Sint Maarten Cruise Guide (Cruise Lines, Port Info, and Excursion Guide)

One famous trait of the famed Caribbean islands is its ideal setting for a cruise adventure, and Sint Maarten just happens to be one of the big named islands, despite its cute size. And once you touched the island’s proverbial sands, and feel its air, you’ll know just why it’s so big on cruising.
Sint Maarten Cruise Guide
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From the Royal Caribbean to the Celebrity Cruises, Sint Maarten stays on top of the itinerary for many of the western hemisphere’s best cruise lines. You can set sail for Sint Maarten along the scenic route, together with several other pearls of the Caribbean.

What Cruise Lines Go to Sint Maarten?

Sint Maarten’s fame and its unwavering hype has given multiple stamps of approval by travel enthusiasts, and a plethora of travel magazines around the world, and the digital universe. So, it’s no surprise that there is more than one exciting way to explore the island.

One such exciting way to acquaint yourself with the interesting beauty that is Sint Maarten is by cruising, and for obvious reasons, there is a plethora of rather a whole fleet of cruise lines going to the island. You can sail across the Caribbean to the gorgeous sun-kissed shores of the Dutch Caribbean with Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, and of course, the region’s Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Does Royal Caribbean Go to Sint Maarten?

Considered to be one of the Caribbean’s best cruise lines, together with one of the Caribbean’s most famous and iconic islands, it would make sense for the two to go hand-in-hand when you talk about worthy Caribbean excursions.

Sint Maarten is always part of many of the Royal Caribbean’s Caribbean packages and itineraries. Usually departing from Miami, Florida, Caribbean cruises along with Sint Maarten typically costs above 450 USD, spanning from 5 to 8 nights.

Does Carnival Cruise Go to St Maarten?

Carnival Cruises go to Sint Maarten, often part of their Caribbean cruise packages and itineraries. A Big cruise line like Carnival perfectly knows that a Caribbean tour isn’t a worthy tour without Sint Maarten as a major stop.

Cruises to Sint Maarten with Carnival often involve a lot of pre-made excursions that help you explore not just the beauty and the waters that surround the island, but in its interior as well. Starting off in the port of Philipsburg, you can then conquer the island from there, you can even cross over to the French side of Saint Martin.

Where Do the Cruise Ships Dock in Sint Maarten?

Certainly, the busiest part of the island, Philipsburg is the epicenter of tourism in Sint Maarten. Not only the airport calls the city home, but also the port where most cruise ships dock. Port Philipsburg, located on the island’s southern coast, has two cruise ship piers.

Pier 1 has a length of 545 m or 1,788 feet, and the maximum capacity to dick 4 ships simultaneously, and Pier 2, measuring 445 meters or 1,460 feet long, has the capacity to dock 2 Oasis-class ships.

Where Does Royal Caribbean Dock in Sint Maarten?

Royal Caribbean, along with many other cruise lines going to Sint Maarten dock in Port Philipsburg, right at the harbor of Philipsburg, capital of the Dutch constituent country.

What Port Does Carnival Use in Sint Maarten?

Like the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line dock in Port Philipsburg right at Philipsburg’s harbor, Sint Maarten’s capital city.

Is St Maarten a Tender Port?

With 2 piers that can handle a total of 4 to 6 cruise ships simultaneously, Sint Maarten is not a tender port, and will safely and easily disembark cruisers to the cruise terminal right at Port Philipsburg.

Tourists will be welcomed at the Harbour Point Village offering duty-free shops, market stalls, bars, a restaurant, and a transport terminal where you can easily be picked up by shore excursion companies.

How Far Is Sint Maarten Airport From Cruise Port?

Situated relatively at the opposite sides of the Dutch side of the island, Princess Juliana International Airport is about 2 miles or 3.22 kilometers west of the cruise port in Port Philipsburg. You can already tell that everything is not really far from each other in Sint Maarten given its size, making it perfect for a day’s worth of excursion if you’re cruising.

Do You Need a Passport to Go to Sint Maarten on a Cruise?

If you’re from the US and Canada, sailing off from US ports, you must have a passport, together with a valid identification document. However, requirements vary depending on your homeport country and the cruise line you’re with, it’s best to look up in advance to prevent mishaps in customs.

What Is There to Do on Cruise Stop in Sint Maarten?

Taking a cruise to the Caribbean with Sint Maarten in your itinerary is a worthy to-do in itself, but once you disembark the ship, you’ll be met with an interesting and beautiful island that offers seemingly countless things to do and explore. Just as you leave the port and on to the capital of Philipsburg, you will already have a long list of things to do.

Philipsburg alone offers tons of things to do, and places to check out, for one, walking tours of the town’s iconic landmarks are always a go-to, such as the boardwalk, strolling down the waterfront street nearby. And as you walk around savor the Dutch charm with a side of that classic Caribbean festive spirit in the air.

Make your way to the downtown area where you can easily find something to latch your attention on, or maybe even spending more than you expected. Just near the port and downtown is the Great Bay Beach, easily accessible from the boardwalk. The beach is a 2-mile stretch of white sandy beach complete with all the necessities and restaurants that give you a taste of the Sint Maarten cuisine.

Spare a time to travel to Maho Beach, right in front of the Princess Juliana International Airport, and sunbathe and witness planes and jets that fly right over. This is one of the things that put the island on the radar of fun-seeking travelers.

You can also head to the Water UFO, just a 5-minute walk from the cruise ship docks that offer a one-of-a-kind experience. A five-foot round, flying-saucer-shaped disk zips along the water with up to two passengers who control the direction by simply leaning to one side or another. This is a fun and new exciting water activity that is just unique to the island. Making an excursion worth it.

But if you want to see as much of the island in a short time, you can do an island tour, rent a car for the say, or hire a tour company to take you around Sint Maarten. What makes the island tour worth it is that there are two countries on one island, offering you two cultures, double draws, and twice the fun.

What Is the Best Shore Excursion in Sint Maarten?

If you plan to get off the ship and experience the famed beautiful blues and whites of the island, probably one of the best shore excursions you could try is sailing and snorkeling in a Catamaran. You can sail away with Sint Maarten Catamaran Sail and Snorkel Adventure which sails from the Great Bay of Philipsburg just off the cruise port.

You will see history, beautiful scenery, and incredible villas and yachts. Enjoy the incredible view as you sail along the coast past the ruins of Fort Amsterdam, Little and Cay Bays, and Pelican Key on your St. Maarten Catamaran Tour. A Catamaran can hold up to 24 people, perfect for a large group of cruisers, offering a lot of space and shade.

If you’re an even bigger adventure type, snorkel gear is provided for those wishing to explore the beauty that lies underneath the blue waters of Sint Maarten. If the weather’s great, your captain can set a course for the best snorkeling stops and have you in awe.