Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
St. Lucia

St. Lucia Cruise Port: Tips, Attractions and Weather

St. Lucia cruise ships
St. Lucia cruise port; © St. Lucia Tourist Board

The St. Lucia cruise port of Castries is one of the prettiest in the Caribbean. If the flowers by the port are in bloom, all the better.

The Castries Harbor is really a snug inlet surrounded by hills like a deep comfortable blanket.

Wait until the ship arrives and then walk out onto the deck for the best and most fulfilling view of the trees, water and docks.

The main sea port is Castries and many cruise ships anchor at the larger Pointe Seraphine smaller and La Place Carenage terminals. Both terminals have duty-free shopping areas.

Quick Travel Tips

  • St. Lucia is known for beaches, scenery and outdoor attractions.
  • Outside of Castries, check out Reduit Beach and the Pitons.
  • Taxis closest to the docks tend to charge the most. Negotiate price.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

St. Lucia is a fairly large island at 238 square miles. It offers plenty of space to explore.

Walking Around Attractions

St. Lucia Cruise Port Map

The first attraction for any cruise visitor is the Pointe Seraphine Duty Free Shopping Complex right by the cruise docks. Like most popular Caribbean destinations, it is an open-air mall with several dozen shops selling jewelry, perfume, car rentals, excursions, clothing, liquor and food.

The St. Lucia cruise port has a few other attractions worth noting. Derek Walcott Square, named after the Nobel winner from St. Lucia, is another gathering place for shoppers. It is one mile southeast of the Pointe Seraphine docks.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Micoud Street and Laborie Street at Walcott Square, is a picturesque photo opportunity of one of the largest churches in the West Indies. It is more than a mile south of Pointe Seraphine and much closer to the La Place Carenage cruise ship terminal.

Castries Central Market also is a mile southeast of Pointe Seraphine and quite close to La Place Carenage. The market has the usual Caribbean vendors selling local arts, crafts and other goods as well as souvenirs.

King George V Garden is a pleasant city park about a quarter mile east of La Place Carenage.

Otherwise, the rest of St. Lucia outside of Castries emphasizes nature.

Shore Excursions

St. Lucia Pitons
St. Lucia Pitons draw hikers and people trying
the volcanic mud baths; © St. Lucia Tourist Board

An island tour for prices starting at $60 and higher will take cruise visitors to Derek Walcott Square, historical sites, Marigot Bay, panoramic Morne Fortune view point, a banana plantation and Soufrière.

Soufrière is both a village and home of St. Lucia’s most famous landmark, the Pitons, a pair of dormant volcanoes more than 2,000 feet high. It is a common cruise excursion. Prices start at about $55 per person.

Visitors hike up the mountains and take volcanic mud baths for their reputed restorative powers. Some guided tours of the island will include Soufrière and the mud baths among other destinations as part of a half-day to full-day shore excursion.

The cost of these five- to six-hour island tours usually ranges between $75 and $125 per person depending on the amenities. Some shorter trips of less than four hours are available for about $50 to $75 per person.

This video explains the best times to visit St. Lucia and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

A guided hike to the top of Gros Piton at an elevation of 2,620 feet will cost about $50 to $75 per person.

Anyone who wants a gentler nature excursion can take a rain forest tram, another cruise line excursion. The open-air gondolas hold eight passengers and a nature guide. It is a three-hour excursion for less than $100 per person.

Pigeon Island, a destination for some cruise line excursions, has been the home of the Amerindians, a pirate hideout and a military base. It also has a beach. It is about 25 minutes north of Castries and is actually accessible by car.

Fond Doux Estate is a Caribbean-style working plantation has a variety of tropical fruits and plants.

Families or people with less time or energy can take advantage of St. Lucia’s beauty on the Tet Paul Nature Trail, a 45-minute hike near Soufrière. Excursion prices including transportation start at about $90 per person.

The hike has views of Jalousie Bay and Gros Piton as well as the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent. It also has an organic farm, traditional house and exotic horticulture.

Anyone renting a car might explore the fishing villages of Anse-La-Raye and Canaries.

All shore excursion prices are subject to change and usually include transportation.

Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Reduit Beach at Rodney Bay, located about 10 miles north of Castries, is the longest and one of the most popular beaches on the island.

Anse la Raye
Anse La Raye beach; © St. Lucia Tourist Board

Shore excursion operators have shuttle service between the cruise docks and Reddit. Round trip prices start at about $20 per person. The drive is about 20 minutes each way.

Anyone with less time can take a shuttle to the smaller Vigie Beach, which is only five minutes away. Round trip prices for this one also start at about $20 per person.

Next to Reduit is Pigeon Island National Park, a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Grande Anse lies on the east coast of the island and is a few miles farther from Castries as Reduit. It is a popular beach for turtle watching.

About eight miles south of Castries is Anse Chastanet, another popular beach known for long stretches of white sand and some stretches of black volcanic sand. It also has good snorkeling and scuba diving.

Shopping / Dining

Duty-free shopping is located at La Place Carenage and the Spanish-style complex of Pointe Seraphine. Goods include fine china, crystal, perfume and leather products.

Designer jewelry and watch brands include Caribbean Hook, Honora, John Atencio, John Hardy, Kabana, Roberto Coin, Starnight, Alfex, Cartier, Concord, Gucci, Maurice LaCroix, Michele, Movado and Wenger.

An outdoor market on Jeremie Street has a wide array of straw goods. The best known products are the hand-silk-screened and hand-printed fabrics and fashions created by local craftsmen.

A variety of shopping malls with extended opening hours offer a wide selection of boutiques and restaurants. Most hotels have boutiques and vendors’ markets.

Local shops are generally open weekdays from 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.

Higher-end restaurants in Castries or nearby include Tao, Foggie Jacks, Coal Pot at Vigie Marina and Rainforest Hideaway. Fast food restaurants include Domino’s Pizza, Burger King and Burger Plus.

Getting Around / Transportation

Roads outside of Castries are limited, so plan on taking extra time to get to the most popular beaches and attractions.

Taxis have standard fares for common destinations rather than metered fares. Always ask for the fare before getting into the taxi.

Minibuses serve as the main public ground transportation for the island. Buses run at varied times depending on the route.

There is no scheduled bus timetable. Bus fares from Castries to the north end of the island is EC $2.50. From Castries to the south end of the island (Vieux Fort) is EC $8.

Car travel via the new West Coast Road from Castries to Soufriere takes about an hour.

Major car rental agencies include Avis, Budget, Hertz and National.

Cruise Port Weather

St. Lucia monthly rainfall
© 2021 Scott S. Bateman

Anyone planning to go to St. Lucia on a cruise or thinking about going should know what to expect with the weather.

The island’s average high temperature ranges from the low 80s Fahrenheit in January and February to the mid to high 80s for the rest of the year.

Rainfall varies greatly month to month. The island receives about three to four inches of rain from December through June.

It starts to climb in July during the Caribbean hurricane season and reaches a high point of eight inches in September and October.

Other Tips

  • The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). U.S. dollars, credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted.
  • Tipping is usually 10-12 percent of the bill.
  • There is an 8 percent tax on restaurant bills.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
October 08, 2021

St. Lucia Cruise Port Tips

St. Lucia photo
The Castries cruise port is one of the prettiest in the Caribbean. If flowers are in bloom, all the better.

Best St. Lucia Shore Excursions

St. Lucia Pitons
St. Lucia excursions emphasize the beautiful beaches and back country.

Best Times to Visit St. Lucia

St. Lucia snorkeling
The best times to visit St. Lucia are March and April. The worst time to visit is September.

St. Lucia Beaches Near the Cruise Port

St. Lucia Monthly Weather Averages: Rain, Temperatures

St. Lucia ATV Shore Excursion

St. Lucia Travel Tips: Hotels, Attractions, Weather

Soufriere St. Lucia Visitor Tips