island hopping advice sought

Old Dec 6th, 2022, 10:38 AM
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island hopping advice sought

Hi all,

I'll be taking two weeks in the beginning of Jan to island hop as much of the Windwards and the lower Leewards (I think) as I can. I've sailed and explored the Virgins (both US and BVI) and want to see a bunch of the others if possible. I'm less interested in the super fancy resort-y spots and more interested in the historic/cultural/beach/exploring opportunities. Also an avid snorkler and diver. I'd like to fly into somewhere (from the west coast of the us) that I could use as a starting point and (i hope) mostly ferry between islands from there.
I imagine it would make sense to restrict myself to some subset of islands but am not sure where to focus.
I'm researching elsewhere but would love to hear experienced island hoppers' opinions, guidance and cogent questions TIA
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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 06:01 PM
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Using only ferries to island hope will severely limit the number of islands you’d be able to visit as most islands are too far from one another to make ferry service practical - too much “open water. Flying between islands will give you more options.

That said, if you want to just rely on ferries consider basing yourself on St. Martin since
you can easily take ferries to both Anguilla and St. Barth’s.

If you base yourself in St.Kitts you can ferry over to Nevis and they recently started limited ferry to St. Eustatius and St. Martin.

If you base yourself in Antigua there’s limited ferry service to Barbuda.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a good island group to island hop as there’s decent ferry service (but not necessarily everyday) between a number of different islands in the chain. If these islands appeal to you consider basing yourself on either St. Vincent or Union Island as the will have access to most of the ferries.

Hope this helps.
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Old Dec 7th, 2022, 10:51 AM
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I've used Express des Iles to get from Guadeloupe to Martinique, via Dominica. They also go to St Lucia as well as some of the smaller islands around Guadeloupe.

https://www.express-des-iles.fr/en/

There isn't much in the way of snorkelling and diving in Anguilla and St Barths, although they are both beautiful islands. I'd head to St Eustatius, Guadeloupe, Dominica for that. Saba is reachable by ferry from St Martin, it is excellent for scuba diving and is an all round gorgeous island, no beaches.
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Old Dec 8th, 2022, 05:18 PM
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Thanks! I actually figured out the express des iles was probably the way to go and booked a flight in and out of St lucia. Will use it as my base
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