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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in the Caribbean
Sights to see & things to do

St. Barts

Technically this is the island of St. Barth√©lemy, but it’s terribly  unsophisticated to call it anything but the shortened St. Barts. This tiny, but oh-so-posh, island is the chicest of chic and very upscale rich. You’ll anchor off the capital city of Gustavia (named for a king of Sweden) and tender ashore right into the heart of town. 


Taxis meet all the arriving cruise ships and it’s not terribly expensive to get around because everything is so close. About the only excursion you’ll find is a shortish minibus tour of the island. Other than the lovely island views and beaches, there are no major land attractions on this eight square mile island. However, a snorkeling tour is an excellent active excursion choice.

Exploring Gustavia is a satisfying way to spend your time ashore if you aren’t interested in a day at the beach. Gustavia’s best known watering hole is Le Select on rue de la France. Locals gather there and it’s very laid-back. With any luck, Jimmy Buffett might just show up for a “cheeseburger in paradise” from the outdoor grill.


No duty is charged on St. Barts, which makes it a good place to buy French perfumes and liquor. Luxury items are available at posh designer boutiques (Hermes, Armani, etc). Fine straw hats are a St. Barts specialty and the supermarkets have a fabulous selection of wines and cheeses at near-bargain prices. 


This is why the rich and famous favor St. Barts—the unspoiled and uncrowded beaches where they can relax and unwind in style. St-Jean is the most famous beach, divided into two sections by the Eden Rock promontory. Flamands beach is wide with a fringe of lantana palms and a few small hotels nearby. A narrow beach protected by a reef on the northern shore is Grand Cul-de-Sac where you’ll find water sports as well as hotels and restaurants. Also on the north shore is Marigot Beach, good for snorkeling and swimming.

Fodor's Caribbean Ports of Call 2013
is all you need to plan your days ashore, PLUS a cruise primer section and cruise line profiles by Cruise Diva, Linda Coffman

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