Getting there & away
Cruise ships dock in Castries. A number of berths, some on the east side of the harbor near the town center and others at Pointe Seraphine on the north side of the harbor, have a duty-free shopping complex.
The ferry service L’Express des Îles (www.express-des-iles.com) operates a daily 80-minute express catamaran between Castries and Fort-de-France on Martinique. It also has a service on Saturday and Sunday to Guadeloupe (six hours) and Dominica (four hours). Departure days and times change frequently; check in advance with any local travel agent. On St Lucia, tickets can be purchased from Carib Travel (452-2151; PO Box 102, Micoud St).
There is a crossing between St Lucia and Guadeloupe run by Brudey Frères (590-90-04-48; www.brudey-freres.fr), in Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, once or twice a week (one way/return EC$80/115). Tickets can be purchased from local travel agencies.
Most visitors must show a valid passport – French citizens can enter with a national identity card. Visitors to the island are required to fill in an immigration form on arrival detailing the length, purpose and location of their stay, plus any customs declarations they may have. An onward or round-trip ticket or proof of sufficient funds is officially required.
St Lucia has two airports: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF; 454-6355), in Vieux Fort at the remote southern tip of the island, and George FL Charles Airport (SLU; 452-1156), in Castries near the main tourist area.
Scheduled international flights land at Hewanorra, which has a longer runway, while flights from within the Caribbean and charters generally land at the more central George FL Charles Airport.
Both airports have tourist-information booths, taxi stands, phones, and booths for car-rental agencies. The tourist-information booths book rooms, sell phone cards and will exchange US cash into EC dollars at slightly disadvantaged rates. There is a EC$68 departure tax levied on all departing passengers.
Offices for the main airlines serving St Lucia are in central Castries.
The following airlines fly to/from St Lucia from within the Caribbean and beyond:
Virgin Atlantic (454-3610; www.virgin-atlantic.com) London, Manchester