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The island has two airports. Your likely arrival point will be St. Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) (tel. 599/546-7542; www.pjiae.com), which has grown from a military airfield built by the United States in 1943 into the second-busiest airport in the eastern Caribbean, topped only by San Juan, Puerto Rico. Princess Juliana is a thoroughly modern facility, with restaurants, snack bars, ATMs, and car-rental kiosks. The much smaller L'Espérance Airport, in Grand Case on French St. Martin (tel. 590/87-10-36), caters largely to inter-island commuter airlines and small private aircraft.

American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com) offers more options and more frequent service into St. Maarten than any other airline -- currently one daily nonstop flight from New York's JFK and one from Miami. Additional nonstop daily flights into St. Maarten are offered by American and its local affiliate, American Eagle (same number), from San Juan.

Continental Airlines (tel. 800/231-0856 in the U.S. and Canada; www.continental.com) has daily nonstop flights out of its hub in Newark, New Jersey, during the winter months (flight times vary in off season). Delta Airlines (tel. 800/241-4141 in the U.S. and Canada; www.delta.com) flies in from Atlanta and New York City (through Atlanta).

United (tel. 800/538-2929 in the U.S. and Canada; www.united.com) also offers flights from New York.

US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322 in the U.S. and Canada; www.usairways.com) offers nonstop daily service from Philadelphia and Charlotte to St. Maarten.

JetBlue Airways (tel. 800-JETBLUE/538-2583 in the US; www.jetblue.com) has one daily nonstop flight from New York's JFK into St. Maarten.

Spirit Airlines (tel. 800/772-7117 in the U.S. and Canada; www.spiritair.com) has nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten.

Air Caraïbes (tel. 590/52-05-10; www.aircaraibes.com) offers flights from Paris's Orly airport into St. Maarten.

Caribbean Airlines (tel. 800/920-4225 in the U.S. and Canada, or 599/54-67660 on St. Maarten; www.caribbean-airlines.com), the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago (replacing the now-defunct BWIA) has flights from New York, Miami, Toronto, and London with connections to St. Maarten.

The regional airline LIAT (tel. 888/844-5428 in the U.S. and Canada; www.liatairline.com) has direct daily 40-minute flights and connecting flights into St. Maarten from its hub in Antigua. From St. Martin, LIAT offers ongoing service to a number of other islands, including Antigua, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and Dominica.

One airline specializes in flying the short routes of the northeastern Caribbean islands, from Tortola to Montserrat. Winair (tel. 888/255-6889 in the U.S. and Canada, or 599/54-54237; www.fly-winair.com) offers island trips from its main gateway at the Princess Juliana International Airport.

St. Maarten: Cruisin'

Some 20 cruise lines and 1.7 million cruise passengers arrive in St. Maarten annually. St. Maarten has a total of six dedicated cruise berths -- making it one of the Caribbean's largest cruise-ship ports -- and the big ones do pull in here, including a recent visit by Oasis of the Seas, the 2,700-cabin behemoth that has enjoyed record-breaking passenger numbers (over 6,000). For more about the port, go to www.portofstmaarten.com.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.