St. Lucia Cruise Port: Piers, Getting Around and What’s Nearby

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Despite St. Lucia’s small size, it is one of the most popular ports of call in the entire Caribbean. If you are taking a cruise around the Eastern Caribbean, there is a good chance you will visit St. Lucia for yourself. 

To help you enjoy a stress-free visit to this tropical paradise, we have created this comprehensive guide to the St. Lucia Cruise Port. We’ll also cover nearby attractions and activities so you can make the most out of your stay in sunny St. Lucia!

St. Lucia Cruise Port Location and Description

St. Lucia Cruise Port is strategically situated on the edge of Castries, the island’s capital city. This offers visitors easy access to many of the island nation’s most iconic attractions.

Castries itself centers around a picturesque bay bordered by lush hillsides. This means that visiting cruise passengers are immediately struck by St. Lucia’s stunning beauty. 

While it may sound somewhat confusing, St. Lucia Cruise Port actually consists of two distinct terminals: 

  • Pointe Seraphine Cruise Terminal is a 20-minute walk from the downtown core of Castries— 2273 QW8, Castries, Saint Lucia.
  • La Place Carenage Cruise Terminal is located directly on the edge of downtown. Its address is 4B Bridge Street, Castries, Saint Lucia.
St. Lucia Cruise Terminal Locations
St. Lucia Cruise Terminal Locations

The two cruise terminals can both handle full-sized cruise ships, but Pointe Seraphine tends to be the most commonly used of the two. Each of the two terminals features a single pier, meaning there is one pier on each side of the bay.

There is also an industrial port within the bay, but that is not used for cruise ships. Pointe Seraphine’s single pier has two berths for cruise ships, while La Place Carenage Cruise Terminal’s single pier can only handle one ship at a time.

While La Place Carenage Cruise Terminal is more convenient for those looking to explore the city, those docking at Pointe Seraphine Cruise Terminal can easily access Castries by taking a short and affordable taxi or a 20-minute walk along the harbor footpath. 

There are also some small tendering ports on the city’s edge and the island’s north side, but these are only used during the busy season.

Cruise Lines that Visit St. Lucia Cruise Port

As mentioned, St. Lucia is one of the most popular ports of call in all of the Caribbean, so it is no surprise that it is visited by some of the most recognizable cruise lines in the world.

La Place Carenage Cruise Pier
La Place Carenage Cruise Pier (Photo Credit: Luciavonu)

The following are just some of the many with regular cruise itineraries that visit the country’s cruise port: 

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Princess Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Holland America
  • MSC Cruises
  • Disney Cruise Line 

Distance and Directions from the Airport

Travelers arriving at St. Lucia’s primary airport, Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in View Fort, take roughly 75 minutes to drive by road. While this may seem fairly lengthy, the journey is incredibly scenic.

It’s also worth mentioning that there is a smaller airport in Castries called the George F.L. Charles Airport (SLU). In some cases, visitors will take a smaller plane from UVF to SLU to avoid the drive.

Hewanorra International Airport. St. Lucia
Hewanorra International Airport. St. Lucia (Photo Credit: Galina Savina)

Taxis and private shuttle services are readily available at the airport, while some larger cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, offer complimentary shuttle services. 

If you find yourself driving the 35-mile journey yourself, these straightforward directions will get you from the airport to the Point Seraphine Cruise Terminal: 

  • Exit the airport onto Micoud Hwy and head South for 29 miles.
  • When you see signs for Castries, turn right onto John Compton Hwy.
  • From John Compton Hwy, you will see a roundabout exit for Point Seraphine Cruise Terminal. Take the first exit and arrive at your destination.

Terminal Facilities and Services

Both main terminals in St. Lucia offer modern facilities that ensure a comfortable embarkation and disembarkation process for visiting cruise passengers.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available at both terminals, but connecting can be somewhat difficult, especially if the port is busy during your visit. If you are struggling to connect, there are a number of cafés and restaurants in Castries that offer free Wi-Fi for customers.

Port Castries, Saint Lucia
Port Castries, Saint Lucia (Photo Credit: Nancy Pauwels)

The terminals also offer clean and accessible restrooms and comfortable seating areas for waiting to board your ship. They are wheelchair-friendly, with ramps ensuring all visitors can navigate the terminals with ease. 

The terminals’ comfort reflects the importance of visiting cruise passengers to the Saint Lucian economy. The tourism sector accounts for over 33% of the nation’s GDP, and Carnival and Royal Caribbean have both invested significant funds in the port. 

Transportation Options

From either of the main terminal buildings that make up the St. Lucia Cruise Port, visitors can walk into the downtown Castries. With that said, several transportation options can be used to explore the island’s more distant attractions:

Taxis

Government-regulated taxis are readily available outside of each terminal, offering convenient, affordable, and safe transportation to all of the island’s landmarks, beaches, and attractions. Ask about a flat rate if you are traveling to a particular attraction.

There is no need to hail a cab, as both terminals have designated taxi pickup lines directly outside. All you have to do is get in line and tell your driver where you want to go.

Shuttle Buses

While St. Lucia does not offer a free shuttle from its port, as some of the other Caribbean nations do, there is a paid shuttle called the St. Lucia Shuttle, which can be booked ahead of time.

It is a good option for larger groups looking for an affordable, stress-free way to get anywhere in the country. With fixed rates and free cancellation, it’s a really useful option.

Excursion Shuttles

If you have booked an excursion for your time in St. Lucia, it’s worth noting that they will include free transportation from the port. Most use air-conditioned mini buses and vans, so the ride is fairly comfortable.

Ride-Share Apps

Uber is the only ride-sharing app currently operating in St. Lucia. The app can be a useful option if you want the flexibility of being picked up at a specific location. 

What Is the Best Time to Visit St. Lucia?

St. Lucia enjoys a warm and tropical climate throughout the entire year, making it the ideal year-round cruise destination. Although you can visit any month of the year, peak tourist season typically runs from December to April.

MSC Cruise Ship Docked in St. Lucia
MSC Cruise Ship Docked in St. Lucia (Photo Credit: Nancy Pauwels)

These are generally considered to be the best time to visit, as you get the same sunny skies as the summer months, but you avoid the rain and the oppressive heat and humidity of the summer months. Plus, there tends to be far less rainfall in the winter and spring than during the summer and fall months.

Worth Reading: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean?

Still, some people prefer to travel to St. Lucia between June and November, as these months can provide a more tranquil experience with fewer crowds. Booking during these less popular months can also mean lower prices.

Seasonal Weather Conditions

Like many places in the Caribbean, St. Lucia experiences two informal seasons: the “dry season” (December to May) and the “wet season” (June to November). As the names imply, each season is characterized by the amount of rainfall the island receives.

While the drier months are certainly more popular for tourism, even the wetter months offer their own charm, with the country coming alive with vibrant foliage.

Beaches Near the Port

Part of the reason St. Lucia is such a popular island to visit is the sheer number of pristine beaches surrounding its coastline. While you can certainly find more secluded beaches if you are willing to travel, there are nearby options for those with limited time on the island: 

Vigie Beach

Located roughly two miles north of Pointe Seraphine Cruise Port, Vigie Beach offers white sand, shady palm trees, and a laidback atmosphere. Thanks to the fact that the beach surrounds a calm bay, it really has that tropical paradise feel that many people are looking for when they travel to St. Lucia.

Vigie beach
Vigie beach (Photo Credit: avilledorsa)

The beach sits adjacent to the Castries airport, so beachgoers can sit back and enjoy plane spotting from the sandy shores. There are also plenty of snack vendors and beach bars to choose from. Given that it can be reached within a 25-minute walk from the port, it is a good option for those with limited time.

La Toc Beach

Situated three miles south of the port, La Toc Beach lies roughly the same distance but in the opposite direction. The beach offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and is a popular option for snorkeling. It is more challenging to reach than Vigie Beach, but this helps keep the crowds to a minimum.

La Toc Beach
La Toc Beach (Photo Credit: Sherry Talbot)

Unfortunately, most of the beach is privately owned by Sandals Resort, so public space is limited. If you choose to visit, you can also take some time to visit La Toc Battery, a historical landmark once a British artillery battery used to protect Castries from invasion.

Day Passes to Beaches in St. Lucia

Since many of St. Lucia’s most beautiful volcanic beaches are owned by the resorts, some visiting cruise passengers will purchase day passes. These day passes provide temporary access to these stunning beaches and grant the holder access to various resort amenities, including pools, swim-up bars, restaurants, and more.

Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia
Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia (Photo Credit: fokke baarssen)

While prices vary depending on the resort, you can expect to pay roughly $100 per person. While it may sound steep to use a beach, it isn’t a bad price when you consider that this also provides you with access to all of the resort’s amenities and dining options, as well as Wi-Fi. 

Amenities Within Walking Distance

If beaches aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other attractions that are within walking distance of the port: 

Castries Market

Located less than a mile from both port terminals and just a 3-minute walk from La Place Carenage Cruise Port, Castries Market is a must-see.

Castries Market
Castries Market (Photo Credit: fokke baarssen)

With fresh produce, handmade crafts, and various vendors selling one-of-a-kind souvenirs, the market will give you an authentic feel for what life is like for locals. Plenty of food vendors will offer local delicacies, so it’s a great place to stop for a casual lunch. 

The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

One of the most well-known structures on the island, the Cathedral allows visitors to view the Saint Lucian icon up close. Not only is the historical structure stunning, but it is just 0.3 miles from La Place Carenage and 0.9 miles from Pointe Seraphine Cruise Port, making it incredibly easy to reach.

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Photo Credit: Studiof20)

Given that the two cruise terminals are located close to downtown Castries, you also don’t need much of a plan. Simply walk or take a taxi ride to Castries Market, then explore the city’s vibrant streets for yourself. 

If you have more time on your hands and want to explore more of what St. Lucia has to offer, we suggest booking an excursion or simply taking a registered taxi to one of the following attractions: 

Pitons

Sitting roughly 20 miles southwest of the port terminals, the Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic symbols of St. Lucia. These towering natural peaks are former volcanic spires. The two spires reach nearly half a mile in height and are fully covered in lush plant life. 

Pitons
Pitons (Photo Credit: C.J Rossi)

Visitors can take a 3.2-mile hike to the top of Gros Piton, the larger of the two. However, if you’re not up for the hike, you can still enjoy the stunning view of the Pitons rising from the waters of nearby Sugar Beach. 

Sulphur Springs

Located approximately 15 miles south of the port, Sulphur Springs is another geological wonder and iconic symbol of the island. These waters are known for their therapeutic properties, so many visitors enjoy splashing around and rubbing silt on their skin in a mud bath.

Sulphur Springs
Sulphur Springs (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

You can enjoy a full spa treatment, take a tour of the area, and learn about its volcanic past. Entry to the spa area is just $11 for adults, so it’s an affordable and fun activity. 

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths

The Diamond Botanical Gardens are home to the stunning Diamond Waterfall and the nation’s oldest botanical garden. Located within the town of Soufriere, the gardens are about 25 miles from port, so they are easiest to reach by taxi.

Diamond Water Falls
Diamond Water Falls (Photo Credit: Alleyn Ross)

The six-acre property showcases the best of the island’s tropical flora and fauna. Not only are the gardens beautiful and a photographer’s dream, but you can also relax in the warm and soothing waters of several mineral baths.

Visiting will also allow you to learn about the property’s history, including the fact that King Louis XIV of France gifted it to three brothers in 1713. 

Dining Near St. Lucia Cruise Port

The port terminals are located on the edge of Castries, so finding delicious and authentic Caribbean cuisine couldn’t be easier. Thanks to the country’s unique French and English colonial past and the seemingly boundless supply of fresh ingredients, Saint Lucian cuisine is delicious.

Dining in St. Lucia
Dining in St. Lucia (Photo Credit: Rafa E)

If you want to sample as much as possible, head to the market around lunchtime. Numerous food stalls serve up local favorites, like lambi, bouyon, pepper pots, and callaloo soup, so you’ll have no shortage of unique options to try. Plenty of food vendors line the city’s most popular beaches, so a beachside lunch consisting of local dishes is also a great option.

If you don’t have time to wander around the market and would prefer to have a sit-down meal, you can always head to The Pink Plantation House for delicious Caribbean cuisine.

Although it is nearly four miles from the port, it is one of the most famous restaurants in St. Lucia, and it rarely disappoints. The Coal Pot is slightly more casual but also offers delicious food in a stunning setting.   

Shopping Near St. Lucia Cruise Port

Castries’ shopping scene also reflects the city’s popularity as a tourist destination. With numerous duty-free shops outside of the two port terminals, you will have no trouble finding them.

You can also venture to Cheers Boutique or Scott’s Underground Boutique near the harbor side of Castries if you want clothing and small gifts. There are also plenty of places for duty-free shopping in Castries, so you don’t have to feel constrained by the port.

Cruise Passengers in St. Lucia
Cruise Passengers in St. Lucia (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald)

For those looking for more unique, handmade souvenirs, the Castries Market is your best bet. With plenty of vendors selling local artwork, rum cocktail ingredients, handcrafted pottery, unique hot sauces, local honey, and wood carvings, you’ll be sure to find a fitting souvenir.

Worth Reading: San Juan Cruise Port: Amenities and What’s Nearby

Keep in mind that the official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but many of the vendors will accept the US Dollar. Just don’t expect favorable rates if you are paying in US dollars. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How far is the beach from the cruise port in St. Lucia?

Vigie Beach, one of the closest beaches to the port, is approximately 2 miles north of Castries, while La Toc Beach is located 3 miles south of the port. 

Can you walk around Castries?

Yes, you can walk around Castries and explore its attractions and landmarks on foot. The city center is easily accessible from the St. Lucia Cruise Port, and the city is relatively safe by Caribbean standards. 

Can you swim in St. Lucia?

Yes, swimming is a popular activity in St. Lucia, thanks to its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Remember, not all public beaches have lifeguards, so you should always follow local warnings and only go deep if you are a strong swimmer.

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