Saint Barthelemy Island (abbrev St Barts, or St Barth) is one of the French Overseas Territories in the West Indies, Caribbean Sea. Its capital city is Gustavia, where is also the island's main harbor / port. The island is approx 35 km (22 ml) southeast of St Martin Island, north of St Kitts Island, and approx 240 km (150 ml) to the east of Puerto Rico (US territory in the Greater Antilles).
- The island covers a total area of just 25 km2 (10 ml2) and has population under 10,000.
- St Barths is is a popular tourist travel destination, especially during the Christmas holidays.
- Saint Barthelemy Marine Reserve was founded in 1999. It covers over 10 km2 (4 ml2) protected areas (including bays and small islands), plus a zone restricted to scientific observations only.
- The sea around the island features numerous coral reefs rich in marine life,
- The island has 22 public beaches (most are named "Anse". Of those, 15 are suitable for swimming. Some (like Anse Toiny) are popular for windsurfing. St Jean and Grand-cul-de-sac are best known for their water sports facilities. Among the most popular beaches are Flamands, Gouverneur, Colombier, Grand Galet, Grande Saline (nude beach). Anse de Grand Galet is in Gustavia's southwestern part.
- On the island's northern coast there are 2 lagoons (Marigot, and Grand Cul-de-Sac).
- The marine reserve, founded in 1999, covers more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of protected and vulnerable habitats, bays and islands, and includes a zone that is restricted to scientific observations only. As the sea surrounding the St. Barthélemy is rich in coral reefs and other precious marine life, the area has been declared a protected area since 1996. Environmental awareness is quite pronounced in St. Barthélemy and is promoted by the Environmental Commission.
St Barthelemy Island was named after Columbus' brother - Bartolomeo. The French arrived in 1645 as the island's first colonists. Later, it was sold to the Knights of Malta, then abandoned following several Carib Indians raids. In 1674, it was resettled by the French. The British occupied it for a short time, then the French prevailed once again. In 1784, St Barths was sold to Sweden. In 1878, France bought the island back, and today it is considered part of France's Guadeloupe dependency.
Gustavia cruise terminal
Mega-yachts and cruise ships to St Barts Island anchor in front Gustavia's harbor and their passengers are transported to the harbour via the ship's tender boats.
At short walking distance from the port's docking pier, cruise passengers can enjoy duty-free shopping, dining in French gourmet cuisine restaurants and cozy bistros, visiting idyillic beaches.
Port Gustavia cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy Island. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.