St. Martin Travel Information & Planning Guide

Base Location
Marina Fort-Luis

Nearest Airport
Princess Juliana Airport

Provisioning Service
Online Provisioning 
Store Available

Cruising Licenses
A formal license 
is not required

Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in St. Martin. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don’t forget to pack a copy to take with you.


Before you go


Sunsail St. Martin
Mariner Yacht Services
Marina Fort Luis
Baie de Marigot
Marigot 97150 Saint Martin

The base is located at Marina Fort Luis. The marina is about 20 minutes from Juliana International airport and 20 minutes from Grand Case local airport.

St. Martin is an island of dual nationality. The northern side is French and known as St. Martin and the southern side is Dutch and known as Saint Maarten.


Base hours
The Base is open 8.30am-4.30pm, seven days a week.
Season: The base is closed the month of September.

Time zone
Standard Time Zone: UTC/GMT -4 hours

French and Dutch are the official languages, although English is also widely spoken.

What to bring

Passport and visas
Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return.

Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.
It is the responsibility of each individual to ensure relevant visas are obtained where necessary. Sunsail cannot be held responsible for refusal of entry or travel due to lack of visas. If you are in any doubt please contact your Embassy for full details.

Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. Please check Welcome to GOV.UK ( the latest information before you leave. Sunsail is not accountable for any required changes.

Customs + immigration
Before leaving the airport, you will have to clear immigration and customs. A landing card will be given to you on the plane, along with a customs declaration form. It is not possible to take fresh food into most Caribbean islands and airlines will assume no liability for perishable articles that may be confiscated by customs.  

Custom and Immigration fees

*Prices above are subject to change.

Sailing licences
Although no sailing licences are required by the authorities, we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you. This may be useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police. If you have not already done so then both your boats Skipper and 1st Mate will be required to fill in a sailing CV to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sail in this region.

Luggage + packing list

We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt, and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

What’s on board

Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Clients must sign these out and return them clean and undamaged otherwise they will be charged for replacement. Only one per boat.


Free Wi-Fi access available at the marina lobby only.

Important: We do not offer free Wi-Fi on our boats in St Martin.

At the base, we can help with Wi-Fi access by renting a Wi-Fi hub at the base. 50.00 USD payable in cash only. We have limited stock. You can connect at least 5 devices on the box. The network will be only available on Saint Martin French side and St Barthelemy. You would have to go online or on a hotline to purchase extra data.

We highly recommend you contact your personal phone/internet providers before travelling to see if you can get a reliable connection during your sailing trip.

Cell phones

If you bring your own phone, please check with your service provider before departure, to ensure you will have coverage and to check rates regarding roaming calls and data.

Music + iPods
All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your iPod whilst sailing you will need to bring along an iTrip or FM radio transmitter.


The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit

The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts.

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How to get there

The airport on St. Martin is Princess Juliana Airport located on the Dutch side. The facilities at the airport include a restaurant, some small shops and snack bars and a bureau de change.

Facilities at the airport include:

Sunsail can assist with transfer details; please send your travel arrangements to us so we can make the necessary arrangements. Please note: Guests arriving separately should bring a copy of the charter contract / invoice.

Clients should give drivers the address of Marina Fort-Luis, Marigot. Taxi drivers should be paid direct. The cost is $35 USD for 1-3 passengers and $10 USD for each additional passenger. Taxi prices are increased by 25% between 10:00 pm and midnight and by 50% from midnight until 6:00 am. 30 minutes approx.

Boarding time + checking out

On arrival
Your yacht will be ready at 6:00 pm for boarding.

Briefings: Please watch the online chart briefing before arrival. Any questions can be clarified on base.

Out of hours
For late arrivals, you will find a marina map with your names and boat location taped on the office door. The boat is ready with lights on, a cold fridge.

On departure
At the end of your charter, your yacht will need to be vacated by 11:00 am.

Please call the base by VHF channel 16 and then on 72 on your way in so that someone can give you docking instructions. 

Before departing your boat, you will need to collect a debrief form from reception.  The debrief form is to let us know if you have encountered any problems with the boat or broken anything during the trip, this enables us to rectify problems for the next charter.

In addition to filling in forms, we also require guests to bag their dirty laundry and leave it in the cockpit, empty all cupboards and fridges of food and throw away, return snorkel gear and any lifejackets borrowed from reception, and ensure that the boat is handed back to us in a clean and tidy state.  We reserve the right to charge clients for boats left less than shipshape.

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About the marina

Marina facilities

…and many more nearby restaurants and shops.

Customs feeFree
Fuel Daily Prices
Showers$3USD / 2 Euro
LaundryAt the marina – additional fee
Garbage disposalFree
ProvisioningOnline Provisioning only
AccommodationNearby hotels
Bar & RestaurantYes
Money ChangeNo

Dock facilities*
We would highly recommend that all clients’ pre-pay fuel due to the distance of the nearest fueling station from the base – i.e. the boat will not be full when they hand it back to us!

The cost is approximately US$0.86 per liter. Fuel is available at the base.

Sailing licences

Experience level
St Martin is a Level 2 sailing area
Experience levels are based on the sailing conditions and length of passages within your chosen sailing area. For more information on the sailing conditions.

At least 10 days or 200 miles as a skipper on an equivalent-size yacht. Our intermediate sailing destinations, Level 2 sailing areas offer a greater challenge for sailors more comfortable on the open water. Enjoy strong winds and longer spells of open water sailing, suitable for more experienced skippers.

Sailing grounds

Skippered charter information
The skipper’s time is booked from 12:00 pm to 12:00 pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved him for the first day of your charter and have a 6:00 pm start, he will use this time to ensure he is happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you have reserved him for a later date on your charter he will start at 12:00 pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. He is not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of his contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the checkout skipper’s time is booked from 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day. This skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. It is suggested that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his time with you on the yacht. It is also suggested that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover…anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper will be required to give you as much information as you require concerning the yacht and its systems, sailing skills and navigation in general.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and is the responsibility of the client. It is suggested that you discuss this on the first day with the skipper and establish whether you will give the skipper cash for meals, whether you have included him in your provisioning or whether you will accommodate him as part of the group for meals ashore.
The skipper must have his own cabin.

For one-day check out skipper it is the client’s responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay for his expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15 to 20 percent of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at the client’s discretion.

More information on Skippered Charter options.

Sailing area restrictions
Several zones in The Caribbean have been restricted by Sunsail for the client’s security. These are reviewed in the briefing and include:

Night sailing
You are not permitted to sail at night unless it has been agreed with the base manager prior to departure.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht. Charts and pilot books can be purchased through the Sunsail booking location. 

Sailing permits + taxes
No cruising permits are required in this sailing area. A cruising tax of 4.5% of the charter fee is already included in the charter fee.

Moorings fees + taxes
Optional moorings are at present being installed in many of the St Barths anchorages and plans are underway to install these in some St. Martin anchorages. Saba and Statia provide moorings. Furthermore, moorings can be arranged inside the harbor of Gustavia, St Barts with the Port Captain. 

Health + safety

Illness or Injury 
If you get sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip contact a member of Sunsail staff as soon as possible at a Sunsail base.

Swim Safe 

Swimming is often a fun and important part of a holiday. However local rules, flag systems, currents, and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets, and Diver Down flags are all available on board. 


Be aware of your surroundings

Look out for others

Do not overestimate your ability


All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use of this equipment during your holiday. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat onboarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing. 

We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.  

Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck. 

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy. 

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Sunsail Provisioning
Provisioning ahead is recommended, packages are available. All provisioning orders should be placed no later than 7 days prior to the charter start date. Please call us for details. More information on Provisioning.


Open daily, closed on Sunday afternoons and holidays on both sides of the island.

Super U: 15-minute walk or 5-minute taxi from the marina; Regular full-service grocery store: large selection of fresh produce, canned, frozen, and baked goods. Open from 8AM – 8PM Mon-Sat, 8AM – 12.45PM Sun. 

CadisMarket: 10 minutes walking distance downtown. Open daily 7AM to 8PM.

Monoprix: 5 minutes driving distance, open 8AM to 7PM

Carrefour Market: On the Dutch side. Regular full-service grocery store with wide variety of goods, also has bakery, deli. Open from: 8AM-8PM Mon-Sat, 9AM-1PM Sun.

Fresh Market: On the Dutch side; Regular full-service grocery store with wide variety of goods. Open from daily: 8AM – 8PM Mon-Sat, 9AM – 2PM Sun.



Restaurants tend to close at approximately 11pm. Restaurants are closed from September to low season.

If you’re looking to travel in low season you will have a limited choice of restaurants to eat ashore and to provision accordingly. This would be a perfect time of year to enjoy a BBQ off the back of your boat.

If you have Sunsail crew on board your boat, tipping is at your discretion but standard is 15-20 percent of the crew fee.

Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants/bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15 percent of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this to the bill.

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Around the base


French Side
Fantastic Hotel – close to the marina
Mercure Hotel – close to the marina
Center Hotel – close to the marina
Golfe Hotel – close to the marina
Adam & Eve – Orient Bay
Shamrock – Orient Bay
Columbus Hotel – Oyster Pond

Dutch Side
Holland House – Philipsburg
Atrium – Simpson Bay
Mary’s Boon – Simpson Bay
Atrium – Simpson Bay
Princess Heights – Oyster Pond

Currency: US Dollars & Euros on both the French & Dutch sides of the island. ALL the islands accept US Dollars (US$), however, ONLY Anguilla, St Kitts, Nevis, and Antigua accept Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC$).
Banks are open 9:00am-3:00pm, weekdays only.

ATM are limited due to the hurricane. Please bring plenty of cash

Credit card information
Credit cards can be used for payment in larger establishments and restaurants.

Shops are open 8am-6pm (Mon/Sat), however, most are closed on Sundays. Supermarkets open 9am – 1pm on Sundays.

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Things to do

Car and Jeep Hire
Car hire costs are from US $40 per day depending on the type and time of the year. Please note you will require a current valid driving licence and you must be 25+ years old.

The website address for hiring windsurfing equipment in St Martin. Clients can book a windsurfer and pay with a credit card online by clicking on the link below.

Water toys + sports


Can be rented at the base at 60$ per week payable in cash only. No license is required.

Scuba Diving
Can be rented at The Scuba Shop, situated in Simpson Bay near the international airport. 

Here you can rent, buy top-of-the-line scuba diving gear, or purchase marine equipment and supplies.

We are only providing fins at this time. You will have to purchase the mask and snorkel or bring them with you.

St. Barts
Large areas of St. Barts are a marine park (St. Barthelemy Natural Marine Preserve.) Both Ile Fourche and Anse de Columbier are part of this park, as are Pain de Sucre and Les Gros Islets to the west of Gustavia. The park rules are excellent. In these areas, you may scuba dive, hand-line for fish, snorkel, and swim. You may also collect a maximum of 3 adult conchs.

You are not allowed to spearfish, jet-ski, water-ski, or hunt lobsters. You may only anchor your yacht or dinghy on the sand, never on coral, although a few yellow moorings will be placed in coral areas for snorkelers and scuba divers. You should never take coral or throw garbage in any coastal waters. Always pass divers slowly giving them at least 100 yards clearance.

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For more information on what’s included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

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