Philipsburg (St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Philipsburg cruise port

Bahamas - Caribbean - Bermuda

Local Time
2021-05-07 04:01

min: 78 °F (25 °C) / max: 80 °F (27 °C) 79°F
Wind: 87°/ 7.7 m/s  Gust: 8.1 m/sWind: 87°/ 7.7 m/s  Gust: 8.1 m/sMod. breeze
7.7 m/s
Min / Max Temperature80 °F / 27 °C
78 °F / 26 °C
  Port Map

Philipsburg is a port town and the capital of Sint Maarten - an island country in the Dutch Antilles, one of Holland's overseas territories. The island is approx 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico (USA). Since 1648, it is divided 60 / 40 between France (northern part, 53 km2 / 20 mi2) and Holland (southern part, 34 km2 / 13 mi2). On the French part (Saint Martin) is Marigot.

St Maarten Island

Philipsburg (population around 2,000) is located on a narrow stretch of land between the Great Salt Pond and Great Bay. It functions as a commercial center of Saint Martin island, whereof St Maarten encompasses the southern half. St Maarten Island has total area 34 km2 (13 mi2) and is one of the Dutch islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago - together with Saba Island and Sint Eustatius. The other "Dutch Antilles" islands are in the Leeward Antilles - the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao).

Saint Maarten island was first sighted on November 11, 1493, by Christopher Columbus, but there was already an Arawak settlement on the site before his discovery. Philipsburg was established in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy and the settlement soon became a center of international trade. A couple of historic forts bear witness to the strategic importance of Philipsburg in the history of Saint Maarten: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem.

In December 2016, four Celebrity Cruises ships (Eclipse, Equinox, Reflection, Summit) docked here. As part of the Christmas-New Year holidays was offered a Demi Lovato live concert performance, which was also televised.

On October 11, 2018, the port had a double celebration as it welcomed the maiden call of Carnival Horizon (berthed at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility) as well as cruise port's 1 millionth passenger (since January 2018). The lucky couple (Cheryl and Timothy Franklin) was actually welcomed in mid-September, but the ceremony was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. As presents, they received gift certificates and tokens, including complimentary 3-night hotel stay (at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort), return flight tickets (by Winair), two Carnival Cruise Line tickets (purchased by Port St Maarten), plus VIP tour of the isle, lunch at Yvette's Restaurant, visit to Rain Forest Adventure Park.

Following the Coronavirus crisis, in June-August 2021, for the first time, Celebrity Cruises homeported here a ship (Celebrity Millennium) for 7-night roundtrips from St Maarten (Philipsburg) to Oranjestad Aruba-Willemstad Curacao-Bridgetown Barbados (itinerary1) and Road Town Tortola BVI-Castries St Lucia-Barbados (itinerary2).

Philipsburg cruise terminal

Cruise ships to St Maarten Island dock at Port Philipsburg - located on the island's southern coast. The port is managed by the Harbour Group of Companies (port authority).

Port Philipsburg (St Maarten) cruise port

The port has two cruise ship piers.

  • Pier 1 has length 545 m (1788 ft) and capacity to dock 4 ships simultaneously. This berthing facility was inaugurated in 2009.
  • A second cruise pier (Pier 2) was opened in 2017, ranking St Maarten as one of the few Caribbean ports with capacity to handle even the world's largest passenger vessels of the Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class (225,000 GT tons, capacity 6,300 passengers plus 2150 crew).
  • The new Pier 2 has length 445 m (1460 ft) and capacity to dock 2 Oasis-class ships at a time. On Pier 2 there are also 2 screening booths to expedite passenger disembarkation.

Right after disembarkation, cruise ship tourists are welcomed at Harbour Point Village with steel pans. Harbour Point Village as facilities offers information center, duty-free shops, souvenir shops, outdoor market stalls, bars, a restaurant. Here are also parked all tour buses (shore excursion pick up / drop off points, tour bus stands, cab stand).

Philipsburg tours, shore excursions, hotels

City Tours and Shore Excursions

Among the best excursion options in St Maarten are:

  • Marigot - great shopping and dining choices, easy water access, restored Creole-style buildings (many housing premium boutiques), duty-free shopping (world brands and French fashion).
  • Maho Beach is world-famous for its low-altitude aircraft landings (less than 30 m / 100 ft) as the beach is adjacent to Princess Juliana Airport and directly under airplanes' flight paths. Maho Beach is served by Bar and Grill.
  • Orient Bay beach (on the island's northeastern part) is one of the largest beaches and offers all standard tourist amenities (numerous restaurants and bars, hotels, shops, watersports). It is also ranked one of Caribbean's best / most popular beaches.
  • Grand-Case village features an authentic house architecture, gourmet dining options (French 'cuisine), nearby beach (with several bars, restaurants, small hotels), market square (famous for its BBQ food, including grilled lobster).
  • Phillipsburg City's main street is lined up with jewelry shops and souvenir stalls. Along the waterfront there is a promenade street lined with restaurants and bars. Duty-free shopping is available at both downtown streets (named "Front" and "Back") and includes jewelry, brand perfumes and cosmetics, clothing and accessories. Great places to visit are St Maarten Museum and Sint Maarten Museum (National Heritage Foundation).
  • St Maarten Island Tour allows you to taste all the highlights. Tours are individual (private taxi driver) or group.  Group tours are cheaper but limited as to visited destinations.  Private tours are more flexible, but also expensive in comparison. Group tours can be booked via the cruise company or independently.  Taxis at the cruise port are readily available.

"4x4 St Maarten and Beach Escape" (Royal Caribbean) is an optional Jeep driving tour across the island. The tour is through Grand Case (to Marigot), with stops for scenic overlooks and strolling along the route.

A Golden Eagle Sailaway (Royal Caribbean) is an optional catamaran (sailing boat) tour to St Maarten Beach (snorkelling-swimming-sunbathing). The boat reaches speeds up to 23 mph (37 kph). The return is to Philipsburg, where are included sandwiches and cold drinks served on the boat.

Maho Airplane Experience (Royal Caribbean) is an optional airplane excursion along Maho Beach. The tour is guided and includes 30-min narrated bus ride across island's Dutch side. At Maho Beach is offered 3-hour stay (free-time activities).

Port Philipsburg 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 Philipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

5 June, 2021
Celebrity Cruises Cruises cruise lineCelebrity Millennium22:00
12 June, 2021
Celebrity Cruises Cruises cruise lineCelebrity Millennium06:0022:00
19 June, 2021
Celebrity Cruises Cruises cruise lineCelebrity Millennium06:0022:00
19 June, 2021
Windstar Cruises Cruises cruise lineStar Breeze19:00
26 June, 2021
Windstar Cruises Cruises cruise lineStar Breeze06:0019:00
26 June, 2021
Celebrity Cruises Cruises cruise lineCelebrity Millennium06:0022:00

Philipsburg - user reviews and comments

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