Catamaran to Fond Doux Estate: Castries to Soufriere
Board a comfortable catamaran and cruise down the west coast of St Lucia, past beautiful Marigot Bay, then on to the cove of Anse Cochon. The boat drops anchor here to allow you an opportunity to swim in the azure Caribbean waters. At Fond Doux Estate, step back in time to the site of the Battle of Rabot in 1795. You’ll view cocoa, coffee and flame-of-the-forest trees. Several brigand fortifications still exist, along with the ruins of the original estate houses and working buildings. Today, this estate is a self-sustaining working plantation that produces more than thirty varieties of plant products for local sale and export. Refreshments are served at the estate before you meet the tender at Soufrière jetty.
Average Customer Rating:
(3 Reviews) 3
Rating Snapshot(3 reviews)
2 out of 3(67%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Catamaran to Fond Doux Estate: Castries to Soufriere
Review 1 for Catamaran to Fond Doux Estate: Castries to Soufriere
We boarded the catamaran and road down the coast viewing some pretty sights and our tour director pointed out sites along the way. It was a pretty similar experience to riding the cruise ship just a smaller vessel. We stopped to snorkel/swim but the water was very rough. We normally enjoy snorkeling; however the HAL representative on the pier said we should take our snorkel gear back on the Noordam so we didn't have any gear with us and it wasn't provided on the shore excursion. It would have been better swimming if the HAL shore excursion person on the pier had a clue of what was included on our excursion so that we could have been prepared. Nonetheless, once we landed in Soufriere, we took a local taxi van to the estate swiftly riding up a mountain at the typical break-neck speed. Once there our taxi driver made sure we knew which van to get back on and we were let out to enjoy the plantation. Our guide at the plantation pointed out lots of plants and trees and we saw the bare basics of how the cocoa pod transformed into chocolate. The refreshment was local grapefruit juice and then we were free to roam for about 10 minutes before getting back on the van to make our way back to the port to await our tender. Apparently security is an issue because we were told we had to wait in the van until it was safe for us to get on the dock. But no mishaps and the locals seemed friendly enough. I would recommend this excursion for anyone that has never ridden a catamaran or someone that enjoys "How It's Made" type information. The scenery was beautiful and we did get a view of the Pitons unlike any other that was available to those that just cruised the area from the ship because we could get closer on our little catamaran than the cruise ship.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
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4out of4found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Catamaran to Fond Doux Estate: Castries to Soufriere
I loved the Cat ride. so relaxing to lay out on the widows net & ride. However, due to the weather, the place they chose to stop for a swim, the waters were way to rough. You really had to be a very experienced swimmer to stay in the water. So, instead of leaving & going someplace else or just more sailing, we sat there. 99% of the passengers stayed on the boat so we just sat around & talked. Big waste. Then we get to the estate. We were divided into 2 groups. Half went thru the gardens (it was pouring down rain) and the other half went, well I don't know, because our group didn't get that part & the 2nd group did not get our part. We got none of the historical information you mention above, we were not told there were any ruins we could visit, or trails we could take, saw no cocoa/coffee demontrations (though we were told we would), our refreshment was a glass of juice. Turns out we were at a snack bar where we could have purchased something had we been told this (and we certainly had enough time), but we were not told. After we finished our rainy garden tour, we were not told anything else. Not even where the rest rooms were. We all just wandered around. When we asked ow long we were going to be there or what do we do now, etc, no one had any anwers & really did not seem to care. Finally after about an hour or so, we got back in the vans to meet up with the ship. Apparently we were supposed to stop at the overlook but because one passneger said they did not want to, we didn't stop (no one else was asked). Because of this, we got back to Soufiere before time, but instead of letting us out so we could venture around,, we had to stay in the van. As I said, the CAT ride was great, but I could have done without the estate "tour". Maybe had the weather been better, the attitude of the guides would have been as well, but it stopped raining but each group missed a part of the tour.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
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4out of4found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Catamaran to Fond Doux Estate: Castries to Soufriere
We took this tour because several years ago we had spent several weeks in Soufriere and wanted to see it again. It was fun to see St Lucia and especially Marigot Bay from the water. The sail down was relaxing and the crew were quite pleasant. There are prettier botanical gardens to see in Soufriere but this was our first visit to the Fond Doux Estate and it was interesting to learn about cocoa and other agricultural products raised in the area. We would have appreciated a little more free time in Soufriere before taking the tender back to the ship. However, it was a great idea for the ship to pick us up in Soufriere so everyone could enjoy the gorgeous views of the famous Pitons.