The Lesser Antilles Aboard the Sea Cloud: Feb 28—Mar 08, 2018

A Special Departure for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Bridgetown, Barbados
Tour Limit: 51
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (1.1 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Dr. John Fitzpatrick

Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., is Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and pro...


Scott Sutcliffe

Scott Sutcliffe is Director of Annual Fund and Stewardship at the Cornell Lab. He's been a b...


Bramble Klipple

Bramble Klipple is the Senior Director of Philanthropy at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Pr...


Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 69 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have t...


Barry Lyon

Barry Lyon's passion for the outdoors and birding has its roots in his childhood in southern...


David Ascanio

David Ascanio, a Venezuelan birder and naturalist, has spent over 35 years guiding birding t...


John Harrison

John Harrison is a travel writer and lecturer, and a native of Liverpool, England. He took F...

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A voyage to the Eastern Caribbean aboard one of the world’s most beautiful sailing vessels visits six major islands; seeking specialty birds is an overriding theme, but beautiful island scenery, history, and sightseeing are of equal appeal.

“Small is beautiful” is a common saying in the West Indies, and nowhere is this more apt than in the string of pearls known as the Lesser Antilles. On this special voyage, arranged exclusively for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we’ll discover just how beautiful small is by visiting six major islands that form the Caribbean Sea’s eastern boundary: Barbados, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. Seeking the region’s specialty birds is a dominant theme, but plenty of beautiful island scenery, wonderful botany and geology, and fascinating history are equally compelling attractions. Best of all, we have chartered the peerless Sea Cloud, a four-masted barque widely regarded as the world’s most beautiful sailing vessel.

Sea Cloud

Sea Cloud— Photo: Courtesy Sea Cloud Cruises

Hosting this trip will be John and Molly Fitzpatrick, Scott Sutcliffe, and Bramble Klipple from the Cornell Lab. Guiding our activities will be Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyon, David Ascanio, and John Harrison from Texas-based Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, a respected organization that has a long history of collaboration with the Lab. Together they will provide exposure to the wonders of the Caribbean.

All of the islands of the Lesser Antilles are scenically spectacular—dominated by steep forested peaks and rugged terrain—yet each island is subtly different from the others. From north to south, our travels will bring exposure to one veritable paradise after another. Most of the islands contain birds found nowhere else, especially a remarkable group of scarce and endangered parrots that include the St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Red-necked, and Imperial parrots, and a dazzling assortment of hummingbirds. Many other birds of equal interest occur here as well, some of which represent widespread families while others signal bird groups not found outside the Caribbean. Each island is limited in its overall quantity of birds, but collectively they offer a marvelous list of hawks, woodpeckers, thrushes, thrashers, tremblers, warblers, tanagers, orioles, and finches.

Purple-throated Carib

Purple-throated Carib— Photo: Steve Gast


Complementing the outstanding birding is the supreme natural beauty of the islands. Among the highlights are the luxuriant cloud forests of Dominica, the gorgeous coastline of Martinique, and the iconic Pitons of St. Lucia.

Adding to the allure is the opportunity to travel aboard the Sea Cloud. Ornate in her construction, resplendent under sail, and owner of a vivid history, this majestic ship sets a standard by which all other ships are measured. All cabins are immaculately appointed and contain private facilities. Public areas include a lounge, viewing deck, lido deck, and bar. High quality cuisine is served in an elegant dining room.

Finally, while this trip promises many unforgettable experiences in nature, it is also a time to see old friends and make new acquaintances, learn about recent news from the Lab, and simply enjoy a beautiful Caribbean getaway under the towering masts and spreading sails of the Sea Cloud!

All nights (except the first night) and meals aboard the Sea Cloud; superior accommodations and cuisine; inter-island cruising; daily shore excursions involve mostly easy walks along roads; mild conditions with warm temperatures expected; rain possible.

Photo Gallery: Lesser Antilles aboard the Sea Cloud 2014, by David Ascanio