Simpson Bay is a great destination whether you're the type of vacationer who looks forward to relaxing days of sailing and sitting on the beach or you yearn for thrills like spending hours in the casinos and hunting down great deals on luxury goods. Part of planning for a getaway in this diverse part of St. Maarten is arranging for transportation, and you'll need to consider how you'll get to town as well as how you'll get around.
Simpson Bay is home to a major international airport in the Caribbean: the . This massive facility is also one of the most modern around, and flights land here from around the world so regularly that most people have an easy time booking a flight. For information about which airlines land here and where they fly from, click here.
Home to the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, a popular stop for pleasure sailors visiting St. Maarten, this town is also an official port of entry. No cruising permits are required to sail around the island, but you will need to stop and gain clearance by presenting a crew list, a list of the ship's stores, and a passport for everyone aboard. Click here to read everything you need to know about sailing in Simpson Bay.
St. Maarten is an extremely popular cruise ship destination, and most major liners – both big and small – will stop here for a full day at least. The port is located in Philipsburg, but cruisers easily make their way to Simpson Bay without worry that they will struggle to return to the boat in time for it to leave.
When it comes to renting a car for your stay in Simpson Bay, you can pick your rental up at the airport, cruise port, or ferry terminal and drive yourself to your accommodations, or have the agency deliver the vehicle to you at your convenience. Rental costs begin at a low $30(USD) a day, and there are few regulations regarding who can and cannot rent. Click here for the full details.
The taxis in Simpson Bay are actually minivans, which is great news for those traveling in large parties. Rates are set by the government and drivers will always have a list of prices on hand for you to review. These fares are noted based on a two person occupancy, and each additional rider will cost $4(USD). You'll also pay extra for luggage and prices go up overnight. Make sure to also consider tipping your driver as you plan your budget. About 15 percent is typical.
In Simpson Bay you'll find the buses to be a little smaller than you are used to seeing in big cities. Like the taxis, they are usually minivans or standard-sized vans. The difference between taxis and buses is that they are privately owned and operated, so each company has the ability to set the rates as they see fit. It is typical to spend between $2 and 3(USD) for a ride, but the good news is you can get almost anywhere on the island by bus. Buses operate between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, and they accept both Euros and US Dollars.
Direct from Simpson Bay you can take a ferry to several surrounding islands including St. Barthelemy, , and Saba so if you're interested in day-tripping or want to split your time between a few of these island nations you can make it happen while saving big time over the cost of flying with a local airline. Read our guide to Ferries in Simpson Bay for further information.
Simpson Bay may not be the most popular city with tourists on the island, but when it comes to transportation options, you'll find them all to be readily available and generally affordable. There is not one choice that previous visitors would strongly advice against, so take your pick – you can't go wrong.
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