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St. Martin

St. Martin Yacht Charter & Sailing Holiday

Inspiring Itineraries

St. Martin

St. Martin one-week bareboat

The Sunsail St. Martin location is now open, and the information on this page has been updated to reflect post-hurricane Irma conditions.

European heritage, Caribbean charm
From short, relaxing island hops to open, blue water cruising, sailing St. Martin is as diverse as the split personality of the island itself. Half Dutch, half French, St. Martin offers that perfect combination of chic European sophistication and laid-back Caribbean charm.

Explore remote, untouched islands, dive kaleidoscope reefs and underwater shipwrecks, and relax on white sand beaches. Delectable food, pristine anchorages and enchanting island culture are waiting for you on your St. Martin bareboat sailing adventure.

Highlights

  •  Designer shopping
  •  Wreck diving Anguilla
  •  Watersports at Creole Rock
  •  Grand Case’s French cuisine
  •  Snorkeling with colorful tropical fish
  •  Secluded beaches, seductive coastline
Where is the best place to sail in St. Martin?

The Caribbean island, St. Martin, offers excellent sailing opportunities with its beautiful turquoise waters, steady trade winds, and numerous coves and bays to explore. The island is divided into two parts: the northern French side (Saint-Martin) and the southern Dutch side (Sint Maarten). Here are some of the best places to visit whilst sailing St. Martin:

For Families

The protected waters of Simpson Bay Lagoon provide a safe environment for families. There are family-friendly marinas, resorts, and restaurants around the lagoon, making it convenient for families with children.

The long, white sandy beach of Orient Bay is great for families. The calm waters and the vibrant atmosphere make it suitable for water activities and relaxation. On the other end of the scale, there’s the thrilling Maho Beach – known for the famous images of people almost touching the bottom of planes flying overhead. A truly exhilarating experience for the family, if you prefer to watch from a more comfortable distance, there are also vendors and chairs for rent (or make yourself at home on the soft white sand) further up the beach.

For more inspiration, have a look at our favourite family sailing spots.

For Couples

The romantic atmosphere of Marigot, with its French and Caribbean charm, makes it a perfect spot for couples. Enjoy a leisurely sail, explore the marina, and indulge in fine dining. If you’re able to, hire a taxi to tour the local areas – they will take you to Marigot Market, show you any key view-points and often provide some information on this wonderful island as you drive around. 

Known for its gastronomic delights, Grand Case is a lovely setting for a romantic sail. The bay’s beauty, combined with the exquisite dining options, creates a memorable experience for couples.

For First-Time Sailors

The protected lagoon provides calm waters, which are ideal for those new to sailing. The infrastructure around the lagoon also makes it convenient for beginners to access necessary facilities and services.

The bay in Phillipsburg on the Dutch side is relatively sheltered, providing a good environment for beginners. The town offers a lively atmosphere, and it’s a great place for those looking to combine sailing with onshore activities.

Please note that St.Martin is a 2-3 sailing level experience charter. If you are a novice or have less than 10 days/200 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht, you will need to hire a skipper. Alternatively, you can increase your sailing experience at one of our sailing schools.

For Large Groups

The spaciousness of Orient Bay makes it suitable for larger groups. The expansive beach and surrounding areas offer plenty of room for group activities and water sports.

With its size and infrastructure, Simpson Bay Lagoon can accommodate larger vessels and groups. The variety of services and amenities around the lagoon make it convenient for group travel.

What are the best things to do in St. Martin?

St. Martin offers a diverse range of activities for various interests, here are some of your top picks to suit your mood:

Relaxing

A secluded bay on the northern coast, Anse Marcel is known for its peaceful atmosphere. It’s an excellent place for unwinding amidst lush surroundings. 

There are also a variety of spa and relaxation options on the island, from massages on the beach to massage, facials and yoga at studios such as Colibri or the Sunset Spa in Pelican Key.

Eating and Drinking

Often referred to as the “Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean,” Grand Case is renowned for its diverse dining options. Enjoy trying a range of taste sensations with a French and Caribbean twist (got picky eaters? Fear less-  there are plenty of American, Italian and Classic Seafood restaurants to choose from too!).

Alternatively, we recommend exploring Marigot’s waterfront and indulging in a French pastry (or two, or three!), freshly caught seafood, and international cuisine. The marina area offers a charming backdrop for dining.

History and Culture

Whilst in Marigot, we recommend visiting the historic Fort Louis – which overlooks the town. This site not only provides historical significance, but also panoramic views of the island. 

We also recommend sailing around to the Dutch side of the island and visiting Philipsburg. Philipsburg is known for its colourful, colonial-style buildings and duty-free shopping. The St. Maarten Museum is also worth a visit for a deeper dive into the island’s rich history.

Underwater Adventure 

A popular spot for snorkelling is Creole Rock. Creole Rock is found off the island’s coast, between Grand Case and Anse Marcel, and offers vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. It’s easily accessible from your yacht, and provides an excellent underwater adventure.

St. Martin is also known for its incredible collection of ship wreck dives – with a variety of depths and dive levels available, St Martin is the perfect underwater playground. We recommend the Proselyte if you’re after spectacular reefs, this is the most popular site in St. Martin and the old wreck is laying on her side, on the sandy bottom, engulfed in colourful reefs. 

Big Momma and Fishbowl dive sites for anyone looking to encounter reef sharks, barracuda and shoaling fish. One of the easier dives in St.Martin is Dawn Beach, the reef is accessible from the shore and it is a snorkel-friendly site, with clear water and an average depth of 45ft (14m), you can expect to see Snappers, Parrotfish and Yellow-Striped Goatfish – if you’re lucky, you may even spot a Caribbean Reef Squid!

Exploring

Embark on a boat trip to Tintamarre Island for exploration. The uninhabited island offers pristine beaches, hiking trails, and opportunities to observe wildlife.

Located in the hills of Pic Paradis, Loterie Farm is a nature reserve with hiking trails, zip lines, and a serene pool area. It’s a great place for outdoor exploration.

Remember to check the local conditions, weather, and any specific requirements for each activity to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. St. Martin’s diverse offerings cater to a wide range of interests, making it an ideal destination for a well-rounded holiday.

When is the best time to visit St. Martin?

When Sailing St. Martin or planning a St.Martin yacht charter, it is important to note that the island- like many other Caribbean Islands – has two seasons, the dry season (between December – May) and the wet season (between July – November).

We recommend visiting St Martin / St Maarten during the dry season – December – May as it is the most pleasant time of year and offers a slightly cooler, dryer average temperature.

What are the sailing conditions in St. Martin like?

The Sailing Conditions in St. Martin are usually very gentle and easy-going, average wind speed is lowest in August & September (10 knots) and highest in November (15 knots).

How much does it cost to charter a yacht around St. Martin?

Like anything, a yacht charter in St. Martin has no set price. Time of year, yacht type and size, charter type and charter length are variables which will impact the cost of your holiday.

A bareboat charter for 2 starts at £2,000 for 7 nights (no extras, off-peak season) and fluctuates up to £6,6500 for the same package during peak seasons; this doesn’t include flights, food or excursions. Again, adding skippers, cooks, upgraded vessels etc will impact the cost of your trip.

How much are the moorings fees in St. Martin?

Mooring fees at Marigot Bay start at 9,20€ a day, or 55,00€ a month.
For more costs and destination details, check our essential information page or contact your Sunsail holiday planner.

How long does it take to sail around St. Martin?

Similarly to the cost of a St Martin yacht charter, the time it takes to sail around St. Martin depends on the type of holiday you want. It is possible to do a 5 night charter and see a good portion of the island, however for the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration, we would recommend at least 7 days. We have pre-planned routes and itineraries for you to follow, or you can fully customise your trip. 
If you decide to do a 14 day+ charter, you should consider sailing to other Caribbean Islands such as the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Antigua.

From the Sailing Blog

What Guests are Saying

St. Martin

The boat was excellent and in great condition. The cruising grounds were spectacular.

Colm Mac Fhionnlaoich Zea

We loved being supported by the lead boat crew and meeting the other flotilla parties.

Sharon Chinnappa Lefkas

Great sail area, well prepared boat and friendly, helpful staff

Christopher Mack Phuket

Your customer service is exemplary, everyone was more than professional

Steve Hoddy Dubrovnik

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