Island News

Caribbean Rum And Beer Festival Returns


The Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival is returning to St. Maarten at the Festival Village on November 4. The one-of-a-kind event is an exposition of rum and beer beverages combined with the 2016 Taste Contest, workshops, cooking demonstrations, cocktail competitions, rum and beer seminars, music, entertainment and pure fun. 

“This will be our second year here in St. Maarten,” explained Festival Director Cheryl Collymore. “Last year our exhibitors and patrons were so enthusiastic about how everything had come together that we just knew we had to come back to this amazing island. We are excited to be back and will be adding new activities such as an evening of rum and gastronomy at a local restaurant, the ‘Rum and Cigar’ zone and the ‘Chocolate, rum and beer pairing’ segment.” 

With its onsite seminars presented by world-renowned rum and beer professionals, the event allows patrons to better appreciate the complexities and the uniqueness of the more than 100 rum and beer products on offer at the event. Visit Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival for complete details.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

Become a member of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club by July 31st and Initiation Fees are Waived


Become a member of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, or refer one to us.

Until July 31st, the SMYC is waiving initiation fees for interested individuals, families and corporations


  • Membership to the best sailing community in the Caribbean!
  • A membership card for yacht club reciprocals
  • Discounts at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant
  • Discounts at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club's Sailing School
  • Your name on the racing crew list for upcoming regatta spots
  • Voting rights during the Annual General Meeting
  • (full individual/full family only)
  • Use of the SMYC dinghy fleet
  • The SMYC burgee
  • You help support our local Youth Sailing Programs!
  • A community of like-minded sailors
  • and boaters like you, to have a great time with!

Contact the SMYC for more information or visit their website by clicking here.

Norwegian Escape Makes Inaugural Call

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Norwegian Escape, one of the biggest ships of the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Breakaway Plus Class, will make her inaugural call to St. Maarten on Tuesday July 19th. The 4,200-passenger ship will head into port two more times in August.  Norwegian Escape is one of the newest and most advanced cruise vessels on the seas.   Port St. Maarten said in a press statement it continues to work on additional calls from NCL, “a very important cruise partner and we have been working diligently to have them return to destination St. Maarten.”  NCL has interests in Tortola and has moved vessels to that island, but for the coming season, new vessels will call here, said the Port.  

In April, Port St. Maarten met with NCL President Frank Del Rio Sr. and Vice President of Port & Itinerary Planning Mario Parodi  Jr. to talk about including the destination in the itinerary planning for new vessels.   NCL is said to be pleased with the ratings and what the destination has to offer cruise passengers. “We remain cognizant of the trends and developments in the cruise industry and are happy that NCL remains committed to the destination with respect to growing our cruise sector,” Port management said.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"


St. Maarten, Saba, Statia to Boost Coral Restoration

coralrestorationNature conservation organizations in St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and Turks and Caicos will soon start planting structures made from bamboo and rope in their marine parks with the objective to regenerate coral species severely depleted over the last few decades.   The focus will be on Elkhorn and staghorn corals, species which are fast growing and relatively insensitive to sediment, a signifi cant factor affecting coral on all of the islands, said Nature Foundation in a press release.

With this project the participants hope to create new reefs. Nature Foundation, Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Park Stenapa and Turks and Caicos Reef Fund are now in the process of selecting the exact locations.  The project is managed by the Marine Park Management Organizations, Wageningen University/ IMARES in cooperation with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and funded by the European Union (EU).  

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The plan is to source small coral fragments from so-called mother colonies of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral on the islands. The fragments will then be hung on locally developed ladder-like, flexible structures that are placed under water with at least five structures being deployed per island. The trees can be removed to prevent them from being damaged by storms or strong current. The coral fragments can grow 10 to 12 cm a year: after three years in the nursery they can be transplanted to form parts of new coral reefs.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

Rio Productions Lights Up Streets With Parade

PHILIPSBURG--Carnival lovers jammed and jumped in the fifth annual Rio “Lightin’ Up de Road” parade on Saturday evening.  The streets were lighted with pink and green shirts behind Fantastic 4 (former Burning Flames) band and Small Axe Band. Fantastic 4 are pioneers of soca music and famous in the entire Caribbean and North America for their top-quality music and outstanding performances. The theme for the 2016 Lightin Up De Road parade was “The Clash of the Titans,” chosen was because two famous Caribbean bands performed on the road for one night.  Several costumes were also part of the parade while hundreds of spectators enjoyed the private jump-up. New this year was the Rio Village where the participants and spectators could meet to enjoy great music and enjoy local dishes.

St. Maarten Best Weekend Grows Into A Caribbean Festival


Coors Light Best Weekend Festival is also known as the island’s Summer Spring Break and is set to take place July 28 to August 1. According to the organisers, the weekend serves the purpose of a very-much needed large-scale annual festival on the island.   Organisers and sponsors of St. Maarten Best Weekend (SXM Best Weekend) hosted a press conference on last week at Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco offices.  

Close to 1,000 visitors from the surrounding French islands will be attending the full week of events. Organiser “Skellet” spoke to the media about preparing the event and thanked Chippie and main sponsor Coors Light for their support.   Promotion team Kalaboom is one of the youngest promoting teams specialising in the marketing and production of events on the island. The first Best Weekend took place in 2015 and could be termed successful, according to the organisers.   The team has produced more than 30 events per year on both sides of the island, some of which are now annual events: Jouvert Morning Splash, Black On Black, and now Best Weekend.

For more information about event happenings, visit

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"


Island Water World (IWW) Wins At St. Barths

Team Island Water World from St. Maarten won the Melges 24 one design class at the La Voile de St. Barths Sailboat Regatta over the weekend.  Team GFA from Martinique finished second and Team Gill from St. Maarten was third.  “In difficult conditions of light wind and strong currents it was a question of good tactics and weather knowledge to edge out the competition,” said Bus.  Several other St. Maarten boats competed in the regatta that attracts many top sailors from around the world.

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