St. Maarten is a Dutch territory located at the eastern end of the Caribbean. Also known as Sint Maarten, it is part of the Kingdom of Netherlands and is famous for its well-preserved colonial architecture.
St. Thomas is a world-famous stop for thousands of cruise ships traveling through the region. It is characterized by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Caribbean.
St. Thomas and St. Maarten are considered some of the best Caribbean islands. Much like any other Caribbean island, St. Thomas and St. Maarten offer some of the most beautiful tropical landscapes in the world. They also feature well-developed tourist hubs and quaint towns and villages for a more immersive experience. So which island are you hopping on to first?
The island of St. Martin and St. Maarten is located in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. Its closest neighbors include Anguilla, St. Kitts, and the Virgin Islands. St. Maarten is part of the Leeward Islands along the vast North Caribbean sea.
St. Maarten uniquely shares a small island with St.Martin, a French overseas community in the Caribbean. Together St. Martin and St. Maarten amicably share a 95.83 sq. km (37 sq. miles) island using a 60-40 division of territory. 60% of the northern part of the island is part of the French territory while the southern 40% belongs to the Dutch St. Maarten.
St. Maarten, despite the significantly small territory, is one of the most visited tourist spots in the region. St. Maarten’s dock is one of the most visited by Caribbean cruise ships.
Although tourism is not as grand as the larger Puerto Rico or Jamaica, St. Maarten is ranked one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. It features amazing beaches, deep blue waters, and lush mountain peaks.
What Makes St. Maarten Unique?
Two Countries in One
One of St. Maarten’s most unique features is that it shares a small island with another country. The 95.83 sq. km (37 sq. miles) is divided between the French territory known as Saint Martin and the Dutch counterpart called St. Maarten. Together, the island is referred to as the Caribbean’s St. Martin and St. Maarten.
Sharing a border with a different country on a significantly small island offers tourists an experience like no other. The border of St.Martin and St. Maarten cuts from the west to the east, splitting the island horizontally.
It starts from Cupecoy Bay and passes through a major road known as Rue de Terre-Basses/Rhine Road. It cuts through the massive Simpson Bay Lagoon and continues on land at Rue de Hollande/Union Road. It continues through the rugged mountain range at the center of the island.
The border runs across Sint Peter Hill, Mont des Accords, Marigot Hill, and Mount Flagstaff. The border ends right along the edge of the Oysters Pond Bay along the eastern coast of the island.
The split between St. Martin and St. Maarten was settled between France and Netherlands through the Treaty of Concordia. The settlement was signed in 1648 in order to avoid further conflict. Tourists are free to cross the border when traveling around the island.
Dubbed the most multicultural island in the Caribbean, St. Maarten is home to more than 100 different nationalities. This diversity is highly reflected in the island’s gastronomy and traditions. And although two countries occupy one island, each side comes with a unique culture.
The Dutch colonial architecture of St. Maarten offers a different ambiance to St. Martin’s Creole-style buildings. Visitors to St. Maarten can get the chance to experience different cultures while exploring the small island of St. Martin and St. Maarten.
Chance to Go Beach Hopping
The island of St. Martin and St. Maarten is a lot smaller compared to other major tourist destinations in the Caribbean. However, the total area of the Dutch territory is even smaller.
Considering that St. Maarten shares an island with St.Martin, the Dutch country only has an area of roughly 34 sq. km (13 sq. miles). Despite this, St. Maarten is a viable tropical paradise. With over 30 different beaches within its limits, visitors can easily hop from one beach to another.
Have you ever seen a video of a plane flying extremely low over a beach crowded with people? If you do, then you have a pretty good idea of what Maho Beach is. Maho Beach is a popular beach along St. Maarten’s southwestern coast.
It stretches within several meters of the Princess Juliana International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the region. Part of the beach lies directly along the airport’s runway. Because of its location, airplanes landing at the airport pass by the Maho Beach as it comes low to the ground. It is a thrilling and rushing experience that tourists aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
The famous Cupecoy Beach is located right along the southwestern tip of the island. It sits right at the edge of the St. Maarten’s border with the French St. Martin. It features a fine stretch of golden sand and is particularly known for its rough waves perfect for surfing. Because of its location, Cupecoy Beach provides a more secluded and intimate experience for its visitors.
Mullet Bay Beach
Mullet Bay Beach is another popular spot near the capital city of Philipsburg. This stretch of fine white sand sits right next to the famous Maho Beach. Because of its location, Mullet Bay Beach is the perfect alternative to the crowded beach next to the airport. People can still spot the planes landing at the Princess Juliana International Airport but with significantly fewer people.
However, Mullet Bay Beach is also more than just an alternative to Maho Beach. Tourists love Mullet Bay because of its typically calm and gentle water making it perfect for snorkeling and casual swimming.
World’s Steepest Zip Line
St. Maarten is more than just relaxing beach trips and fun shopping sprees. Visitors looking for a thrilling and exciting activity can find the world’s steepest zip line in St. Maarten.
Located in the Rockland Estate, the renowned Flying Dutchman is one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. The equally thrilling and terrifying zip line is part of the Rainforest Adventures eco-adventure park.
The eco-adventure site features a variety of activities and attractions perfect for tourists. It is home to a local restaurant, an on-site museum, as well as a series of rides and attractions. The park provides unique ways to experience and appreciate the island’s beauty and scenic landscapes. However, the star of the show is the grandiose Flying Dutchman.
The Flying Dutchman is a zip line attraction located at the top of St. Maarten’s Signal Hill at 1,000 ft (305 m) high. At this height, people can already get amazing panoramic views of St. Maarten, including the capital city of Phillipsburg. On clear days, the neighboring islands of Saba, Anguilla, and St. Barts are also visible.
To access the zip line attraction, visitors need to ride the Sky Explorer chairlift. This is a scenic 25-minute ride that helps hasten the process of bringing tourists up the park’s highest platform.
The Flying Dutchman zip line features a chair-like harness. Those who dare try the Flying Dutchman start at 1,000 ft (305 m) and travel a whopping 2,800 ft (853 m) at roughly 56 mph (90 kph). The ride zooms past Signal Hill’s side and lasts for about 45 seconds.
Another popular activity at Rainforest Adventure is the slide attraction known as the Schooner Ride. The on-site Emilio Wilson Museum recounts the history of slavery in the Caribbean. It tells the story of slavery through the generations of the Wilson family.
Experience Culture at Phillipsburg
Located along the island’s southern coast, the cosmopolitan city of Phillipsburg serves as the capital of St. Maarten. It serves as the primary tourist hub of the Dutch territory.
It features a wide variety of attractions. This includes beautiful beaches, sprawling shopping centers, cultural and historic sites, as well as bars and casinos. The capital city Phillipsburg developed into a tourist center suitable for cruise passengers.
Front Street is one of the primary thoroughfares in St. Maarten. It stretches right along the coast and is also one of the most-visited parts of the island. It is often filled with flocks of tourists who just got off the nearby pier.
The 164-ft (50 m) Front Street features a wide array of boutiques, shops, and pop-up stores. It is a popular site for duty-free shopping for items such as jewelry, perfume, and electronics. Restaurants line the famous stretch and visitors can try different cuisines.
Tourists can also find the historic St. Maarten Museum along the island’s Front Street. For only 1 USD, visitors can learn more about the island’s long history and rich cultural heritage. Although the museum is relatively small, it features an expansive collection of artifacts. This includes items from the early Arawak settlers up to the different European colonizers who inhabited the island.
If you are a fan of liquor, check out the world-famous Guaveberry Emporium on Front Street. Guavaberry is the national drink of St. Martin – St. Maarten and the store is a declared National Historical Monument. The local shop sells numerous Guaveberry liquor variants including Mango, Almond, and Wild Orange. It also produces Guavaberry brand hot sauces and Guaveberry Coladas.
St. Thomas sits right at the entrance of the Caribbean’s archipelago of small islands along its eastern end. Dubbed as the gateway to the Caribbean, St. Thomas is one of the first islands that cruises pass through.
Along with St. Croix and St. John, St. Thomas make up the US Virgin Islands. St. Thomas lies off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico and is one of the most-visited destinations in the region. Its capital city, Charlotte Amalie, is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the Caribbean. Luxury cruise ships frequent the grandiose island of St. Thomas to start its Caribbean route.
Also considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean region, tourism in St. Thomas continues to grow. It is an up-and-coming destination with spectacular sights, interesting history, and rich culture.
What Makes St. Thomas Unique?
Combination of Beauty and Pirate History at Charlotte Amalie
Charlotte Amelia is the designated capital city of St. Thomas. It is located right along the southern coast of the island and it is the largest city of St. Thomas. With more or less 20,000 residents, Charlotte Amalie is also the most populous city on the island and one of the most populous among the US Virgin Islands.
Because of the location of St.Thomas, many luxury cruise ships stop and pass by. The port located in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie is recognized as one of the largest and busiest ports in the region. Over a million cruise passengers drop by and visit the island of St. Thomas every year. This makes Charlotte Amalie one of the most popular tourist destinations in St. Thomas and the rest of the Lesser Antilles region.
Charlotte Amalie serves as the gateway to the majestic island of St. Thomas. It is the first city that cruise ship passengers have access to explore. From the port to the oceanfront and city center, Charlotte Amelie developed into a primary tourist hub. Visitors often take note of the unique Danish colonial architecture found around town.
Considering that the island’s primary visitors come from luxury cruise ships, St. Thomas developed and later became one of the best duty-free shopping destinations in the Caribbean. Numerous luxury stores, shops, and boutiques are found around major shopping centers. Other activities such as pubs, bars, and casinos are also established in Charlotte Amalie.
But behind the bustling city of Charlotte Amalie is a long interesting history of the island of St. Thomas. There are several historical and cultural tourist attractions near the capital city. Tourists can easily find and explore these sites to gain a better appreciation of St. Thomas.
The Emancipation Garden is one of the most important historical and cultural sites in Charlotte Amelie. For hundreds of years, this site served as the town’s main square. However, the current design was built in celebration and commemoration of slave freedom in St. Thomas.
In 1848, a Danish governor named Peter von Scholten ended the industry of slavery in St. Thomas. To memorialize this historic event, a bronze statue was placed in the park as its primary attraction. The memorial statue shows a man blowing a conch shell, symbolizing freedom in 1848.
Aside from the bust, the Emancipation Garden also features the island’s replica of the historic Liberty Bell. All US states and territories own a replica of the Liberty Bell, this includes the US Virgin Islands. Historic buildings also surround the park. This includes Charlotte Amalie’s Emancipation Garden Post House and the Government House.
The 99 Steps is considered one of the most iconic and photographed landmarks in St. Thomas. The infamous step street system was built in the 18th century and used to travel around Charlotte Amalie’s rolling hills. It features a historic ambiance because of the ballast bricks used for the steps.
The actual step count of the brick stairs is over 99. It is actually 103. Although there are other step street systems in the city, the 99 Steps is most iconic because of its location and path. Tourists climbing Government Hill through 99 Steps can find nearby tourist attractions. Surrounding the 99 Steps area are the historic Villa Notman, Hotel 1829, and Haagensen House.
Blackbeard’s Castle National Park
Although some say that the notorious pirate Blackbeard never set foot on St. Thomas, the Blackbeard’s Castle National Park is one of the most visited attractions.
St. Thomas features a landscape suited for docking boats and ships. There are numerous deep natural harbors perfect to serve as a port or marina. But before cruise ships dominated the Caribbean waters, pirate ships roam around the region.
The national park was named after the infamous English pirate Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard. He was a notorious pirate captain who operated around the West Indies. During the Golden Age of Piracy in the 18th century, Blackbeard was an unforgiving pirate. He is particularly known for grandiose acts such as the blockade of Charleston Harbor.
Blackbeard’s legacy lasted even after the height of piracy in the Caribbean. He is widely considered to be the most famous and notorious pirate in history. Blackbeard’s relation to St. Thomas is not established. However, the national park after its namesake is one of the most popular sites on the island.
Drawing thousands of visitors, the Blackbeard’s Castle National Park covers a 5-acre (2 ha) area on Government Hill. The star of the site is the historic 17th-century watchtower. Built as a defensive structure by the Danes, the tower sits at a commanding location and provides panoramic views of the harbor. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.
The Blackbeard’s Castle National Park features more than just the 17th-century watchtower. Several other historical and cultural attractions lie within the park.
The Three Queens Fountain is an often overlooked attraction at Blackbeard’s. Located close to the watchtower, the statue features three women holding torches. The monument serves as a memorial and honors the three women who organized the historic 1878 Fireburn rebellion.
Several historic houses also belong in the Blackbeard’s Castle National Park. This includes Villa Notman, Haagensen house, Hotel 1829, Bankhaus, and Brittania House.
Villa Notman is considered one of the most beautiful villas in the Caribbean region. Although the current house is a restored version of the original 19th-century mansion, its beauty is still captivating.
Located along the hillside of Government Hill, Villa Notman is known for its notable yellow brick exterior and white cast-iron balcony. The house is one of the few houses in St. Thomas built using native Augite Andesite and yellow ballast bricks. The villa’s interior design is just as grand as the outside. Villa Notman features lavish Caribbean furniture and a grandiose crystal chandelier.
The Hotel 1829 was once the residence of a French sea merchant. The colonial house was built in 1829 and it lies right along the stretch of the famous 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie. Now used as a hotel and restaurant, the site is home to the world’s largest amber waterfall. The handcrafted monument consists of more than 12,000 amber stones.
Tourists can also find a Rumporium inside Hotel 1829. The restored 19-century bar features an on-site museum that talks about the history of rum-making in St.Thoman. Visitors can also taste and purchase different liquor products on the site.
The Haagensen House is another historic villa in Charlotte Amalie. The house was built for a Danish banker in the 19th century. The site is famous for its well-designed interior. However, the highlight of this attraction is the collection of life-sized pirate statues.
Haagensen House is home to 19 massive pirate statues featuring some of the biggest names in the world of Piracy. It shows action figures of renowned pirates including Captain Morgan, Black Bart, and Blackbeard.
Picture-Perfect Spots and Landscapes
The area of St. Thomas is roughly 39 sq. km (15 sq km). Despite being a relatively small island, St. Thomas is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. To better appreciate the island’s picturesque beauty, there are several spots tourists can visit.
Get the chance to view the island from way above and get panoramic views of the Caribbean coast.
Mountain Top is recognized as the tallest viewpoint in St. Thomas. Recognized as one of the most scenic spots in the Caribbean, the Mountain Top lookout sits at a whopping 2,100 ft (640 m) above sea level.
Also recognized as one of the oldest attractions on the island, the site provides picturesque views of Magen’s Bay and the city of Charlotte Amalie. There are several local stores and shops available at Mountain Top. Visitors can also get the chance to find and taste the island’s famous banana daiquiri.
Skyride to Paradise Point
If you are looking for a birdseye’s view of St. Thomas, there is no better way to experience it than by riding the famous Skyride attraction. The ride takes visitors 700 ft (213 m) above ground on a cable car. The car features massive glass windows to provide passengers with an unobstructed 360-view of St. Thomas.
The observation deck at the end of the ride overlooks the vast Magen’s Bay. Views up Paradise Point make boats docked by the harbor look like ants. On clear days, it is possible to spot the nearby islands of Saba and Anguilla.
Top-Notch Caribbean Shopping Experience
Duty-free shopping is sought by many tourists. Duty-free shops sell items that do not include local-government customs fees. This type of market is perfect for significantly expensive items such as jewelry and electronics. What other to make your vacation stand out than by splurging on luxury products?
There are several destinations in the Caribbean known for duty-free shopping. However, St. Thomas is considered one of the best. This is because the duty-free allowance in St. Thomas is 1,600 USD, roughly twice more than other Caribbean nations.
There are hundreds of duty-free shops found on the island of St. Thomas. Just a short distance from the port of Charlotte Amalie is the famous Main Street and the nearby Back Street and Waterfront. Different stores, boutiques, and shops line these alleys. Other popular shopping centers in St. Thomas include the Royal Dane Mall, Vendor’s PLaze, and Havensight Shopping.
Upscale Gastronomy and Accommodations
Hundreds of luxury cruise ships dock on St. Thomas every year. To accommodate the taste and preferences of the island’s frequent visitors, St. Thomas developed into an upscale tourist destination.
Tourism in St. Thomas is more than just duty-free shopping and beautiful sights. Visitors can find an array of upscale restaurants as well as luxury accommodation options.
Prime at Paradise Point
Nothing shouts sophistication than a high-class dining experience at one of the highest peaks of St. Thomas. Located at the renowned Paradise Point, Prime features an elegant and romantic ambiance. The restaurant has amazing views of the island’s majestic harbor as it sits above the city of Charlotte Amalie. They offer a variety of dishes including steaks and seafood.
Located within the grandiose Yacht Haven Garden, the Blue 11 is run by world-renowned chef David Benjamin. The restaurant provides an intimate dining experience. It also offers fusion and innovative takes on traditional dishes of the West Indies. People rave about the wondrous 9-course meal that includes specialty Caribbean dishes.
Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas
The Ritz-Carlton is a renowned name in the industry. Located along the eastern end of the island, the Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas is undoubtedly one of the best hotels on the island. It covers a total of 30 acres (12 ha) and features vast courtyards and a private beach section.
The grandiose hotel matches the island’s elegant architecture with palazzo-style marble interiors. Visitors can choose between conventional hotel rooms or self-catering units. Guests also have access to the hotel’s own scuba diving school, private yacht, spa, and other facilities.
Which Is Better – St. Maarten or St. Thomas?
St. Maarten and St. Thomas are some of the first islands to welcome tourists into the Caribbean. They both lie near the entrance of the Eastern Caribbean region where a bunch of smaller island nations are located. When traveling to this part of the Caribbean, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the choices. So how do you choose between St. Maarten and St. Thomas?
Both St. Maarten and St. Thomas are beautiful tropical islands. They feature scenic beaches with the hot blazing sun on your skin. They are also known for upscale duty-free shopping. Although St. Thomas offers a significantly larger 1,600 USD limit for their shoppers.
If you’re looking for unique features, St. Maarten and St. Thomas have some notable differences.
Arguably, St. Maarten’s most unique tourism feature is that it shares borders with a French territory. St. Maarten is part of the island of St. Martin and St. Maarten. St. Maarten being the Dutch territory while St. Marting belongs to the French.
Despite being two different nations, tourists are free to cross borders anytime. This allows the visitors of St. Maarten to tour a totally different country with a different ambiance and culture in one trip. Thus making St. Maarten a 2-in-1 tourist destination featuring both Dutch and French nations.
On the other hand, St. Thomas is famous for its overall beauty. From the island’s natural landscapes to the grandiose villas and mansions built along the hills. St. Thomas also offers a unique historical and cultural experience. Tourists can learn more about the history of piracy while touring different mansions and sipping on a glass of world-class wine.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose which destination you prefer more. There is no doubt that both St. Thomas and St. Maarten can provide you with an amazing Caribbean vacation experience.
St. Thomas or St. Maarten for Cruise
The Caribbean region is one of the most popular cruise ship destinations. Thousands of vessels visit the region to explore some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Tourism in some of the smaller islands of the Caribbean depends heavily on these cruise ships for visitors. Cruise tourism has significantly improved the economies of different Caribbean island nations.
Since cruises have several stopovers throughout the trip, it is possible to visit multiple destinations in one go. There are numerous ports in the Caribbean where cruise ships dock. When the ship stops on one island, they allow its passengers to disembark to tour and explore. St. Thomas and St. Maarten are ranked some of the most visited cruise destinations in the Caribbean.
Cruise ships stopping at St. Thomas usually dock at the major port at Charlotte Amalie. The harbor over this part of St. Thomas is considered one of the best for docking massive sea vessels because it is notably wide and deep.
St. Thomas has two major cruise docking spots near Charlotte Amalie. the Crown Bay Cruise Ship Dock has two docking spots while the Havensight Cruise Ship Dock has three. This allows the city of Charlotte Amalie to welcome passengers from five different cruise ships.
Charlotte Amalie developed throughout the years to meet the growing demand for tourism. Aside from hotels and resorts lining the waterfront, the city is most famous for its upscale shopping industry. Many cruise-goers disembark at St. Thomas to indulge in its duty-free shopping.
There are also several tourist attractions around the capital city of Charlotte Amalie. Historical sites and walking tours are great activities for cruise passengers going on a quick tour around St. Thomas.
On the other hand, cruise ships heading to St. Maarten dock at Port Phillipsburg along the southern coast of the island. This is a relatively smaller port that features two docking spots. Despite this, St. Maarten is still one of the most popular destinations when cruising through the Caribbean region.
Because the Dutch territory of St. Maarten is significantly smaller, it is easier to get to different tourist attractions. There are numerous amazing beaches around town including the infamous Maho Beach.
Duty-free shopping is also a thing in St. Maarten. Visitors can find a handful of famous brands to shop for jewelry, electronics, liquor, etc.
However, the most exciting part of visiting St. Maarten is the chance to cross over the French territory of St. Martin. Although the two countries share an island, the ambiance and culture between the two are still interesting and unique.
Is St. Maarten the Same as St. Thomas?
St. Thomas and St. Maarten are two different islands in the Caribbean region. St. Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands and is located at the far end of the Greater Antilles. The closest island nations to St. Thomas are Puerto Rico, St. John, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands.
On the other hand, St. Maarten is a small island that belongs to the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. It is comprised of two territories. 60% of the northern part of the island belongs to the French Republic while the remaining area down south is part of the Kingdom of Netherlands. Together, the island is referred to as St. Martin and St. Maarten, depicting the two territories occupying a single island.
Where Are St. Maarten and St. Thomas?
The islands of St. Maarten and St. Thomas are both located in the eastern end of the Caribbean region. St. Thomas is one of the islands that comprise the US Virgin Islands. Along with St. John and St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands are some of the closest islands off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. The island of St. Thomas is only 37 km (22.9 miles) away from the Puerto Rican island of Isla de Culebra.
St. Maarten is the Dutch territory on the island of St. Martin and St. Maarten. The island is located in the Lesser Antilles and belongs to the Leeward Islands. Its neighboring islands include Anguilla, St. Barthelemy, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Compared to St. Thomas, the island of St. Maarten is roughly 293 km (182 miles) from the Isla de Culebra and 197 km (122 miles) away from St. Thomas.
How Far Apart Are St. Thomas and St. Maarten?
The total distance from the capital city of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas to St. Maarten is 198.7 km (123.4 miles).
It is possible to consider the islands of St. Thomas and St. Maarten as neighbors. This is because St. Maarten is one of the closest islands off the eastern coast of St. Thomas. From the southern coast of St. Thomas, there is no other island between it and St. Maarten. However, a large body of water separates the two islands.
How Do You Get From St. Thomas to St. Maarten?
There are two different ways to travel from St. Thomas to St. Maarten. One involves flying while the other includes ferry rides to the British Virgin Islands.
There are no direct flights from Charlotte Amalie to Phillipsburg. Thus, tourists traveling to St. Maarten need to book a connecting flight to get a ticket heading to St. Maarten. Luckily, there is a direct flight to St. Maarten from the nearby island of Puerto Rico.
Instead of flying back to the US just to fly back to the Caribbean, tourists from St. Thomas can catch a flight to St. Maarten in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The travel time for this route to St. Maarten can take somewhere between 3 to 6 hours.
The other travel option for St. Thomas tourists heading to St. Maarten involves ferries. From the port of Charlotte Amalie, tourists can ride a 40-minute ferry heading to Cruz Bay at St. John. From there, they need to take another ferry ride that would cross over the British Virgin Islands and bring them to Beef Island’s Trellis Bay. This ferry ride is slightly longer and takes roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes.
At Beef Island, tourists can book a direct flight heading to the island of St. Martin and St. Maarten. It is a short 40-minute ride that is always in high demand by travelers. The total travel time of this route is around 4 to 5 hours.
Can You Take a Ferry From St. Thomas to St. Maarten?
There are no direct ferry routes from Charlotte Amalie heading to St. Maarten. However, tourists can take a series of ferry rides that would take them to Beef Island where direct flights to St. Maarten are available.
Tourists must take a ferry ride heading to the Cruz Bay over at St. John. They have the option to stop over and explore the island or immediately book seats on the next ferry heading to Trellis Bay over at Beef Island.
Beef Island is home to the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport. It offers direct flights from Beef Island to St. Maarten. The planes used for this route are smaller, making it difficult to secure a seat easily.
How Many Nautical Miles From St. Thomas to St. Maarten?
The islands of St. Thomas and St. Maarten are technically neighbors. However, a vast ocean body sits between them. The total distance between St. Thomas and St. Maarten is 111 nautical miles.
How Long Does It Take to Sail From St. Thomas to St. Maarten?
The total distance between St. Thomas and St. Maarten is around 111 nautical miles. Taking this into consideration, a boat trip from St. Thomas to St. Maarten can take somewhere around 15 to 25 hours. However, a direct route will take ships through the Anegada Passage.
The Anegada is a massive strait that stretches between the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Antilles. This body of water connects the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is significantly vast and deep. It is also known for its often unforgiving waves, swells, and winds. Even experienced sailors have trouble passing through the Anegada with ease.