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Cruises to Montserrat

Montserrat (Photo:Romrodphoto/Shutterstock)

About Montserrat

Some of the smallest islands of the Caribbean are home to some pretty incredible sights. That's definitely the case with Montserrat, one of the Leeward Islands in the British West Indies. It's just 35 miles southwest of Antigua in the Lesser Antilles, but few cruise lines have called here in recent years -- volcanic activity rendered the southern part of the island off-limits to residents and tourists alike in the mid-1990s. Today, the Soufriere Hills volcano has quieted, and a government-mandated exclusion zone monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory keeps islanders and guests out of harm's way.

Just 10 miles long and seven miles wide, Montserrat is often referred to as the "Emerald Isle of the Caribbean" because of its uncanny resemblance to coastal Ireland and the Irish ancestry of many of the islanders. Today it's a British Overseas Territory, and the island has attracted many famous Brits over the years, including Beatles producer Sir George Martin, who owned the recording studio AIR Montserrat until it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. That storm damaged 90 percent of the island's buildings; six years later, a volcanic eruption buried the capital of Plymouth.

This is definitely one of the Caribbean's lesser-known ports of call, but lines like Windstar Cruises, Voyages of Discovery and SeaDream Yacht Club stop at this off-the-beaten-path island.

  • Why go to Montserrat?

  • Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

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Why go to Montserrat?

Pros:

Montserrat features black-sand beaches and a town that was buried in ash after a volcanic eruption

Cons:

For safety reasons, the island has an exclusion zone to keep people away from the volcano

Bottom Line:

Though not many cruise lines stop here, it's a unique and interesting destination

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Montserrat's currency is the East Caribbean dollar. Be aware that few Montserratian businesses take credit cards. You can find two banks -- Bank of Montserrat and Royal Bank of Canada -- and their associated ATMs in the new capital of Brades, a 10-minute drive from the port of Little Bay. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language?

English is the official language of Montserrat, but as you travel across the island you may also hear Spanish and Haitian Creole spoken by immigrants from Dominica, Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Haiti who moved to the island to help it rebuild after the volcanic activity settled down in 2010.


Montserrat Cruise Reviews
This is a small island that has suffered great devastation. We booked a tour with Sun Montserrat tours. He was highly recommended and did not disappoint. We went in to see the buried city and it was so sad but a... Read More
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REO
Great island, a place that suffered a modern day natural crisis. People are very friendly. We hired our own guide on shore and were happy with him.... Read More
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KnottyCanadian
Montserrat is a stunningly beautiful island. Over half the island has been decimated by volcanic eruptions. We booked a full day tour with Sun's Montserrat Tours and had a fabulous day touring the island including... Read More
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su-arizona
Fascinating but sobering experience... Read More
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Robert_fromthe_South

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