Here I am back in St Barth, lucky me! (Wish you were here). St. Barth Properties VP Tom Smyth, St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Kathy Schlitzer and I arrived yesterday. We have a full calendar of hotel and villa inspection appointments on our schedules and I will report back.
On the trip down we talked about the questions that our clients often ask us and two of them are how to get to St. Barth as well as the entry requirements.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of the reasons that St. Barth remains so special is that it takes a little extra effort to get to this paradise. From the USA, the gateways to St. Barts are via St. Maarten (airport code: SXM) and San Juan (SJU). American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, United, Spirit, and Jet Blue fly to St. Maarten and San Juan.
The easiest way to connect to St. Barth (SBH) is directly from San Juan (SJU) on private charters with Tradewind Aviation (up to 8 passengers @$2995-$3955 each way), or Air America Caribbean (5 to 9 passengers beginning at $1950-$2500 each way). Tradewind also offers a scheduled charter service that is sold by the seat and is $420 to $520 (depending on travel dates) each way. (The 2011-2012 season began October 28, 2011 and ends May 6, 2012). The flight departs San Juan at 8:00 am and 3:00 pm daily with additional flights at 1:00pm and 4:00pm Thursday through Monday until Jan 31, 2012 (4:30 pm from Jan 31 to May 06, 2012). Departures from St. Barth are at 10:00 am and 5:30 pm daily with additional flights at 2:30pm Thursday through Monday.
Tradewind also offers service from St. Thomas (STT) Thursday through Monday at $420 per seat. The plane is very comfortable, with leather seats, air conditioning drinks and snacks. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on the aircraft.
Air America Caribbean’s planes (not air-conditioned) hold 5-7 passengers and are $1950-$2500 each way for a private charter. St. Barth Commuter offers private charter flights on their caravan (not air-conditioned) year round for $2700 each way or via shared charter (on request) for $400 per seat.
Many people connect to St Barth (SBH) through St. Maarten (SXM). As of November 17, 2011 Jet Blue offers service from San Juan to St. Maarten. The major inter-island carrier is Winair. The 12-15 minute flight costs about $156-$293 round trip per person (depending on availability). Allow 1½ to 2 hours to make the connection to St Barts. Be sure to allow at least 2 hrs in St. Maarten in order to make your connection home.
St. Barth Commuter offer several scheduled flights to/from Juliana Airport on the Dutch side and two others to/from the French side (70 euros each way). We often arrange a private charter on St. Barth Commuter for our guests. The cost is €800 euros each way and the plane holds up to 6 passengers. Air St Maarten, a nice alternative, puts together shared charters to/from St. Maarten and San Juan.
We continue to recommend that each passenger has a carry-on bag with enough clothing and supplies to get through at least 1 day as luggage has been known to arrive after its owners and sometimes not until the next day. Luggage limit is 23 kg/50 lbs per passenger, so pack lightly. Winair is charging $25.00 for the first additional checked bag and $50 for a 3rd. If you are using US Airways, you can book your flights all the way from your home city to SBH and you can check your bags all the way through (unless you are using frequent flier tickets). Once again be sure to have a carry-on with all of you first night’s needs. You may submit a request directly to Winair in St. Barth on line http://www.st-barths.com/winair/winair_intro_eng.html.
By Ferry: The Voyager is a slow Ferry (75-90 minutes from Marigot and 40 Minutes from Oyster Pond on the French side). Schedules are subject to change. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SEAS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTH CAN BE ROUGH. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, WE RECOMMEND YOU AVOID THIS MANNER OF ARRIVAL. The new (December 2011) Voyager Dream Liner offers a first class seating section. The Voyager phone number: (dialing from the U.S.) Marigot Bay/Oyster Pond 011 590 590 87 10 68 (St. Martin).
The Great Bay Express is a faster ferry that travels from Bobby’s Marina in Dutch St Maarten to Gustavia in St. Barth. Crossing time is approximately 40 minutes from/to Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg to Gustavia. 011 599-542-0032 and the phone number from the US is: 1-347 568 0574.
For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, private boat transfers and airline charters can be arranged for you. Please Contact: [email protected].
A valid passport is required for U.S., Canadian, Brazilians and EU National citizens, regardless of what others may tell you. All other nationalities MUST have visas. (This includes nannies and staff traveling with you, who must also have proper documentation or they will be sent back.) Even if you previously cleared immigration without incident, proper documentation is now necessary. For information on U.S. passports, go to the website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Remember that children’s passports expire every 5 years.
To book your hotel or villa in St Barth, contact [email protected].