ST. LUCIA, West Indies (May , 2003) See the movie, but visit St. Lucia to experience the REAL thrill of sailing on a pirate ship in the same waters once dominated by some of the Caribbean’s most fearsome pirates. Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” out July 9, stars not only A-list celebrities like Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, but two St. Lucian celebrities as well—the Brig Unicorn and the majestic Piton Mountains. Aerial shots of the dramatic island appear throughout the film, and the Pitons are prominently featured in the movie’s trailers. The Brig Unicorn and some of her crew make their big screen debut as the ship and crew of the fictitious Henrietta.
When not performing in movies, The Brig Unicorn takes landlubbers and rogues on a scenic and historical day sail around St. Lucia. The tour starts out in Vigie Cove, near Castries, where 16th-century pirates once docked their massive war ships, and sails south towards the Pitons and the coastal town of Soufriere. After a tour of Soufriere, a van takes passengers to the Butterfly House and to Sulphur Springs, the world`s only drive-in volcano. A traditional Caribbean lunch is served back on the Brig, while the crew lifts the anchor for the return trip. The afternoon sail takes visitors by famous coves where notorious pirates attacked unsuspecting ships through the 17th and 18th century and anchors briefly so tourists can snorkel in the clear Caribbean waters or, for the adventurous, swing into the water from the ship’s ropes or even walk the plank. Book the excursion on a Thursday for Pirates Day, when crew members dress as pirates and offer face painting.
St. Lucia may now be one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations, but romance was not always the island’s biggest draw. St. Lucia’s first European settler, a French privateer named Francois Le Clerc or `Jambe de Bois` (meaning pegleg), settled atop St. Lucia’s Pigeon Island for its vantage point high above the Caribbean Sea. Le Clerc spent the 1550’s attacking treasure-laden Spanish galleons from St. Lucia’s numerous secluded bays. Other pirates would soon be drawn to St. Lucia’s abundant coves, perfect for hiding from the enemy or hunting new enemies among the wealthy ships sailing by. During the 18th century, two of history’s most notorious pirates, Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts, attacked and plundered both Spanish and French ships off St. Lucia’s shores.
Whether traveling with the family or a significant other, tourists can learn about real pirates by sailing on the Brig Unicorn and touring Pigeon Island. The following hotels are offering special rates for the pirate enthusiast:
Windjammer Pirates Package (All-Inclusive package)
The Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Hotel is a lush 55-acre resort where the villas overlook the restful ocean and a beautiful smooth white sand beach. The all-inclusive Windjammer Pirates Package is available July 1 through August 31, 2003. The package includes a seven-night stay in an ocean view room, all meals, day sail on the Unicorn and a guided hike at Pigeon Island. The package is $1,500 per person, based on double occupancy. All rates are subject to 8% government tax and 10% service charge. Call your travel agent or the hotel directly at 800-958-7376 (U.S.) or 800-267-7600 (Canada) and ask for the Windjammer Pirates Package.
Bay Gardens (special rate)
Bay Gardens Hotel offers one of the best values as well as some of the best service on the island. Purchase a day sail on the Brig Unicorn June 1 through August 31, and the hotel will offer a special rate of $95.00 per room, per night. The price includes breakfast and is inclusive of service charge and tax. Call the hotel directly and mention the Pirates of the Caribbean promotion in order to receive the special rate by calling (758) 452-8060 or e-mailing [email protected]
Rex Resorts (special rate at all three Rex Resorts properties)
Located adjacent to one another along St. Lucia’s finest stretch of beach, the Rex Resorts offer guests a choice in price while offering the combined amenities of three separate hotels. Purchase a day sail on the Brig Unicorn and the upscale Royal St. Lucian will offer a spacious deluxe suite for only $300 per room, per night. The Rex St. Lucian is offering an all-inclusive rate starting at $270 or an EP rate of $165. The all-inclusive bargain Papillon St. Lucia is offering rates starting at $240. All prices are per room, per night, based on double occupancy. Prices are inclusive of tax and service charge. Rate is quoted for a standard room and seaview rooms will be higher. Rates available from June 1 through August 31. A minimum three-night stay is required. Customers can only book this special rate by calling the Miami sales office at (800) 255-5859.
About the Brig Unicorn
The Brig Unicorn is 138 feet long, 25 feet wide and has a draft of 11 feet. Her masts rise 100 feet above the deck. She carries 6,500 square feet of sail area, which requires three miles of rope to set the sails by nine crew members. The Unicorn is a replica of a Brig of 1850. The Unicorn is a two-masted, fully square-rigged vessel, and is one of six of her kind in existence. The Brig may be new to the big screen, but she’s no stranger to television. Credits include the TV movie “ROOTS” and a number of ad campaigns. Day sails can be purchased on the Brig Unicorn by calling Sea Spray Cruises at (758) 452-9842. Prices are $95 for adults and $40 for children and include breakfast, lunch and roundtrip transfers to/from hotel.
About St. Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, St. Lucia (pronounced LOO-sha) is nestled between Martinique and St. Vincent, halfway down the eastern Caribbean archipelago. St. Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains, a tropical rainforest and the world’s only drive-in volcano. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival. St. Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class, five-star resorts; all-inclusive properties; intimate inns and value-oriented properties. For information on the island of St. Lucia, call (888) 4- STLUCIA, or visit www.stlucia.org.