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Karber

St. Kitts Catamaran - Nevis Sail Away

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Has anyone done this excursion through Viking?  Price seems like a good value for a 7 hour day.  We’re wondering  which local tour company they use?  Also, are alcoholic drinks are included as part of the tour?

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Sorry for the duplicate posts!  Kept getting the "Something went wrong!" message, so I tried three times, and later discovered it had actually gone through.

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Posted (edited)

Following. We are booked on this as well in October. We would greatly appreciate some feedback on this excursion as well, including how many people were on the Cat. What I can tell you is that I tried connecting with an independent catamaran cruise operator, Leeward Charters. They require payment in full at reservations without guaranteed sailing. Most charters on various islands do not require this. We are not willing at this time but maybe as we get closer.....

Edited by Vineyard View

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We are on the same cruise and I would love to know more about this excursions.  It does sound like a good value but like you would love to hear from those with first hand experience.  Hope we get some reviews. 

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We are on this cruise January 2020 and are considering the same excursion as well.  Hoping to get reviews.  It sounds like a great day.

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2 hours ago, Kaiabean said:

We are on this cruise January 2020 and are considering the same excursion as well.  Hoping to get reviews.  It sounds like a great day.

 

We are on the same cruise in January too. Would also love to hear more about this excursion. 

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I posted this same question on the St Kitts port forum today and got the following reply:

All of the catamaran sails over to Nevis use either Blue Water Safari or Leeward Islands for the excursion. You can not book privately, only through the cruise line as per their agreements. Adult beverages are included.”

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Maybe this is why Leeward would only book if we paid in full up front?  They are the only  catamaran outfit I contacted on various islands who required this. 

With this rule of engagement, it would be great to hear some feedback on this excursion. I am all in if it is a good experience....I want to believe that any day on the water on a catamaran can’t be all bad, but if it is over crowded with little shade it Is a full day. I have read on other lines that some have experienced a bbq on Nevis during their day sail and thoroughly enjoyed that. I could be wrong, but In reading the description of this excursion it doesn’t state this, but rather sounds like food will be on the catamaran? 

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Lunch on board is what I understood from the excursion description as well.  Would prefer the BBQ on Nevis, too. So much depends on the number of people on the catamaran. Would still like to hear from people that took the Viking excursion!  We plan to ask some questions once we’re on board the Viking ship, then decide if this is the excursion we want in St. Kitts. 

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Totally agree Karber. Catamaran size and number of people will be our decision to go or no go. Several other cruise lines do the lunch on Nevis so it is a bit disappointing that this one may not. I think I will explore private excursions a bit further and see what else I may find. My previous search not produce much for getting on the water but it is worth a try again. 

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I don’t know if this will help, but we did the West Indies cruise last spring (2018). We are train buffs so we were focused on the St Kitts Railway and didn’t focus much on anything else for this port. We did have time to do the included tour which visited the Fairview Estate. It was one of the better included tours. 

 

The reason I responding here is because if you are more interested in the catamaran day than actually visiting Nevis, I highly recommend the one in St Lucia. It was one of the best days on our cruise despite a bit of rain.  

 

The catamaran was a good size, not crowded and with plenty of seating in either sun or shade. The crew were fantastic!  They served delicious fruit punch and soft drinks in the morning as we sailed up the coast to see the Pitons - which are best seen from the water. On the way we cruised through Marigot Bay - gorgeous!

 

 We docked in Soufriere and transferred to small vans that took us up into the mountains to Morne Coubaril Estate.  We had an interesting tour around the Estate where we watched them opening coconuts and we got to sample the fresh coconut and the coconut milk. 

 

We learned about the harvesting and production of cocoa. They sell their yummy products in a small shop. After the tour, we had a wonderful Creole lunch buffet in their open air restaurant. 

 

We had some free time to look around and check out the shop, then we reboarded the vans for the ride back down to the boat with some lovely views of the Pitons and the bay on the way down. 

 

We ran to the catamaran through the rain shower, I mentioned before, so our second viewing of the Pitons was through a heavy mist which gave them a rather eerie appearance.  We also stopped briefly in a small cove for a swim. 

 

After that we continued sailing down the coast. They broke out the rum punch that is served on every island 😁 and cranked up the music. We all were dancing or just having fun. It was a party. When we pulled into the dock, we were singing Sweet Caroline and everyone on the dock joined in. It was just a perfect ending to an absolutely fabulous day. 

 

I can also recommend the Antigua Catamaran Sail - I think it was Antigua by Land and Sea. The land part is actually the included tour of Nelson’s Dockyard (interesting and picturesque) with a stop at Shirley Heights (gorgeous views but very crowded) and a multimedia presentation of the history of Antigua. I thought this last might be hokey, but it was quite well done and interesting. 

 

We parted ways with the included tour people and boarded our catamaran - again plenty of seating in either sun or shade depending on your preference. I’m not good at estimating numbers, but both these catamarans (this one and the one on St Lucia) were a good size and not crowded. You could move around from the sun to the shade and vice versa anytime you wanted. 

 

They took us out to a reef for some snorkeling, if you wished. We just stayed on the boat. The crew made a bbq lunch which was excellent, and after lunch we sailed back along the coast with a narrated tour of the beaches and points of interest, and, of course, rum punch. 

 

We also did the Champagne Catamaran sail to St John from St Thomas which was also a great day and since it was our last, it was a lovely way to end the cruise.

 

Sorry, I couldn’t help with St Kitts, but I hope this might give you some alternatives. I also recommend the St Kitts Railway, but if you have motion issues, it is a bit of a rocking ride. Great way to see the island and we had a great local a cappella group singing Caribbean songs to entertain us.  

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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We also did the West Indies Explorer cruise in early 2018.  We did the Nevis Sail Away excursion and had a great time.  As I recall, it was a little crowded on the catamaran. The snorkeling wasn't good at all and the weather was a little rainy at times, but the crew sure made it fun.  The Viking employee that accompanied the excursion was great as well.  She really added to the fun.  The food was nothing to rave about, but it was tasty enough.  The drinks were plentiful, too. 😋

 

Hope that helps some.

Tim

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Thanks, Tim!  Your information is helpful.  Do you recall if lunch was served on board the catamaran, or if it was on the island?

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Oh, that’s right, we did get off the catamaran.  I’d forgotten that.  Guess that tells you how memorable that part was. 😏

 

We made a first stop that was just a water stop for some snorkeling (not great).  Then we were served lunch on the catamaran on the way to the beach.  The second stop was at a mostly-deserted beach (it was a little rainy). The beach stop wasn’t too long but a couple of the crew stayed with us to serve drinks while they moved the boat away from shore.  Then they picked us up and it was a party boat on the return trip.  I believe we motor-sailed out and mostly motored back due to the winds.  It may not sound like it, but we all (there were 6 of us – all family) really had a good time.  I think most of the others on board had a good time, too.  The crew really made it a fun trip.  Sometimes it feels like the excursion crews are just going through the motions for a few hours till they can get rid of the guests.  I didn’t get that feeling from these guys – they were having fun.

Tim

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Karber, our favorite excursion from our 2018 cruise was the Catamaran Cruise & Lobster Lunch in Antigua.  I don’t know if Viking is still offering it, but it was a blast!  Everyone on the catamaran has a super time.  I think it was also a 7-hour excursion.  The boat, food, drinks, and crew were just great.

 

We made two stops if I recall correctly.  We motor-sailed up to the first stop while the crew pointed out lots of sites and gave us lots of interesting info.  Then they dropped us at a beach for maybe an hour while they prepared the grilled-lobster lunch on the boat.  The surf on the beach was pretty strong here so we had to use caution getting in or out of the water.  After a while one the beach we re-boarded and had our delicious lobster lunch.  After lunch we sailed (no motor) to the next beach where we swam for a bit.  We raced another catamaran along the way.  This beach (in Falmouth Harbor?) was much calmer.  It was music, singing and dancing all the way back to the ship.  The crew was singing and dancing right along with the guests.  Everyone in our group would take this excursion again in a heartbeat.

Tim

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Thank you Kat and Tim.....really appreciate this information. 

 

The itinerary we are on does not include St Lucia - I would have been very much okay with it if it did though! It is good to know that the included excursion in St Kitts was pretty good - and more than just a bus trip. Good to know the Champagne sail in St Thomas was good - we may look at that....

 

I am curious Tim when you say it was a bit crowded. Does that mean crowded with 25-30 people or more like 50-75 people?  I would appreciate knowing that piece. Also on the Lobster sail were there alternatives to Lobster for food if you recall?

 

We are looking at going to a private beach on Antigua after visiting the Dockyard on our own, but the catamarans both Kat and Tim are mentioning might peak my interest, so thank you both for that further information 

Edited by Vineyard View

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My guess is that there was about 40 of us on the catamaran.  There were really only two times it felt crowded.  The first was when we first got on - before people spread out with some leaving the cockpit and going forward.  The other time was when it briefly rained a couple of times.  Then everyone would move under the cover of the cockpit roof.

 

Regarding your question about alternative food options on the lobster cruise in Antigua, I don’t recall anyone not eating lobster.  But I wasn’t really watching for it.  I believe there was rice, a salad or two, and dessert along with the lobster.

 

Hope that helps some.
Tim

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Thank you Tim for that clarification- I am glad to hear that it didn’t feel crowded throughout the day. Good information to have as well as the lobster sail 

Edited by Vineyard View

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I have been able to confirm that Bluewater Safaris is the team for this excursion, and that they will take up to 85 people. I do not know how many are booked. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 5:04 PM, Vineyard View said:

I have been able to confirm that Bluewater Safaris is the team for this excursion, and that they will take up to 85 people. I do not know how many are booked. 

There were multiple catamarans at the dock that looked the same to me.  I don't know how many cruise ships they service.  I do know our trip was just Viking passengers.

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Thanks so much again Tim. We are the only ship that i can find in port that day. 

I was looking for options and Blue Water Safaris offered up a full day that returned at 5:00. I responded that I wasn’t comfortable with a sail away at 6:00, so they recommended this option, and they confirmed with me that it was the Viking excursion. I appreciated their honesty and suggestion. I asked and heard back this afternoon that what  they do not know is how many people are reserved, only that they will cap it at 85 people. So it could be 30, 40, 60, etc. They have been very responsive. 

The other company, Leeward, has confirmed with me this weekend that to date they do not have enough people signed up to guarantee a sailing. It does seem that this port has really only two catamaran companies  - Leeward and Blue Water so options are limited. 

Not sure what we will decide yet, but I sure appreciate all your first hand input!  Thanks again!

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A huge thank you for all the responses!  Vineyard View, I especially appreciate your research and information from Bluewater Safaris. Like you, we’re not sure what we will do yet. Booking independently online with a 5:00 return is cutting it too close for comfort with a 6:00 sail away.  Hopefully we can get more information about the number of people booked for the Viking excursion when we get on board...

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3 hours ago, Karber said:

A huge thank you for all the responses!  Vineyard View, I especially appreciate your research and information from Bluewater Safaris. Like you, we’re not sure what we will do yet. Booking independently online with a 5:00 return is cutting it too close for comfort with a 6:00 sail away.  Hopefully we can get more information about the number of people booked for the Viking excursion when we get on board...

That is what we are planning on doing as well Karber. Hopefully Viking will share that information with us once on board. We will need to decide 3+ days prior though to receive a credit for the cost of the excursion. 

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