Pointe-a-Pitre is Guadeloupe's largest city and main seaport. The port is located in a natural harbor on Grande-Terre Island's south-central coast, Guadeloupe is one of France's dependencies (overseas territories) in Leeward Islands (Caribbean Sea, part of Lesser Antilles). The city has population around 17,000 and covers an area of approx 2,7 km2 (1 mi2).
Guadeloupe's other cruise port is Deshaies (Basse-Terre Island). Pointe-a-Pitre is not the country's administrative capital (capital city is Basse-Terre, located to the southwest), it is Guadeloupe's economic capital and largest city (metro population around 315,000). Guadeloupe's main airport (Pointe-a-Pitre International Airport) is approx 3 km (2 mi) north of downtown.
Pointe-a-Pitre is a duty-free port and among the Caribbean's best cruise ports for shopping. The largest shops are on the main streets, but there are also many smaller shops selling unique merchandise including souvenirs and collectibles). The city has many shops selling France-imported goods, including wines, designer clothes, brand fashions, perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics. Smaller tourist shops sell local handicrafts, wood carvings, shell jewelry, pottery, cloth dolls.
The main port (Port de Jarry) is located across Bay of Cul-de-Sac Marin (Baie-Mahault) and has one of the Eastern Caribbean's largest container terminals (total quay length 600 m / 1970 ft). Guadeloupe's main exports are food crops (cocoa, coffee, sugar, bananas), animal products (milk, yogurt, beef) and manufactured goods (textiles, medicines, refined petroleum).
By annual passenger traffic (statistical data 2019), the Caribbean's top-10 largest airports are:
- Luis Munoz Marin Airport/aka Isla Verde (San Juan Puerto Rico) with ~9,5 million pax
- Punta Cana Airport (Punta Cana Dominicana) with ~7,2 million pax
- Jose Marti Airport (Havana Cuba) with 5,7+ million pax
- Sangster Airport (Montego Bay Jamaica) with ~4,8 million pax
- Lynden Pindling Airport (Nassau Bahamas) with ~4,1 million pax
- Las Americas Airport (Santo Domingo Dominicana) with ~4 million pax
- Piarco Airport (Port-of-Spain Trinidad) with 2,8+ million pax
- Queen Beatrix Airport (Oranjestad Aruba) with 2,5+ million pax
- Pointe-a-Pitre Airport (Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe) with ~2,5 million pax
- Grantley Adams Airport (Bridgetown Barbados) with ~2,3 million pax
This explains why these port cities are used as seasonal turnaround ports for homeporting (roundtrip itineraries) by many major cruise companies with ship deployments in the Caribbean.
Pointe-a-Pitre cruise terminal
Cruise ships in Pointe-a-Pitre dock at "Centre Saint-John Perse" cruise terminal. This is a modern facility located at 5-min walking distance (a block away) from downtown.
The cruise ship terminal has 2 berths (with separate buildings), luggage handling area, tourist info office, pedestrian paths, bar, market village (selling local hand-made crafts), perking for tour buses, taxy rank.
Port Pointe-a-Pitre 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 Pointe-a-Pitre, Grande-Terre Island, Guadeloupe. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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