St. Lucia - Castries
Cruise Port: Terminals, Close By, Beaches, Shops

Panoramic Photo of  Castries Port in Saint Lucia

St Lucia (Castries) Must Know for Cruise Travelers
- Where Cruise Ships Dock, Piers and Terminals, Close By, Day Passes, Shopping.

By: Editor-in-Chief | Date: February 3, 2018

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 wonder.

Photo of Pitons in Saint Lucia

The Pitons in Saint Lucia

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The good news is that 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.

Photo of Jetskiing in Saint Lucia

Jetskiing in Saint Lucia

Photo by Ana Reljin

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 Horseback Riding in Saint Lucia

Horseback Riding in Saint Lucia

Photo by Marcela Janečková


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 ©

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

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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

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Photo of Soufriere in Saint Lucia

Soufriere Tendering, Saint Lucia

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Photo of Caribbean Pirates Restaurant in Castries, Saint Lucia

Caribbean Pirates Restaurant

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Water Taxi Ferry at Pointe Seraphine

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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

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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.



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

Harry Edwards Shop

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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