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We visited Norman Island last March aboard the Royal Clipper and the ship anchored near a famous snorkeling site called The Caves. If you Google Norman Island - The Caves, you'll get an idea of what to expect. We tendered to within swimming distance of the caves, jumped in the water and had a great time. Be aware - no beach, just very cool snorkeling.
. . . or at least that's the way it happened on the RC - SC is smaller so it could be different.
We recently returned from the Star Clipper Treasure Islands cruise. The ship anchors offshore of Norman Island at the caves and tenders you to a rocky beach where there is the BEST snorkeling of the whole cruise. So many fish and a huge variety easily accessed from the beach. There is a bar...of course...and a small gift shop and that is all that is on the entire uninhabited island. At a determined time that you sign up for on board, they tender you over to the caves for some deep water snorkeling. Nice, with bigger fish, but I enjoyed the variety off the beach.
As for Anguilla, our ship was delayed a day in departure so we only had a few hours on Anguilla. It also anchors offshore and tenders you to a nice beach...with a bar...and that's about it. Some people hired a taxi to drive them around the island (the drivers know when the ship arrives and are waiting for you), but we just floated in the water and sat on the beach. The bar had a live band.
The Star Clipper only touched a dock at the beginning and end of the cruise. All contact with land was with the tenders or Zodiacs. In 2 locations, Jost Van Dyke and the second stop on St. Kits, it is a "wet" landing where you have to wade, knee deep, ashore.
Great Cruise! You'll love it. Any other questions??
Already planning our second clipper cruise!! Doing the Leeward Islands next time. If you are looking forward to the cocktails then don't miss the Jost Van Dyke Soggy Dollar Bar "Pain Killers". Yum By far, my favorite sit and drink and float and smile beach.
If it so happens that you are not already aware of this, the Soggy Dollar Bar is one of the great destinations of the world for yachties. We were there on the Royal Clipper in March of this year - recommended.
We visited Soper's Hole in Feb with the Star Clipper and had Pain Killers. They went down very well since our cruise was hit with high seas from Panama City Panama,missed 2 ports because of the weather. Having been at sea for several days, holding onto ropes to be able to walking around the ship, the bar at Soper's Hole was welcomed. Now my job is to compare the Pain Killers from one island to another, what a chore!!!! Hopefully I will remember which is better!!! Dockgirl