Great Bay Express
Great Bay Express
3.5
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles130 reviews
Excellent
40
Very good
36
Average
15
Poor
7
Terrible
32

AMsays
Thornhill, Canada4,655 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
This 45-min ferry ride was extremely choppy both from Philipsburg to Gustavia and then the return. The cost is $85 US for a same day return. I have safety issues with the company running this ferry. Disembarking at Gustavia was hazardous as many people were trying to exit in a small space without any direction. There was no information about this exit nor the use, location or when lifeboats were required during the trip across. (In these conditions I would have thought that this was required). On Maundy Thursday, we left Gustavia at dusk and arrived 30 min late at Philipsburg. When we were finally allowed to leave there was a crush of people with assorted luggage trying to leave from a wet deck. This is an accident waiting to happen. I barely managed to get out of there intact. Never again.
Written April 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kim L
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
This ferry service is a total rip off. DO NOT buy your tickets in advance, as they cancel ferries all the time and give you about an hours notice. They will not give a refund when the ferry is cancelled, they keep your full payment and say that it is good for a year, even if you are leaving to go back home. I was told the ferry was cancelled less than one hour before departure from St. Barths to St. Maarten. I had to charter a private boat as our flight was in 4 hours at the cost of $1500 USD. When I got home I contacted Great Bay thinking they would refund 4 prepaid tickets and they said no, we don't do that and to not contact them by phone or email anymore. This service is a scam, they take your money, cancel ferries and don't refund. I will never use this service again!! Take the flight, way better experience and service.
Written December 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael P
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
We purchased round trip tickets. On the day of our return, there was a strike at the port and our return was cancelled by Great Bay. Since our flights back to the US were scheduled that afternoon, we needed to find alternate transportation. Our great staff at hotel Les Ondines were able to arrange seats on a plane. I kindly requested a refund for the return portion. Great bay has refused even though they initiated the cancellation and caused a huge amount of stress.

It’s clear that more competition is needed for the ferry with more reputable business practices. I would avoid Great Bay.
Written December 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Apolline
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
You want to get to st barth with the full experience? Look no further! Start your journey sipping a pina colada at the Green house restaurant near the onboarding dock and enjoy a smooth and quick ride over to St-Barths, arriving in the capital Gustavia.

I read some of the below comments... Sure, if you are prone to getting sea sick, you might get a little sea sick - as you would on any boat...?! And sure, if you arrive 5 min before departure, the staff might get annoyed with you because just like when you travel by plane to another country, so must you also check in ahead of time when traveling to a different country by boat..!

So quick recap, if you are ok with a little sea movement, great ocean views, being on time like a descent person, sunset on the water, and nice and smiling staff, I present you with Great Bay express!
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bebelutel
Bucharest, Romania167 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
If you decide to choose them - you better be prepared to accept what you cannot control! The hours are just optional/ estimates. Our ferry to St Barts arrived an hour late (this was actually an hour lost from our time and money..) and the return half an hour late. No clear instructions of what you need to do are provided and when we dared to ask the staff about the departure estimate (already 45 min passed and everybody was waiting under the sun with no explanations), the hell broke loose! The staff member started to yell being totally not polite and was not capable to offer any explanation. It’s clear to us it is a money making machine (other options being limited) with no interest for good customer experience. The sea is indeed rough - we are not sea seek and we were ok. But.. if you know you are usually sea seek - better consider flying.
Written December 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ianshakil
San Francisco, CA5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
Beware.
I bought a ticket weeks ago to go from St M to St. B. Day of - there were strikes / labor issues and the port was shut down, and no ferries could pass. Great Bay did not refund. I was forced to buy an expensive plane ticket last minute.

They told me I could use the credit towards a future trip. Joy! Well, I tried to use the credit towards my return from St. B to St. M. I then got a runaround indicating that the credits could only be used from St. M to St. B. The story keep changing.

Moral of the story - buy last minute - and beware.
Written November 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alseward53
Axminster, UK369 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
The crossing was quick and smooth with excellent commentary by experienced crew. The boat was comfortable although several side windows very cracked which impaired our view. This was more than compensated for on the return journey as we were permitted to stand outside at the rear of the vessel and enjoy spectacular views of the disappearing Island of St Barts. A wonderful journey and day out.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mike
Oahu, HI6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
1 hour delay both ways !!! It’s a boat! My friend said fly which seemed like it would take longer. He was right. How does a boat run this late?? No excuses and 100 usd round trip. Pathetic. Do not use this. Fly!!
Written February 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BeachLife
Jacksonville Beach, FL8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Friends
We have been numerous time to lovely St Barts via many methods, and this time we travelled recently from St Maartin using the "Great Bay" Ferry service . It was like a roller-coaster for 45 minutes, 6 people were sick, and 1 person fainted. With the person that fainted, some people tried to get up and help, and they went flying onto the ground. If this person had a heart attack, there would be nothing that could be done, because they do not stop the boat, and no-one can hold on to assist someone in this type of environment....If you didn't hold onto something, you basically would get hurt...

The boat is called "Shantiwa" and is a mono-hull vessel. I have fished all over the world in many types of boats with all sorts of weather – and fortunately don’t get seasick, and this trip was dangerous for the customers in this size of ship over the rough water we encountered. I later found out from some of the French locals that this ferry was NOT designed to do the St Barts crossing, it was designed for the Anguilla crossing which is much calmer!!! Is it fair that these sorts of secrets are kept and not acted upon for the greater good of the tourists to St Barts? Tourism is what the Island relies on! What a disgrace!!!!

When we arrived, the manager/owner was rushing people off the ship, so he could get the next lot of people on board. Some folks needed help being carried off the ship, and the only thing on this guys mind was for everyone to get off so they can torture the next folks....

I then encountered the manager/owner at Gustavia a few days later, and told him about the experience, and he didn't seem to care at all. I said I was going to try the Voyager service and he then proceeded to lie to me saying his boat was much better for the crossing LOL. Then when I said some other friends used the Voyager the same day that we travelled and they said it was OK with no-one reported sick etc, he then dismissed me... If this is the arrogance of the manager/owner of the Great Bay service, then this explains things.... All he cares about is the $$$ he makes from this deathtrap till it is forced to go out of service.

So for you boaters, if we do the math:

(Great Bay) 65 foot Monohull v (Voyager) 91 foot hydrofoil catarmaran.

It is obvious what gives you the smoother ride. 1stly the Voyager is twin hull, and then it is longer.... Twin hulls are far calmer in rough waters, just google it.

So we decided to use the Voyager for the trip back and toss our return fair for the Great Bay, and it was a pleasurable trip with no-one sick, fainting, or falling all over the place, and the staff even came around and gave us a drink along the way. It was not a DANGEROUS uncontrollable experience.

I wouldn't have spent the time to write this review and warn others, if it wasn't the complete arrogance of the manager/owner who has no idea about customer service and being insensitive to customers who have just begun there vacation with a horrific experience.

If you like to begin your vacation in a nicer and SAFER way, then I recommend using the Voyager 3 boat. Otherwise bring your sea sickness pills, vomit bags, and strap yourself in for the DANGEROUS Voyager roller-coaster experience!!!
Written December 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JuliaUS
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Family
i inquired about the ferry via email. They asked for my credit card number and said they need me to authorize the purchase in the email. I inquired about the departure marina and we never heard back! I emailed great bay to cancel my request. Never got a response. Today in the mail, I received my credit card statement and they charged my card 240.00! We never even found out what marina they depart from and a time but they charged me?? If you want to take a ferry to St Bart, I would use the company, voyager instead!
Written April 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Great Bay Express - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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