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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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Insignia
Insignia

15 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

199 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Nov 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sirena
Sirena

24 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Nov 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sirena
Sirena

22 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Nov 28, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nautica
Nautica

10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Cartagena
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Dec 13, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

9 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

26 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Viking Expeditions
Oct 13, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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40 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Viking Expeditions
Oct 13, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

1 Review
Cruise Line:Azamara
Dec 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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26 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:St. Maarten
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Mar 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Mar 25, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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77 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jan 4, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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17 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jan 14, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Feb 19, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to St. BartsDetails

Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Feb 11, 2023
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
Very scenic. Nice beaches great views of the harbors. Excellent food & shopping.Read More
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rbtan
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 bRead More
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JTor
favorite island! Got a taxi and explores island and headed to st jean beach great shopping!Read More
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docboss1
Feels like the côte d'azur, monaco. Splendid views from the fort over the harbour. Luxurious shopping streets. Great vibe.Read More
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eden rose

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