St Martin Yacht Charter Guide | Leeward Islands
Discover the highlights of the Caribbean's Leeward Islands onboard a luxury yacht from St. Martin / Sint Marteen
St. Martin Yacht Charter | Marinas | Getting There | Climate | History | Culture | Shopping | Cuisine | Things To Do | Our St Martin Charter Yachts
St Martin / Sint Marteen is the perfect place to begin your Caribbean adventure, with its ideal proximity to neighbouring islands, you are able to circumnavigate the neighbouring islands of Saint Barthelemy (St. Bart's), Anguilla, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The island has become one of the centers of the Caribbean yachting industry and home to some of the world’s most extravagant mega-yachts. The St. Martin 12-meter Regatta at Great Bay in Philipsburg also makes traditional Americas Cup yachts available to visitors for regattas and charters, and allows the visitors to help sail them.
St Martin Yacht Charter Types
Motor Yachts are a fantastic option for chartering in the Caribbean as their increased speed and power allow them to cruise between islands regularly, meaning you can see as much of this beautiful area as possible. The luxury is increased, with jacuzzis, pools, flydecks and bars, making your charter as memorable as possible.
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Sailing yachts are the traditional option, and the ideal choice for those who love chartering with a sail over their heads. Sleek and elegant, they draw attention wherever they go for being modern-day versions of their ancestors who used to sail this area centuries ago.
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Catamarans provide increased space, comfort and practicality. Their large decks mean there is plenty of places to kick back and relax while your crew prepares some freshly caught fish and a glass of wine.
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If you love being in control and want to get up in the morning and strike off in the opposite direction, bareboat chartering could just be for you. Explore the sandy beaches and tranquil waters of this amazing destination by yourself, anchoring where you want, when you want.
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Simpson Bay Marina
The Caribbean’s largest lagoon is Simpson Bay Lagoon, a landlocked mass connected by a draw bridge, only a few miles from the Princess Juliana International Airport. Here you will find a high-class, luxury marina village incorporating 100 villas, shops, offices, 8 distinctive restaurants, a swimming pool, tennis courts, landscaping, internal roads and parking facilities.
Oyster Pond is a pretty and picturesque harbour that lies right on the east coast border. It is well protected from the Atlantic Ocean on this side and has a popular waterfront restaurant, Captain Oliver’s, perfectly located on the border.
Once a small fishing village, Marigot was so named after its swampy environment during the reign of King Louis XVI. Today it is a classical Caribbean town with sidewalk bistros, gingerbread houses and fresh food markets open every Wednesday and Saturday.
How to get there
Flying from the U.S
- Fly directly from all main U.S airports (New York, Miami and San Juan, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta etc.) to Princess Juliana International Airport
- Fly directly from Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax) to Princess Juliana International Airport
Flying from Europe
- Fly directly from Amsterdam and Paris
- From other European cities, take a direct flight to New York JFK and then a connecting flight to St Martin
- There is also a smaller airport on the French side of the island called L'Espérance Airport for small jet and propeller planes servicing the neighboring Caribbean islands
Climate and Weather
St Martin is undoubtedly sunny and warm all year-round reaching 27°C (82°F) with roughly 12 hours of sunshine a day in the summer. St.Martin also experiences some tropical storms in the late summer and early autumn/fall (June to September). June is not technically late summer, but the rain usually occurs in the early hours of the morning leaving the rest of the day to explore the beautiful coastlines and islands.
History of St. Martin
According to legend, the island was named after the feast day of Saint Martin by Christopher Columbus who anchored off her shores in 1493. At the time, the island was dominated by the Carib Territory, a warlike tribe that migrated from South America and had chased the native Arawaks out.
Power soon shifted from the Caribs following centuries of struggle between European powers. 1648 marked the peaceful agreement between the Dutch Republic and France to coexist in a cooperateive manner. The introduction of sugarcane plantations brought slaves from all around the world from the Far East, Europe and Africa creating the rich and diverse culture that still remains at the very heart of St Martin today.
The story behind the division of the island between the two nations is an entertaining one. Supposedly, two representatives, one from each country, were made to start from a point on the coast and walk, in opposite directions around the coastline of the island. The point at which they crossed paths would then form the opposite end of a line drawn across from the start point forming the border between the two. The reason the French side of the island is larger than the Dutch is allegedly due to the fact that the Frenchman drank wine before the race and the Dutchman drank beer. Due to the ‘restorative’ effects of wine, the Frenchman was able to walk faster than the Dutchman!
The French side, St. Martin, is known for its emphasis on comfort, elegance and luxury. Secluded beaches lined with sophisticated luxury resorts, the latest in French fashions and a mix of French and West Indian cooking are all combined in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The Dutch side, St.Maarten, on the other hand, is known for its more developed and festive approach to life. You'll find a lively nightlife culture, activity beaches, casinos and exotic cocktails made with the native rum-based guava-berry liquors.
The island is regarded as a ‘shopper’s paradise’. Philipsburg, the main town on the Dutch side, is the best place for finding duty-free goods shopping, and popular goods include the local arts and crafts, jewelry, liquor, tobacco, leather goods, exotic foods and designer goods, often up to 40% cheaper than in the US. It’s important to note that different currencies are used in each part of the island. St. Martin uses the Euro, while St.Maarten is using the Netherlands Antillean guilder. The US Dollar is however, also widely accepted in either section.
The Excellent Cuisine of St Martin
Known as the Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean, St.Maarten offers the greatest variety of cuisine of all the islands in the world. You could say that this wide variety of worldwide cuisine is a true reflection of the island's multiculturalism, bound to delight your taste buds this evening. With over 300 restaurants on this tiny island, you can choose from local BBQ ribs and chicken, to first class French, Italian, Tex-Mex, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, not to mention the extensive wine and cocktail menus that accompany the glorious celebration of food and dining.
Tips on tipping:
On St.Maarten (Dutch side) the restaurants follow the American system for paying their waiting staff giving them a very low base salary and expecting customers to tip at least 15% of the bill. However, there are a few establishments that confuse the matter by using US bill slips which have a line for tax, yet there is no tax on St.Maarten and if a charge appears here it is the service charge.
On St. Martin (French side) the restaurants have to abide by European law, which states that the service charge has to be included, meaning that the menu price includes service and there is no obligation to pay more. However, most restaurant owners rely on the American system and expect some tipping to be paid on top of the bill.
Things to Do in St Martin
Butterfly Farm – Stroll through hundreds of colourful butterflies under a tented mesh on the eastern side of St.Martin for a fun family day out. Rte. De la Galion, Quatier d’ Orléans.
Pic du Paradis – The highest point on the island with two viewing areas with great views of the western coastline. The road is steep and isolated so a 4x4 is recommended, or go as part of an excursion or tour. Near Friars Bay Beach
Loterie Farm – A 150 acre reserve with an excellent restaurant and lounge which is also open in the evening for a romantic and secluded meal. During the day, the farm offers hikes, eco-tours and obstacle courses on the ground and in the trees, featuring zip lines and rope zones. On the Rte. de Pic du Paradis.
Casinos – Casinos on the island are known for being high-class and Vegas-like, located on both sides of the island. Some of the main ones are Atlantis World, Casino Royale and Paradise Plaza.
Map of St Martin
Top Rated St Martin Yachts
There are hundreds of yachts for charter in St Martin, so how do you tell which ones are the best for you? First of all, our brokers are happy to propose and discuss with you the boats that best meet your needs.
But you don't need to rely entirely on us, we have testimonials and ratings from many of our previous clients that you can read for a thorough background. Check them out!
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Our Caribbean destinations: The Windward Islands | Antigua| Grenada | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Spanish Virgin Islands | St Barths | Anguilla | St Martin/Sint Maarten | St Lucia | St Vincent and the Grenadines | US Virgin Islands - St Thomas, St John, St Croix