Cruise Visitors To St Kitts
Visiting St Kitts on a cruise? This is what you need to know
We welcome over 1 million cruise visitors every year, 28 major and minor cruise lines use our facilities with port calls by over 400 cruise ships. We are rated in the top 5 cruise ports in the Caribbean.
Port Zante is located right in the heart of Basseterre, our capital city, this gives you easy access to the both our islands. In 2019 we opened a $48 million second cruise ship pier which allows us to accommodate 4 large cruise ships directly at the port.
St Kitts Cruise Port is large (27 acres), well designed for shopping, and has many bars and restaurants. There is a food court with a swimming pool, lots of places to relax and many shops to browse.
Arriving at Port Zante
Once your ship has cleared customs you will walk along the pier towards our arrival building.
There is a meeting point just before the building for ship organised excursions.
The arrival building has bathrooms, a tourist information desk and usually a steel band playing.
When you exit through security you enter a large square. There is no “crush of touts”, unlike many other ports, all vendors have to stay behind the barriers giving you a large area to take in your surroundings.
- To your right is a meeting area for pre-booked local excursions.
- To your left is also a meeting area for pre-booked local excursions.
- If you are going to the Marina, turn left and it is a couple of minutes walk away.
- To go into the town of Basseterre, just walk straight on, it will take you only a few minutes.
- For taxis and transportation, walk straight ahead and turn right when you see the green signs.
A note on Daylight Saving Time:
St Kitts, like most other Caribbean islands does not observe DST.
This means that during November to March “Local Time” may be one hour ahead of your ship’s time.
Please check this, usually noted in your ships port news.
If in doubt, please ask your tour guide.
About our local vendors:
Take your time and chat with the local tour guides in the square, they can advise and assist you. You can arrange your own custom island / beach tour or anything else you wish to do.
All our licensed vendors, carry a badge for identification and are very knowledgeable about the island.
Things to do at the port
Shopping in Port Zante
- Souvenir shops, lots and lots of them.
- Jewelry stores, local and international.
- St Kitts Chocolate Factory – delicious hand made organic chocolates. You can also take a tour.
- Caribelle Batik – if you can’t visit the Romney Manor store during your day then visit their store in Port Zante for unique hand made batik products.
Bars and food in Port Zante
Try out our local foods and the local Carib or Stag beer.
- “The Coffee Shop” serves freshly brewed Italian Lavazza coffee along with smoothies, sandwiches, pastries and croissants.
- Port Zante Food Court has local dishes, Chinese, middle eastern fusion, pizza, barbecue and lots more.
- Ice cream lovers are well catered for with the “Ice Cream Factory“.
- For true local food and the best Johnny Cakes on the island visit “Mrs Moore’s Eat to Live Snackette“, located just in front of the National Museum as you walk towards town.
Tours and excursions for our cruise ship visitors
Our local operators welcome cruise guests and many excursions can be booked before you arrive. This will allow you a more personalized itinerary than the ship’s own tours and a much more relaxing experience.
You can visit historical sights, beaches and enjoy leisurely lunches at your own pace.
Nowhere on St Kitts is more than 30 minutes drive time from the port.
Travelling to Nevis from Port Zante cruise port
Nevis is very easy to reach, the main ferry terminal is less than 10 minutes away (walk to the main road and turn left).
Journey time to Nevis can be as little as 20 minutes on one of the fast water taxis, up to an hour on one of larger ferries. Ferries run every day from early morning to late evening and take you to Charlestown, the capital of Nevis.
You can find Nevis travel details on our travel page.
Interesting Sites within walking distance of Port Zante
Browse our Historic Basseterre page
National Museum of St Kitts and Nevis
The National Museum is located in the old Treasury building (built in 1894).
Located at the back of the port, just before you reach Bay rd. The building used to sit on the actual sea front, the ground that Port Zante sits on was reclaimed from the ocean.
The Berkeley Memorial tower
Built in 1883, this stands in “The Circus” in the heart of Basseterre. The clock has been restored and is working again.
About 5 minutes walk, just walk past the museum and up into the Circus.
Independence square, formally Pall Mall square was renamed to commemorate our islands independence on September 19th 1983. Prior to 1834 the square housed a slave market with tunnels leading underground from adjacent buildings.
About 7 minutes walk, just turn right when you reach the circus.
Port Zante Frequently Asked Questions
There is no beach within walking distance of Port Zante. The “town beach” in Basseterre is just a thin strip of dark sand at the side of the road. There are plenty of shared transports available from the port, ask the vendors or walk to the taxi stand.
The nearest beaches are:
* Frigate Bay Beach (10 minutes by taxi).
* Friars Bay beach (Just a few minutes further).
* Cockleshell Beach (20 minutes by taxi).
Check out our “Beaches of St Kitts” page for more information.
If you want to Snorkel we have a list of the best St Kitts Snorkeling locations.
There is no currency exchange at the port, a 5 minute walk into Basseterre will take you to the local banks. Easiest is just to bring US$, accepted everywhere
There are not, but a 5 minute walk into Basseterre will take you to the local banks which all have machines.
Most bars and restaurants have free Wifi. This is common throughout our islands
Avis car hire is on Bay Rd, just across from the south entrance to the port. For details and more information on driving, check our car hire page.
Very easy indeed, the local ferries to Nevis are less than 10 minutes walk away from Port Zante. Alternatively you could join a tour.
Yes, the Marriott Hotel, and the Park Hyatt Hotel both offer day passes.
Our St Kitts “planning your visit” page has more detailed FAQ’s for St Kitts and Nevis.
For guides to other Caribbean islands try Dave’s Travel Corner