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Cruises to St. Lucia

2 Awards
St. Lucia (Photo:PlusONE/Shutterstock)

About St. Lucia

Your first look at St. Lucia's lush coast from the deck of a cruise ship is likely to include the island's most dramatic geologic feature: the Pitons, two striking volcanic peaks that rise a half-mile off St. Lucia's southwestern coast. The island's beauty has earned it the nickname "Helen of the West Indies."

Though St. Lucia has plenty of visitors (including those from cruise ships and a steady influx of honeymooners), parts of the island have largely remained unspoiled due to the locals' commitment to protecting the rainforests and other natural resources. A decent percentage of the island -- some 19,000 acres -- is protected as part of the St. Lucia National Rain Forest.

What development there is on St. Lucia is mostly in the area around Castries, the island's colorful, energetic capital city. It's not picturesque but it's still worth a look, especially if you're in search of duty-free goods or local handicrafts. But to appreciate St. Lucia's natural beauty, rent a car or take a cab out of town. The prettiest part of the island is in the south, and most visitors head there to see the former French colonial capital Soufriere, the lush Diamond Botanical Gardens and the world's only "drive-in" volcano. More options include hiking through the rainforest, snorkeling the sunken wreck off of Anse Cochon and horseback riding along the coast.

Settled first by the Arawaks and then the Caribs, St. Lucia became a hotly contested territory with the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. The island passed back and forth 14 times between the British and the French until 1814, when the Brits finally took possession for good. Traces of both cultures still remain in the language; many St. Lucians speak both English and a French Creole patois, and it's visible in distinctive place names such as Soufriere, Gros Islet, Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island.

  • More about St. Lucia

  • Why go to St. Lucia?

  • St. Lucia Cruise Port Facilities?

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Nautica
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360 Reviews
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Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn

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2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Tampa
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
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243 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
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Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

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1,429 Reviews
Leaving:Manaus
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
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26 Night
World CruiseDetails

207 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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Southern Caribbean - New YorkDetails

3,081 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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Caribbean - Eastern CruiseDetails

207 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Dec 5, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Ultimate Southern CaribbeanDetails

1,994 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Nov 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Caribbean - Eastern CruiseDetails

281 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about St. Lucia

Why go to St. Lucia?

Pros:

St. Lucia's natural beauty has been well-preserved and provides lots of fun for active cruisers

Cons:

You'll have to leave the city of Castries where ships dock to access most of the island's attractions

Bottom Line:

There's plenty to see and do in St. Lucia, however organized excursions and tours or a car rental might be your best bet

St. Lucia Cruise Port Facilities?

Both Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine have duty-free shopping, cafes and souvenir shops. From La Place Carenage, you're close to the downtown markets. At Castries Market, locals sell fresh produce, spices and hot pepper sauces. At the adjacent Craft Market, vendors hawk T-shirts, wooden bowls, woven baskets and other items.

Good to Know?

Public transportation in St. Lucia often does not run on a set schedule. Buses wait until they're full before departing. If short on time, you might want to find another option.

Be aware that drive times on St. Lucia's many winding roads can be longer than you might think. Allow extra time to get to and from port.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Although you can walk from Pointe Seraphine into downtown Castries, it's a long walk -- about 20 to 30 minutes. La Place Carenage is downtown, so you can easily walk to the markets.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the dock or from downtown. Regulated taxi operations are available at most places throughout the island. A cab ride from Pointe Seraphine to downtown Castries takes about five minutes and costs about $4 per person. A ride from Castries to Rodney Bay will cost about $25 for two people. Be sure to agree on a price before you get in, and specify which currency you'll be using. Water taxis are also available to ferry passengers from Pointe Seraphine to La Place Carenage; cost is about $5 roundtrip.

By Car: There are several car rental companies with kiosks at the port; rates start at about $60 per day. Unless you have an international driving permit, you'll need to purchase a one-day permit ($12). Note that St. Lucians drive on the left.

By Bus: St. Lucia's public transportation system consists of colorful, privately owned minivans, often painted with whimsical names. A ride from Castries to Rodney Bay costs about $1 per person. The bus station is in downtown Castries, near the markets.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar. (Check xe.com for current exchange rates.) You can generally use American dollars anywhere on the island, although you may receive change in local currency.

ATMs are plentiful in Castries and other major tourist areas.

Language?

English is the official language, but locals often speak Kweyol, a French-influenced patois based.

Where You're Docked?

Ships anchor in Castries, either at Pointe Seraphine, a duty-free shopping complex on the harbor's north side, or at La Place Carenage, a smaller duty-free shopping complex near the markets on the harbor's south side.


St. Lucia Cruise Reviews
We did the waterfalls and gardens tour on this one. The waterfalls were ok but not spectacular. The gardens were lovely and we did get to see a hummingbird (unfortunately too quick to capture by photo/video). I woRead More
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Simand15
We did a tour of St. Lucia and we very much liked this island and tour.Read More
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MFOB
Love St Lucia! We married here years ago so it’s always lovely to come back. This port required an excursion to get off boat unless just shopping the local shops. So we did just that. Shops were thee most conscientRead More
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CKBMBW
Go beyond the gated parking lot and talk to the taxi drivers. They should have a Civid approved sticker on their windshield. Look for Joseph in the red Nissan. He was excellent. His number is 1(758) 724-3172 or 1(75Read More
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fishnlady

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