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St. Maarten receives record number of cruise passengers in 2013

Cruise ships in St. Maarten, 2006
Cruise ships in St. Maarten, 2006
Lisa R. Plotnick

St. Maarten’s cruise traffic continues to grow. According to a Jan. 3 article in the Curacao Chronicle, the Port of St. Maarten welcomed nearly 1.8 million cruise passengers in 2013, an increase of roughly two percent from the prior year and a new record for the port.

The Port of St. Maarten reported the following statistics for the 2013 cruise season:

  • 1,785,670 total cruise passengers, up from 1,753,215 in 2012 and 1,055,040 in 2002
  • 631 ship calls, up from 622 in 2012

Cruise ship visits provided a significant economic boost to the local economy. According to the most recent report by the Business Research & Economic Advisors for the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, total cruise tourism expenditures for the 2011-2012 cruise year were $356.2 million in St. Maarten, second among the 21 participant destinations. The Bahamas ranked first, with $339.8 million. Rounding out the top five were the United States Virgin Islands ($339.8 million), Puerto Rico ($186.6 million), and the Cayman Islands ($157.7 million).

The Port of St. Maarten will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014.