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South America / South America Cruises / Colombia

Cruises to Providencia Islands

Cruises timetable and data for this port of call

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Providencia Islands main data and map

Old Providence (Isla de Providencia) is an English-speaking Colombian island with a population of 4,500. Located deep in the western Caribbean (60 miles north of San Andres Island, approximately 400 miles northwest of Cartagena and 150 miles east of Nicaragua), it can be reached by means of flights from San Andres Island, which in turn has direct flights from Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Cuba. The island's patchwork history has produced an English-speaking culture rich in 17th and 18th Century traditions. Local music known as «string» is played with a washtub bass, jawbone, fiddle, mandolin and maracas. The traditional island dances are stately quadrilles and other airs dating back to the 17th century. There is even an entertainment known as «rhyme» in which they use extemporaneous rhyming to poke fun at those present. Local residents are very sensitive to finding ways of encouraging tourism that will not degrade the environment or the culture of the island. This concern guarantees potential visitors an authentic Caribbean experience that has disappeared in most the Islands. In 1629 English colonists found several Dutch smugglers and privateers already on the island. The same prominent Londoners who organized the settlement of Massachusetts (aboard the Mayflower) formed a Company for the colonization of Providence Island. In 1631 the first Puritan settlers arrived aboard the Seaflower. By 1635 there were 500 white men and 40 white women on the island, and in 1636 privateering was underway. In 1641 the Spanish sent a small fleet and captured the island, sending 400 colonists as prisoners to Spain. After being taken by pirates and retaken by the Spanish, Providence was finally captured by Henry Morgan and his Port Royal Privateers. Morgan viewed Providence's central location in the Caribbean between Veracruz, Porto Belo, and Havana as «a loaded pistol held perpetually to the breast of Colonial Spain.» By the mid-1700's however, the island was again in the hands of the Spanish, for Francis Archbold, captain and slave trader, was given a land grant by the Spanish in 1787. Archbold, Newall, and Britton are the prominent names on the island even today.

Schedule for the upcoming cruises to Providencia Islands

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