Montserrat received some well-deserved praise from an executive of Windstar Cruises this past week.
Steve Simao, Vice President of Sales for the cruise line which includes a stop at Montserrat set out to show that despite the recent hurricanes which resulted in them having to replace certain port calls, the Caribbean was very much open for business.
Simao took a Star Pride cruise last week to see for himself, inviting along his mom and several travel agents.
The cruise lines’ website noted “As his personal Twitter feed and Windstar’s Facebook and Instagram accounts show, it’s been quite a trip. Simao, whose hobby is photography, has been posting lush and intriguing images ‘from the greenery and tropical flowers in Martinique to the red roofs and sugary beaches of St. Barts, the fascinating ‘modern-day Pompeii’ at Plymouth on Montserrat and a double rainbow over Guadeloupe’s tiny, charming Les Saintes.
“One of the surprises of the cruise for Simao was seldom-visited Montserrat. Two-thirds of the island is still off-limits because of Soufriere Hills, an active volcano that erupted in 1995, destroying Plymouth, the capital. It has been mostly quiet since 2010. A shore excursion revealed Plymouth as a ‘modern-day Pompeii,’ Simao said, ‘an abandoned city of empty or buried buildings.
“Visitors can only tour the off-limits area with a sanctioned guide, and a safety officer goes along to ensure everyone can get out of the area within 10 minutes should there be signs of volcanic activity.
“He called the visit a highlight: ‘You think of the Caribbean as tropical beaches … This is a scientific and cultural stop.’
In 1997 the Soufrèire Hills Volcano on Montserrat erupted and the capital city of Plymouth became a modern day Pompei. @WindstarCruises is one of the few cruise lines calling here and today we saw abandoned buildings and the path of destruction first hand. pic.twitter.com/FnkQVZaO4g
— Steve Simao (@WindstarSteve) December 1, 2017
Windstar’s Star Pride has regular stops at Montserrat on its Caribbean Treasures package which is a seven-day cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico.