St Martin - General Info
The official currency for the French side is Euros, and for the Dutch side it is Caribbean guilders (since 2012), but US dollars are accepted everywhere on the Island.
There are ATMs are available in Marigot for cash withdrawals.
Effective 1 July 2015, the I cent and 2 cent EC coins will be withdrawn from circulation. The coins will no longer be valid either as consumers will not be able to conduct transactions using these coins. Persons can present the coins at any of the commercial banks which operate within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to receive face value.
A price rounding system will be implemented within the ECCU countries for the settlement of cash transactions only, whereby the total payment, inclusive of duties, fees and taxes, will be rounded symmetrically to the nearest five cents. Non-cash payments using cheques, debit andcredit cards will not be impacted and therefore will not be rounded.
International Dialing code for St Martin is +1 599.
There are several digital cell phone systems in place. Telcell and UTS (Chippie) on the Dutch side have GSM services. The French side has GSM services through Orange (France Telecom) and Amigo (Dauphin). You need a triband GSM phone and a SIM card of the local provider for using these services. Buying a prepaid phone card is easy. Many shops, supermarkets and gas stations sell pre-paid phone cards for the Dutch side providers. All networks cover both sides of the island.
Four Star Cargo - alongside the airport on the way to Maho - can have anything shipped to their address in Miami and they will automatically have it sent by cargo ship or air (your choice) to their warehouse in St. Maarten. Free to open an account, you pay the shipping fees when you pick up your package. They will also deliver island-wide.
There is an airport on the French side of the island, called Aéroport de Grand Case or L'Espérance Airport. This is used for local and regional flights only.
Princess Juliana International Airport (also known as Saint Martin International Airport) serves the Dutch part of the island. The airport is perhaps best known for very low-altitude flyover landing approaches due to one end of its runway being extremely close to the shore and Maho Beach.
There is a bus stop right outside the Terminal so you do not have to take an expensive taxi ($20 to Simpson Bay). The bus is $2.50 all the way to Phillipsburg.
Alternatively you can collect your crew by dinghy. The small marina which houses the Pink Iguana and Crazy Cow sometimes permit dinghy landing. Ask permission in the Crazy Cow, or Pink Iguana if its open. Dinghies can also be left on the old Customs dock close to the runway.
The minibus system here is simple and cheap. Minibuses are easily recognizable, due to wooden placards with a name of a city visible on the dashboard. For example, in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side, you may spot a minibus with a “French Quarter” sign sitting on the dashboard. A 10-to-15-minute bus ride from Philipsburg to the French Quarter costs $2 (€2) per person. Once there, you can disembark and locate a bus heading in the direction of Marigot, the capital of the French side.
As a general rule of thumb, if you are riding the bus for more than or equal to 10 minutes, then you will pay $2. If you use the bus for only a short distance, then you can simply pay the driver $1.
Dollars and Euros are both accepted, and the buses use a 1-to-1 currency ratio.
Last updated November 2015.
From French Side
Emergency - Dial 18
Ambulance - Dial 29-04-04
Fire - Dial 87-50-08
Hospital - Dial 29-57-57
Police - Dial 87-88-33
From Dutch Side
Emergency - Dial 919
Ambulance - Dial 542-2111/545-5263
Fire - Dial 919
Hospital - Dial 543-1111
Police - Dial 542-2222
IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club
A Cruising Guide to the Lesser Antilles 2.0 (Volume II: Leeward Islands)
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published by www.freecruisingguide.com (Feb 2016)
Also available at Kindle as well as all other EPub bookstores
A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published: 3rd Edition January 2013
Available as a Kindle version at www.amazon.com as well as other EPub bookstores.
The latest edition of this route planner is larger than ever. For more details see this report
By Chris Doyle
Publisher: Cruising Guide Publications (Jan 2011)
Leeward Anchorages, graphically, and through spectacular aerial photography, depicts dozens of favorite anchorages and harbors throughout the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. The book is to be used in conjunction with navigational charts and is a companion book of The Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands. It is an indispensable aid for the yachtsman or charterer visiting these legendary islands.
Routes and Waypoints
By Captain Pieter D. Brown
Publisher Baico Publishing Consultants Inc., Ontario, Canada (2011)
A Navigational & Piloting Guide of Suggested Routes with Waypoints from Eastern Canada to Grenada including: the Canadian & USA E. Coasts, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Leeward & Windward Islands.
Read Review here
The Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands 2014/2015
By Chris Doyle
Published by Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson (13th edition 2013)
ISBN: 13: 978-0944428979
This thirteenth edition covers the islands from Anguilla to Dominica, and is an essential tool for all cruisers sailing this region. Over 100 up-to-date color sketch charts, full color aerial photos of most anchorages, island pictures, and detailed shore-side information covering services, restaurants, provisioning, travel basics and island history.
Grenada to the Virgin Islands
By Jacques Patuelli
Publisher Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson- 3rd Edition 2014
This edition covers each island between Grenada and Barbados to the Virgin Islands and is a translation from Jacques Patuelli's original French version with pilotage notes, tourist information, formalities and facilities
January 2016: Clearance info. and fees updated by SY Sundancer and Sint Maarten Cruisers Facebook page.
November 2015: Customs website and clearance details updated by Stein-Tove.
October 2015: Customs checked, Security Section updated.
July 2015: Publication added
May 2015: Publications checked
April 2015: Updated information added to General/Money
April 2015: Clearance updated from information from Dale Ross, SV Wahoo.
February 2015: Immigration updated.
January 2014: Fees update from Lisa Torkelson.
March 2013: Clearance to St. Barths info. provided by Arnd of SV Zanshin.
December 2012: Security section updated following attack ashore.
June 2012: Further updates to security section following report from Chris Lafrance of SY Alma Guapa and news on Caribbean Security & Safety Net.
May 2012: Security updated with information about dinghy thefts in Grand Case following report from David & Margaret on SV Highland Fling.
Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.