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Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Cedar Grove, New...
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Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Hello all!

I'm torn between taking Public Ferry or Flying via "Anguilla Air Service." Everyone have their own reasons why they'd prefer flying than taking a boat ride and vice versa. For me, it's about getting to Anguilla as soon as possible. So given the following variables, which one do you think would make the most sense.

Arrival to SXM - 1:02pm

Anguilla Air - departure 2:30 (1:45 is the earlier one but was told by AAS that I need to reserve an hour minimum)

GB Express- departure 2:30

Public Ferry - depending on how soon I can get to Marigot.

I don't find it a hassle to take the public ferry but I've never been on a small plane and really thought it would be a great experience. I am an Anguilla Card (via Nory) holder and with AAS no longer being one of the participants, I'm now considering just taking the ferry.

I guess ultimately, my question is, how much time am I really saving being that the departure time for both GB and AAS are the same for that day? Can anyone give me a rough estimate being I do not have experience with arriving at AXA. (Last time when I arrived at Blowing Point it was a breeze, didn't take long to get through. Not that I remembered, to be honest.)

Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful weekend!

Raleigh, North...
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1. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Depending on your finances, I personally would definitely choose one of the shuttles out of St Maarten (GB Express, Funtime, Calypso etc) versus going on the public ferry from French side. Outside of that, look at the times and cost and choose. We always enjoy the ride on GB or Funtime to AXA and now with the new dock it is a quicker.

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2. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

If both leave at 2:30, you are looking at arrival with the shuttle (GB) at 3 pm.

You are looking for arrival from the plane at 2:38.

The ferry from Marigot will take you 1/2 hour by taxi to get there and another 1/2 hr. to the island by the ferry IF there happens to be a ferry waiting. Otherwise, it will be longer.

Edited: 27 December 2013, 21:22
Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anguilla, The Valley
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3. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

In the long run, I don’t think it is any faster to fly, (other than the crossover time) but I do greatly enjoy arriving at the airport as opposed to Blowing Point. We arrive on a Saturday and there are always long lines at Blowing Point and surly customs officers – I suppose due to the amount of traffic. Then we have to go outside and find a cab, I would never attempt to find a rental car in BP, I am too tired after traveling to be trudging around looking for the car.

Arriving at the airport is a breeze, everyone is so friendly and nice and it is great to walk out and get in our rental car and take off.

First choice for us is always AAS, if the timing is right, second is GB Express. I would wait for one or the other before I would take the public ferry, that drive to Marigot in a taxi is frightening, then getting knocked over by people trying to board the ferry, having to sit down in the bottom hull with the gas fumes, and then be last off is just too much for me.

Good luck,


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4. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

We took the Link ferry in February. Our flight landed at 4:45pm on Saturday, we were in our cab at Blowing Point at 5:30pm. We had friends come in the following Saturday, same flight arrival time, but they took the public ferry. They walked out the door at Blowing Point at 6:30pm.

I'm sure that wouldn't always be the case - our ferry was waiting, we were the last passengers on and it left right away, and we arrived just ahead of a public ferry full of locals that had been shopping in SXM, so we beat them through customs. But I would definitely spend the extra bit of money (something like $30pp) to arrive an hour earlier. And what Ellen says about Saturdays in Blowing Point is what I've encountered - it's a busy day for locals going back and forth to SXM to shop, so there is quite a bit of traffic and lines can be longer because they have to clear customs with any items they've bought.

We're booked for April and I'm really considering AAS for that trip because we arrive early enough in SXM to make it work.

Edited: 27 December 2013, 22:09
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5. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

I would take GB. You are going to get there about the same time either way. The shuttles are an experience in themselves and can be quite enjoyable if you're not all that focused on "getting there". For us the fun starts when we get off the plane. Wouldn't really want to get right back on one. Plus you can spend the time waiting outside, with drink in hand, rather than waiting in the airport.

Devon, Pennsylvania
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6. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

We've done Funtime, GB, Public Ferry, and AAS. We prefer GB for the shuttle because the captain knows how to drive that boat and I tend to get seasick so he's a dream to me. As Ellen said, the public ferry is a hassle with cab ride and fumes and, if Saturday, the crowds. We've never really found the customs people at BP surly, just slow.

Two years ago we took AAS and, while it was a pain being at the airport, they were wonderful (we were with friends who checked luggage so we had to go back up through passport control) but it was definitely worth taking AAS just once to see Anguilla from the air on arrival!!

So consensus seems to be that GB or AAS are the way to go and public is not, unless you like cab rides through SXM (nothing to see in our opinion) and diesel fumes.

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7. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Always travel with a family, so always take the public ferry for economy. But always enjoy the adventure.

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8. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Thinking of Flying from Sxm with AAS

If you do not check luggage can you skip immigration and go to the intransit area

How much time does airline require/need to make the connection

How about coming from axa I assume you have to check in with your US carrier and allow required time for that and screening? Etc

Cedar Grove, New...
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9. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

Thank you all that gave your opinion and all made valid points! I genuinely appreciated it and now have a clearer understanding of the process between AAS and shuttle.

The key was that taking AAS is not that much of a time saver and you are correct, being that I will have checked luggage, the process will not be any more seamless than taking GB/shuttle service.

Probably will save a few dollars and take GB on the way there. I'm arriving on a Monday (perhaps won't be as nutty at BP)

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hope to be able to help others when I gain as much knowledge and experience as you all have!

Have a great weekend!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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10. Re: Help weigh in your thoughts re: fly vs ferry

As I've said many times before, I've taken both shuttles and the ferry - and I prefer the ferry! I know, how gauche, but there are many reasons why. Last month I decided to take a shuttle that was "ready to go". An hour later... I was still stuck at the ferry terminal - which can generously described as an exercise in mass confusion. It was very frustrating, cost twice as much as the ferry - and I got in later.

Now compare the two for a party of four. A 1:02 departure means that you get out of the terminal about 1:45. A twenty minute cab ride ($20 + tip) to Marigot and you easily get on the 2:30 ferry, which gets into Blowing Point before 3:00. Plus, in my opinion, you get a better mix of people on the ferry. Oh, the cost: about $100 plus tips for the ferry and cab vs. $260+ for the shuttle. Given the better reliability of the ferry over the shuttle operators, to me it's an easy decision.

There is one exception that I can think of. Saturday is a much busier day and traffic can be a problem in SXM. AAS may provide a real time savings over either of the alternatives in that case.