The Garden Guide

Caribbean Cruises

See list of garden tour destinations by country

The Caribbean has a marvellous climate for plant growth. It is tropical: warm and wet for most of the year. This has encouraged planters for many centuries, but the properties are on hundreds of islands in a 4000 km arc of sea. So the best way of visiting them is as part of a cruise. Fortunately, few parts of the world are as well served by cruise ships as the Caribbean.

Caribbean gardens can be grouped as follows:

  • Colonial estates, made for governors and plantation owners, mainly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and under the varied influence of Spain, France and England. The styles were predominantly French or English.
  • Botanical estates, made in the nineteenth century, as experiments to find out what tropical crops could provide food and compensate for the decline of the sugar plantations. Their style was gardenesque, as in most of the world's botanic gardens.
  • Luxury estates, made in the twentieth century by and for an international clientele which valued the Caribbean lifestyle. The styles are as varied as the taste of their owners. Some of these properties are in private hands and others are hotels.
  • Hotel estates. The Caribbean has been a luxury destination and many hotels have taken great care of their estates.

Caribbean cruise ship

Caribbean cruise beach by harbour

Caribbean Flower

Caribbean cruise sunset