Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know St Kitts – Cruise Port Guide
St. Kitts can offer everything for the cruise ship aficionado. It has great beaches, fun and exhilarating activities like hiking trails and zip lining in the rainforest, shopping both international duty free and local crafts, history, culture and cuisine. The hardest part will be deciding what to do for the day and that’s where our St Kitts cruise port guide comes to your rescue.
St. Kitts was once the jewel in the crown of the British West Indies and its sugar industry was the most important of any of the Caribbean islands, regardless of who they belonged to. Whilst sugar has been replaced with tourism as the most important industry, it still plays an important role in offering wonderful experiences for visitors. The main attractions here are the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, first constructed to help bring the building materials for the construction of the new sugar factory in 1912, then between that year and 1926 the railway was extended around the island to be able to transport the harvested sugar cane to be processed and then shipped from Basseterre. Today the railway extends for 18 miles around the north of the island on a narrow gauge of 762mm and offers visitors the best way to see as much of the island of St. Kitts as possible.
Then there is Brimstone Hill Fortress, arguably the most impressive colonial fortress in the Caribbean. During the colonial era when the British and French fought over sovereignty of the island, the British decided that they would mount canons on the 800 foot high dormant volcanic cone with panoramic views over the west coast and Caribbean Sea. The hill was transformed into an imposing fortification, commonly known as ‘The Gibraltar of the West Indies’ Designed by British engineers and built by African slaves, it is now one of the most well preserved historical fortifications in the Americas. In 1999, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park was added to the list of World heritage sites by UNESCO. For anyone interested in history in the slightest, this should be top of your to do list here on St. Kitts and it is very easy to access with taxis from the port.
The currency of St Kitts and Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is set against the US Dollar at a rate of 2.7XCD to 1 USD. US Dollars are widely accepted currency across the island, however, just make sure when asking for prices you check what it is you are being quoted in or what is being displayed, especially when negotiating with taxi drivers, or when dining in restaurants.
Port Zante is the main cruise area for the island and grants visitors direct access to the town of Basseterre. Port Zante is a commercial area that has several piers to accommodate large cruise ships. Once through the yellow arches of the tourist centre that welcome you, and where you can find tourist information and the licensed taxi dispatchers, you are greeted with and open-air shopping area, fully equipped with duty free shops, jewellers and fairly quirky souvenir shops. There are also restaurants and bars that offer Wi-Fi and reasonable food options more suited to international tastes.
If you wish to go on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, you should know before you go that it can only be experienced by purchasing through your onboard cruise ship excursions offer. It cannot be done independently on the day you will be in port and cannot be booked with independent tour operators as the train company work exclusively with the cruise lines, so check availability and prices with your on-board shore excursion department.
Travelling up the west coast from Basseterre to Brimstone Hill takes approximately 30 minutes by taxi which would cost $50USD round trip, which is up to 4 people sharing a taxi. Entrance to the fortress costs $10USD per person ($27ECD) and it is open daily from 9:30AM-5:30PM
You can visit the neighbouring sister island of Nevis, although ferry times are irregular, so make sure you check at the ferry terminal just outside Port Zante to ensure you can make it back to the ship on time. The sailing time from St Kitts to Nevis is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Destination photos courtesy of Sam Whiteside ©
Key highlights of St Kitts
- St Kitts Scenic Railway
- Brimstone Hill Fortress
- Romney Manor and Caribelle Batik Workshop
- The Amazing Grace Experience
- Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden
- Beaches, recommended ones include:
- Frigate Bay
- South Friars Bay
- Banana Bay
- Cockleshell Bay
- Day trip to Nevis
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
Related & Curated No Fly Cruises News
Travellers looking to get away in the months ahead can enjoy hand-crafted sailings from just £399 per person, plus up to £250 on-board spending credit, as part of a Summer Sale unveiled by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines recently. The Summer Sale covers cruises from...
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today unveiled the first reunion of its new-look fleet, with all four of its smaller ships to come together in Funchal, Madeira, in November 2023. Not only are we incredibly excited that this amazing event is back on the cards, we...
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines unveils 93-night ‘Intrepid Beauty of Africa and Indian Ocean’ Grand Voyage for 2023
Adventurers will have the chance to seek out lemurs in Madagascar, spend time with a Dabbawala in Mumbai and walk the dunes of the Namibian desert aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ brand new Grand Voyage in 2023. The cruise, which will set sail from Southampton...
Saga Cruises has today officially launched its 2023 ocean cruise itineraries with a host of new destinations, ports and experiences for guests currently all with up to 35% off the full fare price for early bookers (prices below reflect the discount). Travellers...
This is a fabulous world cruise offering that sails directly from Liverpool and back again! Fred. Olsen has today unveiled a brand new world cruise for 2024 celebrating the magical music of The Beatles – including a specially-commissioned yellow submarine to...
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today unveiled a brand-new programme of cruising for summer 2023, offering a host of scenic sailings, cultural discoveries and calls that coincide with special events ashore. Highlighted sailings by the Ipswich based cruise line are ALL...
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today offered a first look at its new summer 2023 programme with the early release of two cruises venturing to hot and cold climates next year. In May 2023, Borealis will take guests on a journey through centuries of history and...
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has enjoyed a bumper January, with sales returning to pre-pandemic levels across its small-ship ocean fleet. The strong start to 2022 was reflected in new bookings across Fred. Olsen’s 2022 and 2023 programme currently on sale, with...
Fred. Olsen has launched a new Travel Ready Service, meaning guests can look forward to their cruise safe in the knowledge that all paperwork and tests will be sorted by the cruise line before they travel. As part of the package, Fred. Olsen will take care of...
It's time to jump onboard and enjoy some great value savings of up to £750 per person with a selection of Saga winter sun cruises. All Saga cruises include a complimentary door-to-door chauffeur service up to 250 miles each way, dining and house drinks, Wi-Fi,...