Ireland tour the West Indies for the first time since 2014, playing 3 One Day International’s and 3 Twenty20 International’s against the hosts, alongside a One Day warm-up match against a West Indies President’s XI. The tour takes in the Caribbean delights of Barbados, Grenada and St Kitts. Read on for a Sports Tourist’s guide to visiting the countries that Ireland will travel through on tour, as well as ticketing information and the tour schedule.
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown (1st ODI: 7th January & 2nd ODI: 9th January)
Capital – Bridgetown
Currency – The official currency is the Barbados Dollar, however US Dollars are widely accepted.
Getting there – Grantley Adams International Airport is the largest airport in the Eastern Caribbean and is approximately 16km from Bridgetown. The airport is served by major airlines from the UK and North America. Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Getting around (Bus) – Fares for the bus are fixed at B$2 no matter where you are going. Buses come in three kinds – government run buses are blue with a yellow stripe, private minibuses are yellow with a blue stripe and route taxis are white and have ‘ZR’ on its licence plate. Buses serve most of the island and will usually run through Bridgetown. Bus stops are red and white signs, with the direction of where the buses are going on the sign.
Getting around (Taxi) – Taxi’s can be identified by the ‘Z’ on the licence plate and will take you anywhere on the island. You will have to haggle the price and should expect to pay B$3 per kilometre.
Language – The official language is English.
Population – 285,000
Visa – Irish passport holders do not require a visa to visit Barbados for stays of up to 180 days.
What to do in Barbados – Barbados is famed for its beaches, although you will have to head away from Bridgetown for the best ones. The closest beach to town is Brownes Beach, a lovely stretch of sand with a few bars on offer. Bridgetown does have a few sights to offer, including the Parliament Buildings, the seat of Parliament for Barbados and built in 1871. St Michael’s Cathedral was originally constructed in 1665 but was rebuilt in 1789 following a hurricane, whilst National Heroes Square honours 10 Bajan heroes.
National Cricket Stadium, St George’s (3rd ODI: 12th January & 1st T20I: 15th January)
Capital – St George’s
Currency – The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, although US Dollars are widely accepted.
Getting there – The Maurice Bishop International Airport is in the south of Grenada, approximately 12km away from St. George’s or about 25 minutes drive. The airline has direct flights to the UK, North America and other Caribbean islands such as Barbados, St Vincent and Trinidad & Tobago. Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Getting around (Bus) – The bus is a fun and cheap way of getting around the island. The minibuses are privately run, running set routes with the destination posted on the front. You don’t need to wait for these buses at stops and can flag them down virtually anywhere.
Getting around (Taxi) – Fares for taxi’s are preset but its always worth checking beforehand how much you should expect to pay. Taxi’s can be found readily available in most places.
Language – English is the official language.
Population – 111,219
Visa – Irish passport holders do not require a visa to visit Grenada for stays of up to 90 days.
What to do in Grenada – St. George’s is the bustling capital city of Grenada, with a few sights to offer including Fort George, overlooking the city with great views towards the city and the Carenage area. The closest beach can be found at Grand Anse Beach, a water taxi from the ferry terminal will cost $5 each way. A little way up the coast, the Underwater Sculpture Park offers a surreal experience and offers one of the most unique snorkelling sites in the world.
St Kitts & Nevis
Warner Park, Basseterre (2nd T20I: 18th January & 3rd T20I: 19th January)
Capital – Basseterre
Currency – The official currency is Eastern Caribbean Dollar, however US Dollars are widely accepted.
Getting there – The Robert L.Bradshaw International Airport (named after the first Premier of St Kitts & Nevis) is approximately a 10-15 minute drive from Basseterre. The airport is well served with flights to the UK, North America and a number of the other Caribbean islands. Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Getting around (Boat) – There are several options for travelling between St Kitts and Nevis – the passenger ferry takes approximately 45 minutes to travel between Basseterre and Charlestown, the car ferry is a 20 minute journey from Majors Bay to Cades Bay, whilst a 10 minute water taxi can take you from Cockleshell Beach to Oualie Beach.
Getting around (Bus) – Buses are identified by green licence plates starting with ‘H’ or ‘HA’. The private minivans can be flagged at designated bus stops in Basseterre and Charlestown, or anywhere along the route outside of the 2 main towns. Buses generally stop running from 7pm onwards and are infrequent on Sunday’s.
Getting around (Taxi) – Taxi’s on the islands can be identified by yellow licence plates beginning with ‘T’ or ‘TA’. Fares are regulated but it is always worth checking the price beforehand.
Language – The official language is English, but a form of patois (Jamaican Creole) is commonly spoken.
Population – 56,900
Visa – Irish passport holders do not require a visa to visit St Kitts & Nevis for stays of up to 90 days.
What to do in St Kitt & Nevis – The St Kitts Scenic Railway as the name suggests is a scenic 18 mile train journey, previously used for sugarcane transportation. The railway only operates when cruise ships are in port and must be booked in advance. In Basseterre, Independence Square is worth a look to watch the world go by and where locals gather to ‘lime’, whilst the nearby Immaculate Conception Cathedral is an interesting building to marvel at and visit. The nearest beach to Basseterre can be found at North Frigate Bay, approximately a 10 minute taxi journey costing $15 each way. The best snorkelling can be found at Shitten Bay but this is only accessible by boat.
Tickets are available through the Windies exclusive ticket partner, Zoonga by clicking here. Tickets range from EC$15/US$5 for the most affordable tickets in Grenada and St Kitts, to BDS$50/US$25 for a premium seat in Barbados.
Tour Match: 4 January 2020 (09:00 Local/13:00 GMT) v WI President’s XI – Three Ws Oval, Cave Hill – WI President’s XI won by 3 wickets
1st ODI: 7 January 2020 (13:30 Local/17:00 GMT) v West Indies – Kensington Oval, Bridgetown – West Indies won by 5 wickets
2nd ODI: 9 January 2020 (13:30 Local/17:00 GMT) v West Indies – Kensington Oval, Bridgetown – West Indies won by 1 wicket
3rd ODI: 12 January 2020 (09:30 Local/13:30 GMT) v West Indies – National Cricket Stadium, St George’s – West Indies won by 5 wickets (DLS method)
West Indies won the 3-match series 3–0
1st T20I: 15 January 2020 (13:00 Local/17:00 GMT) v West Indies – National Cricket Stadium, St George’s – Ireland won by 4 runs
2nd T20I: 18 January 2020 (18:00 Local/22:00 GMT) v West Indies – Warner Park, Basseterre – No result (rain)
3rd T20I: 19 January 2020 (18:00 Local/22:00 GMT) v West Indies – Warner Park, Basseterre – West Indies won by 9 wickets
3-match series drawn 1–1