PHILIPSBURG--Due to a recent situation where barricades were once again erected and set on fire, blocking the main road in the residential district of Sandy Ground in French St. Martin, cruise lines that will have ships in port on Wednesday, December 1, have decided to caution free roaming passengers and restrict curated tours due to the uncertainty of the free and unhampered flow throughout the northern part of the island.
It was understood that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have cancelled tours to the French side from today, Wednesday.
Gendarmes cleared the erected barricades on Tuesday morning. One of the key protocols of the cruise industry is safety and security of cruise passengers while visiting a destination. The measure taken by two cruise lines should be seen from this perspective.
The Dutch St. Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT) is hoping that these isolated events in French St. Martin can be resolved as soon as possible, ensuring that the destination continues to offer an holistic product to cruise guests and things will return to business as usual where guests are able to experience the destination freely as one island and can enjoy the “Friendly Island”.
The tourism offices of both sides of the island will continue to work together and keep stakeholders updated.