Taking the Ferry from Anguilla to St Barthélemy

It was our third day on the small island of Anguilla.

After spending my time soaking up the sun’s glorious rays beside the ocean, it was time to reignite some adventure with a day trip to a nearby island called St Barthélemy.

The best way to travel between Anguilla and St Bathélemy is by ferry.

Anguilla’s ferry terminal is situated along the island’s southern coast, in a village called Blowing Point.

The village is small with a couple of restaurants, churches, a petrol station and a supermarket.

Due to the small size of Anguilla, journeying to Blowing Point from our resort in Mead’s Bay only took 10 minutes.

Voyager offer a ferry service from Anguilla to the neighbouring island of St Martin. From St Martin we would have to change to another ferry (on the same dock) which would take us to our final destination – St Barthélemy.

Tickets are available to purchase at the ferry terminal but it’s always advisable to book in advance as a place on the ferry is not guaranteed. Booking in advance also ensures there definitely is a ferry running at the time and date you would like.

The ferries operate between Anguilla and St Martin every 45 minutes and the initial leg of the ferry ride (Anguilla to St Martin) was estimated to take roughly 25 minutes.

You can expect to pay roughly $20 USD per person for a one-way ferry from Anguilla to St Martin – a $40 USD round trip between the two. You can also expect to pay departure tax for day trips ($5 USD per person each way).

After showing our tickets at the ferry terminal, we made our way down the wooden jetty towards a white boat which was bobbing gently at the end of it.

The sun shone brilliantly onto the water, turning it a beautiful shade of turquoise.

Our ferry from Anguilla. You can see mountainous St Martin in the background.

I stepped onto the ferry.

Tickets do not reserve seats so I got to select whichever seat I wanted.

I realised there were two decks to choose from. The ground floor of the ferry is enclosed with windows on all sides. It contains the most seating options. In contrast, the upper deck it totally open, with safety railings on all sides. Seating was more limited here.

I knew I wanted to sit on the top deck. I feel seasickness quite strongly and being out in the open always helps me to feel less queasy.

So I took my seat, marvelling at the panoramic views of the calm ocean around me.

The ocean that the ferry journeyed across was calm and peaceful. I sat happily on the top deck, feeling the wind in my hair and tasting salt on the wind. Due to the close proximity of the two islands, land was on the horizon from the start, getting ever closer with each passing moment.

St Martin’s coastline.

The ferry docked up in Marigot, St Martin.

St Martin is an unusual island as it is split down the middle into two separate countries: St Martin and St Maarten. St Martin is known as the French side and is the northern part of the island whilst St Marteen in the south is Dutch. The split dates back to 1648 and the two sides have roughly equal population.

We had found ourselves in the town of Marigot which is located on the French side of the island.

The ferry from St Martin to St Barthélemy runs at infrequent intervals. You can expect to find roughly 5 journeys per day. The interval between the ferries can be between 15 minutes and 3 hours, depending on the time of day. The intervals are greatest in the morning.

The ferry from St Martin to St Barthélemy via Voyager ferries costs around $77 USD per person return. The round-trip from Anguilla to St Barthélemy therefore costs around $127 USD including both ferry journeys and the departure tax.

The journey between St Martin and St Barthélemy takes roughly 1 hour – double the length of journey between Anguilla and St Martin.

The island of St Martin.

We had a quick bite to eat in St Martin before boarding our second ferry of the day. I, once again, raced to the top-deck where I could enjoy the gorgeous views of the ocean and islands in the distance.

The journey took us round the island of St Martin before heading south. We passed several rocky islets before finally arrived in the bay of Gustavia, dotted with magnificent superyachts.

St Barthélemy is a French island and has a reputation for being luxurious and expensive. It was easy to see why as I soaked up the countless yachts, many larger than our ferry.

I even spotted A, a submarine-looking superyacht designed by Philippe Starke. The boat was rumoured to have cost over $300 million.

The bay of Gustavia, St Barthélemy.

Once we set foot in the dock, we hailed a taxi which took us to one of St Barthélemy’s most beautiful and famous beaches.

We rocked up at the Eden Rock resort (see what I did there) for a boujee lunch before relaxing on the pristine white-sand beach.

The Eden Rock is a boutique hotel consisting of 32 rooms and 2 villas. Room prices start from €1,500 per night with the most expensive suite being €6,500 per night.

The beach outside is a public beach which stretched almost as far as the eye could see. It was clearly a popular spot with many people frolicking in the cyan shallows. I was delighted to see that we were accompanied by two dogs who enjoyed swimming in the ocean and sunbathing on the sand.

At the other end of the beach was Gustaf III Airport’s small runway. We frequently saw small planes taking off right over the beach.

St Barthélemy’s airport is in fact one of the most dangerous airports in the world. With a towering hill at one end, the descent is sharp and the runway isn’t exactly long. At the other end of the runway lies the ocean. It takes skill and precision to land here.

The beach outside the Eden Rock resort.
The beach stretches all the way to the other end of the bay. At the far end of the beach, planes land and takeoff very close to the ocean as the runway is located just behind it.
A plane taking off.
I’m almost certain the dog has acquired a cap here.

A day trip to St Barthélemy wouldn’t be complete without a wander through the quaint streets of the island’s capital city, Gustavia, flanked by red-roofed buildings.

The city is filled with an array of shops. I’ve never been into shopping in the slightest but the bo-ho style clothing stores captivated me almost immediately.

Oh, and finding a parrot chilling outside one of the city’s restaurants was a pleasant surprise.

The view of the ocean from Gustavia.
I didn’t expect to find a parrot just chilling by a restaurant in the city. He wasn’t tethered to anything. Free to roam as he pleased.

As darkness began to fall, we took it as a sign to return to the ferry terminal, where we caught one of the last ferries of the day to St Martin.

As we boarded, I realised the weather had turned. Ominous grey clouds now cloaked the sky. I just hoped it wouldn’t rain.

Our ferry crashed through mighty waves on the way back to St Martin. The weather had definitely taken a turn for the worse and the ocean wasn’t the perfect, calm vista it had been this morning. The waves were furious and my stomach was starting to churn with nausea.

St Martin. Pretty much all of my photos (even ones taken from dry land) were at horrific angles like this. I didn’t even bother correcting one as there would be no image left if it was straightened!
The blurriest sunset picture you’ve ever seen.
Those distant lights are actually the island of Anguilla. Gives you a sense of how flat the island is.

The ride back to St Martin seemed to take a lifetime, but that was only part of the journey. We still had one last ferry to take before returning to Anguilla.

I could have kissed the ground when we finally arrived. Not even my Joy Ride seasickness pills (which taste like sweets) could have taken the edge off this nausea.

Despite the rough ending, I had thoroughly enjoyed taking the ferry from Anguilla to St Barthélemy.

With the coming evening, my time in Anguilla was almost at an end. The following afternoon we would be catching a plane all the way south to Barbados.

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