Silver Travel Explorers Club: Princess Cays, in the Bahamas with Princess Cruises
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Win a copy of the Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide
new Explorers Club spotlights a port of call from favourite cruising areas each
month. The world was first explored by water and in many cases, it remains the
best way to discover a new destination, from the Mediterranean to Malaysia,
from Alaska to Australia, from Scandinavia to South America. We hope you enjoy
taking a look at this new feature – just add a comment at the end of the
feature and to be in with a chance of winning the
Lonely Planet Caribbean Cruise Ports Travel Guide.
Why go to Princess Cays?
Princess Cays offers a tropical ‘private island’
experience for Princess passengers sailing to the Bahamas. The ship anchors a little way off, and you come
ashore aboard a ship’s tender boat, alighting in a small marina and then
finding the perfect spot to spend the day on your choice of sandy bays.
Situated on the southernmost ‘toe’ of Eleuthera island, Princess Cays is surrounded by clear warm waters, golden beaches and coral reefs teeming with marine life. It makes for a wonderful start to a Bahamas or Caribbean cruise, which Princess offers throughout the year.
The Bahamas bask in a tropical climate with steady
temperatures between 75°F - 85°F (24°C - 29°C) all year round. It may be more humid
with thunderstorms in the summer months – the wet season is usually between June
and October but the ‘liquid sunshine’ generally falls as short-but-intense
afternoon showers which quickly pass.
In the winter months, the islands have a dry, sunny
climate making it the perfect escape from chilly Britain.
What’s good to do there?
With over a mile and a half of soft, sandy
shoreline, there is no need to do anything more than relax, if you choose to, in
one of the three beach areas: Main Shore, where a tempting BBQ lunch will soon
be cooking; Little Bay which is a short walk from the marina, and the adults-only
beach at The Sanctuary. Plentiful sun
loungers are provided with the option to hire a waterfront bungalow away from
the bustle of the beach if you prefer.
you like to keep active, there are
opportunities to go kayaking, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, paddle-wheelers, stand-up
paddleboarding and, if you are up for a dunking, a bouncy banana boat ride.
will be right in their element – the sparkling waters throng with life, and it’s
easy to float above your shadow for hours watching the comings and goings of
tropical fish and drifting over anemones,
giant clams and different types of coral.
More confident snorkellers may like to book a boat trip to explore
quieter areas further from the main beach zone. Get lucky and you’ll catch sight of turtles, stingrays
Feeling sociable? Then join in some team fun on the volleyball
and basketball courts. Or get into the Caribbean spirit at The Junkanoo beach
party with traditional Bahamian music and dance. There’s also a colourful Craft Market where
local people sell items handcrafted in the Bahamas.
Little-known facts about Princess Cays?
Princess Cays is pronounced Princess ‘Keys’ not Kays. The word Cay comes from the Spanish word ‘cayo’ which itself derives from the Arawak Indian ‘Taíno’ language word ‘cayo’ meaning ‘small island’.
Eleuthera Island, on which Princess Cays is based, covers 176 square miles and is the 8th largest in the Bahamas, out of over 700 islands and 2,400 cays spread across 5,358 square miles.
Shaped in a curl like a particularly long, thin
sea-horse, Eleuthera island is 100 miles long and about two miles wide.
Eleuthera has over 11,000 inhabitants, with one of
the best known being singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz who recorded a song
called Eleutheria (Freedom)
in 1993. The word ‘eleuthera’ comes from the Greek word for ‘free’.
Eleuthera Island was originally settled by Arawak Indians, who
had migrated from South America in the 9th century. The island became known as
the ‘Birthplace of the Bahamas’ after settlers arrived in the mid-17th century. In 1973, the Bahamas gained independence
from Britain and became the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
The Bahamian flag features a horizontal gold stripe,
representing the shining sun, on an aquamarine background suggestive of the
clear blue waters that surround the islands. The black triangle on the left-hand side, pointing across the flag,
symbolises the strength of the Bahamian people and their enterprising approach
to cultivating the natural resources of both land and sea.
Come hungry – there’s a delicious BBQ lunch provided by the beach, with the palm trees, sea and your Princess ship in the distance creating the perfect tropical backdrop.
a quieter area away from the bustle of the main group, turn right as you arrive
by ship’s launch on to the marina – just a few hundred yards further on, and
it’ll feel a real ‘Robinson Crusoe’ experience.
Wear jelly shoes to protect your
feet in the water.
How to get there
Princess offers a wealth of ways to enjoy Princess Cays, the
Bahamas and so many more islands sprinkled across the entire Caribbean. Cruises sail
from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and vary in duration from 3 or 4 days to
7, 10, 11, 14, 20 or 21 days sailing under the tropical sun aboard Regal Princess, Sky
Princess, Enchanted Princess and Caribbean Princess.
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