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St Maarten

Philipsburg Boardwalk
Philipsburg Boardwalk


Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French) is a favourite cruise destination due to its ability to accomodate many cruise ships including the new mega ships. It is divided with a Dutch side on the south and French side on the north.

Where You're Docked

The cruise terminal is on the Dutch side close to the town of Philipsburg. It is an easy half mile walk into town or you can take a water bus to get you directly to Philipsburg. Cruise ship schedule here http://www.portstmaarten.com/

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Money and Tipping

The USD dollar is the primary currency on the Dutch side while the French side uses Euros. Tipping in restaurants is similar to the US, 15-20% for good service. Taxi drivers should be tipped the same rate.

Local Transportation

Minibuses are the best way to get around if you want to go to Marigot on the French side or to Maho Bay. Fares are $1.50-$3 depending on distance travelled. They pickup along the main roads (Front St and Back St) in Philipsburg. You will probably need to take a taxi if you want to go to Orient Beach.

A water bus service will take you from the cruise terminal directly to Philipsburg. It is $4 one way or $6 for an all day wristband (Nov 2011).

Be careful when visiting the western part of the island since swing bridges have scheduled openings to let boats pass through the bay which causes long delays in traffic. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to your ship.


Search hotels in St Maarten here


  • Philipsburg - The main town on the Dutch side with a large beach.
  • Marigot - The main town on the French side.
  • Orient Beach - A beautiful and large beach on the French side. Topless bathing is the norm but half the beach is fully nude.
  • Maho Bay Beach - Located at the end of the main airport runway. You can stand in the jet blast as planes land and takeoff. There is a beach bar here.

Shopping and Restaurant

You can find shop and restaurants throughout Philipsburg. There is a Sang's supermarket across from the Greenhouse restaurant if you walk back to the cruise terminal.


Restaurants and cafes may provide free wifi for customers.



St Maarten Weather Forecast

Suggested Port Guides


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Page last modified on October 06, 2019, at 04:04 PM
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