If you are planning to go on a Caribbean cruise with St Maarten on the itinerary, I would highly recommend taking a trip to Maho Beach, better know as Aeroplane Beach. A short taxi ride from the cruise port, it is the perfect opportunity to sit, eat, drink and watch the incredible sights of aeroplanes coming in to land, literally just metres above the heads of beach goers. This Caribbean destination is well-known for thrill-seekers clinging to the fence whilst aircraft take off from Princess Juliana International Airport.
We got to Maho Beach first thing in the morning as we’d heard that it could get quite busy, especially as there were multiple cruise ships in port (six in total) on the day we visited. Sunset Bar and Grill is a great spot to watch the aeroplanes whilst sipping cocktails and the food was also excellent.
Top tips for visiting Aeroplane Beach on a cruise:
- Get there early, Maho Beach and the Sunset Bar and Grill can get busy as it’s a popular tourist spot on St Maarten, we arrived around 9.30am and got a great table overlooking the beach.
- If you can, check the arrivals and departures for Princess Juliana International Airport in advance.
- Arrange a return journey to the cruise port with your taxi driver to avoid getting stranded at Maho Beach. Our taxi driver recommended that we arranged the return journey with plenty of time to spare as the route back can get busy in the afternoons.
- Watch the aeroplanes land from the beach or the Sunset Bar, don’t be tempted to hang on to the fence when planes are getting ready to take off. Unfortunately, there have been injuries and fatalities when people have been blown on to the road and concrete blocks.
- If you’re planning to swim in the sea, beware of the strong waves that were knocking people over (amusing for those watching but probably not as enjoyable for the swimmers!).
- Enjoy the atmosphere and tick this amazing experience off your bucket list!