Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua now a Unesco heritage site

Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua

Antigua’s historic Nelson’s Dockyard is the Caribbean’s newest Unesco World Heritage Site, one of 21 new spots named to Unesco’s list this year.

The dockyard consists of a group of Georgian-style naval buildings and structures in a walled enclosure that served as a significant strategic position for the British Navy in the early 1700s.

Now its protected harbor at the south of the island welcomes tourists with nearby hotels, restaurants, museums and art galleries.

In order to be a Unesco World Heritage Site, a place or structure must have cultural, historical and/or natural significance, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia; the ruins at Philippi, Greece; and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Antigua joins eight other Caribbean islands that have historic sites designated by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, including Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in St. Kitts, the Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica, and Old Havana in Cuba.

P&O Cruises’ Britannia to make St Lucia debut in 2016

P&O Britannia

P&O Cruises’ newest ship, Britannia, is to sail from St Lucia for the first time as part of its winter 2016-17 deployment in the Caribbean.

An expanded fly-cruise programme of new seven-night cruises alongside traditional 14-night winter sun itineraries went on sale yesterday (Thursday).

Britannia will run a total of 28 Caribbean cruises from St Lucia or Barbados during its second winter season in the region.

The ships will depart from the new Caribbean port for the first time on November 12, 2016 on a seven-night itinerary with calls into Dominica, Antigua, St Maarten and Barbados.

The line described St Lucia as a “must-see” Caribbean destination for its passengers.

Marketing director, Christopher Edgington, said: “Introducing new itineraries which all depart or return St Lucia will offer a new dimension to our Caribbean cruises.

“St Lucia is a popular destination with passengers and no other cruise line has it as a home port, so we are looking to make the most of this by offering an exciting range of shore excursions to maximise the time there.

“It is also the first time we have offered a seven-night Caribbean cruise option. These new week-long itineraries will appeal to those wishing to escape the cold weather and see a number of destinations but who don’t have the time for a longer cruise.

“For passengers with more leisure time, our 14-night cruises provide the perfect opportunity to see more than seven islands in one holiday.”

Prices for seven-night Caribbean fly-cruises start at £1,099 per person for an inside cabin and a 14-nights from £1,299, including return flights from Gatwick.

Cruise lines alter itineraries due to Hurricane Gonzalo

By Tom Stieghorst
Winds and rain from Hurricane Gonzalo have forced cruise ships in the Caribbean east of Puerto Rico to alter their itineraries.

Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International are among the cruise lines that have skipped ports of call because of the storm.

Royal Caribbean said Jewel of the Seas did not call at St. Maarten on Oct. 13. The ship spent Monday at sea before returning to the scheduled itinerary, calling at Antigua on Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Explorer of the Seas departed San Juan at 9 p.m. on Oct. 13, instead of staying overnight.

Allure of the Seas is sailing a modified western Caribbean itinerary. The ship will now visit Falmouth, Jamaica on Oct. 15 and Cozumel on Oct. 17.

The storm led to Carnival Liberty staying at sea for a second day rather than calling at St. Thomas on Oct. 14. The cruise will go to Grand Cayman and Cozumel before returning to Port Canaveral. Carnival Breeze will stay at sea rather than call at La Romana, Dominican Republic, on Oct. 14.

Carnival Conquest’s original eastern Caribbean itinerary out of Miami was scrapped in favor of a western Caribbean route that will stop in Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Honduras) and Costa Maya (Mexico).

The hurricane is expected to strengthen from its current Category 1 status and move toward Bermuda later this week.