Roatan Island Cruises
Warm Caribbean waters with excellent diving, white sand beaches, and tropical sunsets are some of the attractions of the Bay Islands. The three main islands are Utila, Roatan and Guananja. The traditional industry is fishing, mostly shellfish, with fleets based at French Harbor. Boat building is a dying industry. Tourism is now a major source of income, particularly because of SCUBA diving attractions. Columbus anchored here on his fourth voyage in 1502. In the 18th century the islands were bases for English, French, and Dutch buccaneers. They were in British hands for over a century but were finally ceded to Honduras in 1859. The government schools teach in Spanish, and the population is bilingual. The underwater environment is rich and extensive; reefs surround the islands, often within swimming distance of the shore. Caves and caverns are a common feature, with a wide variety of sponge and the best collection of pillar coral in the Caribbean. Several parts have been proposed as marine reserves.