Our Celebrity cruise docked at Tortola, British Virgin Islands and went on a shore excursion booked through Celebrity. The tour was called the “Tour of Virgin Gorda Baths” which was 4.5 hours long, and advertised as strenuous but the photos I found on the internet made it look appealing enough for me just do the tour. The tour cost us $64 because we booked it online before the cruise. I saw it advertised for $75.75 on board the ship.
We met for our tour at 8:45am in the ship theatre. We had lovely weather for the day. It was overcast but warm. The first part of the tour was on a 45 min ferry from the cruise ship port of Tortola, BVI to another island – Virgin Gorda, BVI. The ferry ride was wonderful, it was lovely getting the sea breeze on my face, like a dog sticking out its nose out of a car window.
Once we arrived, our group of 100+ were ushered to open air taxis so we could be driven (for about 10 mins) to The Baths National Park.
Upon our arrival, we were briefed by our tour guide, Captain Jack Sparrow (ha ha ha, oh how we laughed), of all the rules and what to expect on our decent down to Devil’s Bay. For those that chose to see The Baths, a small little bit of beach surrounded by rock formations, they’d have to walk on uneven surfaces, climb a few man-made ladders, go through gaps between boulders, and walk over rocks covered with sand (which meant they were extra slippery).
For those that didn’t want to do that and who didn’t mind missing out on The Baths could take a route that was shorter and consisted of stairs.
We didn’t want to miss out of anything so we took the first option.
We were told it would take about 15 minutes but due to how strenuous the walk was, plus the capability of the average age of cruisers on this tour, the walk took about 45 mins.
I honestly felt sorry for some of the people who chose this tour not knowing how difficult the trek would be. We assisted a woman from Croydon, UK, as she walked through all the ‘obstacles’. There was one section in the rock where a thick rope had been built in to assist people up a large rock, and then down another rock (like abseiling). This British woman looked absolutely terrified, and I could not blame her. I think that if there wasn’t about 100 people behind her she would have wanted to give up. Even when I saw the ropes, my immediate thought was ‘errr.. I’m not sure if I can do this’.
This little area was lovely but it felt small after the large number of people on our tour started arriving and dropping their bags on the beach and going straight into the water.
Gambit and I had a quick dip before continuing with the walk to The Baths. There were a couple of rock pools I saw but as we didn’t spend more than 10 mins at this stop, there could have been several more.
The rock formations were pretty neat and it reminded me of some of the ones I’d seen in Australia and Arizona.
The Baths had a large mass of clear, cool water where we went for another swim. There were lots of rocks in the water but no rock pools I saw that people could enter.
The Baths had a restroom, bar and vendors selling souvenirs.
After our swim, we walked around to take some photos before heading back to the car park (meeting point). The path from The Baths to the taxi point was via the same stairs the people that took option two down to The Baths.
Gambit and I enjoyed our day. We saw some of nature’s beauty – through the flora, rock formations, and beaches.
I personally would not do this tour again mainly because I would like to see other places on the BVI, and not because this tour was “strenuous”.
I would recommend this tour to others that are considering it mainly because it was a geological wonder. The rock formations are quite interesting and if you especially like granite (don’t laugh, I know someone who does!) it’s definitely worth a visit. The water in the beach and rock pools were crystal clear and varied in temperature.