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Basseterre Saint Kitts and Nevis Cruise Port Guide


The Pier Area: Three different piers, including separate ones for cruise ships and the "Caribe Queen," the island ferry that runs between St. Kitts and Charlestown, the capital of Nevis. Friday and Saturday are particularly good times to be at the pier, when the colorful produce and vegetable market is in session. The terminal area at port Zante has restaurants, shops, and cafes, and it's about a 10-minute stroll into downtown Basseterre also called "The Circus".

As of 2020 the pier is capable of handling four large cruise ships at once. If more than four ships are calling, the other ships will either use the cargo port or tender passengers ashore.

The passengers can walk directly through the "duty free" shopping area and onward to the central downtown area. Before giving you duty-free rates, merchants often ask for something that shows you are not a resident, such as a cruise card, foreign driver's licence, or a passport.


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An hour's easy walk will show you the highlights of Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts with about 15,000 inhabitants. Basseterre is ideal for exploring on foot since everything is laid out in square blocks.

Basseterre has been the British capital of St. Kitts since 1727, though it was part of the French sector when the two nations both held the island.

The name Basseterre in French means "low land," which most of the commercial district certainly is; it has been flooded several times.

Be sure to notice the colorful red and yellow wooden fishing boats near the pier with their nets drying in the sun; they make great photos.

Treasury Building Standing right on the waterfront, this domed colonial building is a reminder of the importance of the islands as sugar colonies. Everything that arrived at or departed from St. Kitts went through these arches.

Beware of the guys with the monkeys. They will charge you if their monkeys jump on you and you take a picture.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

Taxis are generally available for trips farther afield. Be sure to agree on the fare with the driver before starting out.

Many tour operators are at the dock, often with reasonable fares.

The St. Kitts Scenic Railway takes passengers on a 3-hour tour that makes a 30-mile circle around the beautiful Eastern Caribbean island of St. Kitts, with 18 miles by narrow gauge train and 12 miles on sightseeing buses.

Sky Safari Tours is a highly advanced, scenic zip line tour through the St. Kitts Rainforest, flying over Wingfrield River. This zip line course consists of one trainer line, 180ft long, followed by four larger zip line, lengths from 500ft to 1,350 ft. This tour strives to unite eco-adventure with St. Kitts interpretive knowledge.

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of historical, cultural and architectural significance: a monument to the ingenuity of the British military engineers who designed it and to the skill, strength and endurance of the African slaves who built and maintained it.

Due to strange driving license rules, car rental is not a good option.

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here

Nearby Places:

Take a ferry to Nevis. Nevis is the smaller of the two islands that make up the small Caribbean island nation, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. A 45 minute trip to Charlestown, about $23 return. They leave around each hour.Do not take the last boat back as boats can be full or late.

Or enjoy the many beaches atoun the island.

Shopping and Food

The main shopping area is centered in downtown Basseterre, known as The Circus. There are a few duty-free shops offering some good buys in jewelry, watches, perfume, china and crystal. Island crafts include batik fabrics, scarves, caftans and wall hangings made by Caribelle Batik.

The cruise port consists of a large finger pier, a welcome center and a large duty-free shopping area with cafes and restaurants.


The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar; U.S. dollars are widely accepted.

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A few cafes which offer free WiFi for customers can be found in town.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

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