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Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
25 posts
8 reviews
Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

I wonder if someone might be able to give me advice about getting to Nevis.

I am assuming that flights directly into Nevis from San Juan are easier than getting into St Kitts and then taking the Four Seasons ferry - is that right? The Nevis flight gets me in much later (6pm, after sundown) versus the St Kitts flight (3pm to the airport) - but I figure it's about the same after you factor in the ferry. I have to take one additional air leg to get to Nevis directly, so I want to make sure that is the best way to go.

Also, what kind of connection time should I leave in San Juan? It is a terminal change from American to Cape Air. I have to go through customs in San Juan -- is 1.5 hours enough to do customs and change terminals?

Thank you very much.

7 replies to this topic
Texas
Destination Expert
for Nevis
Level Contributor
7,695 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

You can ask 10 people this question and half will tell you to fly into St. Kitts and half will tell you to fly into Nevis.

Personally, I'd take the routing that gives you the least number of connecting flight and lets you stay on big jets as much as possible,

You've already figured out you can get to St. Kitts by 3PM. If you are planning to use the Four Seasons Launch service you'll be escorted from the airport to the marina and be taken directly to the resort's dock. They will handle the check-in process on the launch and you'll be escorted directly to your room.

If you connect in San Juan you'll fly a small plane to Nevis, get there later and have to take a cab to the resort. you'll then have to check-in and then get to your room.

Option one will normally get you to the resort in less time.

In San Juan you'll need a minimum of 90 minute to make your connection on the way to Nevis. On your way home allow 2 hours. FYI - on the way down you WILL NOT clear customs or immigration in San Juan (or St. Kitts, depending on your routing). You'll do that in Nevis. On you way home you'll clear immigration & customs in San Juan (assuming you fly via San Juan), that's why you'll need a little extra time.

In San Juan, on the way down you can walk between your arrival gate and the Cape Air Gate without going outside the secure area if you are doing only carry-on. If you have checked luggage you'll have to check with your inbound airline to see if they have an inter airline baggage arrangement with Cape Air. If yes, then you can proceed directly to the gate to get your boarding pass without leaving the secure area. If not, you'll have to leave the secure area to c;aim your luggage, go to the Cape Air ticket counter to get your boarding pass and re-check your luggage. Then you'll proceed to the TSA Security checkpoint and on to your departure gate. All this takes time.

On average, if you fly into St. Kitts (arriving at 3PM) and take the Four Seasons Launch you can expect to be at the resort and in your room between 4:30PM and 5PM. If you take the Cape Air flight that gets in at 6PM the earliest you can expect to be at the hotel is 7:00PM.

There you have it - you make the call!

Edited: 14 February 2013, 13:51
Boston...
Level Contributor
8,156 posts
2. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

We used to fly directly to Nevis from San Juan, but now with the new schedules, we have had to fly into St. Kitts. Before doing this for the first time, I, too, thought it would be a pain. But it was perfect.

We weren't staying at the 4S but our inn arranged for our cab at the airport, it brought us directly to the water taxi, and then we were picked up at Oualie and brought to the Hermitage. And it was really fun to approach Nevis on the water.

I've been delayed enough times when we flew American Eagle from San Juan, so I would opt for the larger plane going into St. Kitts. The other reason I didn't make Cape Air reservations was because the flights leave Nevis quite early in the morning and I like leaving later, giving us time for a leisurely breakfast and lunch before the long flights.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
25 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

Oh! You've given me a lot to think about. I had assumed the final ferry would be painful and had heard that St Kitts customs was the worse of the two airports. The two routes are about the same ticket price for me, but I could probably do one frequent flier mile ticket with St Kitts. Hmmm. Do you happen to recall the price of the Four Seasons ferry service? Thank you so much for this detail.

Texas
Destination Expert
for Nevis
Level Contributor
7,695 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

You heard wrong - Customs in St. Kitts is a breeze and they've done things to streamline the process at Immigration/Passport Control.

The Four Seasons charges about $85US/person each way for their "Launch Service" (it's not a ferry in the true sense of the word but more like a private water taxi). Their representative will meet you at airport when you exit customs and take your luggage - the next time you see your bags will be in your room. You'll be transported to the marina in Basseterre where you'll board their boat. You'll be taken directly to the Four Seasons dock. One the ride over you'll be checked-in to your room, given a cold towel to refresh yourself and your choice of cold drinks. Upon arrival at the resort you'll be escorted to your room.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
25 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

Thank you for this very wonderful advice. Based on your recommendations, I changed my flights to arrive in St Kitts instead of Nevis. The Four Seasons people also advised that the Nevis propeller planes have an unpredictable cancellation rate in the event of high winds.

Thank you so much for your help!

Marigot, St Martin...
Level Contributor
2 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

You can also opt to fly into St Maarten and get a charter aircraft to Nevis....try Fast Fwd Charter Services they do a great job. 721 554 7404

Boston...
Level Contributor
85 posts
13 reviews
7. Re: Arrive in St Kitts or Nevis?

You made the right choice IMO. We found the FS ferry ride from St. Kitts wonderful and a great way to start our Nevis vacation. The ferry ride is about a 30 minute jaunt where you can relax inside the ferry our sit out front with a rum punch or 2. Enjoy your trip to Nevis and have a killer bee at Sunshines for me.

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