St. Maarten saw 1,597,101 cruise passengers visit in 2018, a 29% increase from the year before. The acclaimed cruise port saw a 30.3% increase from May through July, when cruise visitations to the island are typically a bit slower.
The Director of Tourism of St. Maarten, Ms. May-Ling Chun, gave the following statement: “St. Maarten’s cruise port has always been one of the best in the Caribbean. These arrival numbers don’t only reflect that fact, but also highlight how quickly the island has bounced back.”
The latter half of 2018 also brought about the return to pre-Irma cruise arrival numbers. Port St. Maarten welcomed 646,431 passengers from September to December, indicating a 17.87% increase in arrivals from the same time period in 2016, a full year before Hurricane Irma.
“St. Maarten as a tourism product is set to come back even stronger and better than ever,” stated 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.”
Though 2017–2018 numbers year over year showcase a positive path of progression for Port St. Maarten, 2017 was generally a slower year for the port as it was not operational for the months of October and November.
About the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau:
St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations – Kingdom of the Netherlands and France – creating a destination with European charm and Caribbean flair. Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles have 37 breathtaking beaches and are home to many historical and family-oriented attractions.