Virtuoso Traveler - February/March 2018 - 60
Clockwise from top: Contemplating Elbow Cay, the Caribbean Princess off
Princess Cays, and The Cove's new poolscape, designed by Lulu DK.
While a scattering of the Bahamas'
700 islands sustained some damage, the
nation was spared the worst of 2017's
storms. Tourism resumed quickly both in
the capital of Nassau (New Providence
Island) and on Paradise Island; the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism reports that
the commonwealth's airports and hotels
(including the seven in Virtuoso's network)
are open, as are most marinas.
The ports at Nassau and Freeport have been
operating smoothly, with ship passengers
heading out to kayak around Balmoral Island
and taste handcrafted rums at John Watling's
Distillery in downtown Nassau. Also welcome
news for cruisers: Private islands - including
Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian Cruise Line)
and Half Moon Cay (Holland America Line),
along with Princess Cays, Princess Cruises'
private port on Eleuthera - are once again
throwing barbecue beach parties.
Be There: The Cove rang in the new year
with a revitalized pool deck and 20 private cabanas from renowned artist and
textile designer Lulu DK, along with the
first outpost of the popular Harbour Island
restaurant Sip Sip. Look for the new Fish restaurant from chef José Andrés to open at the
600-room resort this spring. Contact your
Virtuoso advisor for pricing; Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining
credit. * Four Seasons recently took the storied Ocean Club under its ultra-luxe wing;
expect Balinese-inspired spa treatments and
French-Asian cuisine from Jean-Georges
Vongerichten at the 107-room resort. Doubles from $1,260; Virtuoso travelers receive
breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit. *
Along with financial support for Caribbean
recovery efforts, Princess Cruises is helping
boost tourism by adding eight new summer
voyages sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. A seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise
aboard the 3,140-passenger Caribbean
Princess visits Princess Cays, Saint Thomas
in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Sint-Maarten.
Departures: Multiple dates, May 26 through
September 1, 2018; from $699.
Rebuilding has commenced on Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson's private island retreat in the British Virgin Islands, with
a newly restored Great House set to open in October 2018; additional accommodations will be ready for the 2019 season.
60 V I R T U O S O T R A V E L E R
(ELBOW CAY) AURORA PHOTOS/ALAMY