There are 4 great ways to travel from one island to the next also known as island-hopping within the Caribbean. This region is the ideal place to island-hop.  Many of the countries are very close in distance to one another. There are so many islands to explore with each island providing a unique visitor experience. If you recall from history each island was settled and colonized by many different European countries therefore each country has its own culture, customs, food, and unique identity.

How can you island hop?

  1. Cruise
  2. Ferry
  3. Airline
  4. Charter a Private Boat

  1. Cruise

There are so many cruises that visit the islands in the Caribbean. It takes a search of cruises to this region to find a plethora of options from 3-day cruises to the Bahamas, average 7 cruises days may have up to 6 stops with some longer itineraries providing up to 14 days of Caribbean fun in the sun.   In my opinion, this is the most economical way to see several islands on one trip reason being regional travel within the Caribbean can be quite expensive due to the various taxes imposed on airline travel.

What makes cruising economical food, accommodations, and entertainment are all included in the cruise fare. Cruises depart from many popular ports such as Miami, San Juan, Barbados headed for the Caribbean. These cruises can cost approximately US $50 a night per person for the interior cabin this is such a great deal. In my opinion, this is the most effective and budget-friendly way to see a few islands for a relatively low price.

  1. Ferry Travel

There are a couple of islands where you could effectively island-hop to another country via ferry service. They are as follows:

St Martin/St Maarten is ideal for island hoppers with ferry access to Anguilla, St Barth, and Saba. There are several operators of ferries including public and private options.

Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, and St. Lucia have a reliable ferry service that connects you to all these islands, with each trip about two hours or less.

Antigua you can head to Montserrat via ferry service it takes less than two hours.

This is also considered a more reasonable way to travel. It makes sense to explore the Caribbean via ferry as most of the islands accessed by ferries are small allowing you to explore 1 island in as little as 3 days.

 

     3.  Airline Travel

You can also hop around the Caribbean via airline travel taking one-way flights from one country to the next. This option is going to be more expensive than ferries however you will save time as the journey travel time will be reduced. There are several regional airlines based in the Caribbean. The largest Caribbean Airlines. These airlines have promotions and sales especially during popular periods of the year like Carnivals or festivals. Follow them on their website, Facebook, or other social media platforms to stay informed.

 

Caribbean Airlines

Caribbean Airlines is headquartered in Trinidad and operates below.

These are the destinations:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Cayman Islands
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica (Kingston & Montego Bay)
  • Lucia
  • Maarten
  • Vincent
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Venezuela (Caracas)
  • Suriname
  • Vincent
  • USA (Miami, New York, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale)

 

There are several other smaller airlines which are the following:

Winair

Winair is headquartered in St. Maarteen and flys to below.

These are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saba
  • Santo Domingo
  • Barths
  • Eustatius
  • Kitts and Nevis
  • Maarten

Intercaribbean

Intercaribbean is headquartered in Turks & Caicos and flys to below destinations.

These are

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Puerto Rico
  • Lucia
  • Maarten
  • Turks & Caicos

Air Caribes

Air Caribes is headquartered in Guadeloupe and is known to serve French visitors to the Caribbean French islands and also to France. It flys to below destinations:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Dominica
  • Reunion
  • Bahamas
  • Martinique
  • Dominican Republic
  • Saba
  • Kitts and Nevis
  • Barts
  • Eustache
  • Maarten

Air Antilles

Air Antilles is a French airline based in Guadeloupe.  It is a regional airline operating scheduled and seasonal services in French Antilles. It has a fleet of 13 airplanes. It flys to the below destinations:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • French Guyana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Martinique
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Bathelemy
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin/Maarten
  • USA

OCL Barbados

OCL Barbados is based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  The company offers shared charter services to the below destinations:

  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Guyana
  • Grenada
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Tortola
  1. Charter a Private Boat or Yacht

Now, this may be one of the most luxurious and also the most expensive way to see the Caribbean islands. By chartering a yacht or boat you can see an array of islands at your own pace. Depending on your budget will determine boat accommodations. Some companies throughout the Caribbean specialize in this type of experience. Two companies that are known for these experiences are the Moorings and The Globe Sailor.

TIP

Don’t forget to factor in hurricane season when planning any trip to the Caribbean. Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. Historically the hurricanes are known to hit from August to September.

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