Caribbean Histories: A cruise through the West Indies Islands

14 - 28 Feb 2019 (Few cabins left)
  • Cultural Tours
+ Optional extension: Barbados

About the tour

The West Indies is a remarkably diverse collection of islands, ranging from green mountain peaks to caster sugar sand, pirate coves and vivid tropical reefs. Learn about the histories of the people, plants and medicine of the West Indian islands on this wonderful cruise. Tour leaders, Bill and Helen Bynum, are medical and botanical historians and will give specialist talks throughout the cruise.

Escorted shore excursions during the cruise include spice and fruit plantations, formal and botanical gardens, sugar estates, mansions and imposing forts. Learn about the colourful history of these hotly contested islands and the rich natural flora that provided medicine as well as food for the islanders throughout the ages.

The cruise is on Fred Olsen MS Braemar, a lovely classic mid-sized ship with light and airy décor. It has a gym with sea views, a small spa and salon, a crafts room, two swimming pools, two whirlpools, golf nets and deck games. There is also a card room and Internet room near the library. In addition to the main Thistle Restaurant, there’s the more intimate Grampian Restaurant and a self-serve buffet, plus a choice of bars and two evening entertainment venues.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Bill and Helen  Bynum

Bill and Helen Bynum

Bill Bynum is Professor Emeritus at University College London. A Yale graduate in medicine, he began his career in the history of medicine with a Cambridge PhD before moving to the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. His 'History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction' and 'A Little History of Science' have been translated into 14 languages.

After a PhD in the History of Medicine from University College London, Helen Bynum lectured at the University of Liverpool before beginning a freelance career as a medical historian and popular science writer. Together with Bill she edited 'Great Discoveries in Medicine' before turning their attention to the world of plants and their histories in 'Remarkable Plants that Shape our World' and 'Botanical Sketchbooks'. ‘Team Bynum’ have led and lectured on successful tours and cruises for Jon Baines Tours. 

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
Contact us

Itinerary at a glance

  • 14 Feb (Sat) Barbados: Arrive Barbados and transfer to the MS Braemar cruise ship
  • 15 Feb (Fri) Bridgetown, Barbados: Tour of Sunbury Plantation house and gardens. Drive via the Garrison Savanna Historic District. Afternoon at leisure. Welcome drinks
  • 16 Feb (Sat) St George's, Grenada: Visit Fort Frederick and Dougalstone spice estate. Visit Sunnyside Gardens and on the way back see the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station
  • 17 Feb (Sun) Caribbean Cruising: At sea. Listen to talks and at leisure
  • 18 Feb (Mon) Willemstad, Curacao: Visit Christoffel National Park, with its former plantations and Savonet Museum (for herbs for medicinal use and the life of the slaves displays). Afternoon at leisure in Curacao
  • 19 Feb (Tues) Kralendijk, Bonaire: Drive by the lake to see flamingos and see the Bonaire Botanical Garden. At leisure in Bonaire
  • 20 Feb (Wed) Caribbean Cruising: At sea. Listen to talks and at leisure
  • 21 Feb (Thurs) Road Town, Tortola: Visit the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works. Walk over to visit the J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens. Afternoon at leisure
  • 22 Feb (Fri) Caribbean Cruising: At sea. Listen to talks and at leisure
  • 23 Feb (Sat) Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos: Visit the salt pans, prison and the Turks & Caicos National Museum. Afternoon at leisure
  • 24 Feb (Sun) Caribbean Cruising: At sea. Listen to talks and at leisure
  • 25 Feb (Mon) Basseterre, St Kitts: Orientation tour of Basseterre, continue to Brimstone Fortress, Romney Manor and its Botanical Gardens. Optional scenic train journey or at leisure
  • 26 Feb (Tue) St John's, Antigua: Visit Nelson's Harbour and the Admiral’s House Museum. Afternoon at leisure
  • 27 Feb (Wed) Roseau, Dominica: Visit Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Lunch and at leisure at Papillote Tropical Gardens
  • 28 Feb (Thur) Barbados: Disembark in Barbados for return flights. Optional Barbados extension

Tour cost

Cabin prices range from USD $3,901 for an outside twin share cabin. Please check brochure for range of cabin options.