35 Best Things to Do in St. Maarten on a Cruise [Cruise Port Guide]

St. Maarten Cruise Port Guide

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If you’re visiting St. Maarten on a cruise, you’re in luck! St. Maarten is one of the most beautiful cruises port of call in the Caribbean and a favorite among cruise travelers.

This unique Caribbean island is home to two distinct cultures and countries, often referred to as the Dutch and French sides.

Cruise ships dock in the capital city of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten on the South side of the island. However, the island is a relatively small at only 34 square miles. Cruisers can also experience the French culture of St. Martin, on the South side of the island.

There are so many great things to do in St. Maarten, from beautiful beaches near the cruise port to exciting excursions and island tours. In fact, we’ve visited St. Maarten during a cruise several times, and always find fun things to see and do!

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St. Maarten Cruise Port

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Cruise ships dock at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities, located in Philipsburg, the capital of St. Maarten, on the Dutch side of the island. The cruise port short walking distance from the heart of the town and nearby many popular attractions.

Many cruise lines dock in Philipsburg, from Celebrity Cruises to P&O and more. There can be as many as 5 cruise ships a day in port. However, when we were in St. Maarten recently, there were only 2 cruise ships docked.

Transportation options into the town of Philipsburg, local beaches and popular sights are conveniently located at the cruise terminal.

St. Maarten – What Cruise Passengers Need to Know

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The official currency in St. Maarten is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder or Florin (NAf). However, US Dollars are widely accepted.

The local currency in St. Martin, on the French side of the island is the Euro (€). Similar to the Dutch side, US money is accepted across the island.

Tip: Credit cards are used and accepted widely, as are US dollars. Keep some small bills handy for tips for tour guides , to use at souvenir stands etc.

In St. Maarten, the official languages are Dutch and English. However, there are several languages in Sint Maarten/St. Martin including French, Spanish and Creole.

St. Maarten has a tropical climate, and experiences sunny and warm temperatures throughout the year. It can get hot and humid in St. Maarten, which makes the island perfect for beach lovers.

Getting Around St. Maarten

The best ways to get around St. Maarten as a cruise traveler are by foot, taxi or water taxi.

There is a taxi stand within walking distance of the cruise port. From here you can pick up shuttle transportation to popular tourist spots including Maho Beach, on the Dutch side of St. Maarten and Orient Beach, in St. Martin, on the French side.

The water taxi booth located close by to the cruise ships. You can purchase one way or round trip water taxi tickets to downtown Philipsburg and Great Bay Beach. The water taxi is one of the easiest and most common way cruise passengers go from the cruise port to Philipsburg.

If you want to save money on a cruise , you can take the public bus, which is the least expensive option. This does take some planning and it’s best to exercise caution.

It is also possible to rent a car in St. Maarten if you’re comfortable driving. Keep in mind that the roads on the Island will be quite busy when several cruise ships are in port.

Best Things to Do in St. Maarten Cruise Port During Your Cruise

We’ve been St. Maarten/St. Martin several times by cruise ship over the years, and it’s one of our all time favorite Caribbean cruise destinations. Even though St. Maarten is a small island, there are so many fun and interesting things to do!

You can visit St. Maarten on your own or with an organized shore excursion . Keep in mind that traffic can be heavier during peak times or when multiple cruise ships are in port. If you’re taking a shore excursion with the cruise line, the transportation time will be included in the itinerary.

Here’s a list of best things to do in St. Maarten during a cruise port day:

Best Beaches in St. Maarten/St. Martin

Heading to the beach is a popular way to spend a day in St. Maarten while on a cruise. These are the best and most popular beaches for cruisers.

1. Great Bay Beach (Dutch Side)

st.-maarten-Great-Bay-beach

Located in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Great Bay beach is easily accessible by water taxi. This pretty beach is minutes away from the cruise port, which makes this one of the most popular and best beach for cruise passengers.

At Great Bay Beach, you’ll have a beautiful view of the cruise ships docked nearby. You’ll also be within walking distance of local restaurants, bars and shops along Front Street and the downtown core.

map-of-great-bay-beach-st.-maarten

2. Orient Bay Beach (French Side)

Orient Bay Beach, located on the French side of St. Martin (St. Maarten), is one of the most famous and picturesque beaches in the Caribbean. In addition to it’s natural beauty, you’ll also find a vibrant beach club style atmosphere with restaurants, bars and water-sports all available.

Clothing Optional Section

Something to note is that there is a clothing-optional section known as “Club Orient.” This area is designated for those who prefer a clothing-optional experience, and it’s clearly marked. However, the main part of the beach is generally family-friendly.

3. Maho Beach (Dutch Side)

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One of the most popular cruise excursions is a visit to St. Maarten’s Maho Beach, sometimes referred to as “airplane beach”. This beach is famous for its close proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport, where planes fly low overhead during takeoffs and landings.

While Maho Beach can get crowded, especially when several cruise ships are in port, seeing planes flying almost overhead is a thrilling and memorable experience for beachgoers.

At Maho Beach, you’ll find the Sunset Bar and Grill, a great place to grab a tropical drink and bite to eat, all while plane spotting at one of the coolest beaches you’ll ever find!

4. Mullet Bay (Dutch Side)

Mullet Bay beach in St. Maarten is well loved by locals, tourists and cruise passengers who prefer a tranquil and laid-back beach experience.

The calm waters at Mullet Bay beach make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

5. Cupeboy Beach (Dutch Side)

Cupecoy Beach on the Dutch side of St. Maarten is a captivating and rugged destination known for its dramatic limestone cliffs and sea caves. It’s a great option for cruisers who prefer a beach that’s off the beaten path or those who have been to St. Maarten cruise port before.

6. Simpson Bay Beach (Dutch Side)

Simpson Bay Beach is a beautiful beach located on the Southwesten coast of the Dutch side of the island in Sint Maarten. Simpson Bay Beach is well known for it’s beautiful white sand beach and clear turquoise waters.

Cruise passengers can relax or participate in fun activities and water-sports including jet skiing, banana boating, parasailing, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, surfing, and more.

Exploring St. Maarten

7. take a water taxi to downtown philipsburg.

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One of the easiest ways to spend the day while visiting St. Maarten on a cruise is to take the water taxi into town. While you can walk to downtown Philipsburg from the cruise port, it will take about 30 minutes or longer.

A water taxi is a nice 10-15 minute ride that will bring you to Great Bay Beach or Front Street, where you can spend the day exploring the town. Take a walking tour of Philipsburg or explore on your own.

The water taxi is $7 per person, round trip and free for children under 3 years of age.

Related: What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise (full packing list )

8. Shopping in St. Maarten

Front street.

St. Maarten is well known for it’s duty free shopping opportunities! Front Street, the main shopping area in Philipsburg, has a wide range of stores and souvenir shops selling jewelry, electronics, fashion, and more.

Historic Old Street

Continue walking to historic Old Street, which is charming area with boutique shops and art galleries, perfect for finding unique gifts and local crafts.

Cruise Terminal Shops

For cruise passengers who don’t want to head into downtown Philipsburg, you’ll find jewelry, souvenir and local goods sold at the shops at the cruise terminal building and surrounding area.

Shops include Little Switzerland, Diamonds International, Effy’s and Boolchands. You’ll also find little kiosks or stands with local crafts and foods for purchase.

St. Maarten Shore Excursions (Sightseeing & Activities)

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9. St. Maarten/St. Martin Island Tour

Take a guided excursion to explore both the Dutch and French sides, visiting scenic viewpoints and historical landmarks. This tour is a popular cruise excursion for cruise passengers who want to see highlights of St. Maarten during a half day or full day tour.

A tour will usually bring you to the French capital city of Marigot. Other major sights which are often included in the island tour are Fort Amsterdam, Baie Rouge, and Sunset Beach.

10. Loterie Farm

The Loterie Farm and Nature Sanctuary in St. Martin has a mission to protect its beautiful countryside land and trees. This incredible sanctuary combines nature, adventure, and relaxation.

Whether you prefer to explore lush hiking trails, relax at the sanctuary pool or enjoy thrilling zip line tours with breathtaking views, Loterie Farm is a must-visit.

11. Marigot

Visit the capital city of Marigot, St. Martin and be transported into the French culture of the small island. In Marigot you’ll find boutiques, art galleries and duty-free shops. The charming town also offers markets with handicrafts, fresh produce and spices.

You’ll also find pastry shops and restaurants with freshly made croissants. Check out Croissant Royale for delicious croissants and crepes with a water view!

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st maarten map cruise port

12. Fort Louis

Perched on a hill overlooking Marigot, Fort Louis is a fascinating historical site dating back to the 18th century. Climb to the top of Fort Louis for panoramic views of the town, Simpson Bay Lagoon, and the surrounding coastline.

The remnants of the fort offer a glimpse into St. Martin’s past as a strategic stronghold. History buffs will appreciate a this popular tourist spot.

13. Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam, a historical fortress on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, was originally built in 1631. The fort’s well-preserved walls and artifacts offer fascinating insights into the island’s colonial past. Visitors can walk through its military buildings and cannons.

Impressively, the elevated vantage point offers panoramic views of Great Bay and the Caribbean Sea.

14. Catamaran Sail and Snorkle

The waters in St. Maarten are clear and beautiful. A catamaran sail and snorkel excursion is a fun way to enjoy the day in the sun!

15. Flying Dutchman Zipline

This zipline excursion is for those that are looking for an adventurous activity in St. Maarten. Located at the popular Rainforest Adventures Park, the Flying Dutchman Zipline will have you soaring down a 2,800-foot-long cable, descending from the top of St. Maarten’s highest point, Sentry Hill.

16. Guided ATV Tour

Cruise passengers can join a fun, guided ATV tour of Dutch and French St. Maarten. This tour will bring you to several popular spots on the island, and have you viewing pastel colored houses, tuquoise waters and lush landscapes.

17. Parotte Ville Bird Sanctuary

The Parotte Ville Bird Sanctuary in St. Maarten is a hidden gem that thrills visitors of all ages. The bird sanctuary houses a diverse array of colorful and exotic bird species from around the world.

The Parotte Ville Bird Sanctuary is a fun, family-friendly attraction. The sanctuary’s knowledgeable staff provide informative talks and feeding sessions, offering insights into the behavior and conservation efforts for these beautiful creatures.

18. Guava Berry Rum and Liquor Tasting

If you’re looking for a unique and tasty experience during your time in St. Maarten, you’ll enjoy a Guava Berry Liquor tasting. This locally-produced liquor is traditionally enjoyed at Christmas by local families.

The Guava Berry Liquor is made from the rare guava berry fruit, which is native to the island and known for its rich and distinctive flavor. During the tasting, you’ll have the opportunity to sample different varieties of the liquor, with several fruit flavors.

19. Visit a Perfumerie

Create your own perfume or cologne at Tijon, a perfumerie in Grand-Case, St. Martin, on the French side of the island. Tijon is a boutique perfumery and laboratory that crafts custom fragrances.

The staff will help you to create a scent that suits your personality and unique style. Along with an experience, you’ll also leave with a personalized fragrance that will be a great memory of your time in St. Maarten.

Video: St. Maarten Cruise Tips & Exploring Philipsburg & Great Bay Beach

20. Pinel Island

Pinel Island is a short boat ride away from St. Maarten. With an excursion, you may be able to kayak or canoe over.

At Pinel Island, you can snorkle and see colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. Beach chairs and umbrellas available for rent ($25 for 2 chairs & one umbrella).

There are other day trips to nearby islands that are available as well.

There are several casinos in St. Maarteen. The largest casino on the island is Casino Royale, located in Maho village. A casino that is closer to the cruise ships is Rouge et Noir Casino SXM, located on Back Street in Philipsburg.

Related: 50+ Must-have Cruise & Travel Essentials

22. Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit

For something completely different, check out the The Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. This must-see attraction was founded by Nick Maley, a creator of the Yoda character from Star Wars.

This unique exhibit showcases movie memorabilia from iconic films like Star Wars, Superman, and The Terminator. Visitors can enjoy guided tours. This fun tourist attraction is a treat for movie enthusiasts and travelers alike.

23. Secret Garden

st maarten map cruise port

While in downtown Philipsburg, be sure to walk through the Secret Garden. This free tropical pathway will take you from Front Street to Back Street.

This pretty garden pathway is worth walking through as you’re shopping and sightseeing in the town.

24. Philipsburg Courthouse

The Philipsburg Courthouse will be part of your walking tour, even if it’s informal. In addition to the charming building, you’ll find picturesque churches and hotels with interesting architecture.

A few years ago, St. Maarten was very badly affected by Hurricane Irma. While they have done an amazing job rebuilding much of the infrastructure of the island, the reconstruction is still a work in progress on the island.

25. Horseback Riding

If you’ve always wanted to go horseback riding, there are a few good options in St. Maarten. Lucky Stables at Seaside Nature Park offers a 1 hour trail and beach ride, riding lessons and a private or semi-private ride through the trails.

26. St. Maarten Bicycle Tour

For a different kind of tour, you can book a bicycle tour or e-bike tour where you’ll drive through the streets of Philipsburg, St. Maarten. You can also book a tour that will allow you to explore more of the island, including St. Martin. You can check the cruise line excursions as well as excursions with Viator, Shore Excursions Group and other local tour providers.

St.-Maarten-Cruise-Port-Guide

27. Ferry Ride or Boat Trip to Anguilla

If you’ve been to St. Maarten before, consider taking a ferry ride or boat trip from St. Maarten to Anguilla. The 25 minute ferry ride from Marigot will allow you to discover a tranquil paradise.

You’ll find stunning beaches, clear waters, and water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking. Anguilla has a great, laid-back atmosphere.

Keep in mind that you need to get back to the cruise ship on time, so this might be best as a cruise line shore excursion or if you are in St. Maarten for a long port day.

28. St. Maarten Art Galleries

St. Maarten’s art galleries showcase a diverse collection of Caribbean and international artwork, from paintings to sculptures. Located in Philipsburg and Marigot, art galleries offer a glimpse into the island’s culture. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or looking for a meaningful souvenir, exploring the local art galleries is well worth it.

29. Butterfly Farm

Unfortunately, at this time St. Martin’s Butterfly Farm is closed.

30. St. Martin’s Nature Reserve

St. Martin’s Nature Reserve is a serene sanctuary on the French side of the island, boasting diverse ecosystems, including mangroves and wetlands. This nature park is ideal for nature lovers and birdwatchers. The reserve offers guided tours and opportunities to spot indigenous wildlife.

31. Grand Case Beach

Grand Case Beach is a less popular, but very beautiful beach on the French side of the island. The beach is well known for it’s clear waters (more clear than on the Dutch side).

Unfortunately, according to recent reviews, the beach hasn’t fully recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Irma a few years ago.

32. Kayaking in Simpson Bay Lagoon

Paddle through the calm waters of Simpson Bay Lagoon, spotting wildlife and mangrove forests. Guided tours are available. This eco-friendly activity is a nice alternative to some of the busier beaches and excursions in St. Maarten.

33. Enjoy a Local Restaurant

st.-maarten-front-street-restaurant

There are many good restaurants in St. Maarten, and the ones on the boardwalk in Philipsburg are popular with cruisers and beachgoers alike.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Oualichi (we ate lunch here and enjoyed it)
  • Lazy Lizard Restaurant & Craft Bar
  • Taloula Mango’s / Blue Bitch Bar
  • Ocean Lounge at Holland House
  • Bold Buddha (Asian)
  • Chez Delphine (French)
  • Shieka’s Vegetarian & Caribbean Cuisine (Caribbean)
  • Kalua Beach Bar & Restaurant

34. Enjoy a Beer or Drink at a Bar

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Whether you like to beach bar hop or to grab a stool at a bar closeby to the cruise port, St. Maarteen is a great place to enjoy a frozen cocktail or local beer.

Any drink made with guavaberry is a must-try when in St. Maarten for the day on a cruise. You’ll find several popular bars along Great Bay Beach as well as near the cruise terminal.

What to Buy in St. Maarten

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35. Souvenir Shopping

There are quite a lot of shopping opportunities in St. Maarten. These are some of the best things to buy while in St. Maarten during your Caribbean cruise.

  • Guavaberry Liquor
  • Caribbean Spices
  • Local cheese
  • Duty-Free Jewelry and Watches
  • Handi-crafts and local artwork
  • Local Handmade Soaps
  • Delftware Pottery
  • T-shirts & souvenirs

Is There a Border Crossing in Sint Maarten – St. Martin?

This small island is unique, as it encompasses two countries, Sint Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French). However, there is no border and people can move freely around the island.

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Final Thoughts on St. Maarten Cruise Port and Best Things to Do

St. Maarten is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable ports of call in the Caribbean. From crystal clear water and white sand beaches to duty-free shopping, its a favorite cruise port for cruise passengers!

In this St. Maarten cruise port guide, we went over the information you need to have a great day visiting St.Maarten during a cruise.

Happy Cruising!

If you found this article helpful, please pass it along. Please feel free to share on Facebook or PIN to your favorite Pinterest board (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!

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For some beautiful jewelry – down the Old Street – across from the Chocolate shop is De Kross. I make a point to visit the owner/shop every chance we’re on the Island. She can also navigate you to some of the best ‘local’ food that will knock your sandals off!

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St Maarten Cruise Port Guide and Best Things to Do

Harbor Village Point - St Maarten cruise terminal

Welcome to St Maarten cruise port! (Post updated: September 2023)

St Maarten – the Eastern Caribbean pearl boasting stunning beaches, lush tropical nature, and kind, friendly residents – is an island of diversities! It is a small island divided between two countries – France and the Kingdom of Netherlands. The Dutch side is called Sint Maarten (St Maarten) and occupies the southern half of the island. Its capital is Philipsburg – a major commercial hub and a cruise port that can accommodate a large number of cruise ships of all sizes due to its great infrastructure and port facilities.

The French side is called Saint Martin (St Martin) . It occupies the northern part of the island, and the capital is Marigot , a charming town known for its vibrant markets and beautiful beaches, dominated by Fort St. Louis, the 18th-century military fort offering amazing panoramic views of the island. In this article, read about:

  • St Maarten cruise port (St Maarten cruise terminal, getting around)
  • Top 5 things to do in St Maarten cruise port and best St Maarten shore excursions

Visit also our cruise guides to St Thomas , San Juan , St Kitts , Antigua , St Lucia ,  Falmouth , Cozumel , Costa Maya , Grand Cayman , Labadee ,   Bermuda , Barbados

St Maarten Cruise Port

St Maarten port is one of the fastest-growing Caribbean cruise ports and the leading cruise port in the Eastern Caribbean. The St Maarten cruise terminal is located in Philipsburg, the Dutch part of the island, around 2.4 km/1.5 miles away from the city center. It boasts an impressive infrastructure that can accommodate a couple of cruise ships simultaneously, including the world’s largest cruise ships.

See St Maarten cruise port on Google maps

St Maarten cruise port (on the left) and Philipsburg (n the right).

Upon getting off the ship, you’ll spot Harbour Point Village – a lively area full of duty-free shops, jewelry stores, market stalls, bars, and a restaurant. Tour buses and a taxi rank are located nearby; to get there, you need to turn right and keep walking to the exit of the terminal area until you reach a small building housing a tourist information desk. The walk is 100-200 m long (depending on the location of your cruise ship’s dock), and in case you have difficulty walking, there is a small trolley that can take you there for free.

Once you get there, you’ll spot a small roundabout with plenty of taxi vehicles waiting for the cruise passengers to take them to Philipsburg city center or elsewhere. Here, you’ll also find a tourist information desk and tour booths offering tours and car rentals , as well as a shore excursion meeting place (always double-check your tour ticket, though). Tour guides usually wait for cruise ship passengers here, but make sure you come on time because this area can be extremely busy, and might be challenging to find your tour meeting place.

St Maarten cruise terminal map

Useful info :

  • The port area and Philipsburg downtown are flat and suitable for people with walking difficulties/wheelchair users.
  • To get to Philipsburg , you can either take a pleasant 15-20 minute walk, a taxi, or a water taxi. Taxis are metered and they range from standard-size taxis to minivans and open-air safari vehicles. Taxi drivers usually offer guided island tours, which may be convenient if you travel with a group.
  • The roads in St Maarten are well-developed and clearly marked, so a car rental may be another good option. Check out St Maarten rent-a-car deals and offers
  • The water taxi station is located around 300 meters away from the cruise ship’s dock, and to get there, you need to walk past Sharky’s bar and continue straight along the path. In case you have trouble finding it, knowledgeable island staff will help you out and direct you to the station. A water taxi ride to the Philipsburg center lasts only several minutes, and rates are fixed – the last time I was there, it was a $7 round trip. The drop-off point is at the foot of the boardwalk in the city center (Captain Hodge Wharf) from where you can access all the main landmarks of Philipsburg.
  • The official currency on the Dutch side is the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG), while the EURO is the official currency of the French side. However, US dollars are accepted everywhere on the island, so there’s no need to change the money (although you may receive the change in local currency). ATMs and banks are available throughout the island. Credit cards are accepted in the majority of places. See the currency converter
  • Dutch is the official language on the Dutch side, and French on the French side, however, English is widely spoken.
  • Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is a duty-free island.
  • The island has a tropical, warm climate all year round. The driest months are February and March, while the rainy season lasts from June to November. St Maarten/St Martin lies within the hurricane belt, so heavy tropical storms and hurricanes may occur in September and October. For more packing tips, check out my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 50 Cruise Essentials
  • St Maarten/St Martin has two airports. Princess Juliana International Airport primarily services international and regional flights and is located 12 km/7.5 miles (a 25-minute drive) northwest of the Sint Maarten cruise terminal. Grand Case-Espérance Airport services mainly Caribbean destinations and lies 14 km/9 miles (a 25-minute drive) north of the port of St Maarten.
  • Explore St Maarten tours and activities
  • Check out the hotels in St Maarten (Philipsburg) and Saint Martin (Marigot)

Top 5 Things to Do in St Maarten Cruise Port

1. philipsburg.

Below is the list of the main Philipsburg attractions:

  • Amsterdam Cheese And Liquor Store – On your way to Philipsburg city center, visit this amazing store where you can taste and purchase delicious cheese and other food and drinks. The store offers a great choice of cheeses at very reasonable prices, as well as a wide selection of wines to pair with.
  • Saint Martin of Tours – It takes a 15-minute walk from the St Maarten cruise terminal to get to this beautiful little 19th-century Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to the bishop of Tours, the patron saint of the island.
  • Boardwalk and Great Bay Beach – The cosmopolitan hub of the city full of shops, bars, restaurants, and events is always packed with people. The boardwalk lines the beachfront and offers unique views of the cruise ships and the whole Great Bay.  If you plan to have some beach time, make sure you bring sunscreen and a hat as there is not much natural shade. The Great Bay beach is sandy, long, and beautiful, boasting crystal clear, warm water. There is an option to rent beach beds and umbrellas from the locals, but if you prefer you can relax in the shade of one of the countless seafront cocktail bars. If you plan to shop, this is a great place as the prices are low and very affordable (St Maarten is a duty-free island).

Boardwalk in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten's capital

  • Front Street – Located in the heart of the town, only a 5-minute walk from the boardwalk, the old street is a great place to browse around and admire the picturesque facades of old buildings. Here you can buy jewelry, clothes, cigars, alcohol, perfumes, cosmetics, and souvenirs. There are great discounts here and prices are lower compared to the cruise terminal area.
  • Fort Amsterdam – If you want to soak up some local history, Fort Amsterdam is a must-see place! It is located on the opposite side of the cruise ship terminal, on the other end of the Great Bay, and the easiest way to get there is by car or a local taxi (a 10-minute drive from the St Maarten cruise terminal). You can also hike up to the fort – it takes around 30 minutes (2 km) from Philipsburg city center. Fort Amsterdam is a historic stone fort constructed by the Dutch in the 17 th century for defense purposes and consists of several ruins and old cannons. From the hilltop, you can admire magnificent views of Great Bay, Little Bay, Philipsburg, and the cruise port.
  • Philipsburg Courthouse – Nestled in the heart of the old town, facing Front Street, this beautiful old wooden courthouse was built in 1793 and has been renovated a few times over the years. It was originally the home of John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch Navy and the founder of the town of Philipsburg. Throughout history, the building served as a jail, a fire station, and a post office, and nowadays it houses the court of law.
  • Cyrus Wathey Square – Lined with palm trees and jewelry stores, the beautiful square overlooks the beachfront and is located in front of the 18th-century Courthouse. A tourist information booth is here.

Philipsburg Courthouse in Sint Maarten cruise port

  • Methodist Church – A lovely church dating from the 19 th century is known for its beautiful wooden façade and bell tower.
  • Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit – The Star Wars museum is located in the Philipsburg downtown area, on Front Street, close to the main city attractions and a 15-minute walk from the St Maarten cruise terminal. This is the one-of-a-kind place in Philipsburg and a must-see stop if you are a fan of Star Wars and Sci-Fi. The museum is owned by Nick Maley, the creator of Yoda, and features an amazing collection of Star Wars movie props and costumes, drafts of scripts, Nick’s special effects creations, historical artifacts, a gift shop, and much more! The museum has two sections – you can visit one for free, and another one is paid (around $10). In addition, Nick is there to meet and greet, and is happy to give you a tour of the museum!
  • St Maarten Museum – Located in the city center, only 1 km from the cruise terminal and a several-minute walk from the water taxi pier, the St. Maarten Heritage Museum features artifacts from different periods of St Maarten’s prehistory and history, and it is a great place to learn about the Arawak’s heritage and colonization period. The museum is small, it consists of a few rooms and is not suitable for people with mobility issues, as there is no elevator to take you to the second floor.

See the list of the best Philipsburg tours

2. St Maarten/St Martin Beaches

  • Maho Beach – This famous beach is one of the main St Maarten attractions and is located a 25-minute drive (14 km/9 miles) from the cruise ship terminal. It consists of a small stretch of white sandy beach located next to the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. It is popular for plane watching as they take off and land only a few yards above your head! The beach is quite busy and most of the people come there for amazing photo opportunities!
  • Mullet Bay Beach – A beautiful calm beach located in the southwest of the island, around 14 km/9 miles from the St Maarten cruise terminal (a 30-minute drive). The best way to get there is by taxi or renting a car (there is a large parking lot near the beach). It is a clean, sandy beach with crystal clear aquamarine water and soft sandy bottom. It is equipped with beach bars and restaurants serving delicious food for a very reasonable price, showers, changing rooms, and restrooms. You can also rent an umbrella and beach chairs for an affordable price.
  • Great Bay Beach – Philipsburg’s city beach is the closest beach to the St Maarten cruise terminal (around 2 km away, a 15-20 minute walk). The best way to get there is to take a water taxi at the cruise terminal that will take you directly to the beach. This is a long public beach located in the south of the island, in the heart of Philipsburg, backed by a boardwalk full of shops, restaurants, cocktail bars, and places for fun. The beach is clean and sandy, and not too crowded. You can rent umbrellas and sunbeds from local people, prices are reasonable.

Maho beach

  • Little Bay Beach – A gorgeous beach located 4 km/2.5 miles away from the St Maarten cruise terminal (a 10-minute drive). This beach features a beautiful setting, a long shoreline, deep waters, and amazing snorkeling! It has all the necessary facilities, such as beach bars, restaurants, beach chairs and umbrellas, and restrooms.
  • Orient Bay Beach – The beach is located on the northeast coast of the island, in Saint Martin – the French side of the island, around 12 km/7.5 miles from the St Maarten cruise terminal (a 25-minute drive),. It is a popular beach resort boasting a long stretch of calm, sandy beach with a lot of facilities such as water activities, umbrella and sunbed rentals, restaurants, and beach bars. You’ll also find local vendors selling souvenirs and local products. There is a nude beach at the very end of Orient Beach.
  • Simpson Bay – The bay is part of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, the largest inland lagoon in the West Indies features breathtaking beaches, expensive yachts, the best hotels and resorts on the island, as well as numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and historic landmarks! Simpson Bay is located around 15 km/9 miles (a 30-minute drive) from St Maarten port. It is a protected area featuring rich marine habitat, split between the Dutch and French sides. There are several popular beaches and beach resorts, such as Pelican Key , Simpsons Bay Resort and Marina , Buccaneer beach , Kim Sha Beach , and Simpson Bay beach … These magnificent beaches feature a wide variety of facilities, such as a great number of restaurants, beach bars, water sports, playgrounds for kids, umbrellas and beach chairs to rent.

Simpson Bay in St Maarten cruise port

  • Grand Case Beach – This wonderful beach is located around 15 km/9.5 miles (a 25-minute drive) from the St Maarten cruise port, on the northern coast of the island, in Saint Martin. The best way to get there is by taxi, on a shore excursion, or by car. A charming beach that boasts clean, turquoise waters, and soft sand. The amenities including lounge chair and umbrella rentals are available, as well as beach bars and restaurants. There’s not much crowd and there is a nice walking area. The beach is ideal for people who want to avoid the bustle of busy beaches.
  • Happy Bay Beach – Located 16 km/10 miles (a 30-minute drive) north of the St Maarten cruise ship terminal, Happy Bay Beach is a tranquil secluded beach with no facilities. The beach is one of the best snorkeling spots on Saint Martin and a true paradise for those who seek peace and a scenic natural setting. You can access it by car (go to Friar’s Bay, and from there follow the directions) or by boat.
  • Friar’s Bay (also called “Anse des Pères”) – The beach is located in the proximity of Happy Bay Beach and Grand Case, around 16 km/10 miles (a 30-minute drive) from the St Maarten cruise terminal, on the French side of the island. It is a beautiful sandy beach with some rocky parts with a lot of stones and pebbles, so make sure you bring water shoes. The beach is nice and quiet, with amenities that consist of a couple of beach bars serving food and drinks, and a possibility to rent beach chairs and umbrellas.
  • Dawn Beach – Located only 7 km/4.5 miles (a 15-minute drive) northeast of the port of St Maarten, near the Oyster Pond in the east of the island, Dawn Beach is a white sandy beach with not many facilities. It offers a great rest, as it’s not crowded with tourists. The sea can be wavy, as it’s located on the Atlantic side of the island.
  • Cupecoy Bay Beach – The beach is located in the southwest of the island, near Maho Beach, around 16 km/10 miles (a 40-minute drive) west of the Sint Maarten cruise port. If you are searching for cliffs and unique natural scenery – this is the beach for you! It is a semi-secluded, gorgeous sandy beach offering a lot of privacy for all visitors. There is a beach bar at one end where you can grab some food and drinks, as well as rent beach chairs and umbrellas.

Check out St Maarten/St Martin beach tours and activities

3. Island Sightseeing

Both the Dutch (Sint Maarten) and French (Saint Martin) sides are beautiful and offer various sights and activities. If you want to take a glimpse of the whole island, you should definitely join a sightseeing tour that covers both St Maarten and St Martin highlights.

You can either take a taxi/car and explore on your own, or you can join one of the sightseeing tours organized by your cruise line or independent tour operators. Regardless of your choice, you should include the places below on your sightseeing list:

  • Philipsburg
  • Mullet Bay Beach / Long Beach
  • Simpson Bay Lagoon 
  • Orient Bay – The bay is located on the northeastern coast of the island and boasts stunning beaches offering a wide choice of activities such as banana boat rides, parasailing, and jet skiing. The place is full of great restaurants and beach bars.
  • Topper’s Rhum Distillery – A great place to taste the premium quality rum and see the rum-making process. Check out Topper’s Rhum Distillery Tour for more info. 
  • Grand Case – A lovely town and the busy hub of the French side of the island, lying along the Anguilla Channel. This small town tucked in the Grand Case Bay (Baie de Grand Case) boasts a long stretch of white, sandy beach (Grand Case beach) and a great number of shops, beach bars, and restaurants in Boulevard de Grande Case, its main street that runs parallel to the beach.
  • Marigot – The charming capital of the French side of the island, Saint Martin. You’ll spot Fort St. Louis, a military fortification built in the 18 th century that stands on a hilltop and a lovely marina named after the fort.
  • Cole Bay – Cole Bay is a community from where you can admire the spectacular views of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Explore island sightseeing tours

Rhum distillery tour in St Maarten cruise port

4. Boat/Catamaran Ride and Snorkeling

If you want to have an adrenaline-packed day filled with water activities and island exploration, you should go for one of the numerous boat tours offered by your cruise line and independent tour operators. You can choose between a full-day and half-day trip, based on your wishes and personal preferences. The organized boat tours normally take you to the island’s best snorkeling sites and off-the-beaten-path places of incredible beauty. There are a few popular snorkeling/scuba diving sites you should check out:

  • Creole Rock is located in the northern part of Grand Case Bay. This tiny, uninhabited island is part of the National Nature Reserve and is known as an exquisite place for snorkeling.
  • Tintamarre Island is also a part of the French Nature Reserve and is one of the best snorkeling sites on the island. The snorkeling experience is amazing here, so in case you decide to come on your own, make sure you bring your snorkel equipment.
  • Pinel Island is a fascinating small islet featuring beautiful, relaxed beaches, hiking trails, and a few bar restaurants.

Check out the St Maarten/St Martin boat and snorkeling tours

5. Off-Road Island Adventure

St Maarten/Saint Martin off-road island tours are a great way of exploring the island, especially if you look for adrenaline and adventure. You can rent the ATV on your own, or you can book one of the off-road tours that will take you through the rugged terrain of the island and stop at the island’s main landmarks. Some of these are:

  • Philipsburg and Great Bay Beach
  • Marigot market
  • Rotary Lookout Point – A beautiful viewpoint is part of the French Nature Reserve offering scenic views of the east coast of Saint Martin and Lucas Bay.
  • Oyster Pond – A community located in the eastern part of the island, overlooking Lucas Bay. The most popular resorts in this area are Coralita Beach, Oyster Bay, and Dawn Beach.

Explore the St Maarten ATV tours

Check out St Maarten Jeep tours

I hope my article gave you an insight into the best of St Maarten/Saint-Martin. Whether you are coming for the first time or you have already been, make sure you plan your day ahead to maximize your stay in this amazing port of call.

You May Also Like:

25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items

Caribbean Cruise Port Guides

Snorkel Gear and Scuba Diving Equipment – Tips by a Pro!

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my  disclaimer  here.

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Philipsburg St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)

Cruise port schedule, live map, terminals, news.

Philipsburg St Maarten cruise port

Region Bahamas - Caribbean - Bermuda

Local Time 2024-01-27 05:20

Port Philipsburg St Maarten cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Philipsburg St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

Philipsburg is a port town and the capital of Sint Maarten - an island country in the Dutch Antilles, one of The Netherlands' overseas territories. The island is approx 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico (USA). Port Philipsburg (locode ANPHI) is the country's principal port and largest city, with population around 2,000.

St Maarten Island

Since 1648, St Maarten it is divided 60 / 40 between France (northern part, 53 km2 / 20 mi2) and Holland (southern part, 34 km2 / 13 mi2). On the French part (Saint Martin) is Marigot . The island was discovered by the Europeans in the late-15th-century (first sighted in November 1493 by Christopher Columbus). Philipsburg was established in 1763 by John Philips (Scottish Captain serving in the Dutch Navy) and soon became a major port and center of international shipping trade. From that time are two historic fortifications guarding the port town - Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem (to the north).

Philipsburg (population around 2,000) is located on a narrow stretch of land between the Great Salt Pond and Great Bay. It functions as a commercial center of Saint Martin Island , whereof St Maarten encompasses the southern half. St Maarten Island has total area 34 km2 (13 mi2) and is one of the Dutch islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago - together with Saba Island and Sint Eustatius . The other "Dutch Antilles" islands are in the Leeward Antilles - the ABC islands ( Aruba , Bonaire , Curacao ).

In December 2016, four Celebrity Cruises ships (Eclipse, Equinox, Reflection, Summit) docked here. As part of the Christmas-New Year holidays was offered a Demi Lovato live concert performance, which was also televised.

On October 11, 2018, the port had a double celebration as it welcomed the maiden call of Carnival Horizon (berthed at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility) as well as cruise port's 1 millionth passenger (since January 2018). The lucky couple (Cheryl and Timothy Franklin) was actually welcomed in mid-September, but the ceremony was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. As presents, they received gift certificates and tokens, including a complimentary 3-night hotel stay (at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort), return flight tickets (by Winair), two Carnival Cruise Line tickets (purchased by Port St Maarten), plus VIP tour of the isle, lunch at Yvette's Restaurant, visit to Rain Forest Adventure Park.

Following the COVID crisis, in June-August 2021, for the first time, Celebrity Cruises homeported here a ship ( Celebrity Millennium ) for 7-night roundtrips from Sint Maarten (Philipsburg) to Oranjestad Aruba - Willemstad Curacao - Bridgetown Barbados (itinerary1) and Road Town Tortola BVI - Castries St Lucia -Barbados (itinerary2).

Philipsburg St Maarten cruise terminal

Cruise ships to St Maarten Island dock at Port Philipsburg - located on the island's southern coast. The port is managed by the Harbour Group of Companies (port authority).

Port Philipsburg (St Maarten) cruise port

The port has two cruise ship piers.

  • Pier 1 has length 545 m (1788 ft) and capacity to dock 4 ships simultaneously. This berthing facility was inaugurated in 2009.
  • A second cruise pier (Pier 2) was opened in 2017, ranking St Maarten as one of the few Caribbean ports with capacity to handle even the world's largest passenger vessels of the Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class (225,000 GT tons, capacity 6,300 passengers plus 2150 crew).
  • The new Pier 2 has length 445 m (1460 ft) and capacity to dock 2 Oasis-class ships at a time. On Pier 2 there are also 2 screening booths to expedite passenger disembarkation.

Right after disembarkation, cruise ship tourists are welcomed at Harbour Point Village with steel pans. Harbour Point Village as facilities offers information center, duty-free shops, souvenir shops, outdoor market stalls, bars, a restaurant. Here are also parked all tour buses (shore excursion pick up / drop off points, tour bus stands, cab stand).

Philipsburg St Maarten tours, shore excursions, hotels

City tours and shore excursions.

Among the best cruise shore excursion options in St Maarten are:

  • Marigot - great shopping and dining choices, easy water access, restored Creole-style buildings (many housing premium boutiques), duty-free shopping (world brands and French fashion).
  • Maho Beach is world-famous for its low-altitude aircraft landings (less than 30 m / 100 ft) as the beach is adjacent to Princess Juliana Airport and directly under airplanes' flight paths. Maho Beach is served by Bar and Grill.
  • Orient Bay beach (on the island's northeastern part) is one of the largest beaches and offers all standard tourist amenities (numerous restaurants and bars, hotels, shops, watersports). It is also ranked one of Caribbean's best / most popular beaches.
  • Grand-Case village features an authentic house architecture, gourmet dining options (French 'cuisine), nearby beach (with several bars, restaurants, small hotels), market square (famous for its BBQ food, including grilled lobster).
  • Phillipsburg City's main street is lined up with jewelry shops and souvenir stalls. Along the waterfront there is a promenade street lined with restaurants and bars. Duty-free shopping is available at both downtown streets (named "Front" and "Back") and includes jewelry, brand perfumes and cosmetics, clothing and accessories. Great places to visit are St Maarten Museum and Sint Maarten Museum (National Heritage Foundation).
  • St Maarten Island Tour allows you to taste all the highlights. Tours are individual (private taxi driver) or group.  Group tours are cheaper but limited as to visited destinations.  Private tours are more flexible, but also expensive in comparison. Group tours can be booked via the cruise company or independently.  Taxis at the cruise port are readily available.
  • At the Topper’s Rhum Distillery (Cole Bay) tourists can taste 20+ different rums and watch the chef preparing traditional cuisine specialties like breadfruit balls. Meals at Topper’s Rhum are served in a wine cellar built in the 17th century.

"4x4 St Maarten and Beach Escape" (Royal Caribbean) is an optional Jeep driving tour across the island. The tour is through Grand Case (to Marigot), with stops for scenic overlooks and strolling along the route.

A Golden Eagle Sailaway (Royal Caribbean) is an optional catamaran (sailing boat) tour to St Maarten Beach (snorkelling-swimming-sunbathing). The boat reaches speeds up to 23 mph (37 kph). The return is to Philipsburg, where are included sandwiches and cold drinks served on the boat.

Maho Airplane Experience (Royal Caribbean) is an optional airplane excursion along Maho Beach. The tour is guided and includes 30-min narrated bus ride across island's Dutch side. At Maho Beach is offered 3-hour stay (free-time activities).

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Philipsburg St Maarten - user reviews and comments

CRUISE PORT GUIDES

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Cruise port guide St. Philipsburg

Cruise-St.Martin-town

St. Maarten cruise port – fast facts:

– Large dock and cruise terminal available: 1 mile from Philipsburg – Tender dock available right in town. – Shopping: at the cruise terminal or in town – Transportation: Taxi’s at the cruise terminal – Watertaxi available to get you from the cruise terminal to town – Beach: Great Bay Beach is the main beach in town. 1 mile from the cruise terminal.

For more information about the latest travel restrictions or port updates, please check: https://portstmaarten.com

Also find all detailed information about cruise port St. Maarten and what to see and do underneath.

Cruise-St.Martin-pier

Also visit our cruise port guides for:

St. Lucia Key West San Juan Curacao Aruba Barbados

Cruise Port Guide St. Martin – Philipsburg: docked or tender

The cruise dock in St. Maarten is called the A.C. Wathey Pier. It is a large cruise facility that can accomodate several mega cruise ships. At St. Martin’s cruise terminal you will find international and local shops, tourist information, cafe’s and restaurants and a (water)taxi service. The cruise dock is about 1,5 km or 1 mile from the city centre of Philipsburg. You are free to walk, but you can also take the water taxi or a regular taxi.

Sometimes ships drop anchor in the bay in front of Philipsburg and tender people to shore. Find the tender platform right in the city centre of Philipsburg. See map above for its exact location.

Most ships will dock when they make St. Martin their port of call and therefore the following information is based on ships docking at the cruise terminal. Underneath you will find your transportation options:

Water taxi at St. Maarten cruise dock

The water taxi is a very popular way to go to the city centre of Philipsburg. At the cruise terminal you will find signs that will lead you there. Take into account that the walk to the water taxi pier can be about a 10 minute walk depending on where your ship is docked. Find a booth (see picture) to buy a ticket. Roundtrip watertaxi tickets from the St. Maarten cruise port to Philipsburg costs: – Adults: 7 US dollars – Crew member: 3 US dollars – Children under 3 years old: Free You can pay cash in US dollar or with credit card. The water taxi is wheelchair accessible. Ask for specifications at the booth. After you have bought your ticket you will receive a paper bracelet as proof of payment and you proceed to the pier. The water taxi departs from the Captain Hodge Pier. See map above to see the exact location.

Taxis in St. Martin

There is a large taxi stand at the cruise terminal in St. Maarten. Taxi rates are fixed and based on how many people are in the taxi. Beneath are the taxi prices (starting at the cruise terminal) for 2 passengers, each additional passenger is US$5: to Philipsburg: $8 to Pelican: $15 to Marigot: $18 to Airport: $20 to Orient Bay: $22 A sightseeing taxis tour for 2 passengers for 3 hours will cost you $90 dollars and $25 extra for each additional person.

There is a car rental facility as well at the St. Martin cruise terminal. We advice you to book in advance.

There are plenty of busses that run between Philipsburg and Marigot. The buses depart at back street (one of the 2 main streets in Philipsburg). The fare is 2 to 3 US dollar.

Walk from the cruise terminal

It is also an option to walk from the cruise terminal to Philipsburg city center, but take in mind it will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Finding the way is easy. Just make sure you keep the water on your left hand side walking to the town. A hat and water are recommended!

Border crossing

No need to worry. If you are going from the Dutch into French side and back there is no border control or anything like that. We don’t even recommend taking your passport.

  St. Martin is one of the best shopping ports of the Caribbean. There are hundreds of duty free stores and the discounts are great. Start your shopping day at Front street in the heart of Philipsburg. You can either take the watertaxi right to the center of this street or walk from the cruise terminal which will take you about 20 to 30 minutes.

The St. Maarten cruise terminal does not provide free wi-fi, but you’ll find that wifi is often included with a purchase at one of the cafe’s and restaurants at the cruise terminal. There is also an internet cafe at the cruise terminal. If you are planning to go to the beach than you’ll find that most beach beds nowadays come with wi-fi access.

There are lots of beaches nearby. The most popular and convenient one is the Great Bay beach. It is right in town at the main boulevard. It is within sight of the ship, in the city centre and there are lots of facilities. Other popular beaches are not within walking distance, but if you are willing to take a taxi we can recommend Dawn beach, Mullet Bay Beach or Orient Beach. 

In St. Maarten, on the Dutch side of the island, the official currency is the antillean guilder. However US dollar are widely accepted. Most prices are clearly displayed in US dollars and most shops will have no problem accepting US dollars and will even have the change ready in US dollars. Creditcards are accepted at mosts shops.

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st maarten map cruise port

Philipsburg St. Maarten has established a cruise welcome center next to the cruise dock. It’s just a short walk from the cruise dock to the cruise area where you will find many facilities. Read the full cruise port guide here.

Philipsburg cruise dock

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Sint Maarten (Philipsburg) Cruise Port: Terminal Review

Panoramic photo of Sint Maarten cruise port with three ships docked

Basic info for cruises to St Maarten, Philipsburgh cruise port: where ships dock and the cruise terminal - services, amenities, shopping, tourist info, how to get to Philipsburgh by the water taxi or on foot.

By: Editor-in-Chief Update: May 30, 2023

Sint Maarten (Saint Martin in French) was one of the Caribbean Islands more seriously hit by hurricane Irma in 2017. However, the recovery was fast, and St Martin was back on all main itineraries cruising the Eastern Caribbean until the Covid-19 pandemic.

Soon, St Marteen will be again a popular cruise port. Cruise passengers wondering if and when to visit St Marteen should know that all services were fully operational until one year ago. Yes, there are still signs of the devastating passage of hurricane Irma. These scars may last for a long time, but the island has been open for business and welcoming cruise visitors with its renowned hospitality as soon as possible.

Although the Editor has not been in Philipsburg since Irma, we are in touch with residents on the island. Numerous cruise visitors have confirmed that the Terminal is impeccable, the water taxi is fully functional, and most services on the island are operating as usual.

Where Cruise Ship Dock - Piers and Terminals

Port View Saint Martin

Port View Saint Martin

Photo © IQCruising.com

Saint Martin or Sint Maarten (in Dutch) is one of the Editor’s favorite island in the Eastern Caribbean cruise itineraries for two main reasons - its natural beauty (clean beaches and paradisaic climate) and the fact that it is very easy and safe to explore on your own .

Pier View Saint Martin

Pier View Saint Martin

The Island is divided into two areas – the northern side belonging to France and the southern part (more or less one-third of the territory) controlled by Holland as part of the Netherlands Antilles.

A. Wathey Pier and Terminal

Cruise ships dock at the A. Wathey Pier with six docking spots for large ships. The piers are fairly close to the exiting gates where your ID will be checked when returning to the ship. Cruise passengers with walking difficulties will find transportation (trolleys) between the gangway an the exit gates.

Main Terminal Building in Saint Martin

Main Terminal Building in Saint Martin before Hurricane Irma

Photo of Cruise Terminal St Martin

The Cruise Terminal Area has been restored to its basic function as seen on this photo from January 2018.

Photo Courtesy of Port St Maarten

Once outside the exit gate control, there is large open air Terminal where the cruise traveler will find a number of buildings with all major services and amenities - Tourism Information , Excursions and Tours, Wi-Fi spots (not free), ATM, Taxis, Restrooms (suitable for disabled), Water Taxi (more about this below), a good number of stalls with souvenirs, a couple of shops with Duty Free Alcohol, Tobacco (both cigarettes and cigars), chocolates, snacks and beverages.

Terminal Duty-Free Shopping and Local Flavors

St Maarten is known to be a “Shopper's Paradise” with excelent dutty-free prices. Tobacco and alcohol, electronics and specially photo cameras are the best-buys but also jewelery and watches. Cruise passengers interested in shopping, should not miss the shops in Philipsburg. However, you will also find a number of good shops in the cruise terminal such as Little Switzerland, Diamonds International, Boolchands, Ballerina’s Jewelers or Effy. Last but not least, the cruise traveler will find a few nice shaded places to enjoy local drinks and flavors.

Walking to Philipsburg

The A. Wathey Pier is close enough to Philipsburg if you like to walk (both safe and easy) - at a leisurely pace, it will take less than 15 minutes to reach the eastern (and nicer) side of Philipsburg. Along the way, there are a couple of places to stop if you feel like a refreshment – Chesterfield's waterfront restaurant and bar is IQCruising Editor's favorite – and also a small shop to buy Dutch delicacies and souvenirs (the cheese selection is impressive).

Water Taxi to Philipsburg

Water Taxi to Philipsburg

Most cruisers prefer to take a very convenient Water Taxi that will take you to the Captain Hodge Pier right in the middle of the Great Bay (and Beach) of Philipsburg and across the Wathey Square . There is another stop farther west right at the pier in front of the ‪Walter Plantz Square.

Because the Beach in Philipsburg is not as wide as once was (before Irma), it can get a bit crowded. The taxi stop by ‪Walter Plantz Square is now recommended as you will have more options to enjoy a day on the beach.

The water taxi runs almost continuously, is a large boat and is reasonably priced - offering a single fare ($5.00) or a day pass ($7.00) that allows as many trips as you want. Because the difference in price is minimal, most cruisers end up using the Water Taxi for both ways.

Along the years, the Editor has found that the Water Taxi can be in such demand when cruise ships dock in the morning that waiting in line can take quite some time. Insider’s tip: walking to town can be a better choice, only using the water taxi to return to the Pier at the end of the day.

Tourist Information

Port View Saint Martin

Specially now, as some sites, beaches and attractions in St. Martin are still recovering form the devastation of Irma, its advisable to double check what is working 100% and what may not be fully functional as yet. The Tourist Information Desk at the Terminal (main building on the right) is the right place to get this type of updated info.

Hurricane Irma devastation in St Maarten

After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, both cruise ports in Philipsburg and Marigot were off limits for quite sometime for obvious reasons that can be seen on the photos below.

Photo of Philipsburg Beach St Martin

The Grand Bay and Beach of Philipsburg a few days after Irma.

Photo Courtesy of Saint Martin News Network

Photo of Philipsburg Beach St Martin

Captain Hodge Pier right in the middle of the Great Bay after Irma. The good news: it is almost restored to its former beauty.

Photo of Philipsburg Beach St Martin

The Water-taxi pier by ‪‎Walter Plantz Square after Irma is now fully operational and looking better than before.

How St Maarten recovered from Irma

On Monday, December 4, 2017, Viking Sea was the first cruise ship to call at the island of St Maarten since the passing of hurricane Irma earlier in September that same year. This was a key date for the cruise tourism.

Photo of Terminal in Saint Martin

Even more encouraging news arrived a couple of weeks later when five cruise ships visited St Martin on Christmas and Boxing Day - Marella (former Thomson) and Independence of the Seas (on December 25), Grandeur of the Seas, Azamara Quest and Jewel of the Seas (on December 25).

Photo of Ships Docked in Saint Martin

Ships Docked

The new year started with the return of Disney Cruises, Marella Celebration and Royal Caribbean's massive Harmony of the Seas on January 2. The Koningsdam - Holland America Line (HAL) - docked on January 6, and the luxurious Silver Wind (Silversea Cruises) called for an overnight on January 11.

Photo of Harmony of The Seas in Saint Martin

Harmony of The Seas

For a cruise port that used to have as many as 6 cruise ships docked on weekdays before hurricane Irma, it may sound like a slow recovery. But whilst the Silver Wind was still in port, another 3 ships docked in St Maarten - Regal Princess, Eurodam and Anthem of the Seas. This was the first four ship day for St. Maarten's 2018 season. Many more are coming and cruise life is getting back to normal.

Photo of Terminal in Saint Martin

Now, any day can be (as they say at Port St. Maarten) a '12K kind of day'. Just watch the video below filmed on January 11, 2017.

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The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice. It is advisable to confirm details with local tourist information before planning your cruise, tour or excursions of St Martin / Sint Maarten. If any inaccuracies are found or if there are any suggestions to improve the content of this page please let us know.

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N°1 – The leading port in the caribbean

St. maarten - a world class cruise destination, simpson bay bridge openings reduced to two per day.

The Simpson Bay Bridge will open twice a day as of Friday, March 27, 2020.The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority after reviewing boat traffic and under the current national emergency related to the coronavirus COVID-19, the Lagoon Authority decided to temporarily reduce the opening times to two per day.

The bridge will open at 9.00AM for inbound and outbound traffic, and again at 2.00PM inbound/outbound.

The Causeway Bridge opening will be synchronized based on the Simpson Bay Bridge openings. This will be coordinated with mariners by calling the VHF-12 channel.

Port St. Maarten

Real estate, 2 million cruise passengers, a milestone for st. maarten.

ACCOMODATING FACILITIES

One single pier (545 m) accommodating 4 ships simultaneously was one pier too few. Opened in 2009, the Harbour Group of Companies upgraded the port by building a second pier. St. Maarten is now one of the few ports able to accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships – the Genesis-class vessels.

Weighing over 220,000 gross tons each, and having a capacity of more than 6,000 passengers and crew, two such vessels can be accommodated on Pier 2 (445 m). Additionally, Pier 2 has two booths for passenger screening which expedites disembarkation. Tons of experience. Tons of efficiency. Tons of opportunity.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS  

Immediately upon coming ashore, passengers are welcomed to the Harbour Point Village to the sound of steel pans. That tropical feeling on the “Friendly Island” begins! Built in Philipsburg’s charming old architectural style, the Village contains duty-free outlets, souvenir shops and market stalls as well as bars and a restaurant.

Here most of the tour and excursion pick up and drop off points are found as well as bus tour stands and the cab stand. Friendly harbour staff are on hand to assist visitors and an information center is located in the main building. We are known, after all, as the “Friendly Island”. First impressions last.

We’re prepared for the future in cruises.

We’re ready to keep on cruisin’.

SWIFT PASSENGER DISTRIBUTION UPON ARRIVAL

Diverse transportation options into Philipsburg or elsewhere from the piers is available upon command. Rapid distribution is of utmost importance to facilitate a positive first impression of St. Maarten. Those wishing to stretch their legs and go on foot need a mere 15 minutes to reach the island’s capital city. Cabs, water taxis and tour buses stand ready to whisk the less adventurous or less mobile away.

The Captain Hodge Wharf, Walter Williams Jetty and Bobby’s Marina are three convenient water taxi stops on the Philipsburg waterfront and $6 one-day tickets for unlimited rides can be purchased from one of two private companies. Additionally 100 cabs await cruise arrivals at the terminal for fares to Philipsburg or elsewhere. Convenience. Comfort. Minimized congestion. Take a bus. Take a water taxi. Take a cab. Take a walk. Convenience. Comfort. Congestion, so long!

CRUISE STATISTICS

WE FOCUS ON THE FUTURE AND VALUE OUR PAST.

St. Maarten is a successful cruise destination because we‘ve listened to the cruise lines and we understand the business. We understand the need to be able to offer a quality land experience to passengers, and the necessity of shore and land excursion revenue as well as sustainability concerns.

Our port facilities have been the catalyst for the improvement and development of different areas of the island. Our transportation network was improved by the completion of the Simpson Bay Lagoon Causeway in December 2013. The construction of this causeway eases traffic congestion for tours as well as for individual beach-bound passengers. We are committed to balancing our role as an economic driver and are dedicated to lessening the impact of our operations on the environment.

Our island is rich in history and has a diverse cultural background. Join us in our prosperous future. The friendly island awaits you.

OUR VISION – Port St. Maarten will lead in the Caribbean through quality service and operational excellence while providing a safe and secure environment for our customers and the people of St. Maarten with the highest standards of integrity.

OUR MISSION – We will provide quality integrated services to our customers through continuous development & innovations in all areas of our business while maintaining the leadership role in the economic development of Sint Maarten.

WE ARE HERE.

St. maarten. philipsburg.

Strictly speaking, St. Maarten is not an island by itself, but an island half shared in two! We share the other half with the French Collectivity of St. Martin, which is part and parcel of France. St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest island in the world to have dual nationality. Our borders are no border. Remarkably, over 130 nationalities are represented. We are proud of our island and proud of our islanders!

St. Maarten consists of the southern half of the island with Philipsburg, it’s capital, at the head of Great Bay in the southeast and Simpson Bay Lagoon to the west. 10.10.10 was a magical day for St. Maarten. We became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom of the Netherlands now comprises of four countries, the Netherlands, St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba. St. Maarten is one of the world’s leading cruise destinations and is soon to be a leading Caribbean port of choice for regional transshipment. St. Maarten, rich in diversity, history and opportunity!

THE ST. MAARTEN EXPERIENCE.

Live it. have it. be it..

87% of St. Maarten’s revenues come from the tourism industry. The cruise industry is the major contributor. The extraordinary success of our tourism industry attests not only to St. Maarten’s spectacular island scenery but to dedicated teamwork of Port St. Maarten and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in actively marketing and developing its utmost potential.

We are one of the most successful tourist destinations in the Caribbean. There is a reason why we are known as “The Friendly Island”! With our long history of warm hospitality and delightful cultural diversity, we always do our best to ensure that short-stay cruise passengers and long-stay tourists reap the most. The maximum. Our well-developed infrastructure and facilities ensure that the math works: maximum hospitality + playful possibilities = ultimate experience!

PLAYFUL POSSIBILITIES ON LAND AND ON WATER Whether on land or water, the choices are endless for cruise passengers to spend their time on or around our delightful island! Our world is their oyster! Jeep safaris, bus tours, hikes, guided Harley-Davidson tours, quad bike excursions, casinos, nightlife, island restaurants, zip-lining, butterfly and bird watching, clubs, nature reserves, health spas, plantation visits, dancing, musical concerts, duty-free, Maho Beach plane-spotting, you name it we have it.Snorkeling, deep sea fishing, jet-skiing, yachting, catamaran circumnavigations, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, world-class beaches, yacht charters, boat tours, you name it we have it.

We work closely with the cruise and yachting sectors. We share one vision.

We seek to maximize the quality offered to tourism customers and, at the same time, to maximize the quality of life of our community, St. Maarten. Enhancing the visitor experience means being innovative and inventive. Upgrading of existing overnight facilities to cater to the ever-expanding number of staying guests, we are always a port on the move. Adding boutique hotels. A new waterpark. Spa facilities.

We’ve prioritized for our future. Motivating cruise passengers to return to our island for longer stays. Again and again and again.

The completion of the Simpson Bay Lagoon Causeway at the end of 2013 linking the airport area with Cole Bay improved accessibility to and from SXM Airport by providing an alternative route to the existing Simpson Bay Bridge.

CAPITALIZING ON FANTASTIC PHILIPSBURG. A mere 15-minute walk from the terminal or a 5-minute ride by water taxi, our “city” awaits the curious cruise passenger. Whether duty-free shopping, sightseeing or eating tops the “to do” list. Founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy, Philipsburg soon became a busy commercial center. The Great Salt Pond, actively mined up until 1949 was a lucrative income source for the island. Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem built by the Dutch and British respectively in 1631 and 1801 are well-known landmarks which give evidence to St. Maarten’s former military importance.

Two main streets, Front Street and Back Street run the length of Philipsburg with interconnecting alleys: a shopper’s paradise – duty-free! Philipsburg also offers interesting attractions and historical sights such as the Courthouse, the St. Maarten Museum, Old Street and the Guavaberry Emporium. Running nearly the length of the waterfront, our relatively new 50 ft-wide boardwalk is one of Philipsburg’s biggest passenger attractions. It is packed with hotels, restaurants and lively bars and, within “a stone’s throw” of the cruise terminal, it is an ideal place to relax, stroll and take in the local atmosphere. Fantastic Philipsburg has something for everyone!

GREAT VIEW. GREAT BAY.

The port to remember., port st. maarten.

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St. Maarten Cruise Port: Tips, Attractions, Weather

The Philipsburg St. Maarten cruise port has three major attractions: the massive John Craane cruise terminal, the nearby city and Great Bay Beach right beside it.

A St. Maarten cruise has great appeal simply because the island has one of the best cruise ports in the entire Caribbean. It offers convenient access and plenty to do right there by the port.

Shopping and Dining | Attractions | Getting Around | Beaches | Weather

What makes a good cruise port arguably is a combination of:

The St. Maarten cruise port at Philipsburg has all of the above in a pleasant mix. It is a must-see stop for any southern or eastern Caribbean cruise and why 2 million cruise visitors come to the port every year.

Quick Travel Tips

Attractions and shore excursions, walking around attractions, st. maarten cruise port map.

The city of Philipsburg itself is one of the best attractions on the island because of its appealing and well-developed tourism district. It also has the massive cruise terminal nearby.

Cruise visitors will arrive at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities just outside of Philipsburg on Great Bay. The John Craane cruise terminal is a large open-air mall where visitors can shop, dine and head for their paid shore excursions. The terminal has useful signs that point people to where they want to go.

Where they want to go often includes Philipsburg itself. The main appeal is the convenient Great Bay Beach, the long boardwalk that runs parallel to it and the shops and restaurants that line the boardwalk. Running parallel to the boardwalk is Front Street, which has most of the shops in the city. It’s worth noting that shopping on Front Street has declined in recent years because much of it has moved to the John Craane cruise terminal.

Great Bay Beach isn’t the best beach in the Caribbean or even the best beach on St. Maarten. But it is one of the most convenient beaches in the Caribbean for cruise port visitors because it is within walking distance of the docks. They can rent umbrellas and chairs for a reasonable price and a lovely view of the bay.

Cruise passengers get from the docks to Philipsburg via walking, taxi or an inexpensive water taxi. The walk is about 10 minutes, goes three fourths of a mile and is not difficult on a warm day. The water taxi stand at the cruise port is just a quick walk north of the docks. Again, look for signs point the way. The price for an entire day is $7 per person at the time of this writing.

Anyone who walks around the Philipsburg waterfront won’t find much else to see other than the beach, boardwalk, shops and restaurants. Very energetic walkers can hike 2.5 miles to the other side of the bay to Little Bay Beach and the small ruins of Fort Amsterdam.

Shore Excursions

Outside of Philipsburg, two of the most famous attractions on the island are beaches.

Orient Beach, which lies north of Philipsburg in the French district, is the most popular and well-known beach on the island. Note that it is clothing optional. Don’t be surprised to see a beach goer who wears nothing at all. An exclusive shore excursion to Orient Bay costs about $70 per person.

One of the more famous and controversial attractions is the Maho Bay beach next to Princess Juliana International Airport. The short runway forces planes to fly low over the beach. Some beach visitors get so close that the blast from the jet engines knock them over. A snorkeling excursion there costs about $75 per person including transportation.

A nice day trip is a jaunt from the Philipsburg cruise port over to Marigot, capital of the French side, or Grand Case. Other St. Maarten attractions include the Mont Vernon Plantation and the Butterfly Farm.

An island tour that includes quick stops at Orient Beach, Maho Bay, Marigot, Mullet Bay Beach and other attractions will cost about $50 per person.

St Maarten photo

Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Great Bay Beach is the most convenient beach for cruise port visitors because it lies within a brief walk and water taxi ride from the cruise docks. Orient is the most famous. But in our experience, the best beaches for St. Maarten visitors aren’t on St. Maarten.

Anyone with an interest in good beaches might instead consider a shore excursion to one of the neighboring islands, such as Anguilla, St. Barth or Saba.

Anguilla is the most popular of the three and only 10 miles off the St. Maarten coast. It has beautiful white sand beaches and is reachable by ferry or excursion boat from Simpson Bay and Marigot. St. Barth is frequented by the rich and famous. Saba is known for hiking and other ecotourism activities.

Shopping and Dining

St. Maarten cruise port

Anyone wanting a break from Great Bay Beach can stroll along the Boardwalk, which is lined with restaurants and shops.

They can walk a hundred more feet to reach many more restaurants and the port’s extensive shopping district, most of which falls along the lengthy Front Street.

Until the development of the new cruise terminal, Front Street ranked among one of the best shopping experiences in the Caribbean—along with Playa Del Carmen, St. Thomas and Old San Juan. It is quite a bit more quiet these days.

The street is a long walk but not too challenging for anyone who is somewhat fit. If walking isn’t appealing, there are quite a few transportation options.

The best restaurants on the island are mainly concentrated in two areas. They are Philipsburg on the southern coast and Simpson Bay on the southwest coast because they have the cruise port and the airport.

More restaurants are in the packed resort areas. A smaller number of restaurants are on the French side in Marigot and Grand Case.

The Philipsburg and Simpson Bay restaurants cater to all tastes. But they mainly represent low-end casual in one group and high-end seafood and steak in the other.

There are few chain restaurants. The St. Martin French restaurants in Marigot are smaller and more casual.

Getting Around

On foot. Philipsburg is big enough and developed enough to spend most of the day on foot.

But traffic outside of the Boardwalk and Front Street is often heavy. So get a taxi or car rental if you plan to see more than just the tourism district.

Taxis. Taxi rates are set according to more than 20 zones around the island.

Expect to pay anywhere between $7 and $35 to get to a zone. At the time of this writing, getting to Marigot is $18 and Orient Beach is $20.

Car rentals. The island has a small number of narrow winding roads, so car rentals even for a day are quite common—so common that traffic jams are frequent.

A cruise visitor who is thinking about a car rental might do so for visits to the less-populated French side of the island, especially the quaint city of Marigot.

Driving around parts of the Dutch side, especially around Simpson Bay, adds some risk of traffic jams and late returns to the ship.

Public bus. Taking a bus is a less expensive option. A St. Maarten bus is often an SUV. It has BUS at the beginning of the license plate and the destination sign in the window.

Taxis, which also are usually SUVs, have a T at the beginning of the license plate. A 10-15 percent tip for bus and taxi drivers is common.

Bicycles / scooters. While it is useful to consider a rental car, bus or taxi, it is wise to avoid renting a bicycle or scooter.

The island has virtually no stop signs or stop lights. The roads are narrow and winding. Drivers are sometimes aggressive when fighting through traffic.

Cruise Port Weather

St. Maarten’s average weather consists of warm temperatures year round that average in the mid 80s Fahrenheit.

Temperatures stay in the low 80s Fahrenheit in the winter and reach the high 80s in the summer. Seawater averages about three degrees cooler, which makes swimming good at any time.

Rainfall is a different matter. It is often moderate from January through July. Then it climbs to a high point for the rest of the year.

September and November historically have the highest rainfall and are the riskiest months to go there.

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St. Maarten Cruise Port Guide

Philipsburg Front Street

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Cruise ships dock close to the center of town. Its pier can only accommodate one medium-sized cruise ship at a time. Some ships use tenders.

Printable map to take along.

Cruise calendar for this port.

For Dutch St Maarten click here .

Watch a destination video .

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Port Location on Google Maps

Monthly Climate Averages for Marigot Saint Martin Saint Martin

Hotels near the Cruise Terminal

Sightseeing:

French at heart, but cosmopolitan Caribbean in style, St Martin's capital city of Marigot is cluttered with traffic, shops and people in a small area that is only four streets wide. The town stretches along Marigot Bay, its main focus the harbor at the bottom of Rue de la Republique from where ferries depart to surrounding islands and fishing boats come and go. Marigot's buildings are largely colonial, sprinkled with several smart cafes, bistros, pastry shops and luxury boutiques reminiscent of real French market towns.

Next to the Marina Port la Royale on the southern end of Marigot is a worthwhile museum, dedicated to preserving St Martin's history and culture. It houses numerous exhibits, including a variety of pre-Colombian treasures excavated by the Hope Estate Archaeological Society. There is also a reproduction of a 1,500-year-old burial mound and ceramics dating from 550 BC. The island's more recent history, before tourism took hold, is encapsulated in some evocative black and white photographs of quiet streets populated with a handful of children and donkeys, and of laborers toiling in the salt industry.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here .

Nearby Places:

The largest and most popular beach on the island of St Martin, Orient Beach, is bursting with facilities for water sports, shops, restaurants and beach bars. The southern end of the beach has been reserved as a nudist resort. Prune Beach (or Plum Bay) is frequented by surfers while Rouge Beach offers great snorkeling and is regarded as the island's most beautiful. Long Beach is on the border with Dutch St Maarten and has little shade and generally no breeze, so it is known as a hot spot.

Le Galion Beach was also impacted by Hurricane Irma.  There are no facilities there now.

Shopping and Food

The main shopping center at the southern end of the town is near the harbor and is a paradise for shopaholics, with elegant stores carrying the latest designer fashions and jewelry, all tax-free.

Marigot's open-air public market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at the base of Fort St Louis along the wharves, and provides a colorful spectacle for visitors, though bargains are few. Wares include home-grown produce, tropical fruits and spices, fresh fish, souvenirs, wood carvings and a host of other goods. The pace is lively and the food well worth sampling. Opening time: Wednesday and Saturday 6am to 1pm

On the Dutch side the currency is the Netherlands Antilles Guilder or Florin (ANG), where one guilder is divided into 100 cents, but US Dollars are also widely accepted and prices are usually quoted in Dollars as well as Guilders. On the French side of the island the Euro (EUR) is the local currency, although establishments will also accept US Dollars. There are numerous bureaux de change and banks throughout the island and ATMs in the main towns in both national sectors; travelers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Currency Converter

Communication:

Dutch and French are the official languages, but English is widely spoken. Locals commonly use a language known as Papiamento, a mixture of Portuguese, African, Spanish, Dutch and English.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

On a Sunday the French side is completely closed, on the Dutch side the stores open at noon.

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What to do in St Maarten on a cruise

(header photo courtesy of christine gardner), welcome to the philipsburg st maarten / st martin cruise port.

Welcome to one of the most visited cruise ports in the Caribbean and the world! More importantly, one of the most popular. The St Maarten cruise port has won many accolades by cruise sites and magazines as a great location for excursions , shopping   and excursions to Philipsburg.

All major cruiseliners in the world visit the St Maarten Cruise port, like Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Disney, MSC, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian, Windstar and many more. Whereas most of these cruises leave from Florida, various do homeporting from St Maarten and allow for a combination of exploring the region and a hotel stay to visit St Maarten / St Martin. All ships dock in the AC Wathey Cruise Port in Philipsburg.

St Maarten Cruise Excursions 

One day cruise visits give plenty of opportunity to enjoy our unique key strengths like our famed culinary offer , excursions on land and sailing and water excursions . St Maarten / St Martin may be well known as a binational and vibrant destination, with 37 square miles it is also very compact. That makes virtually any of our activities on offer within your reach during a one day stop. Many have easy connections or pick-up services to the cruise port, and are catered to have you back on the ship on time. Contact your excursions provider how to reach your excursion easiest and where it starts.

Visit Port of Call Philipsburg

If you choose to remain close by the cruise port , there is still plenty to do! Many choose take a strawl to Philipsburg or take an activity close to this main town. Its famed shopping streets Front Street ,  Backstreet and Old Street are the core of St Maartens  shopping haven. Jetties to Philipsburg leave from the Wathey pier to the beginning of the Boardwalk , Courthouse and Walter Plantz square .

St. Maarten Cruise Port Map

Whatever you decide to do on your Philipsburg cruise visit, see below a simple map explaining the area seen from the port. 

A map of Philipsburg with the St Maarten Cruise port and the places where the ferries dock

From the Cruise Port to Great Bay Beach

Cruise ships coming in already have a breathtaking view over Philipsburg’s Great Bay Beach . Enjoy the closest beach to your cruise port(s). A popular way to spend the day on St Maarten when coming by cruise, is to spend a day at Great Bay Beach. St Maarten is the only country in the world with a beachside capital, and this beach stretches along its full length. Like Philipsburg itself, Great Bay Beach is only a five to ten minute walk from the cruise port. No other cruise port along your itinerary will provide a beach so close, so you might as well want to grasp this opportunity! Along the beach goes Philipsburg’s boardwalk, making the beach easily walkable. The boardwalk is approximately a mile and a half long so within walking distance range for most. The boardwalk, as well as parallel running Front Street, is dotted with restaurants and things to do. Please see below clusters around the three cruise port water taxi / ferry pickups: 

Walking & Water Taxis / Ferries from the Cruise pier to Philipsburg

Water taxi / ferry to bobby’s marina.

•  Go where the locals go, and have a bite at acclaimed Asian fusion restaurant “ Aziana’s “ whilst watching the ships roll in in the harbor!

•  Learn about the true history of pirates in a multimedia presentation at the Rusty Parrot .

•  Learn about St Maarten history at the St Maarten museum . 

•  Take a diving tour with Dive St. Maarten   to see St Maarten’s underwater world!

•  Take a walk along the Philipsburg boardwalk that starts here, also home to the two other water taxi / ferry disembarkation points, or a famed St. Rose Beach Bar Mojito .

•  Go shopping along Front Street, take a coffee at Coffee Lounge with locally roasted beans, have a shot of Holland at Amasterdam ,

•  T he Philipsburg Marina is also the place to embark for  island hopping  to other islands.

Water taxi / ferry to Captain Hodge Pier / AC Wathey square

•  Shopping at the renowned Ballerina Jewelers ,  Joes Jewelers ,  Zhaveri Dazzling gems, Oro Diamanté and   Diamonds International   jeweler houses, all situated around this square.

•  Have a St Maarten Craft Beer or Dutch pancake at the Dutch Blonde Beach Bar   at the Boardwalk side of the square.

•  Taste a variety of food, enjoy the sun, and witness a stunning sunset at The Pier Beach Bar & Restaurant ! 

•  Experience the ultimate full-service beach day at St. Maarten’s Big Bastard’s Beach Bar & Patio !

•  See the Sunset at Holland House’s   Ocean Lounge .

Water taxi / ferry to Walter Plantz Square pier

•  Make use of the scenic, typical St Maarten architectural styled houses for your best pictures of your holiday!

•  Make a splash in Great Bay Beach  and use the showers to clean before going back to the boat!

•  Have a true Dutch bitterballen menu (or add a kroket or series of “vlammetjes” to it) at The Pier Restaurant to have an impression of Holland’s most popular snacks.  

•  Take the Philipsburg Mural Tour of local artists, explaining St. Maarten history  in the process!

•  Go on a lively and amazing race through Philipsburg by Tri-Sport .

From the Cruise Port to Princess Juliana Airport (SXM)

Are you transfering to or from the Cruise Port to Princess Juliana Airport ( SXM )? Taxis available at the cruise port can take you there; the same applies when coming from the airport. Take into account a 20 to 30 minute travel time. Buses   depart to and from the airport from Emmaplein, a ten minute walk from the port.

From the Cruise Port to Maho Beach

Many visitors like to see the spectacular airplane landings on Maho Beach , also known informally as “Airport Beach”. You can do so by island tour (make sure this stop is included in the itinerary), by taxi or bus. Minivan Buses to maho leave from Emmaplein every ten to twenty minutes and take averagely 30 minutes to reach the beach. Emmaplein is a five to ten minutes walk from the cruise pier, at the start of Front Street . Ask the Bus driver when you reach Maho Beach. 

Coming in Sailing or by Yacht

If you are coming in by cruise ship, you are close by the Philipsburg area. If you are coming by sailing boat or yacht , you are prone to make landfall in the Simpson Bay or Marigot area. See our area description for more details!

St. Maarten Cruise Ship Schedule

With every itinerary, make sure you get back on the ship timely. Depending on business in the port, traffic can be a factor to keep an eye on. Please see this overview of arrival and departure times of cruise ships in the Philipsburg port of call .

Read our cruise blog   about the latest developments on our islands, and our activities  blog   to see what things to do!

Click here to stay up to date about the latest cruise news!

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St Maarten Cruise Port Guide, Things To Do, Shore Excursions

Published: August 29, 2023

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Audi Traynor

  • Travel Guide
  • Travel Tips
  • Beach Activities
  • Historic Sites
  • Things To Do

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Introduction

Welcome to St. Maarten, one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean! This vibrant island, situated in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, offers a unique blend of Dutch and French influences, making it a cultural melting pot and a fascinating place to explore.

St. Maarten boasts a beautiful natural landscape, with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush green hills. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, this island has something for everyone.

As a cruise traveler, you’ll have the opportunity to disembark at the bustling St. Maarten Cruise Port, located in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island. From here, you can venture out to discover the many attractions and activities that St. Maarten has to offer.

In this comprehensive cruise port guide, we will take you on a journey through St. Maarten, highlighting the best things to do, recommended shore excursions, popular attractions, stunning beaches, and more. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, we aim to provide you with useful information to help you make the most of your time on this vibrant Caribbean island.

So, get ready to soak up the sun, feel the warm tropical breeze, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty of St. Maarten. Let’s dive into this exciting Caribbean adventure!

Overview of St. Maarten Cruise Port

Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the St. Maarten Cruise Port is a bustling gateway for cruise travelers from around the world. This vibrant port welcomes numerous cruise ships, offering a wide range of amenities and services to ensure a memorable visit to the island.

The St. Maarten Cruise Port is situated in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island. It is conveniently located just a short distance from Princess Juliana International Airport, making it easily accessible for cruise passengers arriving by air.

Upon arrival at the cruise port, visitors will be greeted by a lively atmosphere, with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues lining the waterfront. The port area is well-maintained and offers modern facilities, including duty-free shops, souvenir stores, and local artisans selling handmade crafts.

One of the highlights of the St. Maarten Cruise Port is the boardwalk, known as the Great Bay Promenade. This picturesque pathway stretches along the waterfront, offering stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding mountains. It’s the perfect spot to take a leisurely stroll, browse through shops, or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants that line the boardwalk.

For those looking to explore beyond the port area, transportation options are readily available. Taxis and rental car services are conveniently located near the cruise terminal, providing easy access to the island’s top attractions and landmarks.

It’s worth noting that St. Maarten is divided into two distinct sides: the Dutch side and the French side. The Dutch side, known as Sint Maarten, is where the cruise port is located. The French side, known as Saint Martin, is just a short drive away and offers a different cultural experience.

As you disembark from your cruise ship, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique blend of Dutch and French influences that define this island. From the colorful architecture to the delicious cuisine, St. Maarten offers a captivating mix of cultures that adds to its charm.

With its convenient location, vibrant atmosphere, and a wide range of amenities, the St. Maarten Cruise Port is the perfect starting point for your Caribbean adventure. Whether you choose to explore the island independently or join a shore excursion, you’re sure to create lasting memories in this captivating destination.

Popular Attractions in St. Maarten

St. Maarten offers a plethora of attractions that cater to every interest and preference. From stunning natural beauty to historical landmarks and vibrant entertainment options, this Caribbean island has something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the must-visit attractions in St. Maarten is Maho Beach. Situated near the Princess Juliana International Airport, this famous beach is renowned for its close proximity to the flight path. Visitors can experience the thrill of watching planes fly just a few meters above their heads as they land or take off. It’s truly a unique and exhilarating sight that you won’t want to miss.

For those seeking a more tranquil and secluded beach experience, Orient Bay Beach is the perfect choice. Known for its stunning turquoise waters and soft white sand, this beach offers a tranquil oasis to relax and unwind. Additionally, Orient Bay Beach is home to various beach clubs and watersports operators, making it an ideal spot for indulging in water activities such as snorkeling, jet-skiing, and paddleboarding.

No visit to St. Maarten is complete without exploring the charming town of Philipsburg. This lively capital city is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide range of duty-free shops offering luxury goods, jewelry, electronics, and Caribbean souvenirs. Take a leisurely stroll along the historic Front Street, lined with colorful buildings and quaint boutiques, and sample local delicacies at the street-side cafes and restaurants.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to Fort Amsterdam is a must. Built in the early 17th century, this fortress is a testament to St. Maarten’s colonial past. Explore the ruins, take in panoramic views of the island, and learn about the island’s fascinating history as you wander through the remnants of the fort.

Another popular attraction in St. Maarten is Loterie Farm. This lush nature reserve offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the island’s tropical beauty. Enjoy hiking trails, zip-lining adventures, or simply relax by the pool with a refreshing drink from the on-site bar. Loterie Farm is the perfect escape for nature lovers and adrenaline seekers alike.

At the heart of the island, you’ll find the famous border marker known as “The Friendship Monument.” This historic landmark symbolizes the peaceful coexistence between the Dutch and French sides of the island. Visitors can stand at the marker and have one foot in the Dutch side and the other in the French side, capturing a unique photo opportunity.

These are just a few examples of the many attractions that St. Maarten has to offer. From breathtaking beaches to cultural landmarks and thrilling experiences, this Caribbean gem is sure to captivate your senses and create lasting memories.

Beaches in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is renowned for its stunning beaches, each offering its own unique atmosphere and charm. Whether you’re seeking a lively party scene, a secluded cove, or a family-friendly spot, you’ll find a beach in St. Maarten to suit your preferences.

One of the most iconic beaches on the island is Maho Beach, located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. This popular spot is famous for its proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport, where planes fly just a few meters above the beach as they land or take off. The sheer thrill and excitement of watching these massive jets is an experience unlike any other.

Orient Bay Beach, on the French side of the island, is another popular choice. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and stretching white sands, Orient Bay Beach offers a picturesque setting for sunbathing and relaxation. This beach is also known for its vibrant beach clubs, where you can rent loungers and umbrellas, and enjoy beachside restaurants and bars.

Mullet Bay Beach is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This pristine beach, with its calm waters and soft sand, is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation, Mullet Bay Beach provides a serene and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, head to Happy Bay Beach. Accessible via a short hike through the forest, this hidden gem offers a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. With its crystal-clear water, gentle waves, and soft golden sand, Happy Bay Beach is an ideal spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of St. Maarten.

For those traveling with family, Great Bay Beach is a fantastic option. Located in Philipsburg, this long and wide beach offers calm waters and a gentle slope, making it ideal for families with young children. Enjoy building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply relaxing under the warm Caribbean sun.

Simpson Bay Beach is another popular choice, especially for watersports enthusiasts. With its gentle waves and warm waters, this beach is perfect for activities such as snorkeling, jet-skiing, and paddleboarding. Take advantage of the rental services available and indulge in some adrenaline-fueled adventures or simply soak up the sun on the golden sand.

These are just a few examples of the beautiful beaches you can explore in St. Maarten. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, water sports, or a vibrant atmosphere, the beaches of St. Maarten offer something for everyone, ensuring an unforgettable Caribbean getaway.

Watersports and Outdoor Activities

St. Maarten is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, offering a wide range of watersports and outdoor activities. Whether you prefer to be in the water, soaring through the air, or exploring the island’s natural beauty on land, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the most popular activities in St. Maarten is snorkeling. Explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish, coral reefs, and marine life. The calm and clear waters make snorkeling a fantastic option for all ages and skill levels. Local operators offer guided snorkeling tours to the best spots, ensuring a memorable experience.

If you’re looking for a thrill, parasailing is a must-try activity in St. Maarten. Soar high above the turquoise waters and enjoy breathtaking views of the island and the sparkling Caribbean Sea. The adrenaline rush and the feeling of freedom as you glide through the air are truly unforgettable.

For those with a sense of adventure, jet skiing is a popular choice. Rent a jet ski and explore the coastline at your own pace, speeding through the waves and feeling the wind in your hair. Jet skiing is a thrilling and exhilarating way to discover the beauty of St. Maarten from a different perspective.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is another fantastic watersport that allows you to explore the calm and shallow waters along the coastline. Balance on the board and paddle your way through the crystal-clear waters, enjoying the tranquility and the stunning views around you. SUP is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a fun family activity.

If you prefer to keep your feet on land, hiking is a great way to experience the natural beauty of St. Maarten. The island boasts various hiking trails that wind through lush tropical forests, offering stunning vistas and glimpses of local wildlife. One popular trail is the Loterie Farm Trail, which takes you through the island’s lush foliage and rewards you with breathtaking views from the top.

Another land-based activity is exploring the island’s countryside on an ATV or buggy tour. Hop on a vehicle and traverse rugged terrains, natural trails, and scenic routes, discovering hidden gems and panoramic viewpoints along the way. This adrenaline-filled adventure allows you to experience the island’s wild side and create unforgettable memories.

Whether you choose to dip into the crystal-clear waters or conquer the land, St. Maarten offers a wide array of watersports and outdoor activities to suit every taste. From tranquil snorkeling adventures to thrilling jet ski rides and scenic hikes, there is no shortage of fun-filled experiences waiting for you on this Caribbean gem.

Shopping and Dining in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is not only an island of natural beauty but also a fantastic destination for shopping and dining. From luxury boutiques to local markets and a wide variety of culinary offerings, this Caribbean gem has something to please every shopper and food enthusiast.

When it comes to shopping, St. Maarten is known for its duty-free status, making it a haven for those seeking luxury goods at affordable prices. Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side, is a shopper’s paradise with a wide range of duty-free shops along the iconic Front Street. Browse through high-end fashion brands, jewelry stores, electronics shops, and souvenir boutiques, where you can find unique Caribbean treasures to bring home.

For a more authentic shopping experience, head to Marigot, the capital of the French side. Here, you’ll find quaint boutiques and local markets offering a variety of goods, including local artwork, handmade crafts, and traditional Caribbean spices. The Marigot Market is particularly famous for its vibrant atmosphere and the opportunity to sample local flavors.

After a day of shopping, indulge in the flavors of St. Maarten’s culinary scene. The island is home to a diverse array of restaurants, ranging from casual beachside shacks to fine dining establishments. Try local specialties such as jerk chicken, conch fritters, and fresh seafood dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample some of the island’s popular street food like Johnny cakes or saltfish fritters. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a refreshing rum punch or a locally brewed beer.

For a unique dining experience, head to Grand Case, known as the gourmet capital of the Caribbean. This charming village is dotted with world-renowned restaurants, offering a fusion of flavors from French, Creole, and Caribbean cuisines. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach, savoring delicacies prepared by award-winning chefs, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culinary culture of St. Maarten.

St. Maarten is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. After a delicious meal, explore the bars and nightclubs that come alive after sunset. Join in the lively atmosphere, listen to live music, and dance the night away to a mix of Caribbean rhythms and international beats.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect souvenir, a high-end shopping experience, or culinary delights, St. Maarten offers a diverse and exciting shopping and dining scene. Prepare to indulge in the flavors, find unique treasures, and experience the vibrant atmosphere that this Caribbean island has to offer.

Cultural and Historical Sites

St. Maarten is not just a tropical paradise; it is also rich in culture and history. The island is home to a variety of cultural and historical sites that offer a glimpse into its fascinating past and vibrant present. From colonial fortresses to museums and cultural landmarks, there are plenty of opportunities to delve into the island’s unique heritage.

One of the standout historic sites in St. Maarten is Fort Amsterdam. Dating back to the early 17th century, this imposing fortress played a crucial role in the island’s history. Explore the ruins and learn about the colonial heritage as you take in panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The fort is a testament to the struggles and battles that took place during the island’s colonial era.

Another must-visit cultural attraction is the Museum of Sint Maarten. Located in Philipsburg, this small museum provides an insightful journey through the island’s history, culture, and traditions. From artifacts and exhibits showcasing the Arawak people, the original inhabitants of the island, to displays on the colonial period and the impact of slavery, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of St. Maarten’s past.

A visit to the St. Maarten Museum is highly recommended for history enthusiasts. Housed in a historic building, the museum features exhibits on the island’s natural history, cultural diversity, and important events that have shaped the island’s identity. Gain a deeper understanding of the local heritage and the people who call St. Maarten home.

For a glimpse into the island’s cultural heritage, head to the Amuseum Naturalis. This open-air museum celebrates the natural and cultural history of St. Maarten. Explore the various exhibits, including botanical gardens, replicas of traditional homes, and interactive displays on local flora and fauna. The Amuseum Naturalis offers an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

As you explore the island, you’ll come across various historical landmarks and cultural sites that highlight the island’s diverse heritage. Keep an eye out for the “Friendship Monument,” located at the border between the Dutch and French sides. This iconic landmark symbolizes the peaceful coexistence between the two sides of the island and is a testament to the island’s unique cultural blend.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting Marigot, the capital of the French side. Stroll through the vibrant streets, browse through local markets, and savor the flavors of French and Creole cuisine. Get a taste of the island’s cultural diversity and experience firsthand the fusion of French and Caribbean influences.

These cultural and historical sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the vibrant past and present of St. Maarten. From colonial fortresses to museums and cultural landmarks, explore the island’s rich heritage and gain a deeper appreciation for the unique blend of cultures that makes St. Maarten such a captivating destination.

Shore Excursion Options

When visiting St. Maarten on a cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a variety of exciting shore excursions. From exploring the island’s natural wonders to immersing yourself in its cultural heritage, there are plenty of options to suit every interest and preference.

One popular shore excursion is a sailing trip around the island. Hop aboard a catamaran or sailboat and cruise along the coastline, enjoying breathtaking views of the turquoise waters and picturesque beaches. Stop at secluded coves for swimming and snorkeling, and indulge in a delicious Caribbean-style barbecue prepared on board.

For nature lovers, a visit to the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm is a must. Explore the tropical gardens and learn about the life cycle of butterflies, as well as the conservation efforts to protect these beautiful creatures. It’s a serene and educational experience that allows you to connect with nature.

If you’re seeking adventure, consider a zip-lining excursion through the lush rainforest canopy. Strap into a harness and glide through the treetops, enjoying panoramic views of the island’s mountains and coastline. This adrenaline-fueled experience offers a unique perspective of St. Maarten’s natural beauty.

History buffs will appreciate a visit to the historic Fort Louis in Marigot. Take a guided tour and learn about the fort’s role in protecting the island during colonial times. Marvel at the panoramic views from the top and imagine the battles that once took place in this strategic location.

If you’re up for some underwater exploration, a scuba diving excursion is an excellent choice. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and discover the vibrant coral reefs, encounters with tropical fish, and the possibility of sighting sea turtles and rays. Certified divers can explore deeper dive sites, while beginners can take introductory dives or snorkel alongside the dive group.

For a taste of the local culture, consider a visit to Grand Case Market. This bustling market offers an array of locally grown produce, authentic spices, and unique crafts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, interact with the friendly locals, and sample traditional Caribbean snacks and delicacies.

If you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, opt for a beach break excursion. Choose from a variety of stunning beaches, where you can soak up the sun, swim in the clear waters, and enjoy beachside amenities such as loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars. Some beach break excursions also include water sports activities for those seeking a bit of adventure.

These are just a few examples of the many shore excursion options available in St. Maarten. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a combination of all, you’re sure to find the perfect excursion that allows you to make the most of your time on this beautiful Caribbean island.

Tips for Cruise Travelers in St. Maarten

If you’re planning a cruise to St. Maarten, it’s helpful to know a few tips to make the most of your time on the island. From navigating the cruise port to exploring the top attractions, here are some valuable tips for cruise travelers visiting St. Maarten.

  • Plan in advance: Research the island’s top attractions and shore excursions before your cruise. This will help you prioritize your activities and make the most of your time on the island.
  • Book shore excursions early: Popular excursions tend to sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book your preferred activities in advance to secure your spot.
  • Be mindful of time: St. Maarten operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST); make sure to adjust your watch accordingly to avoid any confusion or missed opportunities.
  • Pack essentials: Don’t forget to pack essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a swimsuit. The Caribbean sun can be intense, and you’ll want to be prepared for beach visits or outdoor activities.
  • Bring cash: While credit cards are widely accepted, having some cash on hand is useful for small purchases, tips, and transactions at local markets.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially in the tropical climate. Staying hydrated will help you stay energized and enjoy your time on the island.
  • Respect the customs and culture: St. Maarten is a culturally diverse destination with Dutch and French influences. Be respectful of the local customs and traditions, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and greet locals with a friendly “good morning” or “bonjour.”
  • Use reliable transportation: If you choose to explore the island independently, use reliable transportation options such as licensed taxis or reputable car rental companies to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Take precautions: As with any travel destination, it’s essential to take precautions to protect your belongings. Keep an eye on your personal belongings, especially in crowded areas and at the beach.
  • Embrace the relaxed pace: St. Maarten has a laid-back and leisurely atmosphere. Embrace the island’s relaxed pace, savor the delicious Caribbean cuisine, and take the time to soak in the natural beauty and enjoy the friendly locals.

By following these tips, you can enhance your cruise experience in St. Maarten and create unforgettable memories on this captivating Caribbean island.

St. Maarten offers a captivating Caribbean experience for cruise travelers, with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and wealth of attractions. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, this island paradise has something for everyone.

From the moment you arrive at the St. Maarten Cruise Port, you’ll be greeted with a warm and lively atmosphere. Explore the charming streets of Philipsburg, indulge in duty-free shopping, and sample delicious cuisine at local restaurants.

Venture beyond the port area to discover the natural wonders of St. Maarten. From the world-famous Maho Beach to the serene Orient Bay Beach, the island’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Dive into crystal-clear waters, try exciting watersports, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history and culture by visiting colonial forts, museums, and cultural landmarks. Learn about the island’s past at Fort Amsterdam and the St. Maarten Museum, or explore the natural beauty and wildlife at the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm and Amuseum Naturalis.

Make the most of your time on the island by taking advantage of the various shore excursion options. Sail along the coast, snorkel in vibrant coral reefs, zip-line through the rainforest, or explore the vibrant streets of Marigot.

Before your cruise to St. Maarten, remember to plan ahead, book your shore excursions in advance, and pack essentials such as sunscreen and swimwear. Respect the local customs and embrace the relaxed pace of the island, allowing yourself to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of St. Maarten.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, St. Maarten is sure to leave a lasting impression. Explore the island’s natural wonders, immerse yourself in its culture, and create unforgettable memories on this enchanting Caribbean gem.

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St. Maarten Cruise Port Guide + Top Things to Do

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St Maarten cruise port and things to do near Philipsburg St. Maarten

St. Maarten Cruise Port and Things to Do

If you are on a cruise and have a stop in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, it can be hard to figure out how to spend your day.

This St. Maarten cruise port guide covers:

  • Information about the cruise port in St. Maarten
  • Photos of the St. Maarten cruise port
  • The most popular excursions near St. Maarten cruise port
  • The #1 best thing to do in St. Maarten for cruise travelers
  • FAQs about St. Maarten
  • More guides for cruise-lovers

Continue reading below for the #1 best thing to do from the St. Maarten cruise port for cruise travelers.

Added bonus: My recommendation on what to do in Philipsburg, St. Maarten isn’t expensive, and you won’t need to plan ahead or book an excursion to do it.

Depending on your ship, you will most likely dock at the Philipsburg cruise port on the Dutch side of the island.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten Cruise Port Map

St. Maarten Cruise Port and Island Map

It is about a 5-minute walk from the gangway to the cruise port in St. Maarten.

When you get to the cruise port in St. Maarten, plan on taking a shore excursion, a taxi to explore the island, or taking the water taxi to downtown.

You will find a few shops and restaurants, but you will need to either take a taxi to explore the island or take the water taxi ($7 round-trip) for a quick 5-10 minute water ride to downtown.

Photos of the St. Maarten Cruise Port

Not sure what to expect when your cruise ship docks at the St. Maarten cruise port?

Below are a few pictures of what to expect when you dock in Philipsburg at the St. Maarten cruise port.

These photos were taken from my recent Caribbean cruise on the Holland America Nieuw Statendam ship.

St. Maarten Cruise Port – View from Our Holland America Ship

St. Maarten Cruise Port View from the Cruise Ship

St. Maarten Cruise Port – Plaza Area

St. Maarten Cruise Port Area with Shops and Restaurants

There isn’t much in the St. Maarten cruise port. There are a few places to grab a drink and a few shops.

The Most Popular Cruise Excursions near Philipsburg, St. Maarten Cruise Port

The top three excursions in St. Maarten are 1) The Flying Dutchman zip-line, 2) a chairlift to the top of sentry hill and 3) racing on a multi-million dollar America’s Cup yacht boat.

Top Excursions in St. Maarten

  • The Flying Dutchman Zip-Line
  • Chairlift to Sentry Hill
  • Racing on a Yacht

If you have more time on the island, you may want to explore the French side of the island.

What to Do on the French Side of St. Maarten

On the French side of the island, you can explore the Grand Case fishing village, Mullet Bay Beach (where the sand is super white and blue), and check out Maho Beach, where you can see airplanes fly right over your head.

Note: I would not go to the French side of the island if you are on a cruise , as your time in port will be limited. Instead, continue reading for the #1 best thing to do from the St. Maarten cruise port for cruise travelers.

The #1 Best Thing to Do in St. Maarten for Cruise Travelers

My mom and my favorite thing to do in St. Maarten is to take the water taxi ($7 round trip) to downtown St. Maarten.

In downtown St. Maarten, you will find a great beach and pretty good shopping.

My mom and I noticed that the prices for bags, dresses, and souvenirs in downtown St. Maarten were the best of all the islands on our last Caribbean cruise.

Summary: The best thing to do from St. Maarten cruise port is to go to the beach and then go shopping.

Water Taxi from St. Maarten Cruise Port

St. Maarten Cruise Port Water Taxi

The water taxi is right in the St. Maarten cruise port and will take about 3-5 minutes to walk to.

Note: You MUST pay with cash for the water taxi , so make sure to pack plenty of cash (I budget $100/day just in case we take a taxi for a half day tour) when you are packing for your cruise .

Map of Downtown St. Maarten (Short Water Taxi Ride from the Cruise Port)

Philipsburg, St. Maarten Cruise Port Map with Water Taxi and Downtown

As you can see, the water taxi (Bobby’s Marina) will take you across the water to downtown Philipsburg.

Once you get off the water taxi, you will find a very nice beach as well as plenty of restaurants with free Wi-Fi.

My mom and I paid $20 for two sets of beach chairs and an umbrella right outside of Caribbean Blend.

Beach Chairs at Caribbean Blend in St. Maarten

St. Maarten Cruise Port Nearby Beach

Tip: Plan on playing $20 for two sets of lounge/beach chairs in the shade.

After the beach in St. Maarten, shop at the local market.

Afterward, my mom and I explored the local markets.

My mom bought a matching blue beach sarong, a zippered beach bag, and a hair scrunchie all for less than $15 in cash. Just make sure to shop at the markets vs. in the stores. And go in with a smile on your face to get the best deals. 😊

Beach Bag, Sarong, and Scrunchie for only $13 in St. Maarten

St. Maarten shopping finds with beach bag from Philipsburg

Note: This combo on other Caribbean islands was $15-$20.

Summary – The Best Thing to Do in St. Maarten for Cruise Travelers

In summary, the best low-key and easy thing to do in St. Maarten is to 1) take the water taxi to downtown, 2) enjoy the beach, and 3) do some shopping.

FAQs about St. Maarten Cruise Port

Below are some helpful FAQs about St. Maarten cruise port.

Can you walk to the beach from St. Maarten cruise port?

No, there is not a beach within walking distance of the St. Maarten cruise port.

However, the Water Taxi is $7 round trip and a short 5-10 minute water ride to a beach.

Where do cruise ships dock at St. Maarten?

The cruise ships dock on the Dutch side of the island in Phillipsburg.

What is in St. Maarten port?

There isn’t much within St. Maarten port itself.

You will find the typical tourist shops and a few restaurants.

To explore the island, you will either need to take a taxi to explore the island or take a water taxi to downtown.

FAQs about Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Below are some FAQs about St. Maarten that may be helpful if you are stopping there on a cruise.

What is St Maarten best known for?

St. Maarten is known as the friendly island.

St. Maarten is also the smallest country that is owned by two countries!

There is the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, and the French side, Saint Marten.

What should I wear in St. Maarten?

Saint Maarten has warm summers, so wear shorts, t-shirts, a hat, and sunscreen.

I would also suggest bringing a water bottle with you and a beach umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.

Bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

How far is it from the cruise ship to the St. Maarten pier?

It is about a 5 minute walk from your cruise ship to the exit gates at the end of the pier, which is where the taxis and water taxi is located.

What is the currency in St. Maarten?

The currency on the French side of St. Maarten is the Euro and the currency on the Dutch side of St. Maarten is the Antilles Guilder.

However, the dollar is accepted pretty much anywhere in St. Maarten as well as credit card.

Is there Wi-Fi in St. Maarten?

You will have to pay for public Wi-Fi in St. Maarten, but most restaurants offer free Wi-Fi.

What is the official language in St. Maarten?

The official languages in St. Maarten are French and Dutch, but the main language is English.

What is the nicest beach in St. Maarten?

The nicest beaches in St. Maarten are Majo Beach, located at the end of the airport runway, and Orient Beach, located on the French side of the island.

If you are stopping at St. Maarten on a cruise ship, I’d recommend taking the water taxi ($7 round-trip) to downtown St. Maarten.

The ride is about 7 minutes, and you’ll find a great beach when you get off the water taxi. It’s close!

What’s the best food to eat in St. Maarten?

St. Maarten Conch and Dumpling Soup and National Dish

The best local food to eat in St. Marten is the conch and dumplings soup.

This hot and spicy meal is made with local conch, herbs and spices, and light and fluffy dumplings.

What’s the best drink to have in St. Maarten?

Guavaberry cocktail in St. Maarten

The best drink to have in St. Maarten is a Guavaberry cocktail.

This drink is made from guava berry fruits that grow on St. Maarten.

More Guides for Cruise-Lovers and Tropical Travelers

Love taking vacations on cruises and going to warm and tropical places? Yeah…me too! 😊

You may find these cruise travel guides and guides on what to wear on vacation helpful.

Cruise Travel Guides

Holland America Rotterdam Ship Review

Cruising Tips for New and Expert Cruise Travelers

Holland America Nieuw Statendam Ship Review

What to Pack for a Cruise (things you may not think of that are super helpful!)

The Best Hotels Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port (where to stay before your cruise)

Vacation Outfit Ideas and Guides for Women

The Best Plus Size Tropical Dresses for Cruise Vacations and Plus Size Resort Wear

Super Cute Beach Vacation Outfits with Dresses, Sandals/Heels, and Jewelry

Comfy and Cute Travel Outfits for Women

Cute Beach Outfits for a Day at the Beach (or the Pool)

The Best Swimsuits to Wear on a Cruise Ship

The Best Modest Yet Cute Swimsuits

The Best Swimsuits for DD Cup that Offer a Lot of Support

Unique and Fun One Piece Swimsuits

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Cruise ships docked at the port of Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Port schedule.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten cruise ship port calendar shows all scheduled arrival and departure dates in a timetable format. The cruise calendar displays the ship’s estimated time of arrival including related information such as how crowded is the port, as well as the ship’s next port-of-call.

The following timetable provides valuable information and keeps track of the future cruise ship arrivals from all major cruise lines. In order to find out more about the cruise ship itineraries such as ports, dates, and arrival/departure times just follow the ship’s link.

st maarten map cruise port

Philipsburg, St. Maarten cruise port guide

This Caribbean paradise is actually the smallest land mass in the world divided on two parts, one French and one Dutch, roughly 60:40 or 54km² belong to the French Republic and 34 km² to Kingdom of

  • Ventura 3.727 passengers 28 Jan 2024 - 00:00
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  • Mein Schiff 3 2.700 passengers 28 Jan 2024 - 07:30
  • Costa Fortuna 3.250 passengers 29 Jan 2024 - 08:00
  • MSC Seaside 5.336 passengers 30 Jan 2024 - 08:00
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  • Star Flyer 170 passengers 03 Feb 2024 - 00:00
  • Wind Surf 404 passengers 27 Jan 2024 - 19:00
  • Seabourn Ovation 638 passengers 28 Jan 2024 - 21:00
  • Mein Schiff 3 2.700 passengers 28 Jan 2024 - 22:00
  • Costa Fortuna 3.250 passengers 29 Jan 2024 - 18:00
  • Costa Fortuna 3.250 passengers 30 Jan 2024 - 18:00
  • Celebrity Apex 3.373 passengers 30 Jan 2024 - 19:00
  • MSC Seaside 5.336 passengers 30 Jan 2024 - 19:00
  • Carnival Conquest 3.581 passengers 31 Jan 2024 - 17:00
  • Carnival Magic 4.428 passengers 31 Jan 2024 - 18:00
  • AIDAluna 2.500 passengers 31 Jan 2024 - 18:00
  • Norwegian Getaway 4.819 passengers 31 Jan 2024 - 20:00
  • ms Nieuw Amsterdam 2.527 passengers 31 Jan 2024 - 23:00
  • Celebrity Silhouette 3.463 passengers 01 Feb 2024 - 15:00
  • Vision Of The Seas 2.443 passengers 01 Feb 2024 - 17:00
  • AIDAdiva 2.500 passengers 01 Feb 2024 - 18:00
  • Jewel Of The Seas 2.573 passengers 02 Feb 2024 - 17:00
  • Enchanted Princess 4.402 passengers 02 Feb 2024 - 18:00
  • Norwegian Viva 3.950 passengers 02 Feb 2024 - 19:00

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Caribbean Living and Destination Tips

Beaches In St Maarten Near Cruise Port (The Ultimate Guide)

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Is your upcoming Caribbean cruise docking in St Maarten?  Then one thing to include in your list of things to do is to visit one of the island’s finest beaches.

Fondly known as the Friendly Island, St Maarten is unique in that it is the smallest landmass divided between two nations in the world. St Maarten is Dutch and to the north the French side is called St Martin.

St Maarten is loved by tourists and visitors to the island for its bustling night life, diverse dining options and its exciting duty free shopping experience.

In this post we will explore the top 5 beaches to visit if you are in St Maarten on a cruise. These are near the cruise port terminal for ease of access on the island.

Great Bay Beach is the closest beach to the cruise terminal in St Maarten. It takes approximately 5 minutes by water taxi and 8 minutes by car to arrive at this location. Alternatively, you can take a 20 minute stroll to Great Bay Beach. Shops, cafes, car rentals and restaurants are located nearby.

Read on for further details about St Maarten’s beautiful beaches with contributions from a native of the island.

Table of Contents

1. Great Bay Beach

Great Bay Beach is the closest beach to the cruise terminal in St Maarten. It is located in the heart of the downtown capital Philipsburg and is about 3km from the cruise port. You can access this beach by walking. It takes about 20 minutes to arrive at this location.

Alternatively, there are water taxis available from the cruise terminal for only USD$7 round trip. Travel by water taxi is about 5 minutes and via taxi (car) about 8 minutes via Walter A Nisbeth Road.

Great Bay Beach’s location is ideal if you want to enjoy the beach as well as take advantage of the excellent duty free opportunities available on the island.

There are several shops selling watches, jewelery, perfume and electronic gadgets nearby. International brands such as Little Switzerland and Diamond International are easily accessible.

Great Bay Beach is also situated near car rentals, restaurants, bars and cafes and is a fantastic beach for swimming.

Check out the video below from In The Loop Travel that shares the walk from the cruise terminal to Great Bay Beach.

2. Orient Bay Beach

If you are looking for a beach away from the hustle of the capital city with a Caribbean feel, then Orient Bay Beach is an amazing option to consider. This beach is located on the French Side called St Martin and is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the cruise port.

Orient Bay Beach is excellent for water sport activities such as snorkeling and many individuals prefer it for swimming and sunbathing than Great Bay Beach.

Orient Bay Beach is the most popular beach in St Martin, so expect there to be a crowd. There are several beach bars such as Waikiki Beach, Kakao, Perch Bar & Grill, Bikini Beach and Kontiki Beach in this area.

Additionally, there is a clothing optional area on this beach.  Due to traffic congestion on afternoons, remember to give yourself sufficient time to return to the ship.

3. Maho Beach

Maho Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world due to its location near the runway of the Princess Juliana Airport.

Fondly known as Airplane beach, as planes usually have to approach the landing at an altitude of less than 100 feet.  As such many individuals are fascinated with plane spotting in this area.

Great care must be exercised as persons have died in the past due to the effects of the jet blast. The beach itself has suffered significant erosion due to the jet blast. As such there is little vegetation.

Water taxis to Maho Beach from the cruise port is easy to find and cost about $20. Alternatively, you can take a public transportation which costs USD $2.50 to go and USD$2.50 to return.

This is the most affordable option. Buses usually have a sign that says Maho beach and it takes approximately 20 minutes from the cruise port.

Maho Beach is usually a favorite of visitors to the island and it is a tiny beach. Therefore, depending on the time of year that you visit expect there to be a crowd. Two beach bars are located at either end of this beach being Sunset bar and grill and Driftwood boat bar respectively.

4. Dawn Beach

Located about 20 minutes by taxi from the cruise terminal, this white sand beach is surrounded by lush green landscape.

Its wide shoreline makes it a perfect spot for beach picnics and playing games on the shore. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.

There is a large Westin resort located on this beach.

Beaches In St Maarten Near Cruise Port

5. Mullet Bay Beach

Another beach that is well loved by both locals and visitors to the island is Mullet Bay Beach. However, kindly note that this one is the furthest on this list from the cruise port.

This beach is about 30 minutes from the cruise port via taxi along Airport road. Mullet Bay has beautiful white sand with calm waters and amazing views and landscape. 

It is larger than Maho beach and it a good option for beginner snorkeling as you can see fishes near the shoreline. There are no full restrooms but there is a port-a-potty available and usually there is a crowd on weekends.

Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent and local foods can be found at Rosie’s Snack Bar. The beach is great for swimming but at times can be rough so definitely one has to be cautious with children.

The island only has one major road. Therefore, be sure to gauge return time to the ship properly as there can be traffic jams on afternoons from this beach back to the port.

Final Thoughts

I trust that you have found this information useful if your plans are to visit a beach while on a cruise to St Maarten.

Remember especially if you are traveling via taxi or bus to give yourself ample time to get to your cruise ship.

St Maarten has one major road and it is not uncommon for there to be huge traffic congestion especially on afternoons.

I know you will love visiting this Caribbean island as much as I do.

If you are planning an upcoming cruise for St Maarten or the rest of the Caribbean, I have an awesome product recommendation that can save you money. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.

This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.

Need More Information?

Feel free to browse our website for more content on St Maarten, the Dutch Caribbean and rest of the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.

What Is The Best Currency For St Maarten

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St Maarten Vs St Martin (Which Is Better For A Vacation)

St Thomas vs St Maarten ( Which Island Is Better To Visit) 

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Sint-Maarten.net

What Are the Essential Maps for Philipsburg, St. Maarten?

Maps of Sint Maarten Philipsburg

Phillipsburg is one of the most highly populated areas on the entire island of St. Maarten. Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten and is one of the top tourist destinations in Saint Martin. Cruise ships dock at the port in Philipsburg and bring thousands of tourists to Sint Maarten each day who are looking for fun activities to engage in.

There are many different attractions and exciting sights to see in St. Maarten such as shopping centers, restaurants, spas, casinos, hotels, nightclubs, and more. Many of these incredible tourist attractions are located in the city of Philipsburg. This article contains a variety of maps that show the different streets, shopping centers, restaurants, beaches, and more that the city of Phillipsburg has to offer.

Table of Contents

1. Map of the streets in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

2. map of the beaches in philipsburg, st. maarten, 3. map of the port in philipsburg, st. maarten, 4. map of the shops in philipsburg, st. maarten, 5. map of the walking tour in philipsburg, st. maarten, 6. map of the restaurants in philipsburg, st. maarten, 7. map of the hotels in philipsburg, st. maarten, do you need a map when traveling throughout philipsburg, do some of the tours in philipsburg provide a map of philipsburg, can you get tourist information from maps of philipsburg.

Map of the streets in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above displays all of the prominent streets in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The main streets in St. Maarten are Front Steet, Back Street, Walter A. Nisbeth Road, C. A Cannegieter Street and Souligia road.

Map of the beaches in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above shows the location of the two beaches located in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. These two beaches are called Great Bay Beach, and Little Bay Beach.

Map of the port in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above shows the location of the Port of St. Maarten, which is a port located in Philipsburg. The Port of St. Maarten is where all of the cruise ships in St. Maarten dock and bring thousands of tourists to the island of Sint Maarten every day. This cruise ship port is a major contributing factor to the city of Philipsburg being the most populated city in St. Maarten.

Map of the shops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above shows the most popular locations to shop in Philipsburg. Shopping is an activity that many enjoy engaging in during their trip to St. Maarten because of the island’s duty-free status. There are several types of stores on the list including clothing stores, jewelry stores, souvenir shops, cigar stores, liquor stores, shopping malls, and more.

Map of the walking tour in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above is a walking tour starting from Great Bay Beach to the cruise ship port in St. Maarten. Tourists disembarking their cruise ship can spend time walking throughout the town of Philipsburg and enjoying many of the famous local attractions that are nearby each other such as Cyrus Wathey Square, the Amsterdam Cheese & Liquor store, the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit, and more. Taking a walking tour throughout the town of Philipsburg is a must for any who want to experience the true essence of St. Maarten.

Map of the restaurants in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above shows some of the most highly rated restaurants in the town of Philipsburg. Any one of these restaurants that are listed on the map above are guaranteed to give tourists a five-star experience.

Philipsburg is a town that is known for being a melting pot of cultures which is reflected in the cuisine that can be found on this part of the island. There are many different types of cuisine featured at these restaurants such as Creole, French, Dutch, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Peruvian, barbeque, and more.

Map of the hotels in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The map above shows the best hotels that are located in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The town of Philipsburg is no stranger to tourists, the town is actually one of the most populated towns on the entire island of Sint Maarten. There are many hotels available for guests to stay at in Philipsburg that can accommodate a wide variety of needs. Whether guests are traveling with family, with their significant other, or with friends there is a hotel for them located in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten.

Where is Philipsburg located?

Philipsburg is located on a narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond. Philipsburg is the main town and capital of the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten and actually functions as the commercial center of the entire island. Philipsburg is located on the southern half of the island below the French/Dutch border in Sint Maarten .  The coordinates of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten are 18.0296° N, 63.0471° W.

Yes, a map can be quite helpful when traveling throughout Phillipsburg. A map of the area provides travelers with the opportunity to go to all their desired destinations at a more efficient rate. A map can also make tourists aware of all of the new places to discover while in Phillipsburg. Maps can greatly enhance a travelers’ vacation experience.

Yes, certain tours of Phillipsburg, St. Maarten do provide visitors with a map of the city. Certain tours such as historical tours, walking tours, and shopping tours provide their visitors with a map of Phillipsburg to help them locate themselves more quickly and to get a sense of the history and atmosphere of the city. You can find more information about the various tours you can do in Sint Maarten here.

Yes, many of the maps provided on tours of Phillipsburg whether it be a walking tour, or a shopping tour can provide you with new sites to see that are popular attractions in Phillipsburg such as restaurants, beaches, spas, museums, shopping centers, etc.

St. Maarten Adventure

St. Maarten Adventure

Your Complete Vacation Guide

A yellow towel on the beach sand with sunglasses and flip-flops beside it.

Closest Beach to St Maarten Cruise Port: Paradise Awaits!

St Maarten is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and tropical climate. If you’re on a cruise and wondering what is the closest beach to St Maarten cruise port, you’re in luck.

St Maarten’s cruise port is conveniently located just steps away from some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the soft sand, swim in the clear waters, or partake in water sports, a day at the beach is a must when visiting St Maarten.

Table of Contents

  • 0.1 Key Takeaways
  • 1 What is the Closest Beach to St Maarten Cruise Port?
  • 2.1 Beach Options
  • 2.2 Activities and Attractions
  • 2.3 Choosing the Right Beach
  • 3 Top Beaches Near St Maarten Cruise Port
  • 4 The Charm of St Maarten Cruise Port Beaches
  • 5 Proximity of Beaches to St Maarten Cruise Port
  • 6 Unforgettable Experiences at St Maarten Cruise Port Beaches
  • 7 Popular Beaches Near St Maarten Cruise Port:
  • 8 Beach Safety and Tips for Visitors
  • 9.1 Cultural Experiences
  • 9.2 Tourist Spots
  • 9.3 Shopping Opportunities
  • 9.4 Culinary Delights
  • 10 Finding the Perfect Beach Souvenir
  • 11 Making the Most of Your St Maarten Cruise Port Beach Visit
  • 12 Conclusion
  • 13.1 Q: What is the closest beach to St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.2 Q: What are the beach options near St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.3 Q: Which are the top beaches near St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.4 Q: What makes St Maarten cruise port beaches charming?
  • 13.5 Q: How close are the beaches to St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.6 Q: What unforgettable experiences can be had at the top beaches near St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.7 Q: Which beaches near St Maarten cruise port are popular?
  • 13.8 Q: What are the beach safety tips for visitors near St Maarten cruise port?
  • 13.9 Q: What can visitors explore beyond the beaches in St Maarten?
  • 13.10 Q: Where can visitors find the perfect beach souvenir in St Maarten?
  • 13.11 Q: How can visitors make the most of their St Maarten cruise port beach visit?

Key Takeaways

  • The closest beach to St Maarten cruise port is Great Bay Beach, just steps away from the ship.
  • St Maarten’s beaches offer a range of activities, from sunbathing to water sports.
  • Visitors can experience the natural beauty and tranquility of the Caribbean at St Maarten’s beaches.

An aerial view of Great Bay Beach.

What is the Closest Beach to St Maarten Cruise Port?

The closest beach to St Maarten Cruise Port is Great Bay Beach. It is within walking distance, making it a convenient option for cruise passengers looking to enjoy the sun and sand shortly after disembarking.

Exploring Beach Options Near St Maarten Cruise Port

St Maarten is well known for its stunning beaches, and luckily for cruise ship visitors, there are plenty of options in close proximity to the cruise port. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or more adventurous activities, there’s a beach for everyone.

Beach Options

The nearest beach to the St Maarten cruise port is the Great Bay Beach , located just a few steps away from the ships. This beach is known for its calm waters and soft white sand, making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. It’s also lined with restaurants and shops, offering plenty of opportunities to grab food and souvenirs.

Another popular option is Little Bay Beach, which is located on the other side of Great Bay. Visitors can take a water taxi from the cruise port to the beach, where they can enjoy crystal clear waters and stunning views. This beach is also more secluded and less crowded, making it ideal for a more peaceful day at the beach.

Activities and Attractions

For those seeking more adventure, Maho Beach is a must-see attraction. It’s located on the Dutch side of the island, and known for its proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport. Visitors can watch planes fly just a few feet above their heads, making for a unique beach experience.

Orient Bay Beach is another popular option, located on the French side of the island. It’s known for its long stretch of white sand and crystal-clear waters, as well as its vibrant beach culture. Visitors can enjoy water sports, beachside dining, and a lively atmosphere.

Choosing the Right Beach

When choosing a beach near the St Maarten cruise port, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a beach experience. If you want a quieter and more peaceful day at the beach, Little Bay Beach might be the best option for you.

If you’re looking for adventure and unique experiences, Maho Beach might be more your style. And if you want a lively and social beach atmosphere, Orient Bay Beach is the place to be.

Overall, visitors to St Maarten have a wide variety of beach options to choose from, each offering its own unique experience.

With such a beautiful selection of beaches in close proximity to the cruise port, it’s no wonder why St Maarten is a popular Caribbean destination.

Top Beaches Near St Maarten Cruise Port

St Maarten is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a top tourist destination for beach lovers. Here are some of the top beaches near the St Maarten cruise port you don’t want to miss:

Each of these beaches offers a unique adventure, from swimming in clear waters to enjoying water sports or just lounging on the soft sand.

A beach towel with sunglasses resting on top of the towel.

The Charm of St Maarten Cruise Port Beaches

St Maarten’s cruise port beaches offer a unique blend of natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and soft sandy shores that make them truly special. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax and unwind or an exciting place to spend the day with family and friends, these beaches have something for everyone.

One of the most appealing features of St Maarten’s cruise port beaches is their pristine condition. The sand is soft and white, and the water is typically calm and clear, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just lounging on the beach. Plus, many of these beaches are relatively untouched, which adds to their charm and provides a sense of tranquility.

Another great thing about St Maarten’s cruise port beaches is the variety of activities available. Visitors can enjoy everything from sunbathing and swimming to jet-skiing, parasailing, and beachside dining. There are also plenty of amenities, such as loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars, to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

But perhaps the most unique aspect of St Maarten’s cruise port beaches is their atmosphere. There’s a laid-back yet lively vibe on these beaches, which makes them the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy the island’s culture. From music and food to local crafts and people watching, there’s always something to see and experience on these shores.

Overall, St Maarten’s cruise port beaches are a must-visit for anyone traveling to the island by sea. The combination of natural beauty, activities, and atmosphere make them truly unforgettable.

Proximity of Beaches to St Maarten Cruise Port

If you’re short on time during your St Maarten cruise port stopover but still want to experience a beautiful beach, you’re in luck. Some of the best beaches on the island are just a stone’s throw away from the cruise port, making them easily accessible and convenient. No need to worry about long travel times or complicated logistics – simply step off your cruise ship and make your way to one of the nearby beaches for a refreshing and rejuvenating dip in the crystal-clear waters.

Unforgettable Experiences at St Maarten Cruise Port Beaches

Visiting the top beaches near the St Maarten cruise port offers an array of unforgettable experiences. From basking in the sun to thrilling water activities, there’s something for everyone:

  • Snorkeling and Diving:  Clear waters and diverse marine life make St Maarten beaches perfect for snorkeling and diving, giving visitors a chance to explore the undersea world.
  • Jet Skiing and Parasailing:  For those seeking an adrenaline rush, jet skiing and parasailing are popular options at the beaches near the St Maarten cruise port. With experienced guides and modern equipment, these activities promise a thrilling experience.
  • Sunbathing and Beachside Dining:  The soft sandy shores and crystal-clear waters make St Maarten a prime location for sunbathing. Beachside dining is also an option for those who want to dine with a view of the picturesque beach.
  • Beach Sports:  Many St Maarten beaches offer beach volleyball, soccer, and other sports facilities, making it an ideal spot for sports enthusiasts.

Visitors can enhance their beach experience by trying out these activities and taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings that the top beaches offer.

Popular Beaches Near St Maarten Cruise Port:

St Maarten is home to some of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean, attracting both tourists and locals alike. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequented beaches near the St Maarten cruise port.

These beaches offer a lively atmosphere and a chance to experience the local beach culture. Make sure to include them in your itinerary to fully explore St Maarten’s vibrant beach scene.

St Maarten, Philipsburg beach.

Beach Safety and Tips for Visitors

While a day at the beach near the St Maarten cruise port can be a wonderful experience, it is important to prioritize safety and take precautions to prevent accidents or injuries. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Swim with caution:  Pay attention to any posted signs or flags and swim only in designated areas. Be aware of potential hazards such as currents or underwater rocks.
  • Protect yourself from the sun:  Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every few hours, especially after swimming. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion.
  • Stay hydrated:  Bring plenty of water and drink regularly to avoid dehydration.
  • Watch out for wildlife:  Be aware of any marine life such as jellyfish or sea urchins and avoid contact. If stung, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Respect the environment:  Dispose of any trash in proper receptacles and avoid disturbing natural habitats.
  • Be mindful of others:  Respect the privacy and space of other beachgoers, and avoid loud music or disruptive behavior.

By following these guidelines and using common sense, visitors can safely enjoy the beauty and relaxation of the St Maarten cruise port beaches.

Exploring Beyond the Beaches in St Maarten

While the St Maarten cruise port beaches offer unparalleled beauty and relaxation, there is much more to explore on the island. Beyond the beaches, visitors can discover a rich culture, fascinating history, and unique experiences that make St Maarten an unforgettable destination.

Cultural Experiences

St Maarten is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. Visitors can learn about the island’s history and heritage through various museums and landmarks, such as the St Maarten Museum and the historic Fort Amsterdam.

For a taste of local culture, visitors can attend the weekly Carnival Parade or indulge in traditional cuisine at one of the many restaurants serving local specialties.

Tourist Spots

St Maarten boasts a diverse range of tourist attractions, from natural wonders to modern entertainment centers. Visitors can take a scenic hike to the top of Pic Paradis, the highest point on the island, for stunning views.

They can also explore the famous Maho Beach , where planes fly low over the sand before landing at the nearby airport. For family-friendly fun, the Loterie Farm Eco Park offers zip lining, hiking trails, and a refreshing natural pool .

Shopping Opportunities

St Maarten is known for its shopping , with duty-free options and local markets selling everything from designer goods to handmade crafts. Visitors can browse the stores at the Front Street shopping area, explore the colorful stalls at the Philipsburg Market, or sample the sweet treats at the Guavaberry Emporium.

Culinary Delights

St Maarten’s cuisine is a blend of flavors and traditions, with fresh seafood, Caribbean spices, and European influences. Visitors can indulge in mouthwatering dishes at the island’s many restaurants, cafes, and street vendors.

They can also try unique beverages like the local Guavaberry liqueur or the refreshing coconut water served in freshly-harvested coconuts.

Exploring beyond the beaches in St Maarten offers a wealth of opportunities to discover the island’s diverse culture, attractions, and flavors. With so much to see and do, visitors can create their own unforgettable adventure on this Caribbean gem.

A view of Sint Maarten from a cruise ship.

Finding the Perfect Beach Souvenir

St Maarten’s beaches offer more than just sun, sand, and sea – they also provide a wealth of opportunities for finding the perfect souvenir to remember your visit. Here are some ideas for top-notch beach souvenirs:

  • Local handicrafts : Take home a piece of St Maarten’s vibrant culture with handcrafted items such as woven baskets, pottery, and wood carvings.
  • Beachwear and accessories : Upgrade your beach wardrobe with stylish swimsuits, cover-ups, and accessories such as sunglasses and hats.
  • Unique items : Look for one-of-a-kind treasures such as seashell jewelry, hand-painted ornaments, or personalized beach towels.

Many of these items can be found at local markets and souvenir shops, including those near the St Maarten cruise port. Remember to shop around and compare prices, and don’t be afraid to haggle a bit – it’s a common practice on the island. And of course, always make sure to purchase from reputable vendors to ensure quality and authenticity.

Making the Most of Your St Maarten Cruise Port Beach Visit

Visiting the beaches near St Maarten cruise port is a must-do activity for any traveler. To make the most out of your beach experience, consider the following tips:

  • Research ahead of time: Take some time to research the different beach options near the St Maarten cruise port to determine which one fits your interests and preferences.
  • Arrive early: Beaches can get crowded during peak hours, so arriving early will give you plenty of time to secure a good spot and enjoy some peace and quiet.
  • Bring the essentials: Make sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a beach towel to protect yourself from the sun and sand.
  • Stay hydrated: Bring water or other hydrating drinks to stay refreshed throughout the day.
  • Try new activities: Take advantage of the beach activities available, such as snorkeling or beach volleyball, to make your visit more memorable.
  • Enjoy local cuisine: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try local food and drinks at beachfront cafes and restaurants.
  • Respect the environment: Make sure to clean up after yourself and dispose of any trash properly to preserve the natural beauty of the beach.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your St Maarten cruise port beach visit and create unforgettable memories.

Overall, St Maarten cruise port offers a variety of beach options for visitors to choose from, each with its unique charm and attractions.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day soaking up the sun, an adventurous snorkeling excursion, or a lively beach party scene, St Maarten has something to offer.

To make the most of your beach visit, be sure to plan ahead and choose the activities that best suit your interests.

Remember to take proper precautions for beach safety and sun protection, and respect local etiquette and regulations.

Beyond the beaches, St Maarten also offers a range of additional attractions and experiences, from cultural sights and shopping opportunities to culinary delights and natural landmarks.

Don’t forget to pick up a beach souvenir to remember your visit, whether it’s a local handicraft or a trendy piece of beachwear.

With these tips and suggestions, you can create unforgettable memories and discover the paradise-like experience awaiting you at the closest beach to St Maarten cruise port.

A view of Great Bay Beach, and the cruise port.

Q: What is the closest beach to St Maarten cruise port?

A: The closest beach to St Maarten cruise port is [Beach Name].

Q: What are the beach options near St Maarten cruise port?

A: There are several beach options near St Maarten cruise port, including [Beach 1], [Beach 2], and [Beach 3].

Q: Which are the top beaches near St Maarten cruise port?

A: The top beaches near St Maarten cruise port are [Beach 1], known for its [unique feature], [Beach 2], famous for [popular activity], and [Beach 3], offering [notable landmark nearby].

Q: What makes St Maarten cruise port beaches charming?

A: St Maarten cruise port beaches are known for their natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and soft sandy shores, creating a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere for visitors.

Q: How close are the beaches to St Maarten cruise port?

A: The beaches near St Maarten cruise port are in close proximity and easily accessible by [transportation options].

Q: What unforgettable experiences can be had at the top beaches near St Maarten cruise port?

A: Visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, and beachside dining at the top beaches near St Maarten cruise port.

Q: Which beaches near St Maarten cruise port are popular?

A: The popular beaches near St Maarten cruise port include [Beach 1], [Beach 2], and [Beach 3], known for their vibrant beach culture and availability of facilities and amenities.

Q: What are the beach safety tips for visitors near St Maarten cruise port?

A: Visitors near St Maarten cruise port should follow swimming guidelines, practice sun protection, and take precautions against potential hazards. It is also important to adhere to general beach etiquette.

Q: What can visitors explore beyond the beaches in St Maarten?

A: Visitors can explore popular tourist spots, cultural experiences, shopping opportunities, and culinary delights beyond the beaches in St Maarten.

Q: Where can visitors find the perfect beach souvenir in St Maarten?

A: Visitors can find the perfect beach souvenir in St Maarten at local handicraft shops, beachwear stores, and other outlets offering unique items.

Q: How can visitors make the most of their St Maarten cruise port beach visit?

A: Visitors can make the most of their St Maarten cruise port beach visit by planning ahead, choosing the right beach activities, and optimizing their time to create lasting memories.

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Meet Karin, the passionate author and founder of StMaartenAdventure.com. My love affair with St. Maarten began in 1994 during a memorable trip. The island's allure was so captivating that I decided to make it my permanent home. Since then, I've been committed to sharing the beauty and wonders of St. Maarten through my adventures and insights. Join me on this incredible journey!

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ncesc-geographic-faq

Can you walk to beach from St. Maarten Port?

geographic-faq

First and foremost, yes, you can walk to a beach from St. Maarten Port. There are several beautiful beaches in St. Maarten that are within walking distance from the port. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about walking to the beach from St. Maarten Port:

1. How far is the beach from St Maarten Port?

The distance from St. Maarten Port to the nearest beach depends on which beach you choose to visit. Some beaches, like Junkanoo Beach, are just a short walk away, approximately 15 minutes from the port.

2. How long does it take to walk to the beach from St Maarten Port?

On average, it takes about 15 minutes to walk from St. Maarten Port to the closest beach. However, the exact time may vary depending on the specific beach you choose to visit and your walking pace.

3. Is it safe to walk to the beach from St Maarten Port?

Yes, it is generally safe to walk to the beach from St. Maarten Port. The main tourist areas are well-maintained, and there are usually security personnel or police presence in those areas. However, like any tourist destination, it’s always a good idea to take sensible precautions and avoid isolated or poorly-lit areas, especially at night.

4. Are the beaches in St. Maarten free?

Yes, all of the beaches in St. Maarten are free public beaches. You can enjoy the natural beauty and the sandy shores without having to pay an entrance fee. However, there may be some areas where you need to pay for amenities like parking or rental of chairs/umbrellas from beach establishments.

5. How much is a taxi from St Maarten Port to the nearest beach?

If you prefer to take a taxi instead of walking to the beach from St. Maarten Port, the cost will depend on the specific beach you choose to go to and the number of people in the car. On average, taxi fares from the port to the nearest beach can range from $15 to $20 per person.

6. Are there any specific beaches within walking distance from St Maarten Port?

Yes, there are several beaches within walking distance from St. Maarten Port. Some popular options include Junkanoo Beach, which is approximately 15 minutes away, and Maho Beach, which is about a five to ten-minute walk from the cruise pier.

7. Can you access all beaches freely in St. Maarten?

Yes, all of the beaches in St. Maarten are public, and you can access them freely. However, certain amenities or services provided by beach establishments may require payment or purchase, such as rental of chairs/umbrellas or access to private beach clubs.

8. How safe is it to walk to Junkanoo Beach from St Maarten Port?

Walking to Junkanoo Beach from St. Maarten Port is generally safe. The route is tourist-friendly and well-traveled, and there is often a visible security or police presence in the area. However, it is always important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially when walking alone or at night.

9. Are there any safety precautions to take while walking on the beach?

While walking on the beach in St. Maarten, it is important to take some basic safety precautions. Keep your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, secure at all times. Avoid leaving valuables unattended on the beach and be mindful of your surroundings. It is also recommended to keep purses and handbags closed and not easily accessible to potential thieves.

10. How do I walk to Great Bay Beach in St. Maarten?

To walk to Great Bay Beach in St. Maarten, you can start by walking along the main road from the port towards the beach. The exact route may vary depending on the specific location of the port, but you can ask for directions or follow signs towards Great Bay Beach. It is advisable to use a map or GPS for navigation.

11. What should I avoid in St. Maarten?

When visiting St. Maarten, it is advisable to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. Some things to avoid include remote or poorly-lit areas, including beaches, especially at night. It is also recommended to avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing valuable jewelry, as these can attract unwanted attention. Furthermore, keep your belongings secure and do not leave them unattended on the beach or in public areas.

12. When is the best time to visit St. Maarten?

The best time to visit St. Maarten is typically from December to May, as this is the dry season with pleasant weather and fewer chances of hurricanes. However, it is important to note that St. Maarten is a popular tourist destination year-round, so you can still enjoy your visit during other times of the year.

13. Is Junkanoo Beach free to access?

Yes, Junkanoo Beach in St. Maarten is free to access. You can enjoy the sandy beach and the turquoise waters without having to pay an entrance fee. However, there may be additional charges for amenities or services provided by beach establishments, such as beach chair rentals or food and drinks.

14. Is Junkanoo Beach safe for tourists?

Junkanoo Beach is generally considered safe for tourists. The beach is frequented by many tourists, and it is often monitored by security personnel. However, it is always important to take basic safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings while enjoying the beach. It is advised to stay close to the main tourist areas and avoid venturing into remote or poorly-lit areas.

15. How safe is it to walk on the beach in St. Maarten?

In general, walking on the beach in St. Maarten is a safe activity. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the island and get some exercise. However, it is always important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. It is advisable to walk on solid ground for a few minutes before venturing onto the sandy beach, especially if the terrain

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IMAGES

  1. St. Maarten Cruise Port and Things to Do for Cruise Travelers. (2022)

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  2. St Maarten Cruise Port Map

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  3. Philipsburg st maarten cruise port map

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  4. St. Maarten Cruise Port: Culture, Beaches and Jumbo Jets- The Daily

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  5. 10 TIPS FOR CRUISE PORT SINT MAARTEN

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  6. Philipsburg st maarten cruise port map

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  2. ST MAARTEN CRUISE PORT Nov 2023/What to do in St Maarten?/Walking Tour/Carnival Vista

  3. Port of St. Maarten, Philipsburg #sxm #sintmaarten #philipsburg #port #cruiseship #caribbeancruise

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COMMENTS

  1. Guide to Philipsburg, St. Maarten Cruise Port

    For cruise passengers, St. Maarten's port, located on the Dutch side in Philipsburg, is a gateway to an array of experiences. The port itself offers a range of amenities and is a short walk or a quick taxi ride from the bustling Front Street, renowned for its duty-free shopping.

  2. 35 Best Things to Do in St. Maarten on a Cruise [Cruise Port Guide

    1613 shares Pin If you're visiting St. Maarten on a cruise, you're in luck! St. Maarten is one of the most beautiful cruises port of call in the Caribbean and a favorite among cruise travelers. This unique Caribbean island is home to two distinct cultures and countries, often referred to as the Dutch and French sides.

  3. PHILIPSBURG ST MAARTEN Port Map and Cruise Schedule

    PHILIPSBURG ST MAARTEN cruise port map with cruise ship locations and cruise schedule arrivals/departures. READ MORE...

  4. St Maarten Cruise Port Guide and Best Things to Do

    See St Maarten cruise port on Google maps St Maarten cruise port (on the left) and Philipsburg (on the right). Photo courtesy of Rene Cicero. St Maarten cruise terminal Upon getting off the ship, you'll spot Harbour Point Village - a lively area full of duty-free shops, jewelry stores, market stalls, bars, and a restaurant.

  5. Philipsburg St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles) cruise port schedule

    79°F 26.3°C Fresh breeze 10.5 m/s 80 °F / 27 °C 79 °F / 26 °C Port Map Wiki Schedule Hotels News Philipsburg is a port town and the capital of Sint Maarten - an island country in the Dutch Antilles, one of The Netherlands' overseas territories. The island is approx 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico (USA).

  6. St. Maarten cruise port

    The northern part, measures 52 km2 / 20 m2, is French. The French call this part of the island Saint Martin and they call their main city Marigot. The southern part measures 44 km2 / 17 m2 and is Dutch. The Dutch call their part of the island Sint Maarten and its capital is Philipsburg.

  7. Sint Maarten, Philipsburg Cruise Port Guide: Review (2023)

    Saint Martin or Sint Maarten (in Dutch) is one of the Editor's favorite island in the Eastern Caribbean cruise itineraries for two main reasons - its natural beauty (clean beaches and paradisaic climate) and the fact that it is very easy and safe to explore on your own. Pier View Saint Martin Photo © IQCruising.com

  8. Best things to do near the St. Maarten Cruise Port: The Ultimate Guide

    Great Bay Beach Great Bay Beach is a beautiful beach that stretches 2 miles (3.22 km) long that looks like a postcard from every angle. It is very close to the cruise terminal and you can get there either by water taxi for $7 with a return ticket or pay $5 for a one way.

  9. Port St. Maarten: Home

    N°1 - The leading port in the caribbean St. MAARTEN - A WORLD CLASS CRUISE DESTINATION Simpson Bay Bridge Openings Reduced to two per day

  10. St Maarten cruise port guide

    Cruise port location. The cruise-ship port is about a mile from the centre of Philipsburg, the capital of St Maarten. This is one of the Caribbean's busiest ports: as many as six cruise ships can ...

  11. Philipsburg Sint Maarten Netherlands Antilles Cruise Port

    St. Maarten has constructed a wonderful new cruise terminal. It is able to dock seven cruise ships at one time. A water taxi, $4 one way, continually runs from the cruise terminal to different spots at the beach promenade or you can walk ( 10 min.) or take a land taxi into town. There are a few shops in the new cruise terminal.

  12. St. Maarten Cruise Port: Tips, Attractions, Weather

    Atmosphere The St. Maarten cruise port at Philipsburg has all of the above in a pleasant mix. It is a must-see stop for any southern or eastern Caribbean cruise and why 2 million cruise visitors come to the port every year. Quick Travel Tips The main St. Maarten cruise port is Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities at Philipsburg.

  13. Marigot Saint Martin Saint Martin Cruise Port

    Location: Cruise ships dock close to the center of town. Its pier can only accommodate one medium-sized cruise ship at a time. Some ships use tenders. Printable map to take along. Cruise calendar for this port. For Dutch St Maarten click here. Watch a destination video. Live Nautical Chart with Wikipedia Markers Port Location on Google Maps

  14. 30 Things to Do in Philipsburg, St. Maarten During a Cruise

    1. Explore the Town of Philipsburg Before taking a taxi tour of the island, it's best to start with a brief walking tour of the nearby town of Philipsburg. It takes one 10-20 minutes to get to the...

  15. Things to do in St Maarten Cruise Port Philipsburg

    (Header photo courtesy of Christine Gardner) Welcome to the Philipsburg St Maarten / St Martin Cruise Port! Welcome to one of the most visited cruise ports in the Caribbean and the world! More importantly, one of the most popular.

  16. St Maarten Cruise Port Guide, Things To Do, Shore Excursions

    2+ Introduction Welcome to St. Maarten, one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean! This vibrant island, situated in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, offers a unique blend of Dutch and French influences, making it a cultural melting pot and a fascinating place to explore.

  17. St. Maarten Cruise Port Guide + Top Things to Do

    The Most Popular Cruise Excursions near Philipsburg, St. Maarten Cruise Port. The top three excursions in St. Maarten are 1) The Flying Dutchman zip-line, 2) a chairlift to the top of sentry hill and 3) racing on a multi-million dollar America's Cup yacht boat.

  18. St Maarten cruise port

    Open full screen to view more. This map was created by a user. Learn how to create your own. St Maarten cruise port located in Philipsburg the capital of the Dutch side of this nice Caribbean ...

  19. Philipsburg · St. Maarten · Port Schedule

    Port schedule. Philipsburg, St. Maarten cruise ship port calendar shows all scheduled arrival and departure dates in a timetable format. The cruise calendar displays the ship's estimated time of arrival including related information such as how crowded is the port, as well as the ship's next port-of-call.

  20. What's within Walking Distance of St Maarten Cruise Port?

    Key Takeaways: St Maarten cruise port offers various attractions within easy walking distance. Landmarks, shopping options, dining experiences, family-friendly attractions, cultural experiences and nightlife options can be enjoyed by foot. Comfy footwear is a must when exploring on foot. Photo by Scott S. Bateman on Unsplash

  21. Beaches In St Maarten Near Cruise Port (The Ultimate Guide)

    1. Great Bay Beach Great Bay Beach is the closest beach to the cruise terminal in St Maarten. It is located in the heart of the downtown capital Philipsburg and is about 3km from the cruise port. You can access this beach by walking. It takes about 20 minutes to arrive at this location.

  22. What Are the Essential Maps for Philipsburg, St. Maarten?

    The map above shows the location of the Port of St. Maarten, which is a port located in Philipsburg. The Port of St. Maarten is where all of the cruise ships in St. Maarten dock and bring thousands of tourists to the island of Sint Maarten every day. This cruise ship port is a major contributing factor to the city of Philipsburg being the most ...

  23. Closest Beach to St Maarten Cruise Port: Paradise Awaits!

    The closest beach to St Maarten cruise port is Great Bay Beach, just steps away from the ship. St Maarten's beaches offer a range of activities, from sunbathing to water sports. Visitors can experience the natural beauty and tranquility of the Caribbean at St Maarten's beaches. Photo by Tomasz Tomal on Unsplash.

  24. Can you walk to beach from St. Maarten Port?

    Yes, it is generally safe to walk to the beach from St. Maarten Port. The main tourist areas are well-maintained, and there are usually security personnel or police presence in those areas. However, like any tourist destination, it's always a good idea to take sensible precautions and avoid isolated or poorly-lit areas, especially at night.