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Customer Reviews for Art Around the Island

Art Around the Island

This tour takes you around the island through St Martin's/St Maarten's most charming local districts to visit the island's own elite group of talented artists. At the gated community of Les Jardins d’ Orient Bay, you will enter the home and studio of Francis Eck, where nature, and particularly the sea, are his inexhaustible sources of inspiration. Francis is always searching for a way to reach the profound essence of this subject. His powerful colors and harmonious shapes shift the borders between the abstract and the figurative. Your tour then continues on to another gated community in French Cul-de-Sac, where you will meet the painter Antoine Chapon in his picturesque home/gallery. Famous for the luminosity and transparency of his watercolors and oils, the painter welcomes you to his breezy veranda to take in breathtaking views of the bay. In 2006, he received an award of excellence at the prestigious International Marine Art Exhibition at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. Continue on to O'Reilly Hill, overlooking Grand Case, where you will enter the home and studio of Minguet, whose lithographs, oils and watercolors burst forth in explosions of incredible colors. At Concordia, a suburb of Marigot, you enter Akinom’s Art Studio. The Creole house is nestled in a delightful tropical garden and opened as a gallery in 1992. Akinom invites you to a journey through time and space to discover the original and unique paintings. Jazz rhythms, vibrations, and colors are connected in abstract line and space, punctuated by pallet knife and brushes in oil paintings and mixed media. Painting and music are, to Akinom, the universal spiritual language of mankind. The latest addition to the tour is Maximilian's Art in the Garden Gallery, located in Midtown Philipsburg. This gallery, in a garden setting, is a unique feature on the island where original paintings (and prints) by Maximilian are displayed among plants and flowers. From realism to abstract, you will find original works in oil, pastel and/or acrylic. Considered one of the most successful artists on Dutch St Maarten, with numerous exhibitions locally as well as in Washington DC, New York, and Cuba, Maximilian creates work that has been the target of international collectors as well as local patrons. Notes:Tour operator reserves the right to visit alternative artists/galleries in the event an individual is not available.
Average Customer Rating:
4.92 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(25 Reviews) 25
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (25 reviews)
5 stars
24
4 stars
0
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0
25 out of 25(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Art Around the Island
Review 1 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Good way to see Island

Date:April 15, 2014
Keahey1
Location:Lakeland, TN
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Our group was not to large and the hostess very knowledgeable of the island and the artists we visited.
Being in the homes of each artist (5) allowed us to gain personal contact as well and engage in conversation with each. Of course, you have your favorites. Ours was Maximillian and his wife. A lovely home and garden and two very gracious people.
Each stop was unique and enjoyable. We covered all of the island and had great views of the bays.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

One of the Best Tours

Date:April 14, 2014
TarponBill
Location:Florida Keys
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Undoubtedly, this was one of the best tours on our cruise. We visited five different artists, each of whom had a significantly different style and each of whom was located in much different surroundings. Our first artist was permitted to borrow a magnificent mansion overlooking the sea to display her work. The others were at a rural home, in a gallery, in the city, and in a suburban home, giving us a fairly wide experience of various areas of the island. The art was uniformly very good and the experience enlightening.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best excursion of our cruise

Date:March 29, 2014
Chook360
Location:Columbus OH
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Highly recommend this tour. Tour guide Lisa was wonderful - personable, knowledgeable, and a talented artist herself! She knew all the artists personally. She provided a wealth of information about the island in addition to info on the artists. The artists we visited were all quite different, each with a distinctive style. What makes this excursion so special is that you feel like you're getting an almost private tour, like a backstage pass at a concert. Great value for the price.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great way to see this island

Date:March 13, 2014
cdolfin
Location:South Carolina
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was a really good excursion. Our guide, Lisa, has lived here for 30 years and knows a lot of the island's history and the artists' stories. She gave us a lot of information about all the sights we saw on the way to each home and then information about the artist's style and subject matter. Each artist was very different and there were prices to fit every pocket book. Some other people in my cruise group opted to take a private taxi tour of the island and they were envious when they learned what I got see and experience. The only thing they saw that I didn't was the nude beach and they said the sights weren't very pretty! LOL. I got to see some unique views of the island and all of the artists were most pleasant and welcoming. Some provided refreshments. This is a great tour, although children would be bored. Definitely for adults who like art & culture.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A lovely way to see the island

Date:March 1, 2014
Deborah
Location:California
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
We were a little skeptical about this excursion, but it turned out to be just lovely. We had an excellent guide who told us about the island and the artists we were visiting. There were five stops, each differing in style. We were enchanted. There are snacks and restrooms at each stop. Sells out quickly, so book as soon as you can.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best Complete Island Tour

Date:February 16, 2014
Sandra52
Location:Ontario
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was our first time to this island and we wanted to see as much as possible in the short time available in port. This choice was perfect. The tour was not rushed. We visited 5 homes. They were all different and the artists were all very hospitable. The art at was different at each stop and my worst worry was what to buy and at which home. We ended up buying at 2 homes. The views from a few of the homes were unbelievable. Each artist was available for questions at 4 of the 5 homes. The tour guide was very knowledgeable.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A unique view of the island

Date:February 7, 2014
revnancy
Location:Cleveland, Ohio
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you love art and want to get a sense of the island beyond the historical tour, this is a fabulous tour. Not only did we get off the beaten path to the homes of artists, but we had the most spectacular view of the island and ocean from far atop the mountain in a private residence that was worth the price of the excursion alone. Unique personalities of artists and tour guide made this our favorite tour of all.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Way to Explore the Island!

Date:January 28, 2014
TravelingLars
Location:Fort Worth, TX
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you find artwork you like on this tour, that's great. (None of it will find it's way to the Louvre, but that's not really what art is about. We bought a couple of pieces we liked and wanted to have in our home.)
What we loved was this is a great way to see the Dutch and the French sides of the island. They are very, very different.
Our guide was excellent, and it was fascinating seeing the artist's homes and studios. And we had a treat - one of the artists was allowed to have her work displayed at the French Senator Louis Constant Fleming's lovely hilltop home; it's breathtaking.
So, book your tour early (they do sell out). And it is a lot of fun.
(Our tour was January 2014; 2014 is not currently available as a choice on the year drop down)
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fabulous Scenery, Lovely Homes & Beautiful Art

Date:December 23, 2013
RockinRobin
Location:Toronto
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:November
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I can't say enough great things about this trip. It's a wonderful opportunity to see many parts of the island, learn some history, take great photos, enjoy art and see how artists live. The artists were gracious and invited us into their homes. Some even provided snacks. Each house was unique and reflected the artist's interests. We had spectacular views of St. Marten from all of the homes. Paintings were lovely and all were different styles. One artist, Lady Ruby depicted local scenes in vivid colours...acrylics, oils and pastels. She had was knighted by Queen Beatrix and had plenty of stories to share. Another artist, Akimon displayed her abstract works in part of a politician's mansion atop a hill. While sipping star fruit juice, we saw art in a garden in Phillipsburg. We admired works at Les Jardins d'Orient Bay and at Les Terraces de Cul de Sac. I highly recommend this excursion.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Visiting Art Around St Martin/St Maarten

Date:May 6, 2013
Athenos
Location:Southern California
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
March 5, 2013 An absolutely lovely way to enjoy artists, their art work and touring the French and Dutch sides of St Maarten. Francis Eck's home/gallery with its steep rustic stone steps was a charming Carribean dream as are his paintings. He had postcards and small pictures of his art for those of us worried about art work transportation.
A lovely surprise was Acinom's art display in Les Jardins de Bellevue, the home of St Maarten's represenative to the French Parliment. An outstanding mansion with spectacular views of the bay and Marigot. Acinom's art work was beautifully showcased in this setting.
Maximillian's Art in the Garden was delightful. Beautiful garden and art work. His saxaphone painting will be given as a birthday present later this year.
Most credit cards seemed to be welcome but cash is also acceptable if you decide to purchase something or they are having problems with the card reader. The pace of this tour and the time spent at all of the artist's galleries/homes felt leisurely though the trip was very fast. The only thing that might have made it better would have been a 1/2 to an hour stop in Marigot for those of us interested in photography.
All in all, a fascinating way to visit both sides of the island, have an intimate interaction with residents and enjoy just enough of very personable galleries.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+10points
10out of 10found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

BEST WE'VE EVER HAD!

Date:April 15, 2013
Turnipblossom
Location:North Carolina
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We have been cruising w/HAL for 10 years....taken many nice excursions, but the Around the Island Art Tour was turly the best we've gone on so far! The tour guide, who speaks several languages, was very well informed, related to the "audience", and really made the tour come alive. The artists very welcoming & friendly (we bought several items) and very well known in the art worlld. And at the same time, we had a great tour around almost the whole island with some of the most spectacular views!! Thanks HAL for offering this great cruise (will send in the name of the personable lady guide soon...we video'd almost all this great tour!).
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+11points
11out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

melody

Date:March 26, 2013
melody
Location:Florida
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A fine tour, meeting 5 different artists in their studios (with the one commercial art store as an exception); best part was being in their studios, meeting them and hearing them briefly tell of their work, then having an opportunity to purchase. Very low key tour but with a fine guide who kept us moving along to cover our planned destinations. No pressure to buy although several of us did. Recommend if you have been to St. Maarten before and/or are interested in a variety of art styles. Best of the 3 excursions we booked via HollandAmerica....
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The very best tour we booked on this 21 day cruise

Date:March 25, 2013
sccruisers
Location:SC
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The tour was all the description said it was! We we comfortable and had a great guide and driver. The homes were wonderful to visit. Being interested in art is not a prerequisite. Art lover or not, you will love this tour and meeting these people in their homes.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The BEST Tour of our 49-day Rio/Amazon Adventure

Date:March 15, 2013
Mdsuburbs
Location:Washington, DC
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
While every moment of our 49-day Rio/Amazon Adventure was absolutely spectacular aboard the Maasdam, this tour has to be one of the BEST we have ever taken while cruising. It was absolutely wonderful to be welcomed into the homes and/or galleries of 5 local artists in both Philipsburg and Marigot. Not only did we get to see both sides of the island, but we got to meet warm, friendly local artists. Akinom's gallery in the magnificent home atop the hill overlooking the bay in Marigot was the perfect place for this fantastic artist (Monica) to display her work. The original acrylic painting I bought from her will be a constant reminder of our visit to St. Maarten and this wonderful tour. This extremely budget priced tour was MORE than worth the money we paid for it. We had a fantastic female guide (whose name I'm unfortunately forgotten) who just MADE the tour totally enjoyable. I would give a TEN-STAR rating to the tour guide and THIS tour.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Loved this tour

Date:March 10, 2013
Betsy
Location:Mpls, MN
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We had ONE problem on this excursion: one of the women on our bus (there were 20 of us) would NOT stop talking about how soon we would get back so she could go shopping. It was funny for the first few minutes, but got really old and made many of the rest of us feel pressure to not take the time we would have liked at the stops. The guide did a nice job of keeping her in check and teasing her about it. At the end of the tour they dropped her off in town, and she was going to make her own way back to the ship. Our first stop was at the home of a self taught artist. Lovely man, art reflected his training, and his gardens, tho lush with plants, didn't need the plastic flowers! the other stops were great, the artists were welcoming, they are VERY talented, pieces available from under $50 to thousands but no pressure to buy. We bought a painting from Akinom, and it's one of our favorite trip memories!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 16 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 9, 2013
indytraveler
Location:Indianapolis, IN area
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
2/28/2013 Art Tour provided an opportunity to see authentic Caribbean art in the artist's environment! Enjoyed meeting the artists, seeing their art, and also getting a chance to see parts of the island (both countries with Dutch & French origins). The artists were friendly, and there was no pressure to buy anything. Artwork prices ranged from affordable to more expensive, allowing anyone the opportunity to purchase a creative reminder of the visit to this lovely island.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent tour, really personal

Date:February 16, 2013
TennisAddict
Location:St. Paul MN
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was a great way to see parts of St. Martin that otherwise you wouldn't get to in only one day. It was fascinating to meet the artists, see their work and have the privilege of visiting their homes and galleries. This excursion was personal and relaxed. Our guide was very friendly and warm and happy to try to work with our needs. For instance, he recommended a restaurant for lunch after the tour and had the coach drop us off in Phillipsburg less than a block from it, even the everyone else went back to port. The restaurant was delicious, by the way!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 18 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Interesting way to experience St. Maarten!

Date:February 16, 2013
MinnesotaGal
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We decided to take this tour after reading all of the positive reviews. We were not disappointed. We visited five private homes/studios of artists residing on the island. We saw both the Dutch and French side of the island, which made for a good sightseeing tour as well. There were some great views and photo opportunities from the artists' galleries and homes. The artists displayed their work in the hopes that visitors would buy. Some did - most did not. There was absolutely no pressure to buy. Interesting art, interesting artists, great way to see the island. Would highly recommend if you are looking for something a bit different than the typical sightseeing tour.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Art

Date:February 3, 2013
TwinLori
Location:Washington State
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
We had a very small tour bus and the aisleway between seats was so narriow that it was hard for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. Maximillian and his wife were very gracious with the art in his garden and home. The one stop in downtown Phillipsburg was a small store which was very cramped and could only accomodate some of our group at a time. The artists for the most part were very gracious and our tour guide was informative about the island's history and culture. NOTE: Cruise was in January 2013 but system won't let me pick this year.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The best island tour I've ever taken!

Date:January 19, 2013
Maggi
Location:Miami
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
My daughter and husband were apprehensive about taking an
"art tour" on an island. It was wonderful! We all loved it. We got to visit
with the artists at their beautiful homes or studios and hear about their
personal story. We shared refreshments at all the stops and it was paced
slow enough where we also got to meet and chat with the rest of the
people on the tour. Definitely five stars!!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
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