Tourism: “Five Caribbean islands with hardly any day-tripper traffic”


In “Five Caribbean islands with hardly any day-tripper traffic,” David Swanson focuses on islands that do not cater to cruise ships and are consequently more peaceful and relaxing for “other” tourists. The top five, according to the author, are: Anguilla, Vieques and Culebra (Puerto Rico), Nevis, Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands), and Bermuda. He also adds info about choice places even farther off the beaten track. See full article in the link below:

On my first trip to Tortola almost two decades ago, I was struck how the British Virgin Island’s northern coastline was ribboned with tranquil coves of plush white sand. Some of the beaches were deserted at midday. Others percolated with traffic from mom-and-pop inns and barefoot restaurants. Cane Garden Bay wasn’t quite virgin, but it was still a pretty special hideout, looking much like the tropical beach of my dreams.

Since then, the island’s cruise ship pier has been greatly expanded. Tortola, with a population of just 23,000, now plays host to 400,000 cruise visitors annually. On a trip to Tortola a few years ago, I was dismayed to discover that the main town was clogged with sunburned day-trippers in search of gift shops and restrooms. Outside the capital of Road Town, roads were cluttered with new cars and swift traffic. Worse, slender Cane Garden Bay was now lined with hundreds of beach loungers and aggressive vendors.

Soon after, I found myself on Anguilla, just 100 miles east. I walked resplendent Rendezvous Bay at dawn, sharing it only with scampering shore birds, and I walked it at dusk when a few ramshackle beach bars pulsed with easy reggae for a crowd of five or eight. When I explored by car there were no swarms of traffic. It was peaceful, much closer to the Caribbean I fantasize about when I’m home. The distinction: Anguilla does not cater to cruise ships.

[. . .] Places I never saw cruise ships at all as recently as a decade ago are new favorites for cruise lines. Bonaire, St. Vincent and Tobago are among the outposts that now receive regular visits by 2,000- to 3,000-passenger ships. Tiny Bequia in the Grenadines will receive a succession of 500- to 800-passenger ships this winter. Even St. John, home to the Virgin Islands National Park, will be visited by Holland America’s 790-passenger Prinsendam.

None of this was on my radar when I started writing about the region two decades ago. For those of us who want to spend more than a few hours on an island, and might like to experience the Caribbean’s charms beyond cruiseville’s T-shirt shops and jewelry emporiums, our world is shrinking.

Here are five islands that still deliver the uncrowded escape you may be thinking of. Yes, they all receive cruise ships, but except as noted, they’re of the 300-passenger-or-fewer variety.

Here, the author offers detailed descriptions of wonderful sites in Anguilla, Vieques and Culebra (and Culebrita), Nevis, Virgin Gorda, Bermuda. He also adds info about places even farther off the beaten track:

There is a handful of smaller islands of limited infrastructure where cruise ships never visit, year-round. Among the crowd-free destinations: Anegada, Saba, St. Eustatius, Montserrat, Marie-Galante, Mustique, Carriacou, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. [. . .] On Jamaica, the Port Antonio area and the entire south coast are ship-free. Everywhere outside San Juan on Puerto Rico is devoid of cruise visits.

For full article, see

One thought on “Tourism: “Five Caribbean islands with hardly any day-tripper traffic”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s