Why choose a cruise to Philipsburg?
Being just 37km2 in size, it doesn’t matter that Philipsburg is nearly the most southerly point on the island, as everything is within easy reach. For those with accessibility concerns, the port is just one mile from the centre of Philipsburg itself and there are cost-effective water taxis on hand to transport people to any part of the island.
A haven for watersports fanatics, families and foodies alike, Philipsburg provides an easy base for exploring all interests and with a selection of shops to take advantage of, too, nobody is ever bored here.
A guide to Philipsburg’s hotspots
With 37 beaches to choose from, it’s a tough call, but Mullet Bay is a consistent favourite that is both safe for families and exciting for those who want to tackle some snorkelling. The beach is flanked by a host of snack bars, and with calm turquoise water, this is a stretch of sand not to be missed.
In terms of local entertainment, there is a healthy nightlife element, which includes casinos, dance clubs and beach bars. For travellers who aren’t quite old enough to hit the town, however, there are numerous daytime activities to enjoy, such as a trip to the nature reserve to learn all about the island’s ecotourism endeavours. There’s even a specialist chocolate shop, The Belgian Chocolate Box. Offering more than 75 flavours, some of which are a little naughty and alcoholic, there are few better places to stop off at to buy gifts to take home.
From locally sourced seafood through to barbecues and Creole-inspired foods, nothing is off limits in terms of eating. Considered by many to be the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’, the island has a vast number of restaurants to choose from and the piquant mix of French and Dutch cultural influences really come into focus in favourite spots such as Hidden Garden and The Palms. For a more casual meal, the Lazy Lizard Beach Bar is a must.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Philipsburg
The best time to visit Philipsburg
The best time to visit St Maarten, if hot weather is the main priority, is between July and October, when temperatures will be around 30°C. For a more cost-effective trip, May and June tend to be the best bets, as they are something of a low season for the island and its attractions.
Warm weather is all but guaranteed throughout the year, although hurricane season, which starts at the end of June, can make for a wet trip, but is unlikely.
Did you know?
- There are nude beaches on the island, so research is a good idea
- The Guavaberry Sunrise cocktail is considered to be a local delicacy
- Duty-free alcohol and electronics prices are exceptionally good here