9 Reasons Why We Love St Maarten/St Martin
4th April 2022
This year, Star Clippers proudly celebrates 30 years of sailing in St Maarten, with Phillipsburg acting as the home-port every winter season. To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of our top nine reasons to love this luscious, cosmopolitan and welcoming island:
1. Easy access from regional airports
With daily flights via Paris and Amsterdam from a variety of regional UK airports, it is easy to arrange your trip to the island to suit you, not work around an intermittent weekly schedule. With decent connection times and an opportunity to stretch your legs after the first part of the journey, it really is an easily reachable holiday destination with manageable connections.
2. A tale of two nations
The island’s dual heritage of French and Dutch makes it a unique and cosmopolitan paradise.
On the French side, Sint Martin’s world-renowned cuisine is unmissable, as European influences combine with Caribbean flair to create diverse and tantalising dishes. This side is less commercially developed, despite being 50% larger in size than the Dutch side.
St Maarten’s Dutch vibrancy is radiated through cultural diversity, bustling jewellery shops and a more laid-back Caribbean vibe. These antitheses display just how eclectic a trip to the island can be.
3. Escape to warmer climes in the winter
Whilst the climate is hot and tropical all year round, it is particularly comfortable between the months of December – April, where rainfall is generally lower and the hurricane season is over. You can expect average temperatures of around 28 degrees and 9 hours of sunshine during these months – a perfect climate for a seasonal escape from the bleak, British winter.
4. Beautiful beaches
From calm, tranquil and serene bays to jet planes soaring mere metres overhead, there’s a beach to suit both thrill-seekers and soul-searchers alike.
With 37 different beaches scattered around the island, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal spots. A must-do in St Maarten is paying a visit to Maho Beach, on the cusp of Princess Juliana Airport, where beach-goers can witness arriving planes roaring onto the runway just a stone’s throw away. A surfboard displays the arrivals and departures from the beach bar – a fantastic little quirk from a truly memorable experience.
5. The Friendly Island
St Maarten/St Martin’s warm, hospitable locals, mixed with its diversity and varied cultural activities all equates to it’s well deserved appellation of The Friendly Island. The people of the island welcome visitors with open arms and wide smiles, and are eager to show tourists what they have to offer.
6. Outstanding setting and scenery
From lush, mountainous landscapes with vast vegetation and wildlife, to wide open bays radiating tranquillity, the variation in scenery is what draws so many people to visit the island each year. The crystal clear waters reflecting the orange sunset hues are the perfect antidote to wash away any stress and worries that might be lingering.
To really take it all in, experience the Flying Dutchman – the steepest zipline in the world- as you soar like a bird in flight down the side of green, luscious rainforest for 2800 feet!
7. Duty-free Dutch side
There is no tax to be paid on the Dutch side of St Maarten, meaning you can shop for jewellery, handbags, perfumes and so much more all with a saving of 30%.
Front Street and the boardwalk in Phillipsburg is perfect for a spot of retail therapy followed by a dip at Great Bay Beach.
8. Guavaberry rum
An essential tipple to sample in St Maarten is the famous guavaberry rum- a national liqueur with woody, fruity and spicy tones which was first concocted centuries ago in private homes. Originally made only to be enjoyed by family and friends at Christmas, it is now a staple of island life all year round.
Made from fine, aged oak rum, cane sugar and ripe local guavaberries, the drink is now an integral part of local culture and tradition.
9. An underwater paradise
With such expansive and varied beaches, there are ample opportunities to explore the world beneath the waves. Colourful coral reefs teeming with vast marine life open up a whole new world waiting to be explored. Crystal clear waters combined with warm temperatures make the perfect environment for relaxing trips beneath the surface.
We recommend visits to Indigo Bay and Friar’s Bay Beach for calm waters, coral reefs and a slightly more secluded environment.
To enquire about our St Maarten sailings, or to find out anymore information, please call our Reservations team on 0845 200 6145.