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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:
4.844 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(32 Reviews) 32
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (32 reviews)
5 stars
29
4 stars
1
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0
31 out of 32(97%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Art Around the Island
Review 1 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Island tour with multistop Art Galleries Too

Date:March 24, 2015
Captnslow
Location:Las Vegas
Cruise Date Year:2015
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Novel way to visit and Island and have stops in Art Galleries that are located in the homes of the artist. Ask to have your photo taken with the Artists for you personal memento. Values on items to buy ranged from low to high, but there is something for everyone if you are so inclined. Each stop offered a complimentary refreshment as well as restrooms. Increase your knowledge about this island through the eyes of some very talented people.
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

Lovely relaxing tour of the island

Date:February 16, 2015
mjjden
Location:Ontario
Cruise Date Year:2015
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
Doris, our guide, met us at the end of the gangplank. We walked through the cruise point to pick up our van/bus. There were 21 people on the tour. Doris gave us lots of information about the island as we travelled from artist to artist. Three stops were at the artist's house, one at the former governor's mansion and the fifth one at an art gallery. All the artists were unique in their own way. Many served refreshments and washrooms were available. Just a nice way to view the island and enjoy some art. Great excursion! Art was reasonably priced.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Houses, Artists and Art Oh My!

Date:February 14, 2015
Oldguy
Location:Lenexa, Ks
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 a fascinating excursion. We visited a number of artists on the island. Some had their art displayed in their home. Some had their own gallery. One had her own, believe me, mansion where she displayed her work. The tour touched on many media. I found some of the art that I liked at each location. The best was a lady named Radot who was in her 80's. I bought two of her paintings. She modeled for a cosmetic company in the 50's. She was nice enough to show me some of her photos. I could have spent hours talking to her about the various paintings she had on display.
The guide was Lisa Marshal. She did an excellent job of keeping us informed about the island and the background of the various artists.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great way to see the island!

Date:January 14, 2015
Jaime
Location:Milwaukee, WI
Cruise Date Year:2015
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
I loved this tour but not because I am an art fanatic. You will see various pieces of art, but the artists will just talk to you for about a minute or so about their craft. You can of course purchase some of the art if you choose to. The best part about this tour is that you will see different parts of the island and you can get into some homes and see some neighborhoods that you wouldn't otherwise have access to. The itinerary varies, depending of course if the artist is at home (or in the shop) or not. We visited with four artists on the French side and one on the Dutch side. Our guide and driver were fantastic.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Don't Need More Art

Date:January 10, 2015
2kidsplus3
Location:The Jersey Shore
Cruise Date Year:2015
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
Enjoyed it?
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I suspect New Year's Eve day had something to do with our disappointment in this excursion. More island information would have been helpful. Touring one art studio after the other with the artists trying hard to sell their collections missed the mark for us. We did not visit two of the artists highlighted only Eck, Minguet and Akinom studios so don't get your hearts set for seeing all five in the write up. If you need framed art this is the tour for you.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? No
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great trip

Date:January 7, 2015
TMBJ
Location:Williamsburg
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:December
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 two for one. We got a wonderful narrated tour of both sides of the island as well as 4 stops at the home or gallery of local artists. At each stop the artist was present to greet us and free refreshments and restrooms were available. There was absolutely no pressure to make any purchases, but items were reasonably priced to suit almost any wallet. Items for sale varied from jewelry to paintings to pottery.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Art Around the Island
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

C'est Magnifique!

Date:December 6, 2014
Smcelw1
Location:Overland Park, KS
Cruise Date Year:2014
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
One of our favorite tours and no small part of that pleasure goes to Lisa, our tour guide. She is an ex-pat that moved to the island 30 years ago and has made St. Martin her home. The artists, interestingly enough, all live on the French side of the Island and their graciousness in welcoming the tours into their homes is amazing. Art is available for purchase and the chance to interact with each artist is a unique and treasured experience. Thanks to our guide - we got lots of island history as well as we traveled between stops, enjoying the sites and sounds of a very busy island. Our tour happened to be on a Sunday which meant most commercial stores were closed and so if you are on the island on a Sunday - this tour becomes even more special.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 8 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
+5points
8out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 9 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
+6points
7out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 10 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
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 11 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
+4points
6out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 12 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
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 13 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
+4points
5out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 14 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
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 15 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 16 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
+9points
9out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 17 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
+11points
11out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 18 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 19 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 20 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.
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