All Aboard the "Sugar Train:" Plantations and Villages of Old St. Kitts
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
- St. Kitts Scenic Railway: Once a crucial link in the island's sugar trade, this open-topped, double-decker train shows off St. Kitts' gorgeous scenery in grand fashion.
- Brimstone Hill Fortress: This World Heritage Site is a monument to British ingenuity and one of the best-preserved historical fortifications in the Americas.
- Old Road Town: Dating to 1624, Britain's first Caribbean settlement thrived because it grew tobacco rather than sugar like the rest of the Caribbean.
- Dieppe Bay Town: The eastern Caribbean's oldest European community was colonized in 1538 by France, destroyed by Spain, and taken over by Britain in 1713.
- Scenic Circle: The 18 miles by rail and 12 miles by bus make a complete 30 mile circle around the island. No stops are made along the route.
- Make your own way: Meet us at the train station. Transfers between hotels or cruise ships is not included. Coming from the ship's pier? Select our shore excursion option of this tour.
About this Basseterre tour
For those who owned the sugar plantations, life on St. Kitts was island-idyllic: handsome mansions surrounded by waves of sugar cane, swaying palms, lush rainforests, jagged mountainscapes. (For those who toiled in the fields, of course, life was less idyllic.)
The government shut down its sugar industry in 2005, leaving the last railway in the West Indies as a reminder of the sweet side of life on St. Kitts. Today, the "sugar train" is a wonderful way to experience the jaw-dropping natural beauty of this island paradise. It recreates the pleasant side of plantation life, with six-foot vaulted windows, cushioned rattan chairs, inlaid tables, a bar, and paintings by local artists on the walls. Upstairs, an open deck affords 360-degree views of historic villages, fields of sugar cane, deep canyons, lush rainforest, and the volcanic cone of Mt. Liamuiga. Now that’s what we call a sugar rush!
Domesticated 10,000 years ago in New Guinea, sugar gradually spread to Asia, India, and Persia. As demand skyrocketed, the race was on for suitable lands – Columbus planted cane in Hispaniola, and soon there were slave plantations throughout the Caribbean. Sugar addiction fueled a worldwide trade worth billions, although, considering the health risks of excessive consumption and the legacy of slavery, it's been a decidedly mixed blessing.
Please make your way to Needsmust Train Station, Needsmust Estate, Basseterre to meet your GoBe Rep.
Buses are 20-seater air-conditioned coasters with a driver/ guide. The train has 5 double-decked railcars with a seating capacity of 40 guests each. The train's upper deck has a panoramic open sides, a safari styled canvas canopy, and wrap around bench seating. The lower deck is fully air-conditioned with large vaulted windows and Caribbean styled tables and chairs. Bathroom is located on the lower deck. Each railcar has a bar with a waitress serving complimentary beverages. There is one tour guide for the entire train located on the first railcar and using a speaker system to communicate with the other railcars. There is no reserved seating; seating is first-come, first-served. Tour sequence may vary. All passengers have a seat on each level.
The ability to walk five steps along a flat surface and climb a flight of two stairs is necessary. Must negotiate 200 yards across flat, paved surfaces to board/disembark the train.
Scenic, Family Friendly, Bus Tour
Beverages - Alcoholic & Non-alcoholic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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