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Caribbean ports update

The Caribbean has always been a magnet for people seeking sunshine and smiles. In light of the impact of the recent hurricanes on certain islands, we're doing all we can to support the region by continuing to visit. Most of our ports of call were unaffected and whilst we're continuing to work with the affected islands to help where we can, we have arranged alternative ports where necessary to ensure you can make the very most of what the iconic Caribbean has to offer.

 

About St. Maarten

Half French and half Dutch, St. Martin/Sint Maarten is one of the Caribbean's most diverse and interesting islands.

 

The Dutch capital Philipsburg is a delightful warren of narrow streets called steegjies. Here you will find interesting shops and leafy courtyard cafés. Start your exploration at Wathey Square, which is home to a colourful market.

 

If you would prefer to enjoy a little French 'je ne sais quoi', take an island tour to the pretty French capital Marigot. It's worth visiting for its colourful markets, lovely café-lined waterfront and the chic boutiques of Marina Port La Royale, where you can pick up unusual jewellery and leather goods. Or spend your day on a catamaran trip from Philipsburg for fabulous deep-sea snorkelling with lunch.

 

Shore excursions in St. Maarten

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Airport Adventure and Swim

Activity medium

Duration: 3½ hours

Enjoy the famous St. Maarten ‘Airport Experience’ from the comfort and style of a fully equipped boat.

The Princess Juliana International airport is one of the most popular attractions on the island of St. Maarten, because it is one of few places in the world where you can come close to planes landing and taking off! The airport’s runway is very short and finishes at Maho Bay, where you can experience very low-altitude landings and feel the tornadic take-offs.

Departing Philipsburg, you’ll take a scenic boat ride along the coast to Maho Bay, where you’re Captain will drop anchor and moor the boat just off the beach.

After a full information briefing, you’ll have free time to do as you please. Watch the planes land close over your head, relax in a lounge chair or swim and snorkel in the designated snorkel area. Alternatively, you may choose to take advantage of the onboard bar by purchasing a refreshing drink or some tasty food.

To ensure you don’t miss any planes, flight arrivals and departures will be posted onboard and announced by the crew. All in all, you will be able to enjoy the number 1 attraction in St. Maarten as a First Class Traveller!

Essential information

This excursion operates on foot and by boat and may not be exclusive to P&O Cruises. Please remember your swimwear, sunscreen and local currency or credit cards for purchases onboard. Please note that there is no access to the beach on this tour. Snorkel equipment and flotation devices are included. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to any swimming activities. Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ and ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraphs under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure.

All Inclusive Tiki Hut & Snorkel

Activity mediumMeal includedRefreshments includedFamily

Duration: 3 hours

Snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear waters off St Maarten on this unique, floating snorkel park, moored off the coast.

Enjoy a visit to this remarkable floating snorkel park, moored off St Maarten’s coast in the clearest waters you could imagine. This is a water lover’s paradise – your chance to swim and snorkel to your heart’s content, all day long.

You’ll be given a safety briefing upon arrival and then the fun begins! The Tiki Hut platform is equipped with an enclosed pool and snorkel area. It also has a diving board if you’d like to show off your style and grace! There’s a number of relaxing lounger chairs if you’d simply like to lay back in the sun, in between refreshing forays into the warm blue waters that surround you.

The water platform is around 25 feet deep. It’s home to sunken wrecks and coral reefs. There’s also a shallow 3-feet deep pool teeming with fish, for the kids and adults who’d rather avoid deep water.

Lunch is included as well as rum/fruit punch and non-alcoholic beverages, which are available all day. Food choices include Black Angus burgers, hot dogs, delicious sandwiches, veggie burgers and crisps.

All this, whilst listening to fun music in the background, creates a perfect Caribbean atmosphere!

Essential information

This tour will operate by boat and on foot. Shuttles run every hour back to the Pier. Passengers can chose to stay longer than 3 hours at the Tiki Hut if they wish. Cash is required for additional purchases from the bar. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to any swimming activities. Before you book this excursion you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ and ‘Beach/Water Related’ paragraphs under the Guide to Symbols in the shore excursions brochure.

All Inclusive Tiki Hut & Snorkel

America's Cup

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 2½ hours

An opportunity of a lifetime to experience the thrill of racing aboard a multi-million dollar America’s Cup race boat.

Prior to boarding the yachts, you’ll be divided into teams and given a brief introduction before tendering to the yachts.

Compete in an actual race around a shortened ‘America’s Cup’ course, under the watchful eyes of experienced crew as you participate in the thrill of sailing these fabulous yachts. Everyone is offered a small task and given instruction by the crew. No sailing experience is necessary. Then it’s time to practice on the way to the start. The team’s timekeeper counts down, and with the wave of a red flag from the committee boat, you’re off!

Two classic thoroughbreds, nearly 70-feet long with masts the height of an 8 storey building, duel in an equal match for a fractional advantage. After such an exciting experience, there can be no losers! And so for all the competitors there will be a victory drink back on the dock.

‘12 Metre’ have developed a line of memorabilia and souvenirs and you’ll have the opportunity to browse through the ‘America’s Cup’ Museum Boutique after the Regatta.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat. Children may not participate. There are no toilet facilities on board the racing yachts. All participants should wear soft-soled shoes. T-shirts and shorts over swimwear are recommended as sea spray is likely. Bags and belongings can be stowed below during the race.

Explorer Cruise And Island

Activity lowRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Combine a delightful lagoon cruise with a visit to the charming town of Marigot.

Take in the sights of Philipsburg, capital of Dutch St Maarten, and see its quaint ‘gingerbread’ houses. Drive along Salt Point Road and over Mountain Road to the south coast, passing French Cul de Sac and Grand Casse, before arriving into Marigot. Here you’ll have some time to wander around the quaint capital.

You’ll join the Explorer boat at Marina Royale for a short cruise across the calm lagoon, which stretches across the whole of the island to join both Dutch and French sides. On board, relax on the sun decks whilst listening to the rhythmic sounds of a calypso entertainer. There are 2 bars serving an array of spirits, beer, rum punch and soft drinks. Experience the Caribbean atmosphere, before arriving at Simpson Bay for the short return drive back to Philipsburg.

Essential information

This excursion operates by bus and on foot. The shops in Marigot will be closed on Sunday calls. Some shops also close during the afternoon siesta. Public toilet facilities are limited in Marigot, however local cafés and restaurants will allow use of their facilities upon purchase. Euro and US Dollar currency are accepted for purchases. This tour involves some walking over flat surfaces. Passengers must be able to negotiate the step onto and off the boat and steps to reach the upper level of the Explorer. Toilet facilities are available on the lower deck. Comfortable, non-slip shoes, a hat and sunscreen are advised. This tour may operate in reverse order.

Island Delights

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Awaken your senses on the French side of Saint Martin

Your drive will take you through the Dutch side of ‘Sint Maarten’ before heading across the border to ‘Saint Martin’, the French side.

Ma dou dou's tiny shop is located in a tranquil area of the famous Orient beach and it offers locally flavoured rum products including the popular ‘Rhum Ma Doudou'. Visit a nearby beach resort to learn about the century old tradition of ‘how to create’ flavoured rum by using tropical fruits, spices and other exotic aromatics and sample several of the rum varieties.

Afterwards, you’ll continue to the island’s only working perfumery, Tijon, where you’ll take a guided tour and discover the fine French art of perfume making. A Master Perfumer will show you the manufacturing process, and you can sample the scents of the various oils that are used to create each perfume.

It’s then on to Grand Case village to visit a local eatery and enjoy a demonstration of French Caribbean cooking. Whet your appetite with a tasty sample of local dishes. After your demonstration there will be some free time to purchase lunch or a drink, and perhaps take a stroll along the beach front.

Upon your return drive, time permitting, a short photo stop will be made at the Orient Bay Lookout point, before arriving back at Philipsburg.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by bus. This tour involves limited walking, however passengers will be required to stand during the rum sampling and at the Tijon perfumery. There are also steps to negotiate when getting onto and off the bus. Those who choose to remain in Philipsburg at the end of the tour will be responsible for making their own way back to the ship.

 

A selection of cruises to St. Maarten

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