St Lucia Cruising Guide
An online cruising guide for yachts sailing around St Lucia.
Map - click for larger view
|Capital:|| Castries |
|Language:||English (official), French patois|
|Currency:||East Caribbean dollar (XCD)|
|More notes about the country|
|Content - news items, etc.|
Saint Lucia is part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is an independent country and a member of the British Commonwealth. The island population is 160,145 and covers an area of 620 km2. The island was originally populated by Carib Indians.
The Europeans first arrived in the 1550s led by the notorious buccaneer Francois le Clerc, a.k.a. Jambe de Bois, or Wooden Leg. Peg-Leg le Clerc set up a fine little base on Pigeon Island, from whence he issued forth to prey upon unwitting and treasure-laden Spanish galleons. The island is named for the Roman Catholic Saint Lucy of Syracuse. Around 1600, the Dutch arrived, establishing a fortified base at Vieux Fort. Then the English colonists arrived in the 1600s. The French also settled in Soufrière in 1746. The British and the French contested the island throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979. Despite this long English rule, the island's French cultural legacy is still evident in its Creole dialect.
The island is steep with very lush tropical vegetation. The scenery, especially near Soufrière is dominated by the dramatic presence of the twin peaks: Gros Piton and Petit Piton, 615 m (2019 ft.) and 750 m (2461 ft.) tall.
Climate & Weather
The climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August.
Sources of weather forecasting:
- Weather on Line Detailed 7 day forecast charts for the Atlantic
- Wind GURU A surfer's site with worldwide wind forecasts
- Navtex Broadcasts List of all the US Navtex broadcast times and frequencies.
- 956 Guadeloupe to Trinidad
- 2521 St. Lucia
- A4 Guadeloupe to St. Lucia
Any navigation notes here.
Local Radio Nets
Also see World Cruiser's Nets
Submit details of Cruiser's Nets and VHF operating/calling channels here.
Vessels MUST clear out at an official Port of Entry so as to obtain a clearance certificate.
Warning: Be aware that the authorities will request and hold a document showing that the yacht has been cleared for the previously visited country. Since many countries do not automatically issue such documents be sure to request one.
St Lucia Immigration, Visas & Customs
Visas are not required for the citizens of Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Venezuela and the US. "Arrival Visas" (at US$50) will be granted to citizens of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Panama, Poland, Portugal and Sweden. Arrivals from the Russian Federation require a visa obtained in advance.
A six week stay is granted when clearing in, with a possible further 30 day extension that can be obtained in Castries.
Some of the countries (including St Lucia) in the Caribbean use an electronic method for pre-registering your arrival in the country. When it works, it eliminates the need to fill out the customs forms in quadruplicate. It sometimes works. In general, The Customs and Immigration service is a throwback to the good old days of bureaucracy, when masses of paperwork is generated at great inconvenience for no apparent benefit. And remember to wear a shirt.
Firearms and ammunition MUST be declared to Customs on arrival.
PETS: Pets must have a Veterinary Import Permit before entering St Lucia. Cats and dogs must be microchipped, have been vaccinated against Rabies and have been treated against ticks and fleas within 48 hours of arrival. Animals (and their documentation) MUST be inspected by the Veterinary Officer before being allowed ashore. For full requirements and information: St Lucia Veterinary Office Email. Forms can be downloaded in advance from Pet Travel
It is possible for visiting yachts to stay for up to 6 months (crews are subject to immigration rules).
Ports & Popular Stops
Health & Security
Submit any health warnings/information and any security details here.
Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
References & Publications
- Jimmy Cornell, World Cruising Handbook, International Marine, Camden, Maine, ISBN 0713634324
- Ashley Scott and Nancy Scott, Cruising Guide to Caribbean Marinas and Services, The Cruising Guide, Duredin, FL, ISBN 0944428606
- Chris Doyle, Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands, The Cruising Guide, Duredin, FL, ISBN 0944428533
- W. T. Stone and A. M. Hays A Cruising Guide to the Caribbean, Sheridan, New York, ISBN 0924486570
- Despite the dramatic beauty of the island and its many attractive anchorages, I found our stay rather unpleasant. We were continuously harassed by an endless procession of money hungry young men. --Istioploos
Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)
Date of member's visit to this Port/Stop & this page's details validated:
- February 2005 --Istioploos
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