mine was opened around the same time and operated for about 24 years before it was abandoned. The ruins are now part of a national park.

Fishing and farming were the way of life for a century. Then Laurance Rockefeller, the New York financier and conservationist, came in the 1960's and opened an exclusive eco-resort called Little Dix Bay. By the 1970's, Virgin Gorda was "discovered" as a tourist destination, and tourism remains the mainstay of the economy.

Only 12 miles from Tortola, the 8.5-square-mile island, with a population of 3,500, remains remarkably quiet. Most visitors hang out at swanky private resorts or arrive by private yacht to enjoy some of the best powder sand beaches in the Caribbean.



Given the rather small geographical scope of the island and the large number of taxis available, it's a pretty easy place to explore on your own. Visitors typically are drawn to two main areas of interest -- attractions near Spanish Town at the south end of the island and North Sound at the other extreme. Offshore, popular attractions include The Dogs, the marine area protected by the BVI National Parks Trust and considered to be one of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the Caribbean -- the waters are teeming with marine life and colorful coral formations.


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    St. Thomas, St. Barts ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      St. Thomas
    • Day 3
      St. Barts
    • Day 4
      Little Bay
    • Day 5
      St. Maarten
    • Day 6
      Jost Van Dyke
    • Day 7
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 8
      San Juan
    Ship Details

    Star Pride - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Spacious suites and bathrooms, James Beard-influenced cuisine

    Cons

    Ship decor appears dated in cabins and public areas; limited entertainment

    Bottom Line

    Intimate feel and upscale details make Star Pride a nice choice for port-intensive cruises

    Reviews

    Star Pride Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    One of three motor yachts in the Windstar Cruises fleet, Star Pride brings the flavor of the la...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    rsamtleben
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Windstar is definitely NOT a 5 star cruise line!
    Read More
    kimrealestate
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Fabulous vacation - again!
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    St. Thomas, St. Barts ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      St. Thomas
    • Day 3
      St. Barts
    • Day 4
      Antigua
    • Day 5
      Iles des Saintes
    • Day 6
      St. Lucia
    • Day 7
      Grenada
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Jost Van Dyke
    • Day 10
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 11
      San Juan
    Ship Details

    Star Pride - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Spacious suites and bathrooms, James Beard-influenced cuisine

    Cons

    Ship decor appears dated in cabins and public areas; limited entertainment

    Bottom Line

    Intimate feel and upscale details make Star Pride a nice choice for port-intensive cruises

    Reviews

    Star Pride Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    One of three motor yachts in the Windstar Cruises fleet, Star Pride brings the flavor of the la...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    ScottLewis
    Sail Date Mar 2019
    Truly first class experience
    Read More
    Spysmum
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    Disappointing Windstar
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    St. Thomas
    Visiting:
    Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    SeaDream Yacht Club
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (SeaDream Yacht Club)
    • Day 1
      St. Thomas
    • Day 2
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 3
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 3
      Jost Van Dyke
    • Day 4
      Anguilla
    • Day 4
      St. Barts
    • Day 5
      St. Barts
    • Day 6
      Nevis
    • Day 7
      Nevis
    • Day 7
      South Friars Beach
    • Day 8
      St. Martin
    Ship Details

    SeaDream II - SeaDream Yacht Club

    Pros

    All-inclusive, ultra-small ship with amazing food and service

    Cons

    Limited onboard entertainment, especially if you don't like to socialize over drinks

    Bottom Line

    Closest most people will get to a vacation on a private yacht

    Reviews

    SeaDream II Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    "It's yachting, not cruising" has been SeaDream's tagline since the company launched in 2001, but ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Perhedegaard
    Sail Date Mar 2018
    18 paying passengers - yet poor service and zero flexibility.
    Read More
    HHB fun
    Sail Date Oct 2018
    Fabulous Caribbean Holiday
    Read More
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  • 8 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    Martinique
    Visiting:
    South Friars Beach, St. Martin ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Ponant
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    Cruise Itinerary

    8 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (Ponant)
    • Day 1
      Martinique
    • Day 2
      South Friars Beach
    • Day 3
      St. Martin
    • Day 4
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 5
      Gustavia
    • Day 6
      Antigua
    • Day 7
      Guadeloupe
    • Day 8
      Portsmouth
    • Day 9
      Martinique
    Ship Details

    Le Champlain - Ponant

    Pros

    Ultramodern design and decor with quality dining and classy service.

    Cons

    Bathrooms are smaller than you'd expect on a luxury ship.

    Bottom Line

    Superbly comfortable, modern boutique expedition vessel.

    Reviews

    Le Champlain Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0

    With Le Champlain, Ponant has distilled the essence of its style of adventure cruising into a p...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Moat
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Ponant - The Cruise Line From Hell
    Read More
    shrkdive1
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Not what we expected
    Read More
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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Royal Caribbean International
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (Royal Caribbean International)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 3
      St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    • Day 4
      Barbados
    • Day 5
      St. Lucia
    • Day 6
      Antigua
    • Day 7
      St. Maarten
    • Day 8
      San Juan
    Ship Details

    Empress of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

    Pros

    Small, uncrowded ship with plenty of window-lined seating and personalized service

    Cons

    Ship's age is evident in plumbing issues; lack of activities for teens might be a problem

    Bottom Line

    Empress has charm and offers a well-rounded cruise experience at a bargain price

    Reviews

    Empress of the Seas Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    3.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    The 2016 return of the 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean fleet marked ...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    CapnBob
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Smallest ship with the biggest heart
    Read More
    capeman1
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Nice smaller ship
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 24 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    Lisbon
    Visiting:
    St. Maarten, Virgin Gorda ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    24 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Lisbon
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      St. Maarten
    • Day 16
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Bonaire
    • Day 20
      Curacao
    • Day 21
      Aruba
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cartagena (Spain)
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 25
      Colon (Cristobal)
    Ship Details

    Wind Star - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Romantic four-mast sailing ship with exceptional service.

    Cons

    Lack of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment.

    Bottom Line

    Perfect for adventurous travelers and sailing enthusiasts who prefer to go off the beaten path.

    Reviews

    Wind Star Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    Paying tribute to the golden age of tall ships, Wind Star -- a four-mast, motor-sailing yacht -...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Cruise Worm
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Not a Good Fit for Me
    Read More
    drneal
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Small yes; luxury maybe?
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Virgin Gorda

    Leaving:
    San Juan
    Visiting:
    Virgin Gorda, Sopers Hole ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    SeaDream Yacht Club
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Virgin Gorda Route (SeaDream Yacht Club)
    • Day 1
      San Juan
    • Day 2
      Virgin Gorda
    • Day 3
      Sopers Hole
    • Day 3
      Norman Island
    • Day 4
      Prickly Pear Island
    • Day 5
      Saba
    • Day 5
      St. Barts
    • Day 6
      St. Barts
    • Day 7
      St. John (U.S.V.I.)
    • Day 8
      St. Thomas
    Ship Details

    SeaDream I - SeaDream Yacht Club

    Intimate ship with casual, social atmosphere

    Outstanding cuisine always served in open seating

    Water sports platform: jet ski from the ship

    Reviews

    SeaDream I Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    5.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value5.0

    With SeaDream I (and sister SeaDream II), SeaDream Yacht Club has managed to carve out a unique...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    ATAJanie
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Only 100 passengers, First Class Casual Luxury, Extremely Personalized, and FUN!
    Read More
    cpbw
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Seadreaming - Epicurean Delights & Casual Perfection
    Read More
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