Sail in
St Martin

Bienvenue Chez Nous and Welkom to the mesmerizing dual island nation of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten, the crossroads to the Caribbean.

A year-round, tropical climate, enchanting sandy beaches, exciting scuba diving sites and sparkling, azure waters are just some of the highlights waiting for you in paradise.

This charming island nation is divided in the middle, the north part of the island, Saint Martin is French, and the south, Sint Maarten is Dutch. Distinctly different, both sides of the island offer visitors a unique, charming and exciting opportunity to experience a culturally diverse Caribbean way of life.

Just over two and a half hours from Miami and three hours from New York, paradise is just a short flight away. A truly once in a lifetime TradeWinds experience, be sure that you don't miss out. Book your perfect escape on one of our luxury St Martin yacht charters.

Good to know

Sint Maarten-St Martin is located in the northeast Caribbean 1,371 miles (2,207km) from Miami, FL and approximately 150 miles (240 km) east of Puerto Rico.  This island is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles in total, the island is owned by France and the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch and the French agreed more than 350 years ago that residents of either side of the island can be commercially active on the other side without any Red Tape or border difficulties. This contract of peaceful coexistence turns out to be the oldest active, undisputed treaty on our planet!

The French territory covers about two thirds of the island and is technically a part of Europe and the European Community. The Dutch side is a member island of the Netherlands Antilles and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but not considered European territory. There is no real border, just modest monuments and signs. The island is known as an almost perfect holiday environment; beaches and nightlife are spectacular, shopping and dining are the best in the Caribbean.

Weather and Clothing

Hot but tempered by cooling trade winds. The annual average temperature is 27°C (80°F), varying by no more than two or three degrees throughout the year.
            
Required Clothing
Tropicals and cottons are worn throughout the year. Umbrellas or light waterproofs are advisable. Water temperature is steady year round and averages 27C (80F) so no need for divers to bring wetsuits.

What to bring
Please pack as lightly as you can. Most of our guests wear only a fraction of what they bring! All you really need are shorts, tee shirts and beachwear. In addition to this perhaps something a little more dressy for the two evenings you will be dining ashore. Soft luggage is preferable if you have it.  We have some limited storage onshore for your empty bags, but please bring as little as you are comfortable with.  Between meals, fresh fruit is available.  If you like to eat more between meals, please feel free to bring snacks with you.
                
It is advisable to bring a change of clothes and toiletries in your hand luggage. If your luggage gets lost enroute it may not be able to be delivered to you until days later.

Dutch immigration require that you show your return ticket when disembarking. If you have an e-ticket please print off and bring with you the e-ticket and  the itinerary.

What shoes shall I bring?
You only need sandals or other shoes for the nights on shore as you will be barefoot whenever you are aboard. Good sturdy sandals, like TEVA-style models are preferred as they sit well on your feet.  If you are a runner, bring your sneakers, there could be an opportunity for a lovely run here or there.

Dry bags
You will be around water for the week. If you are concerned about getting your purse, wallet or watch wet, bring a small dry bag. These can be purchased from sports and outdoor vendors. Some of them roll up and trap the air inside which has the added benefit of making the bag float.

Fishing

All of our yachts carry a fishing rod onboard - we usually troll a line when sailing from island to island and will often catch yellow fin, wahoo, mahi-mahi or similar ... which might become lunch or dinner, sushi or sashimi!

Travel insurance

We strongly advise that all guests cruising with us have fully comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all eventualities such as hotel accommodation, lost baggage, changes to flights etc.

Electricity

Most hotels in St. Maarten are wired as in the U.S.: 110 volts, 60 cycles. On the French side, all run on 220 volts, 60 cycles so a converter and adaptor plugs are needed for travel appliances.

Money

Currency
US dollars are widely accepted on both the Dutch and the French sides. Official currency of the Dutch side is the Netherlands Antilles florin or guilder (NAF). Official currency of the French side is the Euro, as in France or in other French holdings around the world. Nearly all prices are listed in US dollars as well as the local currency, so there's no need for calculating exchange rates.

Automatic teller machines (ATM's) are available at several locations throughout the island.

Taxes/Service Charges
Government law requires a 5 percent room tax on all hotel rates. Most hotels and guest houses add 10 percent to 15 percent service charge in lieu of tipping. Some also add an energy surcharge.
               
Tipping
Most hotels and restaurants add between 10 percent and 15 percent to the bill as a service charge, and this is almost always posted in writing at the entrance, on the menu, etc. Travelers can tip more for special service.

Caribbean Summer Adventures

Guests who will be sailing from St Martin on Caribbean Summer Adventures to St Kitts and Nevis, please note that the currency on these islands is Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC dollars).  You may pay for most meals, gifts etc in US dollars, but you will be given change in EC dollars.  Please bring some EC dollars with you to pay vendors who don't want to, or are unable to, deal with US dollars.

Visas and restrictions

For U.S. , Canadian and European Community citizens a valid passport and a return/continuing ticket.

For other countries, kindly contact your closest Dutch Embassy/Consulate or a St. Maarten Tourist Office. Please see Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for your closest Dutch Embassy/Consulate or a St. Maarten Tourist Office.

Useful links


Travel tips

Posted by: Tod

Pack light! You will only need 2 or 3 pairs of short, a couple of swimsuits, 2 or 3 shirts and a pair of slacks and shirt for the nights on shore. bring lots of sun cream and an extra pair of sunglasses.

Shopping in Philipsburg is fun if you like to hunt for discounted goods. St Bart is very classy, very French with high end shops and great coffee.

We took a hike up to the fortress in Marigot after we disembarked and the views do not disappoint.

Grand Case is a fun place where we spent the first night. Very few tourists, a great coffee bar for espresso and some good local food.We stayed at the Hevea hotel in Grand Case which is very basic but not pricey and has a great location.

If you want an island tour, call Lady B taxi 438 - she's on Facebook. She'll make you a great deal for an all day tour, show you around and give you some history, it will be a very personal tour! Tell her Tod and Inna sent you and I'm sure you'll get an even better deal!


Posted by: John

El Zafiro resort. On the beach, close to the airport. Very good food in their restaurant. And Patrick’s car rentals. Good price and delivery and pick up too.


Posted by: Barbara

We stayed at the Holland House in Philipsburg before our departure. It was lovely...


Posted by: Douglas

Diving at Ile Forchue was lively and it was full of sea life and beautiful color.

Stopping at Dune Preserve beach bar was also a highlight!


Posted by: Natasha

Center Hotel is a great affordable clean choice for a last minute stay before or after the boat if you want to be downtown for one night. Their breakfast is good as well and the most amazing homemade chocolate shop is next door to the hotel....not to miss! Also, the charcuterie and tapas at the Wine Bar across from the Marina is the perfect place to have a cool drink and snack before or after boarding.


Posted by: Diane

We stayed at the Flamingo Beach Resort for a week prior to the sailing. It was beautiful, great beach, good food. I recommend it highly.


Posted by: Mary

Mary's Boon was wonderful. Charming in every way. They kept the restaurant open for us and served incredible dinner options to 10 weary travelers. Will definitely return! 5 minute taxi ride from the airport.


Posted by: James

After our trip, we spent a week at Divi Little Bay - a very nice resort with one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen - sand like flour, smooth/clear water. And, while it had good on-site restaurants, I would recommend renting a car as there are so many good places to eat within a 10-15 minute drive.


Posted by: Harvey

The L'Esplanade Hotel on the French side is fabulous. We stayed there for 3 nights before our cruise. Very nice accommodations and walking distance to the Grand Case where were went every night to enjoy delicious gourmet dinners. We rented a car through them so they picked us up at the airport and then delivered us to the Marina on Saturday afternoon at no additional cost.


Posted by: Margie

SXM is easy and affordable from the states. Have now stayed at Grand Case Beach Club 3 times. Ocean 82 is our favorite restaurant.


Posted by: Aileen

Dont over pack!


Posted by: Madelyn

We arrived the night before our cruise which was very enjoyable. We stayed at the Holland House hotel on the Dutch side of Sint Maartin and would highly recommend it. We had time to shop, dine at Green House for dinner and Chesterfields for Breakfast.
We departed the same day we departed the boat, had plenty of time to wander the French side one more time. We left our bags with our Captain at the Marina.


Posted by: Dan

Holland House Beach Hotel in Phillipsburg was great place to spend the day before as we did or after. Don't bother with a car, taxi is great.


Posted by: Dale

Excellent taxi availability and service on Sint Maarten! Utilize the buses as the most economical option if you are traveling light, and do not have a bunch of luggage to take up space.


Posted by: Linda

Leave plenty of time to go through TSA in St. Martin. The airport is under construction and the lines were very long (although most folks were in great moods). On a Saturday afternoon, expect about an hour to an 1 1/2 line.


Posted by: Ericha

Get there a day before launch and think about staying a day after.


Posted by: Kimberly

Stay at Sunset Grill by the airport prior to your flight. There's a pool and you can sit there and enjoy the sun and drinks and lunch before you leave. And it's especially good if your flight is delayed 3 hours like ours way. Way better to sit there than the airport.


Posted by: Thomas

Here is a suggestion for those sailing from St Marten. On the other side of Marigot, along the bay, is the hotel Le Beach. If you arrive early, or are staying late on Saturday, this is a good place to go to spend a few hours on the beach. They have a modest stretch of beach but the lounges are comfortable and the sun is warm! If you buy lunch (or just have a couple of drinks) you will be welcomed by the hotel! You can walk there from the Fort St Louis marina so you do not even have to take a taxi!

p.s. This is also the the best, closest hotel to the marina for those arriving a day or so early. If you do arrive early, have dinner at the Simpson Bay marina (about two blocks away). This is different from the Fort St Louis marina from where the Trade Winds boats leave.


Posted by: David

flew to sint maarten via charlotte which is much easier. but return thru miami was not as bad as last time. stayed at oyster bay resort which is very nice. had lunch at layla's on the beach and found it just delightful.


Posted by: Aaron

Rent a car on St Maarten. Cab rides add up quick. Also, bring an extra bag to check, duty free shopping is great.


Posted by: Karen

One really nice advantage to St Martin is that American Airlines flies to the island. It was nice not having to take a ferry from another island, or a 'puddle jumper'.
Folks on St Martin are so nice and friendly! The cab drivers have the best personality of any anywhere!
We spent the night before the departure at Villas on Great Bay, unit 12. Great location to restaurants, and a lovely pool that looks out over the beach. Friendly staff and great rates, especially for 3 couples.


Posted by: Kimberly

Found wonderful jewelry artisans at the Saturday market near Ft. Louis Marina. Be sure and visit the market. Great for gifts, spices, sarongs, and tshirts, too!


Posted by: Peter

We had a great couple of nights at Le Beach in Marigot with fantastic ocean front rooms looking towards Anguilla,Fort Louis and the Marina.


Posted by: Charles

After you pack for the trip, unpack it all and take away half of what you packed. Bathing suit/shorts and tee shirts when on the boat. nothing else is needed....


Posted by: Anita

Our flight home was cancelled twice due to Blizzard on East Coast of US. We stayed 4 extra days at Mercure hotel on French side. Most people did not speak English except for a jewel of restaurant called Mezza Luna in Nettie Bay. Very friendly staff, excellent cuisine, and picturesque surroundings. Given the weather problem, I wished I had packed more shirts and extra medication and a converter for the electrical outlets.


Posted by: Leon

The snorkeling (and presumably the diving) at Ile Fourche was (by far) the best of the entire trip. Saving it for last will ensure you end your trip on a high note. This is probably a great location for a night snorkel too, so if you have them, take your underwater lights.


Posted by: Scott

The taxi driver that meets you at the airport is a good guy and doubles as a tour guide. The food is spectacular so don't fret about being hungry. If you like to bring your favorite beverage or snack it is welcome. Snorkeling and sailing filled the days. Two books are easy to get through.

It is really fun.


Posted by: Andrew

The best tip I read was to pack your case with what you think you will need and then remove half.


Posted by: Michael

When we're able to, we schedule our return flights from Tradewinds bases through Charlotte, NC to avoid having to deal with Customs and Immigration in Miami. We've never had a good experience in Miami -- given the number of int'l flights arriving at any given time, Customs and Immigration staff there are often undermanned and overwhelmed. Charlotte, by comparison, is a smaller operation and the staff in the arrival hall is helpful and much better organized. The two experiences couldn't be more different.


Posted by: Kathleen

Advise arriving a day early to avoid issues with delayed flights, etc. and get oriented. We also stayed 3 days longer than the charter and were in great shape to rent a car (our first mate arranged for it) which is reasonably priced and although scary (to drive), and gave us freedom to meander around St. Maarten/St. Martin


Posted by: Edwin

Stay at the Westin Hotel, Dawn Beach when coming to St. Maarten. Excellent customer service, location and facilities.


Posted by: Matthew

Stayed at Port de Plaisance on Friday night before sailing which was comfortable but a little worn. Stayed at Simpson Bay Resort on following Saturday night after the cruise which was same price but a more comfortable and modern room. PDP had no open restaurants or convenience store both of which were available at SBR.


Posted by: Patricia

Mary's Boon was super kool, I'll stay there more days to make our vacation longer!
The Staff were very nice! They shared coconut water with us!!


Posted by: Russell

Despite bad reports on the internet about Liat airline company, we found the service to be fine.


Posted by: Janice

We stayed at the Love hotel in Grand Case for 2 days prior to boarding. They have a lovely beach and very nice dining-I highly recommend. Several of us shared their suite and it had a nice balcony with view of the beach and the was quite a treat.


Disclaimer

Please remember that we are not travel agents, and our suggestions are just that suggestions. We are trying to be helpful, but we can't be held responsible for changes to flight schedules by airlines, bus companies etc. Nor can we be held responsible any issues at all resulting from your accommodation booking.

Please double check with the various companies before you book any flights, travel or accommodations.

Please double check all facts with the resort before you book.

Bella and janes were amazing. Very knowledgeable and caring.
A home away from home.

David

Classes of yachts

The following classes of yachts are available for this destination.
Click one of the following to find out more.

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