Featured Favorite Sailaway: St. Barths, French West Indies

Sail-ins and sailaways are some of the most magical and scenic moments of cruising. I keep a memory bank of some of the most exquisite sailaways as a ‘happy place’ to escape in my imagination when I need a boost or inspiration.

So I thought I’d start sharing some of my favorites. Here’s a video of my last sail-in to St. Barths.

In a world of over-exposure, St. Barthelemy retains its luxe mystique. Maybe it’s partly because of its (several) names. The French Caribbean island’s formal name is hardly ever used, in favor of its nickname, among the high-end travelers and yachters who slip in and out of this chic island destination.

So is it St. Barts? St. Barth? Or St. Barths? However you spell it, add it to your list of cruise destinations.

Cruise port collectors rejoice when they see ‘Gustavia’ on a Caribbean cruise itinerary.Gustavia is the capital of St. Barths but you’re right, it is not a French name. It dates, like the town’s harbor fort, from the 17th century when the island was in Swedish hands.
Only smaller ships can dock in St. Barths, adding to its exclusive allure. It’s a favorite port of call for the luxury, small-ship cruise lines on their ‘yachtsman’s’ itineraries of less-accessible, more exclusive cruise destinations.
St. Barths retains its very French – and very exclusive character.There are no direct flights, (you can catch a ferry from French St. Martin) and one of the most popular ways to arrive is by private yacht, so sailing on your cruise ship into St. Barths makes you part of a luxe flotilla of very sleek marine hardware and chic yachters.You dock in Gustavia's small, U-shaped natural harbor surrounded by billionaire's boats, palm trees waving in the breeze, historic buildings and pastel colonial architecture.

The island is less than 10 square miles and has only about 10,000 residents, so ‘intimate’ is baked in. With French street signs, luxury boutiques, seaside restaurants, and French spoken (or English with a charming French accent), plus picturesque beaches and island color, St. Barths feels like a cross between St. Tropez and the tropics.

Is St. Barths one of your favorite sailaways?

By: Lynn Elmhirst Producer and Host, World's Greatest Cruises

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