Cruising the Caribbean’s Windward Islands

Cruising the Caribbean’s Windward Islands

From AUD $6,140


In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.

This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.

PONANT brings you an itinerary to the heart of the most enchanting islands in the Caribbean Sea. Board Le Dumont-d’Urville for an 8-day cruise combining long stretches of white-sand beach, idyllic turquoise waters, and the laid-back island way of life.

Board your ship in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, whose two majestic volcanic peaks – the Gros and Petit Pitons – jut dramatically from sea to sky and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You will then set sail for Portsmouth in Dominica, a mountainous island where inland rivers and nature trails provide a glimpse into the intriguing flora and fauna of the island and – if you are lucky – the chance to see the nation’s national bird, the Sisserou Parrot. Do not miss the opportunity to sample some native chocolate from a local maker.

Continue north to Les Saintes, a small archipelago of Guadeloupe, a highly popular anchorage site with crystal-clear waters and fabulous seabeds where opportunities to enjoy the seascape abound. Snorkel, swim, or kayak in the shadow of the imposing 19th-century Fort Napoléon.

Your ship will then sail south to the archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Here, begin on the island of Bequia, where small, picturesque villages, unbelievably clear waters, and brightly colored coral reefs prove main attractions. Enjoy a day on your magnificent private beach on the island of Mayreau, before anchoring in the Tobago Cays Marine Park. This circle of islands, bound together by arguably the most beautiful coral reef in the West Indies, will reveal its incredible underwater wildlife during your visit.

Le Dumont-d’Urville sails on to Bridgetown, Barbados, whose UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center reveals touches of its British colonial past around every corner. Toast the end of your cruise with a glass of the island’s famous rum as you relish the memories of your week at sea on this breathtaking stretch of the Caribbean!

To further enhance your Caribbean odyssey, an experienced diving instructor will be on board for the entire cruise, enabling you to safely enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving (PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent). (additional cost)

The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

Trip Name
Cruising the Caribbean's Windward Islands
Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2017/2018 Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Dumont d'Urville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Dumont d'Urville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism. In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. PUBLIC AREAS Like Le Boréal and its sisterships, Le Dumont d'Urville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


Day 1 - Day 1 VIEUX FORT
Day 2 - Day 2 PORTSMOUTH
With its mountainous terrain, vast tropical forest, hot springs, rivers and spectacular waterfalls, Dominica is undoubtedly the wildest island in the Caribbean. Protected by several national parks, this little-known land, located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, between Guadeloupe and Martinique, will inspire adventure and exploration. During your port of call, do not miss out on discovering the enchanting landscapes of the Indian River: navigating through this dense mangrove, in which creepers, ferns, forest trees and giant roots are interweaved, is a magical experience, a fascinating voyage into the heart of an almost mystical natural universe.
Day 3 - Day 3 LES SAINTES
During the feast of All Saints in 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered this archipelago of nine islands that he named "The Saints". Today, only two of them are inhabited. Terre de Haut, in the east, is dominated by the Morne Mire hill; at the summit stands Fort Napoleon, paying homage to the islands' history. In the heart of the botanical garden, shared by iguanas and cacti, there is an exceptional view of the Baie des Saintes, one of the most beautiful in the world. The long shady beach of Pompierre, where it is forbidden to drop anchor, is a peaceful place for a swim, while Pain de Sucre Beach offers wonderful opportunities for snorkelling. On the island, don’t forget to taste the local speciality, the “tourment d’amour”, a cake made with coconut.
In the heart of the Caribbean, Bequia is the second-largest of 32 islands that make up the country of St Vincent and the Grenadines. You will love the lively and picturesque atmosphere of Port Elizabeth, the island’s main town. From the port, a promenade lined with beautiful traditional houses, landscaped gardens and small restaurants runs along the shoreline. It leads to Princess Margaret Beach, a wild beach where Princess Margaret herself has stayed and which seems to emerge directly from the tropical forest. From rainforest to lush meadows and long stretches of sand, Bequia will offer you a natural setting that is conducive to lovely walks and to spending time on the beach.
Among the string of paradisiac islands with their sandy beaches that form the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines archipelago, Mayreau is the smallest. Its peaceful and idyllic atmosphere, far from the madding crowd, invites you to relax. On shore, enjoy a shaded and fully equipped beach from which to go snorkelling if you’d like to observe the colourful fish around the coral sitting at the foot of the rocks that stretch across the bay.
Day 6 - Day 6 TOBAGO CAYS
Scattered between St Vincent and Grenada, the Tobago Cays comprises five little islands: Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby. This rosary of uninhabited cays in the southern West Indies is a marine park whose turquoise lagoons provide a home and safe haven for some outstanding marine fauna, including peaceful green turtles. Girded and united by a coral reef, these secluded islands are a peaceful paradise for divers, swimmers and snorkellers.
Day 7 - Days 7 & 8 BRIDGETOWN
Bridgetown, the bustling capital of Barbados, is located on the island's south-west coast. Its historic quarters are UNESCO World Heritage sites and contain prime examples of British colonial architecture, which you will see between the postcard-perfect fishing harbour and St Ann's Fort. Streets shaded by palms and flamboyant trees lead you to the Anglican cathedral church of St Michael, built from coral stone, the Barbados Museum and George Washington House, a Georgian-style mansion. There'll be plenty of time to relax on the Caribbean beaches of Carlisle Bay, a few paces from the old town centre.
Day 8 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $6,140Deluxe Stateroom
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $10,790Grand Deluxe Suite
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $11,110Owner's Suite
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $6,460Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $6,640Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $6,890Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $9,220Deluxe Suite
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $9,910Prestige Suite Deck 5
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $10,220Prestige Suite Deck 6
13-02-202220-02-2022AUD $10,480Privilege Suite


    • A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion or activity in each port of call.
    • Engaging discussions onboard with Smithsonian Journeys Experts including geologist and geophysicist Carola Stearns and Caribbean historian Franklin Knight.
    • UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Pitons of St. Lucia and Historic Bridgetown in Barbados.
    • A true picture-perfect sampling of the West Indies: endless white-sand beaches, colorful reefs, idyllic turquoise waters, and the laid-back island way of life.
    • A discovery of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, considered one of the world’s most stunning archipelagos.
    • A barbecue lunch on your private beach on the island of Mayreau.
    • Exceptional seabeds and reefs with the possibility to observe turtles, barracudas, spiny lobsters, and parrotfish.
    • Myriad opportunities to swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters.
    • Possibility of diving (PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board (additional cost).