The Flying Dutchman - St. Maarten
Explore The Big 3 Excursion on St. Maarten:
Blog Post - November 10, 2018
We met an amazing couple on our Carnival Cruise who gifted us 2 tickets for The Flying Dutchman Excursion on the island of St. Maarten! Each excursion ticket retails at $130. We were so excited and thankful.
The Big 3: Flying Dutchman, Schooner Ride, & Canopy Zip Line Excursion:
Location: Rainforest Adventures, Rockland Estate, St. Maarten
The Flying Dutchman – The World’s Steepest Zip Line: You take a chairlift to the top of Sentry Hill, St. Maarten’s highest point, and then you drop 1,050 feet reaching speeds up to 56 Miles Per Hour!
We booked this excursion through Carnival Cruise Lines, but it is also available through Rainforest Adventures. I did notice that it is about $10 cheaper per person through Carnival and Carnival provides you transportation from the port. If you’re on a Carnival Cruise, you should book it through them. If you’re already on the island, you could book it through Rainforest Adventures. Either way, you should book it. Watch the video below!
Full Video of this Excursion:
Description of The Big 3 Excursion: This excursion was organized through Carnival so we met in the Palace Theatre at the Green Zone on our Carnival Cruise ship “Fascination”. I wasn’t sure were the green zone was going to be, but they put up a sign on the column that said Green Zone. They passed around clipboards with the waivers and had staff going around putting on our excursion wristbands. Once everyone signed the waivers, we headed off the ship and headed to the port to catch our tour bus.
Carnival had 2 big tour buses waiting at the port for our excursion group. The bus ride was included with the excursion price. Our bus took us to Rockland Estate where the Flying Dutchman Zip Line is located.
I brought a backpack, but they told me that it was too big to go on the zip lines and tubes. They directed me to the gift shop where I paid $5 for a locker to store my backpack. The only thing I left out was my GoPro camera. I attached it to my GoPro 3-way stick. In hindsight, I wish I had brought a wrist strap to connect to my 3-way stick. It has a place for a wrist band or wrist strap, but it didn’t come with one. This would have been helpful, but I got through everything without dropping My GoPro.
Ride 1 of 3: The Schooner Ride
We were directed to the chair lifts and waited in line. If you can’t tell, Julie is really excited to get started.
This chair lift goes all the way to the top of Sentry Hill.
The first stop on the chair lift is the Schooner Ride.
This ride uses inflated tubes that slides down winding course. At the bottom, you get off and get back on the chair lift. Here’s an aerial view we got while riding the Flying Dutchman zip line.
We got to do the Schooner Ride 2 times as part of our excursion. This was so much fun and went a lot faster than I was expecting.
They have some type of carpet like material at the end of the ride to slow you down. For those of us who are heavier (me), it slowed me down too fast and I had to push the tube to the guy waiting at the end.
After going twice, we got back onto the chair lift and headed up to the canopy zip line, which is past the Schooner Ride exit. We got this pic leaving the Schooner ride platform.
Ride 2 of 3: The Sentry Hill Canopy Zip Line
We took the chairlift up to the next ride. Getting higher up on Sentry Hill provided us with some amazing views.
As we were riding up, the views looking down were so amazing.
We got off the chair lift at the Sentry Hill Canopy Zip Line. We walked over to the zip line harness station.
They outfitted us with our zip lining harnesses and helmets. They also gave out hair nets for those with long hair. Julie had her game face on!
Once we had our gear on, we headed up the trail to our first zip line. They hooked us up and I was off zipping.
I was really nervous before we started because I’m afraid of heights, but the long and wide zip line platforms helped me feel secure while they were getting me hooked up to the zip line.
There are a total of 4 zip lines. Each zip line takes you across this beautiful ravine. The last zip line had my favorite view of the airport and airport beach.
After we finished going on all 4 zip lines, we were guided back to the same station where we got our harnesses and returned them. The workers were so friendly and guided us to the next chair lift that would take us to the top of Sentry Hill for the Flying Dutchman!
Ride 3 of 3: The Flying Dutchman Zip Line
The final chair lift goes even higher to the Flying Dutchman Zip Line. I just couldn’t get enough of the views!
When you get to the top there is a large deck and a small bar where you can buy drinks. I left my money in the locker, so no drinks for us. We also found out that they do have bathrooms at the top. You take a small spiral staircase below the main deck. They weren’t fancy, but the bathrooms were functional.
Facing the other direction on the upper deck has some amazing views. There is also a walkway that you can take to soak it all in.
I have to admit I was really nervous for this zip line! This is the steepest zip line in the world and is located at the very top of Sentry Hill. Sentry Hill is the highest point on the island of St. Maarten. This zip line drops over 1,050 feet and goes about 56 miles per hour. There are four zip lines that go down together, so four people can go at a time. They get you harnessed up in front of the gates.
Then they open the gates and you are exposed the huge drop off. I looked over and Julie is all smiles and excited while I’m white knuckling the straps for dear life.
Then they let you go and you’re flying through the air and the wind is really pushing against your face. We found that the heavier people seemed to go faster. That’s why I was in the lead! My whole body was trying to retract into the small bucket seat. It was so fun and so scary all at the same time!
Julie was made for this. You can see the joy in her face.
I was nervous about how we were going to stop at the end, but I had nothing to worry about. They have an awesome braking system of coils that collapse on each other. It was a pretty smooth stop besides the swinging in place.
We got off and exited the ride. As we headed back to the gift shop to get my backpack from the locker we saw a few iguanas.
As we entered the gift shop, they have a wall with computer touch screens where you can look through the photos that were taken of you on each ride. We had the choice to purchase the photos they took, but since we used my GoPro, we opted not to buy them. The pricing was $15 for the first photo and $10 for each additional photo.
We had a little over an hour before our bus was supposed to head back. Some of our group went to the restaurant to get something to eat. Julie and I went to the museum and learned a lot about the island of St. Maarten.
We then headed back to the port on the tour bus. Overall, we loved the Flying Dutchman excursion. We would highly recommend it to anyone visiting St. Maarten!
We booked The Big 3: Flying Dutchman, Schooner Ride, & Canopy Zip Line Excursion through Carnival Cruise Lines:
The excursion cost was $260 for 2 adults.
- the tour bus ride to and from the excursion
- All three rides (Schooner Ride (twice), the Canopy Zip Line (4 zip lines), and the Flying Dutchman Zip Line)
We also gave a $3 tip to the bus driver.
We also rented a locker to store my backpack for $5.
After you finish all three rides on this excursion, you can purchase pictures at the gift shop. The pricing was $15 for the first photo and $10 for each additional photo. We didn’t buy any because we filmed it with my GoPro. All the pictures above were taken from my GoPro footage.
Total Excursion Cost with Tip: $268
We were gifted this excursion, so our cost was $8. Hard to beat that.
These are the things that I recommend you bring:
- $5 to pay for a locker to store your backpack and valuables
- Cash in your pocket if you want to buy a drink at the top of the Flying Dutchman
- Go Pro Hero 8 Black video camera
- Go Pro 3-Way Grip to hold the camera out in front of you.
- Cash if you want to buy a meal at their restaurant after you’re done with the rides.
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