There are two ports on the island of St. Martin. On the French side, Galisbay Port is located near Marigot. On the Dutch side, the St-Maarten Port Authority is Pointe Blanche, near Philipsburg. Every year, around 2 million cruise passengers come through the two ports of St. Martin. St. Martin is a top destination for an exotic cruise in the Caribbean. The biggest cruise lines include our destination in their Caribbean cruises.
Galisbay Port is mainly used by average-sized cruise ships with upper-class services. The port manages between 70 and 80 cruise ship stopovers per year, such as the Sea Dream, Sea Bourn and the Ritz Carlton Evrima.
They drop anchor either in the harbor or at the dock. These ships offer a very high-class way of traveling. Luxury cruise companies such as Le Ponant are particularly fond of Galisbay Port. Every day, ships arrive in St. Martin from all over the Caribbean, and mainly from Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, the USA, and Puerto Rico. The port is a gateway to the outside world and is a hub for the local economy.
There are always four or five of these giants of the sea berthed at Philipsburg. They are part of the boardwalk’s appeal. Sint Maarten is a port of call for the most iconic cruise liners. You can enjoy spotting some of the famous ones like Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, MSC Meraviglia, Royal Princess, and Queen Mary 2. From Pointe Blanche you could get a closer look at the incredible architecture of these immense naval constructions.
Cruise Lines Coming to St. Martin
The cruise lines coming into Galisbay Port are mainly Seadream Yacht, La Ponant, and Crystal Cruises. They offer high-end themed cruises, to combine traveling with cultural activities such as classical music, food and wine, art, theater and literature, photography, and golf. They abide by a sustainable approach to tourism.
At Sint-Maarten Port Authority, well-known cruise lines such as Carnival Cruises, MSC Croisières, Viking Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland American Lines, Azamara Cruises, and Disney Cruises moor at the deep-water dock. These cruise lines offer activities and destination services that target a wider audience. They have the most competitive prices for cruises around the Caribbean that stop off on St. Martin.
On both the Dutch and the French sides of the island, numerous marinas welcome yachts, sailboats, and catamarans, for day cruises as a family or with friends. Recreational boating is very popular on the island, and it is easy to find companies who organize boat trips out at sea.
Generally, cruise companies will organize your trip from A to Z. They take care of and manage your flights there and back, transfers between the airport and the cruise port, as well as your schedule of activities before and after the cruise.
You can also make your own way to the departure point for your cruise. You must have all the necessary documents (passport, visa, vaccination card) to be able to travel with peace of mind. You may be refused boarding for a flight or cruise, or entrance onto the territory if you do not have the correct papers. Be careful with expiry dates. Make sure you find out about all the relevant formalities before flying.
On the boarding date for your cruise, your ship will leave the port indicated on the first day of the itinerary. All passengers will need to make sure they have a valid passport and the necessary visas, depending on their nationality and the countries visited. When you board the cruise ship, you will be asked to show your passport that you used to fill in the information sheet. It will be kept until the end of the cruise, so the Ship’s Officers can show it to the customs officers at each port. If you need your passport during a stopover, it can be picked up from reception and then you’ll need to take it back when you board the ship. When you arrive at a port, customs and immigration officers board the ship. Once they have completed their inspection, the passengers and crew can disembark and enjoy exploring new places during the stopover