Ocean Cruising in the Southern Caribbean is one of the best ways to spend the month of January. Especially if you live in a cold climate area. You will be pleasantly surprised with the weather as you travel down to the lower portion of the Caribbean. If you are looking for sun, fun, and beautiful beaches the Southern Caribbean is a fantastic choice.
The Southern Caribbean is just below the hurricane belt for those worried about traveling in the Caribbean in hurricane season. January is not during this time frame, but you are safe anytime of the year.
It is a less traveled area compared to Islands like Cozumel and St Thomas. Our trip was with Princess Cruises to what is known as the ABC Islands. These are Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. These are the three western-most Island of the Leeward Antilles and just above Venezuela. They are all three Dutch Islands or Netherlands but are not within the EU.
These Islands have a lot going for them and starting to attract many visitors trying to escape the cold. They feature some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean. For those sun seekers just looking for a tan they have some amazing white sand beaches. The Caribbean in general tends to be relaxed and these Islands are no different. They have a pretty laid back casual style to them.
Aruba is the most developed of the Islands. It’s in Aruba you can find golf courses, casinos, night life, resorts, and shopping. The US has some direct flights as well catering to those who wish to spend a week or two on their lovely beaches.
Curacao is the largest of the three Islands and is one of the most colorful. It features a lot of history in its Capital of Willemstad settled in 1634. It also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. It does have a history of slavery as most of the Caribbean Islands do and this can be seen in some of the countryside Plantations.
Bonaire is probably my favorite Island. It’s tiny in size but big on appeal for the rustic traveler. It’s small but extremely laid-back vibe made it a wonderful place to spend the day. Bonaire is a diver’s paradise and you will find them throughout the Island stepping off the rocky coastal areas to the coral reef’s below.
The Island is easily navigable, and you can see it in one day. The have different modes of transportation available from the cruise port. I wrote about it last week in my one day in Bonaire post.
This is just a brief intro into what it is like cruising some of the Southern Caribbean. For this cruise we traveled with Princess Cruise lines. We chose a guaranteed Balcony, meaning we did not choose our room before hand. We let them assign our cabin for us. We were delighted with a mid-ship placement on a higher floor. It was a great stateroom.
We chose one excursion through Princess so that we could join friends on an evening sunset cruise in Aruba. We then chose to travel less encumbered by choosing less crowded things to do. Our day in Bonaire was definitely the highlight of the Islands. Our lunch at Foodies was also one of our favorites in the Caribbean.
If you are looking for something different the ABC Island’s in the Southern Caribbean are definitely a wonderful experience. Weather you want to spend a week on one of the pristine beaches in Aruba or visit like we did on a cruise you will enjoy the experience.