With The Pitons, iconic twin volcanic peaks towering some 2,000 feet above Soufriere Bay, St. Lucia is easily the most recognizable islands in the Windward chain in the Caribbean. But St. Lucia also is one of the jewels of the Windwards, just south of Martinique and north of St. Vincent, a rich and rewarding charter and cruising destination with protected harbors, golden beaches, inviting diving sites, and lush mountain rainforests beckoning with wild orchids, giant ferns and tropical birds.
The 27-mile-long island has two state-of-the-art marinas. IGY Rodney Bay is in the north of St. Lucia, nestled in an inner lagoon. The other is the Marina at Marigot Bay on the west coast, just below Castries, the island’s capital and major cruise port. Both are near shopping, waterfront restaurants and island nightlife.
Once ashore, you can take to the hiking trails around The Pitons, and try to identify the 148 different plants and two dozen bird species there. You also can hike to the crater of Soufriere volcano for a unique experience.
St. Lucia is home to many five-star honeymoon-type resorts, but you’ll want to cruise there to experience the vibrant West Indian culture. The island does have a rich history. The British and French fought over it in the 16thand 17thcenturies, exchanging control 14 times before it finally was put under British rule in 1814. The island has been an independent member of the British Commonwealth since 1979, but the French heritage clearly remains, and many islanders speak in a Creole-based patois.
If you want to charter there, the Moorings has a base in Rodney Bay, which includes a 514 power cat with four cabins. Read more: