Saint George Cruise
Where the air is scented with spices
Scents of spices such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg waft through the air as you arrive on MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise to St. George’s, the capital of the island of Grenada. Nicknamed the “Spice Island” for its agriculture, Grenada’s symbol is the nutmeg, the island’s most famous product, which also appears on the nation’s flag.
Originally colonized by the French in the 1600s, who wiped out the native Carib peoples during conflicts, Grenada was captured by the British in 1762 and remained under British rule until its independence in 1974.
St. George’s offers many attractions starting with its beautiful views, botanical gardens, parks and heavenly beaches, most notably the Grand Anse Beach nearby.
Start your journey with a guided walk on an MSC excursion through the capital’s winding maze of streets from the Carenage, the horseshoe-shaped harbour, with its lively waterfront promenade. Gaze at picturesque 19th-century pastel-coloured Creole houses made of brick and stone with red-tile roofs made from ship ballasts.
Get a first-hand look at the wonderful palette of spices and scents of the island on an MSC excursion that stops at Dougaldston Estate. At this rustic, 300-year-old cocoa plantation in Gouyave, discover what drying trays for spices and cacao look like and learn how these spices are processed from seed pods, or how cinnamon is harvested from the bark of a tree. From there, proceed to an old-fashioned nutmeg cooperative plant where the work is done by hand.
Grenada features a host of beautiful waterfalls, the most spectacular of which are Annandale Falls, about 7 miles from St. George’s. Hidden by a grotto of dense vegetation in the mountains, the waterfall cascades 30 feet down into the midst of leaves and branches, creating a natural pool where you can swim.
For a throw-back to Grenada’s past, hop on a Creole bus on a guided MSC excursion along a labyrinth of steep roads to higher elevations. Enjoy sumptuous panoramas from the 18th-century forts of Fort George and Fort Frederick, nicknamed “The Backward Facing Fort,” for the cannons facing the land and not the sea.