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St Barths (Gustavia) Port of Call

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A view of Gustavia Harbour ©

Although French in culture, character and cuisine, St Barths was the only Caribbean island to have been a Swedish colony, a fact reflected in the name of the islands harbour, Gustavia. Construction permits are strictly limited so the island retains its quaint charm and picturesque village feel.

There are no resorts or mega-hotels, and only 8,000 permanent residents. Although not on most cruise itineraries, passengers that disembark here are in for a real treat. St Barth's incredible beaches, superb restaurants, and relative inaccessibility have helped make this a magnet for the rich and famous who come to enjoy the serenity, luxury and privacy that only St Barths can provide.

Ships anchor off-shore and tenders ferry passengers into Gustavia harbour, fringed by colourful buildings and moored yachts.


Contact

Municipal Office of Tourism

Tel: +590 590 27 87 27

Located in the centre of Gustavia

Transport

Once ferried to the harbour, cruise passengers can easily make their way on foot to the main town. To explore further afield a car should be rented. Alternatively, JC Taxi can provide island tours with a driver.

Attractions

At the northern end of the harbour is Fort Gustav III, with an interesting collection of historical items, and the best vantage point for photographs of the harbour below. There are 14 public beaches, all of them superb, although Shell Beach with its pink-tinged sand is one of the best. Grab a taxi and head to St Jeans for some more shopping and lovely little bistros.

Restaurants

Wall House - great value French/Creole with stunning harbour views.

Le Select - home of legendary cheese burgers.

Le Gommier - wonderful seafood and French food near Saline beach.

Best Dish

Accras - small, deep-fried codfish fritters.

Shopping

The best shopping is on Quai de la Republique, Rue du General De Gaulle, and Rue Oscar II, all within easy walking distance of the harbour. Goods are duty-free but this benefit is negated by the high prices. Most items are imported from France and there are few indigenous crafts or iconic island purchases.

Best Buy

An original photo of St Barths from Hirschfield Fine Arts

Excursions

Explore St Jean beach

Take a fishing charter

Snorkel with turtles at Petit de Anse, Flamands

Become our St Barths Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our St Barths travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to St Barths or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.