Sint Eustatius (Statia)
Sint Eustatius, also known as 'Statia', is an island of the Netherlands Antilles. These are an internally autonomous territory of the Netherlands.
The official currency on Statia is the Netherlands Antilles Florin (NAF);
US dollars and major credit cards are accepted. There are three banks on the island, but only the Post Office Bank (Post Spaarbank) opens every weekday (7.30am to 4pm). A service charge of 15% is routinely added to bills in restaurants, etc. St Eustatius is a duty-free port, without customs control.
There are card-phone callboxes with direct international dialling.
HISTORY, LANGUAGE, CULTURE
The island has changed hands at least 22 times in its history, and has a very varied population. Dutch is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
Oranjestad, behind Oranje Baai, is the main settlement. The north part of the island is uninhabited except for a fuel depot (Statia Terminals). Most of the small population live in the central plain, around the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport.
Compared to the other Netherlands Antilles islands, Statia is very poor and relatively unkempt, but the culture is friendly and crime is rare. Casual summer wear is customary, but swimwear should not be worn in streets. Semi-formal dress is recommended for evening venues.
Driving is on the right. Cars and scooters can be hired, and any valid licence is accepted.
New Year's Day, Good Friday & Easter Monday, Queen's Birthday (April 30), Labor Day (May 1), Ascension Thursday (around May or June 24), Emancipation Day (July 1), Antilles Day (October 21), Statia/America Day (November 16), Christmas Day & Boxing Day.
The Queen Beatrix Hospital has two doctors on call round the clock (Tel 599-3-82371/82211).
IMPORTANT ADDRESSES, CONSULATES etc.
American Consulate General, JB Gorsiraweg No 1, Willemstad, CURACAO, Tel (599-9) 461-3066
British Consulate, Jan Sofat 38 (PO Box 3803), CURACAO, Tel (599-9) 747-3322
Consulate of Canada, 16A Topaz Drive, St MAARTEN, Tel (011 599-5) 45023.
The whole island is a marine park. Fishing is restricted, and diving permitted only through the dive shops. Since Statia was once a major trading island, it is surrounded by many wrecks. The export of artefacts is carefully controlled.