Prickly Pear Island, British Virgin Islands
The lovely little island of Prickly Pear gets its name for its habitat that favors this cactus species. The island is situated in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, which is generally considered to be the island Columbus named Saint Ursula. How and when Virgin Gorda became the "Fat Virgin," no one is certain. All land over 1,000 feet high on Virgin Gorda has been designated National Park, thus preserving its natural beauty. It is also known for long, exquisite white sand beaches, including several on Prickly Pear itself, which boasts some of the BVIs' loveliest. In 1964 Laurence Rockefeller built the island's first resort hotel at Little Dix Bay, and since then Virgin Gorda has continued to grow in popularity with visitors. Weather permitting the ship makes a brief stop off Spanish Town to disembark those guests going on tour. It then repositions to anchor off Prickly Pear where the crew gets set up to treat you to a complimentary Prickly Pear beach party. A tender picks up all guests on tour at Leverick Bay to return them directly to Prickly Pear in time for this event.