CRUISE PORT SPOTLIGHT: PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN
JULY 17, 2017
Philipsburg, St. Maarten is the cruise gateway to the gorgeous island of St. Maarten / St. Martin. Why the dual spelling? Because this tropical Caribbean island is the smallest island in the world to be inhabited by two nations: French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. When visiting, it’s easy to cross between the two sides and no matter which part of the island you’re exploring, you’ll find lots of friendly locals and gorgeous beaches. Each side of the island definitely has a different feel though, reflective of its home country – with a good dose of Caribbean charm thrown in. Here is a summary of what to expect and things to do when your ship has a port of call in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Getting to Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Your ship will dock on the Dutch side of the island in Philipsburg. To get to the central part of Philipsburg, you’ll need to depart the ship and join your shore excursion group or take the small water ferry across the bay. It’s a short ride and you’ll be deposited right by all the shops and restaurants of Philipsburg. Spend time browsing and shopping, then go for a walk on the sandy beach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, opt for a shore excursion while in port to have a more adventurous time.
Things to Do in St. Maarten / St. Martin
Besides walking around Philipsburg, here are some other things you may want to do while visiting the island of St. Maarten / St. Martin during your cruise.
Horseback Riding: A memorable way to explore the coast of St. Maarten is via a horseback riding excursion. There are scenic seaside trails you’ll go down atop your horse before riding right into the Caribbean water.
Sunset Cruise: The water surrounding St. Maarten consists of beautiful clear shades of aquamarine and turquoise. Watch the colors of both the sea and sky change from day to night on a sunset catamaran cruise, complete with Champagne.
Beach Excursion: If you’re all about beach time during your day in Philipsburg, opt for the Buccaneer Beach shore excursion, which effortlessly takes you to one of St. Maarten’s most popular beaches. You can lounge on the white sand, pop into the beach bar for a cool drink, or splash around in the warm water.
ATV Adventure: Feeling the need for some fast-paced action during your time on the island? Spend your day zooming around on an ATV. Drive your ATV up the hillside for scenic views and then back down to the coast for time on the beach.
Ziplining: On the French side of the island up on Pic Paradis, the highest peak on the island, you’ll find Loterie Farm nature preserve, which hosts a thrilling adventure course over the treetop canopy with ziplines, bridges and rope swings.
The Newest Ship Sailing to St. Maarten
When your day is done in St. Maarten / St. Martin you’ll board your ship and enjoy the fun nightlife and luxe lounges that Celebrity Cruises is known for – which may be on Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Edge, since it will be offering an itinerary that has a port of call in St. Maarten when the ship begins sailing at the end of 2018.
This Celebrity Edge itinerary is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing that is scheduled to stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. You can visit even more ports of call and make your vacation a 14-night one by booking back-to-back sailings that includes Celebrity Edge’s other itinerary for the Western Caribbean and also visit Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman.
To find out more about Celebrity Edge, including its innovative Infinite Veranda staterooms and the industry-first Magic Carpet, a cantilevered terrace that “floats” between the decks serving as both a waiting lounge for tender boats while in port and a unique oceanview restaurant experience in the evenings, click here.