Written by Missy Johnston
Arrive in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Enjoy brunch on the aft deck while reviewing the itinerary and menus with the captain and chef. Enjoy a siesta on the upper deck while cruising to the quintessential French town of Marigot for a shopping spree in world-class shops and boutiques. Under a starlit sky, enjoy dinner on board or dine ashore at one of the many quaint Caribbean style restaurants.
St. Martin Beach
Sixty percent of St. Martin or Saint-Martin is owned by France and forty percent of St. Martin or Sint Marteen is owned by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For this little tropical island is an island owned by two countries, and life ashore reflects the life, culture, traditions and even the languages of these two parent nations.
There are many great beaches in St. Martin, including Orient Beach, clothing optional in some areas, Terres Basses, and Happy Bay, and several small little islands off of St. Martin such as Pine Island and Tintamarre that are great to visit, if only because you can on a crewed yacht charter, and perhaps have a picnic lunch.
There is sophisticated French nightlife in locations like Grand Casse, where nightclubs and bar open right onto the beach. On the Dutch side are casinos for anyone wanting to try their luck.
Gustavia, St. Barts
Cruise to St. Barts the San Tropez of the Caribbean, and into the Port of Gustavia St Jean: Café’s, fine shops, exclusive wine stores, galleries and unique boutiques line this harbor. A regular hangout for celebrities, you might happen upon an impromptu concert by Jimmy Buffett at LeSelect. Nightlife abounds in St Barts. There are lovely beaches and anchorages around St. Barts, and chic dining locations as well outside of Gustavia.
St. Barts, also known as St. Barths and St. Barthelemy, is located in the French West Indies and, at eight miles long, is one of the tiniest islands in the entire Caribbean.
St. Barts is a duty free port, and shoppers will be delighted with the range and number of shops. The highest concentration of shops is in Gustavia, followed by St-Jean, with its several shopping centers. It is wise to allocated more than a single afternoon to see what’s what.
There are fourteen beaches on St. Barts, all blessed with gleaming white sand. Few are crowded, even in peak season. All are public and free. Nudism is ostensibly prohibited; however, topless is not unusual. Two beaches divided by the Eden Rock promontory are Grand Cul de Sac and St. Jean. Flamands is a huge stretch of white sand fringed with lantier palms. The beaches at Marigot, Lorient, and Petite Cul de Sac are secluded and quiet, Gouverneur is serene; Saline is well worth the hike over the sand dune. Hardest to get to is Colombier, reachable by your yacht by a half- hour hike down a scenic path.
Gustavia Shopping, Photo Credit Missy Johnston
Cruise from St. Barts towards Anguilla, stopping at Ilse Fourchue, a small islet for lunch, swimming, relaxing and using the water toys for the afternoon. There is great snorkeling around this privately owned island inhabited only by goats. Late afternoon continue on to Anguilla. Overnight.
In the morning head to Anguilla which sports one chic beach after another. Snorkel off beautiful reefs looking for sea turtles and shy rays. Sample the world-class resort of Cap Jaluca or Malliouhana and then relax in the seclusion of Mead’s or Barnes Bay.
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory, 16 miles long and 3 miles at the widest point. Boasting 33 white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, a contemporary international style, and extraordinary vistas, Anguilla may be the highlight of your cruise after you drop anchor to explore this idyllic tropical island. Slower than St. Barths with a more tranquil feel, Anguilla is still a very chic island visited by the world’s Famous Names.
Visit art galleries, tour historic sites and museums, go horseback riding, dance to island beats, snorkel, or simply bask in the sun and enjoy quiet sunset strolls. The pinnacle of gastronomic delights include over 70 dining experiences presented by a cadre of world renowned international and award-winning local chefs. For pampering, resorts and independent spas offer the latest in spa and wellness facilities, services and treatments.
Nightlife in Anguilla has come a long way in the last few years. While perhaps not the chic St. Barts nightlife, the local Anguillan bands will keep you on your feet dancing to Reggae. And who knows who you might spot in the crowd and this island is a popular island for the “in-crowd” to blend in casually for fun in the sun.
St. Barths Gustavia Church, Photo Credit Missy Johnston
Day 8: Head to St. Martin to disembark.