St. Vincent (Photo:Achim Baque/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of 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.

About St. Vincent


Pro

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

Con

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


Find a Cruise to the Southern Caribbean

Where You're Docked

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

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.

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.

Shopping

Handmade coconut shell bracelets painted in bright island colors make fun, inexpensive gifts.

Best Cocktail

Try a rum punch made with Sunset, a local rum.