Port St. Maarten welcomed 1,597,101 cruise passengers on 489 cruise calls last year, a 29 percent increase from 2017. Though 2017 was generally a slower year because of Hurricane Irma, the port still experienced significant growth in the latter half of the year when compared to a similar period in 2016.
Due to Hurricane Irma, Port St. Maarten was not operational in October and November 2017. But, based on its arrival data, it looks like the cruise port has bounced back. It saw a 30 percent increase from May through July, when cruise visitations are generally slower. By the latter half of 2018, it had returned to pre-Irma cruise arrival numbers. Port St. Maarten welcomed 646,431 passengers from September to December, an 18 percent increase from the same period in 2016.
“St. Maarten as a tourism product is set to come back even stronger and better than ever,” said Stuart Johnson, St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication. “We look forward to continuing to welcome cruise passengers back to our shores with classic St. Maarten warmth and hospitality throughout 2019.”
St. Maarten is located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. The 37-square-mile island offers 37 beaches, as well as historical and family-oriented attractions.