Must Know - St. Lucia Cruise Port

Panoramic Photo of  Castries Port in Saint Lucia

Overview

Introduction to Castries Port for Cruise Travelers
Where Cruise Ships Dock in St Lucia, Piers and Terminals, Close By, Beaches and Day Passes, Shopping.

By: Editor-in-Chief | Date: September 3, 2017

Castries Cruise Port

The primeval Pitons are one of the most famous natural marvels of the small nation island of Saint Lucia. The scenic landmark is a must see but unless the cruise traveler goes on an excursion it is very unlikely to have a glimpse of this natural wonder.

Photo of Pitons in Saint Lucia

The Pitons in Saint Lucia

Photo © IQCruising.com

Photo of Horseback Riding in Saint Lucia

Horseback Riding in Saint Lucia

Photo by Marcela Janečková

However, there are so many other sites, landmarks, attractions and activities to enjoy in St. Lucia, that cruise travelers visiting the island always find something exciting to do and see. The beaches are stunning and close by the cruise port in Castries. Natural attractions such as the Sulphur Springs (a drive-in dormant volcano), the Diamond Falls, or the National Rain Forest are marvelous sites not to be missed. Horseback riding, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling or jet skiing are just a few of the many thrilling activities to be experienced.

Photo of Jetskiing in Saint Lucia

Jetskiing in Saint Lucia

Photo by Ana Reljin

 


 

Where Cruise Ships Dock

Most cruise ships of all sizes dock in a small bay by Castries - the capital of St. Lucia. There are two main piers (and Terminals) in St. Lucia's main cruise port. The Pointe Seraphine on the northern side and the pier at La Place Carenage right downtown - the exit gates literally open to the main street. Very seldom, small ships may also dock at the Industrial Port.

Panoramic Photo of the harbour in Castries, Saint Lucia

Photo © IQCruising.com

It mays also happen that mega ships like Queen Mary II will anchor outside the bay and passengers are tendered by their own boats to the eastern corner of La Place Carenage.

Photo of Tender Boats in Saint Lucia Castries

Tender Boats in Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

Both piers are serviced by Terminals with all basic amenities - Tourist Information Kiosk, Taxi Dispatch, Tours and Excursions Desk, Restrooms, Cafes, Bars, Car Rentals, Restaurants, the best duty-free shopping in St. Lucia and also souvenir shops and some crafts.

Photo of Tourist Office at La Place Carenage in Saint Lucia Castries

Tourist Office at La Place Carenage, Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

Photo of Soufriere in Saint Lucia

Soufriere Tendering, Saint Lucia

Photo © IQCruising.com

Alternative Ports: Although Castries is the main cruise port in St. Lucia, some ships may have an additional stop next to Soufriere to pick up passengers on full-day tours to the famous Pitons and other attractions close by. Some small and luxurious cruise lines like Seadream, Windstar or Seabourn also call at Soufriere - instead of Castries - anchoring and tendering passengers to the old capital of St. Lucia. Both Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay (Pigeon Island) are also alternative anchoring ports of call.

 


 

La Place Carenage Terminal

Photo of La Place Carenage in Saint Lucia Castries

La Place Carenage, Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Terminal at La Place Carenage is ideally located to explore landmarks of Castries such as the Catholic Cathedral, the Derek Walcott Square, the Central Libary or the Craft Market which all can be visited in slightly over one hour.

Photo of La Toc Battery in Saint Lucia Castries

La Toc Battery, Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

Don't expect to see or discover much more in Castries at walking distance but do not miss a walking exploration of the town as it can be enjoyed before or after spending some time on a tour or on one of the many beaches close by. Other landmarks such as the La Toc Battery, the St. Marks Colonial House or Governors House are relatively close by but not really within walking distance - if these are in your plans you should hire a taxi or book a tour of the highlights of Castries.

Photo of Shopping in La Place Carenage in Saint Lucia Castries

Shop at La Place Carenage, Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

On the ground floor of the Terminal there are quite a few duty-free shops. Besides the usual ones found almost everywhere in the Caribbean - Diamonds International among others - liquor, spirits, tobacco and souvenir shops do offer some of the best prices in the Caribbean. The cruise traveler interested in hand crafts and less touristic souvenirs, should walk out of the terminal, turn left and explore the Craft Market - no more than 500 feet (150 meters) away.

Photo of Central Market in Castries, Saint Lucia

Central Market, Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

Photo of Caribbean Pirates Restaurant in Castries, Saint Lucia

Caribbean Pirates Restaurant

Photo © IQCruising.com

Inside the terminal, on the first floor, the cruise traveler will also find the very popular Caribbean Pirates Restaurant & Bar. Besides the cuisine of Chef Robbiy, the restaurant has Free WiFi and a wide verandah overlooking the pier. If moored at Point Seraphine and no ships are docked at La Porte Carenage (which happens quite often) the views of the bay are a wonderful sight - many savvy cruisers (as well as crew and officers) cross the bay on a water taxi to savor truly genuine Saint Lucian flavors al fresco.

 


 

Pointe Seraphine Terminal

The Pointe Seraphine Terminal is larger than La Place Carenage. It is also more spacious, with a mix of covered and open air areas and with quite a few enticing attributes for the cruise traveler to relax after a day exploring St. Lucia and before getting back onboard. In fact, many a cruise traveler that has been to St. Lucia before doesn't even leave Pointe Seraphine.

Photo of Pointe Seraphine in Castries, Saint Lucia

Pointe Seraphine Terminal

Photo © IQCruising.com

The pier is parallel to the Terminal and as the cruise traveler enters the main building a Tourist Information Desk occupies the center of the main hall with a few duty-free shops around it and very good signage indicating where to go.

Photo of Tourist Information Desk in Pointe Seraphine Terminal Castries

Tourist Information Desk

Photo © IQCruising.com

From the main hall there are three possible paths. The doors right in front open to a Local Tour Desk, a couple of Car Rentals (National and Guys) and a Diving/Snorkeling Kiosk among other services.

Photo of Tour Desk Pointe Seraphine Terminal in Saint Lucia Castries

Tour Desk Pointe Seraphine

Photo © IQCruising.com

To the right the cruise traveler will find higher end shops (more about shopping below), the exit to town, the parking for tour buses and a taxi dispatch just before the gates that open to the main road.

Photo of Diamonds International Shop at Pointe Seraphine Terminal in  Castries, Saint Lucia

Shop at Pointe Seraphine

Photo © IQCruising.com

To the left, there is an open zone lined with small shops (mainly souvenirs and a few crafts) and beyond these, you will find a manicured garden with cafes, bars, grill/restaurant. The following are Editors' favorites: the Rum Therapy Bar & Treatment Centre, the Antillia Brewing Company, and the Pink Papaya Restaurant.

Photo of Pointe Seraphine Terminal in Castries, Saint Lucia

Pointe Seraphine Terminal

Photo © IQCruising.com

Photo of Water Taxi Ferry at Pointe Seraphine Terminal in Castries, Saint Lucia

Water Taxi Ferry at Pointe Seraphine

Photo © IQCruising.com

It is also in this green area that the cruise traveler will find a water-taxi connecting the two piers. This is a relaxing way to cross to downtown or to Pointe Seraphine if docked at La Place Carenage and wishing to explore the other terminal. Last but not least amongst amenities, Free WiFi Internet is available almost everywhere at the Point Seraphine Terminal. Insider's hint: you will get better connections in the indoors areas.

Photo of Walk in Saint Lucia Castries

Walking to Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

Pointe Seraphine is a 20-minute leisurely walk (under 1 mile) along the waterfront to the center of Casties. Have in mind that it will most probably be hot and that there isn't much shade on the way. Light clothing, sunscreen, hat and comfortable footwear are strongly recommended. You may find a few local vendors along the way but unlike what happens in many a Caribbean island none will be harassing you.

 


 

Shopping

Photo of Harry Edwards Shop at Pointe Seraphine Terminal in Castries Saint Lucia

Harry Edwards Shop

Photo © IQCruising.com

Many savvy cruisers argue that the Pointe Seraphine Terminal has better shops than the La Place Carenage Terminal. And, in fact, the cruise traveler will find more stores at the former but also greater diversity in this terminal. For sure you will find the typical duty-free shops selling Perfumes, Jewelry and Watches ubiquitous all over the Caribbean Islands - the likes of Colombian Emeralds, Diamonds and Tanzanite International - but also Harry Edwards that is exclusively Saint Lucian.

Photo of Tanzanite International Shop at Pointe Seraphine Terminal in Castries, Saint Lucia

Tanzanite International Shop

Photo © IQCruising.com

An art gallery must be mentioned for selling watercolors and prints by Llewelyn Xavier - the most famous Artist in St. Lucia. There are also better and more souvenir shops at the Point Seraphine Terminal, and even a few crafts are available but the Market in Castries is still the best place to go if looking for hand made local souvenirs. If docked at La Place Carenage, and considering that this terminal also has quite a few good stores, you really have to be a serious shopaholic to walk all the way to Pointe Seraphine or cross the bay by water taxi.

Photo of Street Vendor in Saint Lucia Castries

Street Vendor in Castries

Photo © IQCruising.com

In one word: the best shopping in St. Lucia is found in both Terminals and in the Crafts Market in Castries. Tobacco, spirits, and liquors are some of the best buys in St. Lucia. Among the most famous local produced items, silkscreened fabrics and clothing are a must, in particular, the batik prints hand made by Bagshaws studio and Caribelle Batik.

 


 

Beaches and Day Passes

Besides the already mentioned landmarks in Castries (at walking distance) both terminals are close to other attractions, in particular, for those looking forward to spend some time basking in the sun. Good to know: all beaches in St. Lucia are open to the public. Nude and topless sunbathing is illegal.

Photo of La Toc Beach in Saint Lucia

La Toc Beach

Photo © IQCruising.com

Vigie Beach is the closest to Castries (just under 2 miles north). Although the Editor has walked there from Pointe Seraphine it is a stretch in the sun and a taxi shouldn't cost more than US$10 each way (per trip up to four people). The same fare (US$10.00) is also how much a taxi should charge to go take you to La Toc Beach, the other beach close by (3 miles south). Along the northern west coast, there are a few other wonderful beaches such as Choc Beach (20-minute taxi ride), Reduit Beach (on Rodney Bay) and Pigeon Island Beach (between US$20.00 and US$30.00 each way by taxi).

Photo of Reduit Beach in Saint Lucia

Reduit Beach, St. Lucia

Photo © IQCruising.com

Undoubtedly, Reduit Beach is the most popular - the scenery, sand, water clarity and many activities offered are major attractions for the cruise traveler. And also the proximity to the Rodney Bay Marina (with a few nice restaurants), the Splash Island Water Park which is great for families and the Bay Bay Gardens Resort offering a beach day pass.

Photo of Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia

Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay (just under 10 miles south) is another very popular beach destination in St. Lucia. The scenery is spectacular but cruise travelers should be aware that the beach is small and can get crowded easily. Therefore you should look into booking a day pass at the Marigot Beach Club. A few miles south, on the off the beaten track Anse Cochon Bay, the Ti Kaye Resort & Spa offers a memorable luxury Day Pass.

 


 

Saint Lucia Castries Basic and Essential Information

Language English is the official language. However, the French based Saint Lucian Creole (Kwéyòl) - or Patois ("Patwa") - is spoken by the over 90% of the local population.
Currency: The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is the official currency and legal tender. However, US Dollars are widely accepted. Be aware that you may given change in EC$.
Phones: Country Code: 758. To call the United States or Canada dial 1 plus the number. For all other international call, first dial 011 followed by the country code i.e. 44 (for thr UK), 61 (Australia). Many US phones may work but is advisable to check with your provider to avoid roaming charges.  
Post Office: Monigiraud Street - Castries.
Electricity: Most electrical outlets in St. Lucia use a three rectangular prongs like in the UK with 220 Volts 50 Hz current. However, you may find at the terminal typical US 110 volt 2 prong outlets
Rent-a-Car: All Major Car Rentals are available in St. Lucia such as Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Budget, Alamo or National. However, when booking online, the cruise traveler should check the available at each of Cruise Ship Terminals or in Castries.
Driving: Driving is on the left.
Emergencies: Dial 911
Drinking: Legal drinking age is 18 years.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in restaurants and public buildings. Bars may allow smoking outdoors.
ATM's: There are a few ATMs in Castries

 

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Essential Info - Facts

Castries
Saint Lucia

Image of Map of Italy showing Livorno and cities close by
Image of Map of Italy showing Livorno and cities close by

Current Local Time

Time Zone

Castries and Saint Lucia are on AST (Atlantic Standard Time) and do not participate in daylight saving time. When the mainland United States is on Standard Time, Saint Lucia is one hour ahead of (EST) Eastern Standard Time.
When the mainland United States is on daylight saving time, Eastern Daylight Time is the same as AST (Atlantic Standard Time).

Weather

Find more about Weather in Castries, LC

Money Matters

Currency: The East Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is the legal tender, but US dollars are widely accepted.
The EC$ is a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECU)

ATM's:
Available in Castries where majro banks are located: Scotia Bank, First Caribbean CIBC, , RBC Royal Bank, 1st National Bank and Bank of Saint Lucia.

Credit and Debit Cards:
Accepted in all Duty Free Shops and Top Restaurants.

Tipping:
A tip is not obligatory at restaurants or bars but a small amount left for excellent service is greatly appreciated.

Haggling:
Like anywhere in the Caribbean, haggling is a must when buying Jewelry, Watches on duty-free shops. However, tobacco, spirits, and liquors will have fixed prices. Haggling is also acceptable and expected on craft markets.


Facts

Image of Saint Lucia Flag

Saint Lucia Flag

Area: 238 sq mi (616 sq km)
Three and 1/2 times the size of Washington, DC

Castries Population: 70,000 (2013 est.)

Saint Lucia Population: 164,464 (July 2016 est.)

Ethnic Groups:
Black/African descent 85.3%, mixed 10.9%, East Indian 2.2%, other 1.6%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

Religion:
Roman Catholic 61.5%, Protestant 25.5% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 10.4%, Pentecostal 8.9%, Baptist 2.2%, Anglican 1.6%, Church of God 1.5%, other Protestant 0.9%). Other Christian 3.4% (includes Evangelical 2.3% and Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), Rastafarian 1.9%, other 0.4%, none 5.9%, unspecified 1.4%.

Public Holidays

January 1 - New Year's Day
January 2 - Day After New Year's Day
Februray 22 - Independence Day
March/April (movable) - Good Friday
March/April (movable) - Easter Monday
May 1 - May Day
June 5 - Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday
June 15 - Corpus Christi
August 1 - Emancipation Day
October 2 - Thanksgiving Day
December 13 - National Day
December 25 - Christmas
December 26 - Boxing Day.

Useful Links

Castries Cruise Port

Official Website:
www.slaspa.com

Saint Lucia Tourist Board

Official Website:
www.stlucia.org

Facebook Page:
www.facebook.com

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)

Official Website:
www.onecaribbean.org

Local Tours and Guides

Cox Tours:
Official Website
Facebook Page


St Lucia Cruise Tours:
Official Website

Beach Day Pass

Caribbean Day Pas
Official Website


Resort For A Day
Official Website


Ti Kaye Spa and Resort Day Pass
Official Website

Marigot Beach Club Day Pass
Official Website

Bay Gardens Beach Day Pass
Official Website

Tours - Excursions

Viator:
Official Website


Shore Trips:
Official Website


Shore Excursions:
Official Website


Shore Excursioneer:
Official Website


Cruising Excursions:
Official Website

US Embassy/Consulate

US Embassy is in Barbados
Official Website:

bb.usembassy.gov

Emergencies

Pharmacies:
Cruise trvaleres will find Pharmacies in Castries. The closest to the terminals are the R.J Clarke Pharmacy and the M & C Drugstore, both on Bridge Street.


Hospital:
There are 5 hospitals in Saint Lucia. Both Victoria Hospital and St. Jude's Vieux Fort are equiped to handle emergencies.


Sources

Wikipedia, CIA Factbook

FAQ

Can I visit the Pitons when calling at Castries Cruise Port
Yes. However, you should book an excursion. Although this natural wonder is not that far traveling to the best scenic views may take quiet a while and you don't want to risk missing the ship.

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Last Update: January 5, 2018

The information on this page was accurate when last updated and published but changes may have occurred without notice.
It is advisable to confirm details with local tourist information before planning your cruise, tour or excursion of Castries and Saint Lucia.
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