Sea voyagers beware: There are pirates hitting the waters in November, and they're on their way to the Caribbean.
However, this isn't the latest Johnny Depp movie. An estimated 35,000 buccaneers — with at least some of them clad in tri-corner hats and brandishing swords — are set to invade the Cayman Islands this month in search of fun and treasure. The Caribbean getaway will play host to the annual Pirates Week National Festival, which runs Nov. 12-22.
For the thousands of would-be swashbucklers, an action-packed week awaits, filled with diversions such as costume competitions, a charity golf classic and an underwater treasure hunt. One of the event's marquee attractions is an "Illumination Night Parade," featuring boats and yachts adorned in twinkling lights sailing through the harbor.
The Caymans — a tiny nation of fewer than 60,000 people mainly known for its tourism and status as a tax haven — have played host to the event for nearly four decades, where visitors start their vacation off with a large-scale fireworks display and kickoff party.
"Pirates Week makes a sizable contribution to visitor arrivals, which attract over 11,000 unique visitors each year, visitor expenditures, hotel occupancy rates and spillover effects on the Cayman economy," said Melanie McField, executive director of the Pirates Week Festival. Pirates Week is the Cayman Islands' largest and most popular event, she said.