Welcome to the St. Maarten cruise port guide. St. Martin is the world’s smallest territory shared by two countries. 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. For over 350 years they have been living alongside one another on this small island. Because of this vibrant but peaceful history the island shows two beautiful and diverse faces and personalities. The cruise ships often dock on the Dutch side near Philipsburg. St. Martin is great for any tourist! Aside from the great climate Sint Maarten is known for its shopping! With over 500 duty-free stores this must be absolute shoppers paradise. Aside from this fact, the island has lots of sights to offer. There are great sites to visit and memories to make. Visit the Loterie farm, St. Maarten zoo, the Butterfly farm or be blown away at one of the world’s most dangerous airports for example. Read more about your options in the Philipsburg, St. Maarten cruise port guide underneath.
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 (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.
The following information is based on ships docking at the cruise terminal. Underneath you will find your transportation options:
The water taxi is the most popular way to go to the city centre of Philipsburg. At the cruise terminal you will find signs that will lead you there. The water taxi departs from the Captain Hodge Pier. It costs 7 US dollar round trip. 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 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.
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.
Shopping St. Martin is the best shopping port in 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.
Find free wifi 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.
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.