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Setting sail from Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic's vibrant capital, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus (Christopher's younger brother). The city's history is most keenly felt amongst the cobbled streets of the Zona Colonial, home to beautiful old churches and colonial era houses. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants and the city boasts a lively nightlife scene, centred around the seafront Malecón promenade.
Dominican Republic: Samaná
The Samaná Peninsula provides a different perspective on the Dominican Republic to the overdeveloped east coast, offering both unspoilt natural beauty and glimpses of everyday life. Between January and March the bay is a popular location for spotting humpback whales, while the town of Las Terrenas is known for its sophisticated nightlife.
British Virgin Islands: Jost Van Dyke
The idyllic island of Jost Van Dyke, named after an early Dutch settler, is known for its laid back vibe and friendly beach bars, including the famous Foxy’s, which counts Keith Richards amongst its past customers. It’s a place to kick back and relax, and the clear blue waters are also perfect for snorkelling.
British Virgin Islands: Spanish Town (Virgin Gorda)
Languid, laid-back Virgin Gorda is blessed with beautiful beaches and wonderfully friendly people. Life proceeds at a slower pace here, and highlights include The Baths, an unusual collection of granite boulders, grottoes and pools on the island’s southwest shore.
Saint Barthélemy: Gustavia
Gustavia is the chic and petite capital of Saint Barths, a tiny French Caribbean island that’s renowned as a haunt of the rich and the famous. You can certainly live well here if you’ve got the means, with an array of gourmet restaurants and luxury boutiques aimed squarely at the A-list. The beautiful beaches, on the other hand, are free and open to all.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: South Friars Bay
The beach at South Friars Bay is a lovely sweep of golden sand at the southern end of St Kitts, although it can get a little busy when the larger cruise ships are docked on the island. There are several bars and restaurants along this half-mile stretch, with watersports equipment and loungers available to rent.
Antigua and Barbuda: St John's
Antigua is famously home to 365 beaches - one for every day of the year - and there is an undeniable allure to the many white sand coves dotted along the coast. The capital, St John’s, is worth a look, but if you’ve got time to visit the south coast you’ll find historic Nelson’s Dockyard a lot more interesting.
Guadeloupe: Iles des Saintes
Eight tiny islands make up the Iles des Saintes, a sparsely inhabited archipelago off the southern coast of Guadeloupe. The most interesting island is hilly Terre-de-Haut, almost entirely populated by the fair-skinned descendants of Breton sailors and home to a beautiful bay reminiscent of a mini Rio de Janeiro.
Arriving in Fort-de-France
The volcanic French Caribbean island of Martinique is a land of contrasts, from the lush rainforests of the north to the busy streets of the capital, Fort-de-France. There are plenty of lovely beaches geared towards relaxation, and the French influence also means that the cuisine is a cut above the usual Caribbean fare.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|