As you know, the Caribbean is known for its beautiful islands, white sands and palm-fringed beaches and I think there is no better way to see these beautiful islands than by taking to the sea. Travelling on water means you can reach some of the lesser-known islands and coves and truly explore this gorgeous part of the world (and truly there’s nothing quite like watching a gorgeous, fiery sunset whilst being gently rocked on the ocean). A really unique company to travel with is Kalimba Caribbean Tours who provide luxury adventure tours around the islands of Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines on their two vastly different boats: a 45ft yacht and a 42ft motor cruiser – both modes of transport are thoroughly different but each offers you an amazing experience.
With two boats berthed in Port Louis Marina in St. Georges, Grenada, Kalimba Caribbean Tours Ltd. provides its guests with tours that make the most of your time in the Caribbean, avoiding the crowds and throngs in the usual tourist haunts and instead taking you to explore places no other luxury hotel-based holiday could. Making the most of their relationships with local businesses, Kalimba Caribbean Tours will arrange for you to stay in locally owned and operated guest houses rather than chain hotels and resorts as well as taking you to the very best restaurants (where the locals choose to eat!) and introducing you to the ‘real’ Caribbean and its people.
If you’re looking for a more sedate pace of life, sailing between the beaches and islands of the Caribbean and resting your head on board a yacht at the end of it all whilst being rocked to sleep by the ocean, then Kalimba is the vessel for you. Kalimba is a stunning Beneteau Oceanis 45 – a 45ft sailing yacht built in France and sailed over to the Caribbean. A stay on Kalimba means you will either be self-catering or simply indulging in Island Cuisine in the many restaurants and bars the Caribbean has to offer.
Kalimba itself is the ideal yacht for Caribbean cruising with the largest available outdoor seating area for a yacht of its size. The yacht can accommodate up to 6 guests in 3 double cabins (one of which is taken by the skipper) and 2 more guests can be accommodated on the let down table in the saloon. The front cabin is full height, with plenty of cupboards and its own en-suite bathroom; the rear portside cabin is smaller with restricted headroom and shares a bathroom with the skipper’s cabin; and the let down table in the saloon is suitable for two children sharing or one further adult. As Kalimba has sailed across the Atlantic, she is a water maker, so there’s no need for water rationing of showers or bathing in the sea (thankfully!) and she also boasts a 240V generator which means you can happily charge your phones and cameras, whilst drying your hair and using the microwave oven!? The yacht also boasts all bedding (sheets, pillow cases and duvets (not usually needed)); bath towels (note: bring your own beach towels); a fully equipped kitchen; gas cooker and oven; microwave; fridge and freezer; TV/DVD player and sound system; swim platform and ladder; large external seating and table; sunbathing platform; outside shower; BBQ; 6 sets of masks, snorkels and fins; sunshade; and a tender to take you to shore. Note: This yacht is self catering and there are shops on some islands for you to get provisions, alternatively there are plenty of restaurants and bars ashore at most anchorages for you to eat out.
A typical two weeks sailing holiday aboard Kalimba, starts with two or three nights in a guest house in Grenada, allowing you plenty of time to relax on the beach and sightsee, followed by 10 days and nights aboard Kalimba. The first and last day sail of your itinerary will be to and from Carriacou (which takes about a 6 hour sail). From Carriacou, Kalimba will visit the Islands of the Grenadines with a typical daily sail time of no more than 2/3 hours. The itinerary can be tailored to you, so if you enjoy the sail just as much as the destination, then more time can be spent at sea, however if you want to explore the islands then more time can be spent ashore (note: the Northern Islands of Bequai and Mustique take considerably longer to sail to than the Southern Islands, so you may not be able to visit these if you want to visit several of the Southern Islands too). Each night you will anchor in a protected bay or pick up a mooring and during the daytime you can get involved in as much or as little of the sailing as you like. So learn to skipper a yacht or simply sit back and sunbathe with a cocktail in hand and leave the sailing to the Captain.
If however you like speed, fun and getting between A and B as quickly as possible, then Kalimba Too is the boat for you. Kalmiba Too is a SACS Stratos 42 – a 42ft RIB powerboat built in Italy with two very impressive and powerful Mercury 275Hp outboard engines. A break on Kalimba Too means more time on the beach, at the bar and exploring the islands and each night you will stay ashore in one of the many guesthouses the islands have to offer.
A holiday aboard Kalimba Too is for thrill seekers, who enjoy a rough-and-ready, faster pace of life. It’s not for the faint hearted (or for those that have back problems or are pregnant) as it will be bumpy and you might get wet and children under 12 are not allowed. Kalimba Too will whisk you everywhere at great speed, allowing time to visit more islands, bays, beaches and secluded swimming and snorkeling spots. A typical two week itinerary follows a similar route to yacht Kalimba with on shore tours of Grenada followed by 10 days around the Islands with at least two nights in each hotel which means you won’t have to unpack and repack each day. Each locally owned guesthouse has been carefully selected to ensure it’s clean and friendly, but be aware most only have basic facilities; however some do have a pool. Kalimba Too is also based in Grenada and the first and last day of your itinerary will also be spent crossing to and from Carriacou, however this takes under 2 hours in Kalimba Too as opposed to the 6 hour crossing on the Kalimba sailing yacht! The greater speed of Kalimba Too also allows the Northern Isles of Bequai and Mustique to be easily included in your itinerary. Most of your trip will be in relatively sheltered inshore waters, however the crossing from the North of Grenada to Carriacou is 12 miles of open sea which can get pretty choppy (if it’s too rough you will make the crossing on the ferry instead) so you will need to hang-on – but isn’t that half the thrill of a RIB ride anyway?! The RIB is at your disposal every day and will take you to secluded bays and beaches that yachts can’t access. The RIB also has snorkels and fins for you to use and although it has plenty of room to transport up to 10 passengers and their luggage, it’s important to remember to travel light (soft bags only up to 20kg). Tip: If time doesn’t permit a 2 week holiday, Kalimba Too can also arrange day tours every weekend from 1st December to 31st March.
Whichever mode of transport you choose there will be plenty of time for swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean as well as sun bathring on deck or on the beach and best of all the welcoming teams on board know each stop well and will always happily point you in the direction of the best bars, music and restaurants.
So if you’re looking to explore the hidden gems of St Vincent and the Grenadines, but rather than taking a cruise or staying in a 5 Star All Inclusive Resort, you’d prefer to be a little more adventurous, then a luxury trip with Kalimba Caribbean Tours Ltd. is probably the holiday for you.