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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in the Caribbean
Sights to see & things to do

St. Lucia

Lush green mountains and the famous dramatic peaks of the Pitons give St. Lucia a South Pacific flavor. As a result of past destructive fires, the new appearance of Castries, the capital, offers a sharp contrast to country ladies who come to town dressed in traditional cotton headdresses to sell their fruits and vegetables.

Diversions

Most ships arrive at the pier at Pointe Seraphine in the capital city of Castries, but if it’s too crowded you may dock a short distance away at Port Castries pier. Taxis meet docking ships and most drivers are trained as tour guides.

St. Lucia’s dramatic terrain is difficult and a shore excursion or taxi tour is the best way to see the island. No day in St. Lucia would be complete without a trip to the fishing port of La Soufrière and the Pitons. Formerly actively volcanic, the lush green vegetation covered lava peaks of Petit Piton and Grand Piton rise respectively 2,460 and 2,619 feet from the sea.  Also nearby is Mount Soufrière, the famous “drive in” volcano. You literally drive into the crater and can walk between the pools of steam and sulfur springs. Breathe deeply, the fumes are said to be medicinal.

Close to Soufrière are the Diamond Mineral Baths. Constructed in 1784 by Louis XVI at the advise of his physicians, they were designed to recuperate French soldiers fighting in the West Indies. Surrounded by an arboretum, the average temperature of the Baths’ water is 106º F. This is also where you’ll find a waterfall that changes color during the day, from yellow to black to green to gray.

Shopping

Built especially for cruise passengers, the best shops in St. Lucia are right at the Pointe Seraphine dock. To enter you must show your ship’s boarding pass. Here you’ll find good buys on perfume, leather goods, and other luxury items. Liquor and tobacco products are delivered to your ship. Of particular note are vendors in the Craft Market that display souvenirs and gifts made by local crafters.

Beaches

Swimming on St. Lucia’s Atlantic beaches can be treacherous and cruise passengers may want to stick to the calmer waters on the western coast. All beaches are open to the public but day guests will be required to pay a fee to use a hotel’s facilities. The white sand beach at Anse Chastanet just north of Soufrière is a delight. Also near Soufrière is the black volcanic sand beach of La Toc. Just north of Castries Harbour is the popular Vigie Beach.


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