St Maarten Sights, Shopping and Sand
Shopping, Sightseeing & Beach Day Trip in St. Maarten
Two countries on one island for almost 400 years. Wouldn't you love to know how they do it? Come along on this St. Maarten excursion for an Island Drive and Beach Tour with a twist, and you'll visit parts of the island usually not seen by cruise guests.
Departing the cruise terminal, you will drive through part of Philipsburg towards Cole Bay and Belle Vue, making a photo stop at the Harold Jack lookout point. High on a hill overlooking the sea, on a clear day you will have fantastic views of the neighboring islands of Saba (the home of Kong in the original King Kong movie) and St. Eustatius to the south, and British Anguilla to the north. You will also begin to see Simpson Bay and its lagoon as you crest the hill.
Continue to Marigot, the French capital, which is a quaint French village with a Caribbean twist. Sidewalk cafes serving cappuccino overlook mega-yachts, framed by palm trees. Gourmet restaurants sit in the shadow of a 200-year-old fort, and bold tropical prints in the open-air markets mix with the latest fashions from French boutiques. You will have some free time to experience this wonderful blend.
Then it's on to Orient Bay. This sweeping two-mile long, white-powdered sand beach is protected from the Atlantic waves by a reef, and the bottom has a very gradual slope. It is the island's most popular and busiest beach. You will have approximately an hour and a half to swim, beach walk, or relax on the white sand.
You will also have the opportunity to purchase lunch or indulge in a tropical drink in paradise at a local restaurant located on the east end of the beach. The tour will also make photo stops with scenic views of Orient Bay.
Returning to Philipsburg through the center of the island, you will have the option of being dropped off downtown for shopping or taken back to the pier.
Guests departing downtown will need to arrange their own transportation back to the cruise pier at their own expense via taxi, water taxi or walking.
Please Note: The clothing-optional beach at Club Orient, the naturist resort, is located at the east end of the beach, approximately 10 to 15 minutes from Bikini Beach, where you will be visiting. Although most guests in the Bikini Beach area will be wearing swim attire, be advised that you may encounter topless and possibly nude sunbathers anywhere. This excursion may operate in a different order due to traffic conditions or crowds at the venues. On Sundays, most shops and restaurants on the French side are closed. All stores are closed on national holidays. Guests booking on these days will have the option to window shop or spend more time at the beach.