How to explore the Caribbean

The Caribbean Tourist Organisation has just this month announced impressive growth within its travel industry, with a dramatic rise in both visitor expenditure and visitor numbers. With images of vast azure oceans and pristine beaches accompanying each article on the story, we'll understand if you find your own adventurous spirit pining for what is undoubtedly a very special part of the world.

However, the experience you have of the region will vary dramatically depending on how you choose to explore it. The Caribbean famous for its collection of islands, which makes cruising the natural choice for exploration as you can witness what it's like on each one rather than sticking to one location. Collecting a collage of memories from each location is a great way of ensuring your experience of the Caribbean never fades from your mind.

It's not as simple as deciding to go on a cruise, though. There are other elements to be considered, such as the type of vessel you'd prefer to take – something that can have a profound impact on your itinerary as well as your sailing conditions.

Would you rather experience the majesty of climbing aboard a magnificent Tall Ship that sweeps you to the well-known spots you want to boast to your friends about? Like Barbados, St Lucia and Dominica? Or does a more intimate journey around the nooks and crags of lesser-known islands such as Nevis, De Saintes and Gustavia sound more like your style? Both options are favourable over taking a large cruise ship and sharing it with more than 2,000 people – a smaller vessel allows you to bond with your fellow travellers and enjoy a more personalised touch. But more than that – these yachts are much better at showing you every intimate detail about each island.

They don't skimp on the luxury either – those on the Tall Ship Royal Clipper can expect a superb service with a one-of-a-kind health club and spa on board. Those on the Star Clippers, meanwhile, benefit from two swimming pools – just in case they don't want to get their hair salty in the pristine waters. Rather than drawing attention away from the splendour of the Caribbean, such features only go towards enhancing the experience, making sure you are entirely comfortable for the duration of your trip.

Each yacht offers a choice of two individual itineraries, giving you not just two choices but four. And if you fancy focusing on either the wonders of Cuba or Martinique – both of which are Caribbean destinations – there are other holidays available. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, you can explore one of these two islands in incredible detail thanks to our knowledgeable staff. Beautiful beaches, stunning natural wonders and a glittering ocean awaits. What's more, the S/C Panorama will be returning to the Caribbean for a 20-week series of cruises around Cuba next winter. This sleek, stylish 25-cabin vessel is the perfect transportation for exploring such a beautiful location, and with our knowledgeable crew aboard, you'll get the most out of the places you visit.

So that's your transportation sorted. What can you expect from the Caribbean culture? The answer is a unique mixture of African heritage, enduring legacies of the native Indians and even aspects shaped by European colonists. Aboard a Seafarer cruise, you'll have the chance to get to grips with the music, song and artwork of the people that call this paradise 'home' – their culture, their day-to-day way of life. You can be guaranteed the laid-back atmosphere and tropical setting, but oftentimes cultural identities emerge where you least expect them. Barbados, for example, retains a culture touched by many places, but you'll find many British traditions are kept up here thanks to its colonial history. For this very reason, exploring the Caribbean is a pleasantly surprising and enjoyable activity. But if you want to do it properly, island hopping really is the only way to travel.