The 4th island of our cruise with the Carnival Valor took us today to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia in the area of the West Indies.
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Arrival in Castries on St. Lucia
St. Lucia is one of the lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. With a population of just 165,000, more than 600,000 cruise guests come to the island each year. According to Wikipedia, 3,622 tourists from Germany visited the island in 2014. 2 of which we are 🙂
St. Lucia’s box backings””
St. Lucia is an island nation in the West Indies of the Caribbean. St. Lucia is located north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 33 kilometers south of Martinique. 146 km to the southeast is Barbados. St. Lucia has 165,000 inhabitants and the capital is Castries. On the island there are two inactive volcanoes with the “Twin Pitons”, the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton. The highest point of the island is Mount Gimie with 950 meters. The main exports today are bananas, flour and rice. In the early 20th century, sugar cane was still the most widely grown agricultural product. The ruins of the sugar mill in the Roseau Valley are now a tourist destination.
The island tour “Top 10 Highlights of St. Lucia””
To see as much of the island as possible, we decided here for an organized excursion from the Carnival – a 6 hour long “Top 10 Highlights of St. Lucia” tour. The title and description of the tour sounded promising. In all the travel reports we had always read about the Pitons and the Drive-In Volcano with its hot springs – and of course we wanted to see that. The tour, to which about 100 people of the Carnival had registered, started at 9.30 am in the port of Castries. In minibuses we were taken to the various “highlights” of the island, all located on the west coast.
The Inniskilling Monument
Our first stop was the Inniskilling Monument. The monument is part of the Morne complex and is a reminder of the conflict between the English and French in 1796. Next up was a visit to the Famous Eudovics Art Studio. That sounds better than it is: a woodcarving workshop. A typical tourist sales stop…
Die Marigot Bay
Then we came to a viewpoint overlooking Marigot Bay, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean. But what is supposed to be so beautiful or even so special about this bay now, we could not judge from our viewpoint…
The small botanical garden “Maranatha Gardens”
We went on to “Maranatha Gardens”, a small botanical garden. Then we drove past one of the many banana plantations and were allowed to try the supposedly “Sweetest Banana in the World”. It was delicious, ok, but in the end tasted like any other banana…
The Sulphur Springs and the Drive-In Volcano
We were especially looking forward to the next program item: the visit of the “Drive-In” volcano and the Sulphur Springs. Sulphur Springs on St. Lucia is the most volcanically active region of the Lesser Antilles. Boiling ponds and a strong biting sulfur smell (mixed with 95 humidity) testify to the sleeping volcano under St. Lucia. Sulphur Springs is one of the island’s main attractions. Since you can drive to the shore of the steaming sulphur springs, they are often referred to as “World’s only drive in Volcano”. Throughout the area, it smokes, bubbling and blubbers under the deep black lava crust. Numerous steaming holes and boiling pools testify to the incredible heat that lies beneath the earth of St. Lucia.
View of the “Twin Pitons”
The last stop on our tour was the “Beacon View Point”, from which one had a view of the two mountains of the “Pitons Management Area” of St. Lucia. The “Twin Pitons” are two cold 770 and 743 m high volcanic nuclei. The area has been on the UNESCO World HeritageList since 2004 because of its numerous, sometimes rare species, its geological diversity and its scenic beauty.
Unfortunately, the tour did not give us the impression of St. Lucia that we had hoped for. Being driven from stop to stop with 100 other guests in small buses across the island is simply not our thing. We were disappointed with what we saw and St. Lucia unfortunately did not turn out to be the Caribbean dream paradise.
Just in time for the departure we were back at the Carnival Valor and now with St. Kitts we drive our 5th Caribbean island on the cruise.
All travelogues from our Southern Caribbean CruiseThe Carnival Valor of the shipping company Carnival Cruise Lines has a capacity of almost 3,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew members. The ship, built in 2004, is 290 metres long, 35 metres wide and belongs to the so-called "Conquest Class". The Carnival Valor is a classic cruise ship that offers a wide range of entertainment. There is a huge theatre, a casino, numerous bars, a disco, a karaoke bar, sauna, jacuzzi, steam bath, a fitness centre with jogging track, two pools and several restaurants. Our route led us for 7 days through the southern Caribbean with stops in Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia. St. Kitts and St. Martin.
Day 01 Puerto Rico: Carnival Valor – Our 7-Day Cruise through the Caribbean
Day 02 Saint Thomas: By scooter across the island (US Virgin Islands)
Day 03 Day at Sea
Day 04 Barbados: Catamaran Tour & Swimming with turtles
Day 05 Saint Lucia: A tour of the island to the sulphur springs
Day 06 Saint Kitts: Diving on the west coast in Basseterre
Day 07 Saint Martin: Island Tour & The Planes at Maho Beach
Day 08 Puerto Rico: San Juan – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
Day 08 Puerto Rico: El Yunque National Forest – Hiking through the rainforest