Situated just off the west coast of Bridgetown and Fontabelle was a small isolated island called Pelican Island. As stated in historical documents, the island got its name from the brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) that used to nest there. Eventually, the small island was joined onto Barbados that consisted of filling in the sea between the two, adding just over 90 acres of land.
Make your way down as your ship sails quietly into the stunning crystal clear waters off the island! As you disembarked you may think you have finally arrived in Barbados but technically you have arrived on what was formerly known as Pelican Island. Pelican Island was a former 7.7 acre island just off the coast of Barbados which was connected to the mainland through the creation of a 90 acre man made isthmus. It was a massive undertaking executed in the 1950’s in order to create the Bridgetown Port.
The island was a former nesting ground for Pelicans, served as a quarantine location for those infected with yellow fever, smallpox and cholera in the 1800’s and even acted as an internment camp after WWII in 1941. History aside, Pelican Island was merged with the mainland to accommodate the extension of the Deep Water Harbour. This development led to the exodus of the pelicans. The memory of Pelican Island has however been kept alive through the naming of the former Pelican Village, and now the Pelican Craft Centre.
Barbados’ port sees nearly 1 million passengers on an annual basis and is an integral part of commerce on this tropical island. Within a twenty minute radius of the port Visitors will be pleased to find:
- Brandons, Brighton and the islands newest waterpark to the West.
- Carlisle Bay & Browns Beach - one of the island's most beautiful stretches of beach - complete with watersports, restaurants and sunken ships.
- Bridgetown and its Garrison are a well preserved representation of Colonial times and as such it has been deemed a UNESCO Heritage Site.
- Bridgetown is also littered with monuments, landmarks and buildings that showcase the historical relevance of the island
- Including the Black Woods Screw Docks, Queens Park, Nidhe Israel Synagogue ( the oldest in the Western Hemisphere ) and several other religious historic buildings.
With respect to Museums, the Barbados Museum of Parliament, Barbados Museum & Historical Society and The Exchange Museum are all great places to learn about the island. Further, the history of cricket is chronicled at Cricket Legends - a riveting museum opposite Kensington Oval - The cricket mecca of the Caribbean.
Bridgetown is the Islands main commercial area. Enjoy tours, scrumptious culinary creations, rich cultural exchanges and shopping opportunities. Shopping is not limited to duty free jewelry and souvenirs, stores offer clothing, bags, luggage, shoes and household gems. Conversely, for those interested in the local flair - Cheapside Market is a wealth of local fruit flavours; Temple Yard offers authentic Rastafarian hand crafted work and Pelican Village ( just outside port ) provides an opportunity to secure one of a kind local pieces. These represent just a few options in and around Bridgetown! What will you do on your day in Barbados ?