Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Holiday Cruise, Day 4: St. Maarten/St. Martin

All three of the ports of call (St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts) were in the Lesser Antilles, which are part of the West Indies. Our first stop was the Dutch/French island of St. Maarten (Dutch side)/St. Martin (French side).

Map of the Lesser Antilles (source)
Map of St. Maarten/St. Martin (source)
We docked at Philipsburg on the Dutch side and took a tour of both sides of the island by bus.
 
View of St. Maarten from the ship in port at Philipsburg
 

We rode to Marigot, the capital of the French side, where we stopped for a little shopping.

Crossing the Dutch/French border
We saw several iguanas along the way
Marigot Saint Martin
Marigot, St. Martin
You can see Fort St. Louis in the background of the above photo (and a closer shot in the photo below). It is the island's largest historical monument, built in 1767. We didn't get to stop there for this tour, though. Maybe next time....

Fort St Louis Saint Martin
Fort St. Louis, St. Martin

We continued on to Grand Case, where we boarded a semi-submersible boat for a 45-minute tour of the coral reefs surrounding Creole Rock. We saw a boat named after me as we were boarding!


Grand Case Saint Martin
View of Grand Case, St. Martin from boat
Creole Rock, Grand Case, Saint Martin
Creole Rock, off the shore of Grand Case, St. Martin
We went down to the lower level of the boat to get a look at the sea life and coral reefs as a marine expert explained what we were seeing.



The weather held out just long enough for us to get back on the ship and see a nice rainbow before leaving. It was a nice tour, but we wished we had more time there, which we wished at every port.


Next stop is St. Lucia!

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