We are having a bit of a cold snap here in Missouri, so when I saw that Riviera was in the British Virgin Islands on January 6, I pulled out the photos I took on my visit to Tortola for a little reminiscing. This particular photo was my favorite because I barely recognized my feet, as they have been bundled up in wooly socks and heavy boots for the last several weeks!
As Blogger-at-Large, I have contributed several posts about the amazing places I have visited in the Caribbean on my travels with Oceania Cruises. Today I want to tell you about one of the most beautiful and peaceful beach days I have ever enjoyed.
But first, a little about the plethora of options guests
have to explore from the port in Tortola. For those looking for adventures beyond
Tortola, there are several island-hopping shore excursions that let you
experience more of the British Virgin Islands. I have taken the Virgin Gorda & the Baths shore
excursion and I highly recommend it. There are also several snorkeling or
diving adventures available in the crystal blue waters that surround the island
of Tortola, as well as excursions to its many gorgeous beaches.
For guests looking for something a bit more cerebral, there
is a Historical Sites of Tortola excursion
that will give you a sense of the history of this island and its people with
visits to museums and important historic sites. Or if you’re traveling onboard Marina or Riviera, there is a Culinary Discovery Tour that visits an organic
farm, where you select fresh produce that is used to cook a traditional meal in
a yabba pot as you enjoy a beautiful day on the beach.
As wonderful as all of these options sounded to me, I
decided to set off on my own adventure when I arrived in Tortola. I had heard
that Cane Garden Bay had one of the loveliest beaches on the island, so that
was my chosen destination. When we docked, there were taxis and vans available
just outside the pier. I found a van to Cane Garden Bay for $8 per person each
way, and once the van had enough passengers, it took a group of us to the beach.
It’s a bit of a wild ride over the mountains of Tortola to
the other side of the island where Cane Garden Bay is located. It was incredibly
scenic and by no means unpleasant, but you may prefer to take an Oceania
Cruises excursion if you want to make sure you’re in a newer vehicle and that
your travels are being monitored by the ship’s staff. It can also be difficult
to find a taxi back to the ship, so if you venture out on your own, be sure to
establish a time for your driver to pick you up and return you to the ship. If
you want to ensure a carefree day at the beach, an Oceania Cruises shore
excursion may be your best option.
Because Tortola’s beaches are exceptionally gorgeous, the
island is a popular place to visit. When we arrived, there were two ships
docked, and I was told it might be crowded. I was pleasantly surprised
when I found that Cane Garden Bay wasn’t crowded at all. In fact, the area
where our van dropped us off was practically deserted. This is the most popular
beach on the island, so for those looking for complete solitude, I have no
doubt a secluded cove or deserted paradise is waiting to be discovered.
For me, Cane Garden Bay was exactly what I was hoping for. The
beach had several restaurants and bars just steps from the water and plenty of
chairs to rent for $5. The bay was beautiful and the beach was exquisite –
gentle waves, perfectly refreshing water and pure, soft sand from the beach all
the way into the sea.
My day at Cane Garden Bay was the most peaceful beach day
I’ve ever experienced. I was so thoroughly enchanted by the gorgeous beach, the
beautiful scenery in every direction and the island life that I did absolutely
nothing except enjoy it – I didn’t even take a nap or read a book! I relaxed on
the chair and took it all in, occasionally taking a break to wade into the
water for a refreshing swim and then return to my chair to dry off in the warm
After a truly perfect day relaxing on the beach, I met the
van at the appointed time and returned to the ship. To all of you travelers out
there escaping the winter cold in the warm blue waters of the Caribbean, I wish
you as warm and as wonderful days as I had. To all of you who haven’t yet
treated yourself to this experience, I hope you find the opportunity to visit
this island paradise on a voyage with Oceania Cruises very soon.