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Cruises to St. Barts

St. Barts (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About St. Barts

The island of St. Barts, known for its chic French ambience and cuisine and white-sand beaches, long has reigned as a favorite getaway spot among celebrity jetsetters.

That's quite a lofty status for a stony, volcanic, eight-square-mile island that claims no fresh water and little workable land. Named for Christopher Columbus' brother, Bartolomeo, St. Barthelemy is located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles group in the West Indies, 15 miles east of St. Martin.

Many St. Bartians are descendants of 17th-century settlers from Brittany and Normandy. In the 18th century, France leased the island to Sweden in exchange for trading rights to the Baltic. Almost a century later, locals voted to restore rule to the French. Today, St. Barts, with its population of about 9,000, is a dependency of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe.

The island's beautiful beaches lend themselves to water sports, from windsurfing, scuba-diving and snorkeling to jet-skiing, sailing and deep-sea fishing. Whales pass by during migration periods, and dolphins are frequently spotted -- and might even frolic near the ship's bow.

The island also claims fame as a place where conspicuous consumption is on display in the form of mega-yachts, elegant designer boutiques, fancy resorts and fine dining. Considered among the best places to nosh in the Caribbean, lunch or dinner at one of the island's top restaurants can be a major splurge.

Taking in the island's topless beaches, vibrant nightlife and waterfront bistros -- not to mention hearing French spoken -- it's easy to imagine you've been transported to the south of France (Antibes or St. Tropez). St. Barts even features its own Riviera-like festival calendar, including winter music and film festivals and a spring food festival.

  • Why go to St. Barts?

  • St. Barts Cruise Port Facilities?

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Marina
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Marina

50 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

713 Reviews
Leaving:San Antonio
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Riviera
Riviera
Riviera

73 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sirena
Sirena
Sirena

10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

230 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Odyssey
Seabourn Odyssey
Seabourn Odyssey

14 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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P&O Cruises

SeaDream II

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Thomas
Cruise Line:SeaDream Yacht Club
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

12 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

11 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

23 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

17 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

15 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

9 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

8 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Star Flyer

6 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Star Clippers
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Star Flyer

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Star Clippers
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Star Flyer

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Star Clippers
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Ovation

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Star Pride

14 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Wind Surf

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Ovation

14 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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SeaDream II

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:SeaDream Yacht Club
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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SeaDream II

8 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Thomas
Cruise Line:SeaDream Yacht Club
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Riviera

10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to St. Barts?

Pros:

High-end French shops, gourmet restaurants, gorgeous beaches and lots of yachts and sailboats

Cons:

Be prepared to drop serious cash on shopping and meals, even taxis

Bottom Line:

It's like the South of France transported to a Caribbean island

St. Barts Cruise Port Facilities?

Gustavia is a pedestrian-friendly town. An Internet cafe, ATM, cafes, restaurants, elegant shops with imported French goods and a food market are located a short stroll away from the pier. The popular Shell Beach (officially called Grand Galet) sits south of Gustavia by the commercial pier, and it's just a short walk. Spend time admiring the huge yachts on the oceanfront walkway.

Good to Know?

With limited fresh water on the island, don't expect a free glass at restaurants. You'll have to pay for bottled water.

Getting Around?

On Foot: You can walk to attractions in Gustavia.

By Taxi: Taxis are available at the pier in Gustavia. Most cab drivers don't work at night, so if you need a ride back to the port, it's best to make arrangements in advance. There is a fixed price for fares, which are in euros.

By Car: St. Barts is steep and hilly with narrow roads, switchbacks and hairpin turns. You'll see stop signs but no traffic lights. At intersections, the car to the right has the right of way. Small rental cars that fit the narrow, two-lane roads are available from Budget Budget, Europcar, Island Car and Top Loc.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The euro is the official currency of St. Barts. For currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. ATM's are located in Gustavia at the Banque Francaise Commercial (BFC) on rue du General-de-Gaulle and the Banque Nationale de Paris on rue du Bord-de-Mer.

Language?

French is the official language. English is widely spoken.

Where You're Docked?

Most cruise ships anchor outside sheltered Gustavia Harbour and tender passengers to Port de Pleasance in the heart of Gustavia, the island's charming capital city.


St. Barts Cruise Reviews
The perfect island to visit on a cruise ship - small and VERY expensive, fun to visit, you don't want to stay!! We walked across the island to St. Jean, interesting walk, great views, airport is fun to see; St.Jean... Read More
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JTor
Despite the many shops, bars and restaurants at St. Barts, we elected to rest on the ship since there were no sea days on the cruise. Our friends went into to town, shopped at the wine shop and bought Louis Vuitton... Read More
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Knyght1
We hopped in a taxi right outside the port terminal and for $25 we went to Nikki Beach (10 min ride). We rented a sunbed at the Nikki restaurant ($120 for the day), swam in the beautiful water, had a delicious lunch... Read More
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sheilsy65
We had been to St Barts before and rented a car, but the roads are so narrow and twisty that we had a hard time actually getting to the places we wanted to see. The excursions in St Barts were all cancelled because... Read More
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grandmaR

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