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Caribbean

Rum tastings, coastal adventures & luxury beach days: Inside P&O Cruises’ Caribbean shore experiences

Caribbean cruises are fabulous for breathtaking views of coastlines and gloriously warm weather but heading to land is an absolute must – here are some of the amazing shore experiences you can experience in the Caribbean.

Caribbean cruise vacations are not complete unless you’ve lazed on icing sugar sand, knocked back local rum and challenged yourself to at least one adventure.

Luckily P&O Cruises offers a raft of brilliant shore excursions that ensure you really get the most out of your time away and can tick off all the above.

Latest ship Arvia will be sailing the Caribbean in early 2023 so your escape to sun, sea and sand isn’t as far away as you’d think! At every sun-drenched port of call the new P&O Cruises ship stops at there is a range of shore experiences to suit every age and energy level.

Guests traveling on Arvia – available to book via cruise agent Bolsover Cruise Club – will be treated to P&O Cruises excursions that aren’t available on any other of the line’s ships as well as classic favourite activities.

From foodie fun to beach day bonding, Arvia’s shore experiences will have you filling up that postcard to home with thrilling tales of your Caribbean cruise in no time. Here are just some of the P&O Cruises trips you can embark on from next year.

P&O Cruises shore excursions

Food & drink

Swigging rum is to the Caribbean what eating fish and chips is to the UK (well, if Pirates of the Caribbean is anything to go by) so you simply must sample some of the good stuff. Where better to do this than at a distillery?

P&O Cruises shore experience Caribbean Cuisine & Rhum Tasting takes you to award-winning Topper’s Rhum Distillery in St.Maarten where you can tuck into Caribbean cooking at its finest and taste speciality Rhums (which are made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice rather than distilled from fermented molasses).

Not only can you watch the chefs at work but you can also join in if you fancy yourself a bit of a Marco Pierre White. A variety of dishes will be rustled up, including breadfruit balls and fried local fish with Sauce Sousk, accompanied by a delicious T’punch cocktail.

You’ll then get to see where the alcohol comes from on a distillery tour – sip on homemade punch, taste over 20 samples of rhum and savour up to twelve small-batch speciality versions of the drink from the rhum tap (oo, I wonder if we could install one of those at home?).

Got a taste for the liquor? Not only can you enjoy plenty of divine cocktails onboard Arvia but there’s also another rum-based excursion for you to sink your teeth into over in Barbados with P&O Cruises.

On the Bajan Craft Beer & Rum Tasting day out you’ll visit Foursquare Rum Distillery which is located on a former sugar plantation dating back to 1720. Get ready to learn all thing rum; from unique combinations of artisanal processes to state-of-the-art techniques used to create rich styles of rum. Then, do as all good students do – get stuck in and gulp back on some of the tastings on offer.

Too much of a rum do? It’s not just the strong spirit on offer. This P&O Cruises shore excursion also whisks you off to DreadHop Brewing, a local beer brewery committed to creating distinctive hand-crafted ales. You know the drill: learn about it then drink it. Oh and pick at some snacks too to soak up the booze.

Adventure

Ready for some fresh air to shake off all the alcohol? The cruise line has you covered with the Big Wheel Electric Scooters P&O Cruises shore experience in St Lucia (above). You’ll get to explore the rugged, picturesque northern coastline of the Caribbean island on an exciting al fresco adventure without any exertion at all thanks to the scooters’ powerful, fully electric motors! No hangover excuses, please.

The self-drive journey takes in plenty of highlights such as Rodney Bay Marina and its centuries-old pirate haven, the famous fishing village of Gros Islet and the Pigeon Island National Landmark. Then, over in Cap Estate, you can marvel at the top views from the Cas-en-Bas Viewpoint and snap the requisite photos for the Gram.

Along the way you’ll hear fascinating tales about the locations you visit and even get to eat and drink some local Caribbean delicacies. Fuel for all that energetic scooter riding, you know.

Incidentally, don’t let the tech worry you – the custom-built iRide scooters are fun and very easy to ride, with fully automatic gearboxes. As long as you are comfortable riding a bicycle, you won’t struggle at all with the scooters.

Beaches

Well, after all that activity you’ll need some downtime, amiright? When Arvia calls at the Dominican Republic you can put all your cares to one side at the exclusive, five-star Be Live Collection Canoa resort.

The Caribbean resort, neighboring the pretty fishing village of Bayahibe, boasts a tropical setting and excellent facilities. A beach towel and sun bed are included in your visit so relax by the sun-infused pool, stretch out on the powder-soft white sand on the resort’s private ‘Blue Flag’ beach or seek the breeze under the shade of a palm tree.

If you want to get active, hop into the pool or rally the troops for a game of volleyball. Thirsty? There’s an open bar for cocktails and drinks during your stay plus an included lunch – simply choose between the main buffet or the beach restaurant.

Culture

P&O Cruises guests also have the option of getting creative during their Caribbean cruise vacation to St Kitts (above). Ever heard of batik? It’s an ancient Indonesian technique of applying wax-resist dyeing to cloth and is made either by drawing dots and lines resulting in gorgeous geometric patterns.

Romney Manor in St Kitts is home to textile company Caribelle Batik which produced its first batik in 1976 and has a world-famous reputation for producing fine batik products made with quality one-of-a-kind fabrics.

Amid a splendid location surrounded by lush gardens and magnificent views, watch expert artists guide you through the various steps of applying wax, dyeing and boiling vibrant colors while they teach you about the ancient art form and its history. And then visitors can enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime chance to create their own! That’s a Caribbean cruise vacation souvenir to treasure, we reckon (unless you’re as bad at textiles as we were at school…).

Set Sail

Caribbean with P&O Cruises

Duration: 14 nights

Where: Barbados | Barbados | Curacao | Dominican Republic | St Kitts | Antigua | St Maarten | Martinique | St Lucia | Barbados

Ship: Arvia

Price: From £1,118 pp

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Published 14.12.22