The Caribbeans latest superstar is a
swaggering, crafty, braid-coiffed rogue whose deftness of sword and
fondness for rum have catapulted him and his disreputable band of
scalawags into the spotlight in a way that tourism officials up to
now could only dream about.
Capt. Jack Sparrow
(played by Johnny Depp) and fellow protagonists Will Turner
(Orlando Bloom) and Eliz-abeth Swann (Keira Knightley) could well
be the swashbuckling forces that pump up summer tourism figures for
locations in Dominica, the Bahamas and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, where Disney Pictures Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead
Mans Chest was filmed.
In little more time
than it takes to rig a sail, quaff a grog, belt out a sea chantey
or walk a plank, tourism offices, tour operators and hotels have
rushed to release a treasure chest of packages and products. They
are hoping to reap some of the bounty generated by the films record
haul of $258 million in its first two weekends.
In fact, the
destinations had their game plans well in hand before the first
sword fight erupted on screen, having experienced the success of
Depps 2003 hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black
Many of the scenes
for a third Pirates film, due to be released in May, were shot
during the filming of the current movie.
In recognition of
the on-location filming, pirate-themed packages, activities and
tours of locales in the film are key components in the offerings of
various hotels, tourist boards and operators.
Links to the film
have popped up on destination Web sites as well.
Dominica was once a
stopping-off point for Caribbean pirates in the 16th century, and
movie director Gore Verbinsky chose the island as the backdrop for
this action sequel to take advantage of its unspoiled rainforests
and secret coves.
The sites selected
were spread throughout Dominica, from the northern coast in the
foothills of Morne Aux Diables to the rocky cliffs of the
southwestern coast, where the Disney Corp. built its Cannibal
Village across two hillsides, linked by an 80-foot-high rope bridge
overlooking the sea.
covered in twisted tree roots and adorned with skull-and-bones
motifs provided a temporary refuge for Capt. Jack Sparrow in the
movies opening shots.
stayed in his private yacht moored off Fort Young Hotels private
harbor while the cast and crew stayed in the 58-room hotel and
Fort Youngs Pirates
Summer Special, valid through Sept. 30, features a pirates bandana,
a bottle of dark rum and a whale-watching expedition in addition to
room, breakfast and shopping discounts, priced at $100 per person,
per night, double for five nights.
operator Headwater offers the eight-night, guided Tropical Walk in
Dominica, which departs Nov. 17 and March 31. The tour includes
hikes to some of the filming sites, including the Cannibal Village,
Capucin Cape, the pirates Shipwreck Cove and Indian River, where
pirate long boats cruised along Pantano River in the
In the Bahamas,
many scenes were shot on or near Gold Rock Beach on the east end of
Grand Bahama Island and on the Out island of Exuma.
The films depiction
of the drama of high seas, rolling waves and maritime plunder
actually took place in a 60-million-gallon filming tank built by
Bahamas Film Studios for the Pirates films.
The tank has
generated a tremendous response from filmmakers all over the world,
according to Craig Woods, commissioner of the Bahamas Film and
Bahamas were home to some of the most notorious of the West Indies
pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard, Calico Jack and the
buccaneer Henry Morgan, who once hung a lantern on the highest
point on Andros to lure a ship onto the reefs -- then he plundered
Package deals in
Nassau, such as the British Colonial Hiltons Pirate progam, include
visits to the Pirates of Nassau Museum and the replica of the 1716
pirate ship Revenge.
Theres a four-night
Pirate Adventure program at Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant, a
Nassau property built by a pirate, John Howard Graysmith of the
On Grand Bahama,
pirate-themed deals are being offered at Pelican Bay at Lucaya, the
Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach and the Westin and Sheraton at Our
Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort. Gogo Worldwide Vacations is
offering three pirate-themed hotel packages in the Bahamas,
Dominica and at Raffles Resort Canouan Island in the
Caribbean Sun Tours
in St. Vincent has a four-night Pirates of the Caribbean package
that visits the movie set at Wallilabou Bay. CheapCaribbean.com
will launch its Pirates promotion later this month.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].