Sugar & Spice – Saga Sapphire Cruise
Going on excursions can sometimes mean that you don’t have much time to explore a destination individually, and this was the case in St Lucia as the ship’s itinerary had to accommodate some unavoidable changes. So that afternoon saw us sailing – fortunately blessed with sunshine – to Martinique, for a stroll around its harbour before celebrating the sunset.
Saga provides a detailed colour map of each port location so it’s easy to explore. If you’re uncomfortable travelling alone, yet don’t fancy an organised excursion either, you might want to join a small independent travellers’ group. It’s a daily option in port, meeting at a designated time and place, and seems an ideal way to have the best of both worlds.
I did my own thing in our next port of call, the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe, where I enjoyed a relaxing morning strolling around the local market in the main town of Pointe-à-Pitre.
Strangely enough the currency here is the euro, so my East Caribbean dollars had to be swiftly exchanged in order to buy the exuberantly coloured material that characterises the island, and which I simply had to purchase (even if I end up wearing it as an unhemmed sarong, which is highly likely, considering I’m a stranger to the sewing machine).
Far too suddenly it’s my penultimate day and I find myself in Antigua, heading for one of its famed 365 beaches.
My group is transported to a hidden lagoon where we all board kayaks and spend a very happy hour navigating mangroves, crystal clear inlets and tiny islands, handling sea cucumbers and starfish with the enthusiasm and wonder of kids.
Then it’s time for some snorkelling in an offshore reef, followed by half an hour relaxing on the beach. Other passengers are raving about their stingray encounter excursion, but I have loved my kayak adventure.