Friday, February 19 – Friday, February 26, 2010 – Gardens of the Caribbean

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will sponsor a one week trip from Barbados to Curacao aboard the Sea Cloud II from Friday, February 19 – Friday, Fecruary 26.  Here is what the National Trust says about this trip:

With its balmy island breezes and centuries-old tradition of gardening, the Caribbean offers a delightful respite to a northern winter. This exciting new itinerary takes us to the coral islands of the Southern Caribbean, with both desert-like terrain in which aloe vera and other succulent plants grow wild, and luxuriant gardens full of tropical flowering trees and shrubs.

We are delighted that noted landscape architect Patrick Bowe will travel with us to private plantations and botanical gardens of long standing. Author of Gardens of the Caribbean, Mr. Bowe is a sought-after study leader who has accompanied many previous National Trust garden tours to rave reviews. Also traveling with us will be Williams College Professor of Art Michael Lewis, who will discuss historic architecture and the Caribbean Sea battles of the Napoleonic Wars.

Our voyage begins in Barbados, where we embark Sea Cloud II for the “Spice Island” of Grenada.  Visit several private homes and gardens, then dance under the stars to the music of one of the Caribbean’s best steel bands. Following a relaxing day at sea we arrive at the limestone island of La Blanquilla, off the coast of Venezuela, for swimming and snorkeling. Sail on to the Netherlands Antilles. In Bonaire, admire the island’s diverse flora and fauna and see a 14th-century Spanish village. Then view the impressive Dutch colonial architecture in Curaçao, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fort Amsterdam.

Exclusively chartered for this voyage, the elegant sailing yacht Sea Cloud II combines comfort and a casual atmosphere with fine service. Tasteful surroundings and five-star dining complement the heady experience of traveling under wind-lofted sails. We will be joined by members of The Royal Oak Foundation and alumni from Williams College.

An optional prelude is also arranged in colorful Barbados, featuring private access to beautifully maintained botanical gardens and National Trust properties.

Complete information may be found at  A deposit of $1,500 will reserve your spot – the total cost varies by room size, but this isn’t an inexpensive trip.  However, think about February in New England!