An ATV excursion on St. Bart’s from the SeaDream II

Indy drivers James Hinchcliffe (left) and Marco Andretti
Indy drivers James Hinchcliffe (left) and Marco Andretti

ABOARD THE SEADREAM II – Yesterday it was time to get off the ship and do something fun. So we decided to join an ATV shore excursion on the lovely French island of St. Bart’s. The cost was $179 per vehicle and we rode double.

It is interesting to note that shore excursions are not selling very well this week aboard ship. I don’t know if that is the usual pattern or just this week’s group of passengers. At any rate, many excursions have been cancelled because of lack of participation. It does seem odd to me that out of 90+ passengers they cannot get the minimum of 15 to participate in a snorkeling trip.

To be sure, SeaDream provides free snorkeling masks and fins so many folks have been opting to go off on their own during the day.

At any rate, 11 of us participated in this ATV trip, including Indy race car drivers James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti … who are our celebs on board this week. Although the weather was very hot, the trip was made bearable by the breezes generated by our speed.

Our ATV group prepares to head out 2
Our ATV group prepares to head out 2

In about two hours we traveled around the western part of the island passing by the famous airport (rated No. 3 in the world for difficulty in landing), then off to Grand Fond (a small village on the sea), then along the ocean shoreline (gorgeous!), up through exclusive homes and resort and then back along the south coast to the capital of Gustavia, where we began.

We were vehicle No. 2, behind the leader so we did not get to see some of the antics of the Indy drivers that were reported to us by our friends who were driving in the rear!

We then walked from the ATV base all around the harbor back to the point where the yacht’s tender picked us up. By then we were plenty hot, so it was back to the ship for the afternoon. Stores in St. Bart’s close from 1-3:30 p.m. so it was easy to get involved in the water sports going on off the ship’s drop down marina. SeaDream is careful to separate the times when people can do activities like sailing, jetskiing, kayaking and water skiing and from when they can swim and sun on the trampoline platform.

Quite a few folks tried riding the personal watercraft and there were some sailors too, but many just tried sunning and the pool. It was obvious that many people had chosen to go off to the island’s many beaches on their own or had stayed in town for a leisurely lunch.

A view of the harbor in Gustavia, St. Barts
A view of the harbor in Gustavia, St. Barts

I really did consider going back into town for shopping later in the afternoon. But I have been here several times before and know how pricey everything is, plus I was already in my swimsuit, so….

As soon as swimming was allowed at 4 p.m., I was in the ocean with many of my newfound friends. A lovely day!

Did I mention that our sister ship, the SeaDream I, was also in St. Barts for the day? But now our paths diverge as they head off to Nevis tonight and we travel to Anegada.

December 10, 2014

Photos by Chet Janssens



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