Green Monkeys, Deep Diving Adventures, a Mayan Temple and Hamilton
The smallest Caribbean nation by population and by geographical area (the smallest in all of the Americas, actually), St. Kitts & Nevis packs a rich, multi-faceted culture into its tiny size. Christopher Columbus first arrived in 1493 and, beginning in the 17th century, the British followed, then the French, and the two began a centuries-long dispute over who would control this slice of paradise. It’s understandable from a desirability standpoint, as every spot on the islands seems to be sun-kissed and flourishing with color.
On more than a dozen Crystal Serenity voyages through the warm Caribbean waters, you’ll undoubtedly be struck by the sheer, jaw-dropping beauty of these islands, as your Crystal ship docks in St. Kitts’ capital city of Basseterre. But St. Kitts & Nevis offers so much more than just lovely lookout points. The nation gained independence from the British in 1983, but as you explore either island, you’ll find plenty of intriguing stories and evidence of many years of foreign rule. Mother Nature has also left her mark here in spades, which makes the destination a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who seek adventure above and below the water line.
Here are some of the most fascinating highlights and interesting facts to inspire your journey to St. Kitts & Nevis.
Neighborly Narrows. St. Kitts & Nevis are connected by a strait just over two miles wide called the Narrows, with water so clear swimmers and sailors alike can see the bottom at nearly every point. An annual swim challenge across the channel from Nevis’s Oualie Beach to St. Kitts’ Cockleshell Beach makes the most of the nation’s passion for any pursuit that connects man and sea.
America’s famous son. In the rhythmic refrains of the smash hit Hamilton’s score, there are several references to the Caribbean birthplace of Alexander Hamilton – Nevis. Crystal guests can visit the home of the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury in the capital town of Charlestown.
Monkeys to match the surroundings. As you make your way around St. Kitts, keep an eye out for the famous green monkeys of the island. They are thought to have been brought over as pets of French settlers from West Africa, and roam freely in colonies that are often spotted from roads and hiking paths. Their faint hue reflects the abundantly rich fauna that thrives in St. Kitts.
Taste the History. Like the early settlers of the islands themselves, the cuisine in St. Kitts & Nevis is diverse, boasting heavy French-Creole influences, Indian specialties and West African fare. Taste it all, and don’t miss the national dish, goat water – a stew of meat, vegetables and papaya in a tomato base. To further your Caribbean culinary prowess, partake in a dedicated excursion with hands-on cooking instruction in the local specialties.
Beauty runs deep here. Whatever your preferred depth of underwater exploration, the draw of these islands is undoubtedly the rich aquatic discoveries found just beneath the surface. Snorkel secluded Shittens Bay, accessible only by sea and set amid volcanic rock formations. Snuba (the hybrid of snorkel and scuba adventures) from South Friars Beach in search of sea turtles, tropical fish and moray eels. Or dive farther into the subaquatic realm on a two-tank dive for certified divers, exploring shipwrecks, massive reefs and ocean walls.
It also reaches the treetops. It’s impossible to discuss the stunning beauty beneath the sea of St. Kitts & Nevis without looking upward to its hilltop forest counterparts. The vegetation here is lush, vibrantly colored and full of surprises. Head to Nevis to explore the Botanical Gardens, with a bamboo grove, water-lily pools, orchid and tropical fruit gardens, and a spectacular glass conservatory houses a tropical rainforest and a vast Mayan temple with waterfalls, ponds and streams. If you fancy a faster speed, take to the treetops of St. Kitts on a zipline safari following an ATV trek to the Valley of Giants (wave to the monkeys dining in the fruit trees as you whiz by).
St. Kitts & Nevis is a highlight of 17 voyages aboard Crystal Serenity in 2020 and 2021, including the new Simply the Best 2020 Caribbean collection. These select voyages offer the acclaimed, all-inclusive luxury of the Crystal Experience with compelling savings and value. Enjoy fares from just $1,399 per guest; best available stateroom or suite available at the time of booking; up to $250 “As You Wish” shipboard credit per stateroom; reduced deposit of $100 per guest; relaxed final payment schedule; Solo Fares from only 125 percent; 10 percent combo savings for the 14-night voyage; and fares from just $199 for children under 18.
Crystal invites travelers to book now and save with added peace of mind and flexibility as we look ahead to sailing together again.