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Questions about Ferry trip and customs

Lexington, KY
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Questions about Ferry trip and customs

We are going to be visiting St. Lucia later this month and want to take a ferry trip to Martinique for a couple of days. We were wondering how long it would take to go through customs going to Martinique as well as coming back to St. Lucia? Do we have to pay a departure task or duties? Thanks for any and all help on this issue.

Tours, France
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1. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

We did the trip with the ferry a few years ago, so my experience might now be out of date. We did it the other way round, arriving in Martinique from France, then taking the Express des Iles ferry from Martinique to St Lucia; and then doing the reverse trip back to Martinique after our holiday in St Lucia.

The leg from St Lucia to Martinique was no problem - no significant Customs or other formalities, and no waiting. Not certain about Departure Tax; for air travel it was incorporated into the cost of plane tickets some while ago; I assume that they have done the same for ferry tickets.

For us the big problem was the leg from Martinique to St Lucia.

Martinique, being a Département Outre Mer (Overseas Department) of France, has a higher standard of living and a better selection of items in the shops, at lower prices than St Lucia. This encourages many St Lucians to go on a two or three day shopping trip to Martinique. This means the small departure lounge at Fort de France is crowded with St Lucians, each with many large carrier bags, and the check in desk was a bit of a scramble.

On arrival in Castries dock, all of the St Lucians with their multitude of purchases have to go through Customs. As often happens in the Caribbean, there were insufficient Customs desks, with long queues at each. There was no fast track for tourists. It took us over two hours to clear immigration and Customs.

Hopefully the situation has improved since my experience. Maybe some one else with more up to date experience can post. However, we always take the plane between Martinique and St Lucia now.

England
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for St. Lucia
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2. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

That is very interesting SunLover. Thanks for posting this. I know the size of that little airport and queing up for 2 hours cannot have been much fun.

Tours, France
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3. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

Actually the ferry came into the docks, not the little airport.

Never mind SLE, time to have another G+T

Vieux Fort, St...
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4. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

There is a departure tax of 35 e.c. to go on the ferry. The ferry terminal has moved to a new location by the main dock entrance and there is a lot more space now. Customs in martinique is quite quick for europeans but they hold the lucians up to check them more closely because so many have family on the island. Coming back customs can take 45 minutes to an hour on average. If you are not comng back loaded with shopping they can wave you through if they want.

Its worth the trip, dont let the customs put you off.

England
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for St. Lucia
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5. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

no dieting Sunlover G+T off the menu at the moment :-(

Lexington, KY
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6. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

Where can we purchase tickets? Should they be purchased in advanced or can we buy them that day? Do they take credit cards? Thanks again for all your help in this matter!

7. Re: Questions about Ferry trip and customs

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