Picture-perfect Philipsburg is the capital of St Maarten, which is the Dutch side of the Caribbean island, Sint Martin. It’s home to twinkling blue waters, bustling shopping streets and hidden gems of historic architecture.
Explore the charms of Philipsburg for yourself when we overnight there on one of our Caribbean cruises. We’ll take you there in style on one of our luxurious ships, Celebrity Edge®, Celebrity Equinox℠, Celebrity Summit® or Celebrity Reflection®. To help you get inspired for your sun-soaked Caribbean adventure, we’ve put together our dream Philipsburg itinerary.
Of course, the first thing to do when you set foot on any Caribbean island is to check out the beach. Great Bay Beach is arguably Philipsburg’s most famous, with its long stretch of fine, white sand. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, hotels and casinos.
Spend the afternoon lazing on the sand, or if you’re feeling active, try your hand at snorkelling or jet-skiing.
Explore the beach on our Great Bay Beach Experience shore excursion.
This historic structure overlooks the ocean as well as the town of Philipsburg and was once the first Dutch military base in the Caribbean. It dates all the way back to 1631, and its ownership changed many times during the era when the British, French and Dutch were fighting over the Caribbean. Look out for pelicans on your visit to Fort Amsterdam – it’s a popular breeding ground.
If you’re looking for a little bit of retail therapy on your Philipsburg cruise, you can’t go wrong on Front Street. This vibrant, narrow alley is packed full of duty-free jewellery and perfume and shops where you can pick up a souvenir (or two). If you want to escape the crowds, seek out Back Street, which runs parallel. This is where you’ll find understated local restaurants and boutiques. Get your camera ready when you walk down photogenic Old Street.
When you’re ready to stop for some lunch, the Ocean Lounge is one of Philipsburg’s most popular options. It celebrates fusion cooking and local produce, with dishes like Caribbean pumpkin soup with garlic crostini, and juicy tuna tataki served with wasabi mayo. Wash everything down with a cool, crisp glass of white. The restaurant is part of the elegant Holland House Hotel, and offers views over the ocean.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Guavaberry Emporium is the striking red and white, original Dutch Indies house on Front Street. It dates back to the 1700s, and exclusively sells a historic blend of cane sugar, rum and wild guavaberries that has a distinctive sweet and spicy flavour. Ask for a free sample and perhaps even pick up a bottle for yourself to take home with you.
This is a museum with a difference. It was created by makeup artist Nick Maley (also known as “that Yoda guy”), who was responsible for creating the iconic Yoda character in the Star Wars franchise. Fans of the films will love this rotating exhibit, which has included a robotic Yoda puppet, original scripts, posters, and even Hans Solo frozen in carbonite. This museum makes for a quick and interesting stop on your Philipsburg tour.
Travel 25 minutes from Philipsburg by car and you’ll reach Marigot, which is the capital of the French side of the island. Spend your time here perusing the lively open-air market, which takes place every weekend, selling all kinds of local produce, from rum to infused bark. Or, you might choose to explore Fort Louis, which was built in 1789 to protect the island’s coffee and sugar cane warehouses.
Discover Philipsburg for yourself on one of our Caribbean cruises.
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To help you get inspired for your sun-soaked Caribbean adventure, we’ve put together our dream Philipsburg itinerary.
Port cities don’t get much more atmospheric than Kotor. We overnight here, giving you even more chances to immerse yourself in the many facets of this intriguing town.
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