St. Martin

Travel Information

St. Martin

This cruising ground is scheduled to re-open February 1, 2018. 

 

 

Address & Map


Address

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

St. Martin is an island of dual nationality, the Northern section is French and known as St. Martin and the Southern section is Dutch and known as Sint Maartin.

Location

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.

Base Open Hours

The Base is open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, 7 days a week.

Base/Shore Facilities

Facilities: Restaurants, boutiques, water, electricity, wifi, laundry (additional cost), flower shops and many more nearby restaurants and shops.

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

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Arrival & Departure

Time Difference

Standard Time Zone: UTC/GMT -4 hours

Airport

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

Transfers

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 US$30 for 2 passengers, US$35 for 3 passengers, $40 for 4 passengers. US$10 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.

Luggage

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.

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 http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html for the latest information before you leave. Sunsail is not accountable for any required changes.

Customs and 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.  
The departure tax depends on where you fly out from:
St Martin - US$35 per person
Anguilla – US$10
ST Kitts – US$10
Nevis – US$10
Most airlines include the tax in the flight ticket price.

On Arrival

Your yacht will be ready at 6:00 pm for boarding. The yacht briefing introduces you to your yacht, its systems, and rigging. It is carried out individually for each yacht. It is important that all systems and equipment are fully understood. Briefings are mandatory. A time for this will be agreed on your arrival.

There will also be a chart briefing in the morning at 9:00 am. The chart briefing describes the cruising area and any potential hazards.

Out of Hours Arrival Procedure

For late arrivals, a representative will be there to meet you. As a back up, you will find a marina map with your names and boat location taped on the office door. The boat is ready with lights on, 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 your dirty laundry and leave 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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Sailing Information

Sailing 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.

Sailing Licenses

Although no sailing licenses are required by the authorities, we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on vacation 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 resume to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sail in this region.

Cruising 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.

Custom and Immigration fees
  • On the French side in Marigot, the office opening hours are 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The fee will be between 10 and 15 Euro,depending on the size of the boats.
  • On the Dutch side, Philipsburg or Simpson, for clearance out, they ask for the paper of the clearance in from Dutch side. Fee approx. $20USD in Simpson Bay, it is usually more on Sunday.
  • Anguilla: US$2 per person and may stay at port of entry free of charge. Cruising permits to outer islands cost: 5-20 tons US$40 + US$2 per person. 20 tons +: US$60 + US$2 per person.
  • St. Barts: US$7 for yachts 35-45ft. Minimum 20 Euros for a cat and 2 euros/pax for “la réserve Naturelle”
  • St. Kitts & Nevis: EC$20.

*Prices above are subject to change.

Night Time Sailing

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

Sailing Area Limits

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

  • The dock in Gustavia except briefly for water only – you may only briefly go on the dock in Gustavia for water only.
  • Oyster Pond due to hurricane damage
  • Saba and Barbuda without checking with Customer Service
  • East coast of Antigua; parts of St. Barts; Anguilla (limited number of anchorages; areas on East coast of St. Martin
  • Northwest coast of Nevis
  • Montserrat Island
Mooring Fees and 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. 

  • Tintamarre & Pinel Island: $3 USD per person, per day. Payable in cash only to the St. Martin natural parks officials or at the base.
  • Anse de Colombier & Fourche Island: $3 USD per person, per day.  Payable in cash only to the St. Barths natural parks officials or at the base. This fee is including now in the harbor fee of Gustavia
Area & Sailing

More information on the sailing in this area will be provided in the chart briefing.

Charts & Pilot Book

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.

Fuel

We would highly recommend that all clients’ pre-pay fuel due to the distance of the nearest fuelling station from the base – i.e. the boat will not be full when they hand it back to us! Cost is approximately US$0.86 per liter. Fuel is available at the base.

Coolers

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.

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 check out 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’s 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.

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Banks & Money Exchange

 
Currency

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.

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General Information

 
Language

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

Restaurants

O'Plongeoir - close to the marina
The Yacht Club Restaurant - located at the marina
L'Arhawak - 5 minute walk from the marina

Restaurants tend to close at approximately 11pm.

Restaurants closed during September – Low Season
If you are looking to travel in low season please be advised that you will have a limited choice of restaurants to eat ashore.  Therefore, please provision accordingly. This would be a perfect time of year to enjoy a BBQ off the back of your boat.

Tipping

If you have Sunsail crew on board your boat, tipping is at your discretion but standard is 15-20% 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% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.

Shopping

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

Super U: 15 minute walk or 5 minute taxi from the marina; the biggest supermarket on the island located at Howell Center.

Carrefour: 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-2PM Sun.

Please note all shops are Duty Free!

Hotels

French Side
Fantastic Hotel - close to the marina
Mercure Hotel - close to the marina
Centre 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

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 sand never on coral – though 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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Electrical, Phones & Music

 
Electricity

The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts.

Cellular phones

We provide free phones for our clients during hurricane season. The cost is (approximately) $0.40/minute for calling USA and $0.35/minute for local calls. We also have boat phones at the base which we provide on request. For your convenience, your personal cell phone (if European or US) may be activated upon your arrival through Eastern Caribbean Cellular Company. Bring a car type charger with you. For further information call 011-599-542-2100. Clients can also ask their provider before they leave to get international roaming.

Music/Ipods

All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your IPOD while sailing you will need to bring along an I-trip or FM radio transmitter.

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Activities

 
Car and Jeep Rentals

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

Watersports

Website address for renting a windsurfing equipment in St Martin: http://wind-adventures.com Clients can book a windsurfer and pay with a credit card online by clicking on the link below.

Book and Pay Online

A 10% discount is available to Sunsail clients at time of reservation.

Fishing

There is a scuba shop in the marina that rents fishing gear. No license is required.

Scuba Diving

Diving equipment can be delivered to the base. To reserve your gear, please contact The Scuba Shop. Other dive shops are also available on the island.

Snorkeling

We have a range of snorkeling gear which you may wish to use. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to pack your own, as children may be more comfortable with what is familiar to them.

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Provisioning

Provisioning ahead is recommended, packages are available. Please call us for details. No provisioning order 7 days before the charter.  More information on Provisioning

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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.

Safety

All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets and harnesses, we leave it up to you to decide when personal safety equipment should be worn

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