Here is sample itinerary of what you may expect while enjoying a “Sailing Summer Adventure” vacation with TradeWinds in Dominica. Weather or other outside factors may mean that your Captain sets an alternative course.
Dominica is the most southern of the Caribbean Leeward Islands, “trapped” between the two French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Rugged terrain, and a direct hit from the devastating Hurricane David in 1979, kept it from the tourism development common to other Caribbean islands. This makes Dominica a pristine and ideal destination for nature lovers: one of the last best kept secret destinations of the Caribbean Sea.
Do not expect the multitude of beautiful bays common to the rest of the Caribbean: there are only a few moorings where yachts can anchor. However, should you seek rainforest, waterfalls, authentic Caribbean people and fantastic diving... well then, Dominica is a must see!
Saturday, Arrival Day
Boarding is at 5 pm. Feel free to check in and drop off your luggage during the day at our offices in Marina bas du Fort near Pointe à Pitre, and enjoy the local marina area. Enjoy a refreshing "welcome cocktail" as you step onboard. Before sunset, we leave the marina for an anchorage nearby Ilêt Cochon, in the protected Bay of Pointe à Pitre.
Sunday, Cruising day 1
Following breakfast, the adventure starts: about three hours of sailing separate us from the Les Saintes islands. Discovered by Christopher Columbus on “All Saints” day, this archipelago was the scene of many battles between the French and the English: a strategic site, known as the "Gibraltar of Guadeloupe". We’ll be moored behind Ilêt Cabrit where, after lunch, we’ll go for a refresher dive. Before sunset, a short hike to Fort Joséphine will get your legs into the rhythm for Dominica’s trails, and whet your appetite for dinner.
Monday, Cruising day 2
Off to Dominica! Only 21 nautical miles to our first stop, the small village of Portsmouth, in Prince Rupert Bay. While having lunch, your captain will look after the customs and immigration clearance. The afternoon can be spent discovering the “Indian River” with a local guide. As on all of our trips, we’ll be back on the yacht to enjoy beautiful cocktails before dinner onboard.
Tuesday, Cruising day 3
After a scrumptious breakfast, we’ll head towards the tiny village of Layou, where we’ll be anchored some distance from the river mouth. This would be the perfect time to organise one of the easy hikes to Trafalgar Falls or, for the divers, start experiencing what Dominica has to offer underwater. There are excellent snorkeling spots in close vicinity... Dinner will be taken ashore, in a pleasantly rustic ambience, where the restaurant offers seafood specialities.
Wednesday, Cruising day 4
Today we'll head further south to the main town area, Roseau, where most of the land tours and dive operators are based. This is the big action day: either a two tank dive to the natural park of Scott Heads or, for the land lovers, an exhaustive list of activities: canyoning in Titou Gorge, hiking to the Boiling Lake, swimming in the Emerald Pools.... Today’s lunch will be provided as delicious sandwiches to take away with you on one of these adventures. Weather conditions permitting, the night will be spent at the bottom of Scotts Head, in front of its small rustic fishing village.
Thursday, Cruising day 5
We will still have time for some diving and snorkeling or, if your legs still allow it, there are shorter hikes that can be done before an early lunch. The afternoon will be spent sailing back to Les Saintes where, this time, we’ll be moored just off the little French fishing village of Bourg des Saintes - which is an adorable seaside town, sparkling clean and picturesque. Flowers grow in abundance, and no one is in a hurry. Depending on the arrival time there are a few things to do : Fort Napoleon, Pompiere Beach, and shopping!
Friday, Cruising day 6
After an early breakfast its time to head back towards the center of Guadeloupe. We will stop at the beautiful "Gosier" island. Lunch is served here. In the afternoon, we head back to our base at Marina Bas-du-Fort, a very pleasant full service marina, arriving back just in time for some mouth-watering cocktails. Dinner ashore at the marina promises to be entertaining, with many good restaurants to choose from. Work up an appetite by strolling around and enjoying the West Indian/French atmosphere.
Departure day, Saturday
After a last tasty breakfast onboard, it is time to gather your belongings, as well as your wonderful memories of a week in this most beautiful environment. Before exchanging fond farewells, your crew will arrange transport to the airport. Already you will be planning your next “Adventure Cruise” with TradeWinds.