The largest of the Windward Islands, Martinique is 4,261 mi (6,817 km) from Paris, but its spirit and language are decidedly French, with more than a soupçon of West Indian spice. Tangible, edible evidence of the fact is the island's cuisine, a superb blend of French and creole. Martinique is lushly landscaped with tropical flowers. Trees bend under the weight of fruits such as mangoes, papayas, lemons, limes, and bright-red West Indian cherries. Acres of banana plantations, pineapple fields, and waving sugarcane stretch to the horizon. View more
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Explore the storied past and historic landmarks of Martinique during a memorable, half-day sightseeing tour of this picturesque island.
Depart the pier for the brief drive to the Balata Church. Built in 1925, the Balata Church is a mini-replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre in Paris, France. Perched above Fort de France, the church offers spectacular views and photo opportunities overlooking the capital city and its bay.
Stop in Saint Pierre for a visit of the Volcanological Museum. St. Pierre is the most renowned locale in Martinique, albeit for tragic reasons. The town was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1902 that killed 30,000 people, except for a prisoner who was being held in an underground dungeon at the time. Saint Pierre is now designated as France's 101st 'City of Art and History'.
Next, re-board your coach and proceed for a visit to the DEPAZ rum distillery, with explanation about process of production of the famous Agricol rum of Martinique. During your visit, you are invited to sample rum produced at the distillery.
Following your visits, your tour concludes with a return drive to the pier by the same west coast road. En route, pass by Le Carbet, a charming fishing village where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502 and Paul Gauguin painted his most beautiful artwork. Your drive also passes by Schoelcher, a small village named for a famous 19th-century abolitionist who fought for the independence of slaves in the French West Indies.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, and is suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. The tour sequence may be reversed.
Discover the history of Martinique during this splendid, half-day excursion to a pair of the island's most renowned old plantations.
Lamentin and Belfort Banana Plantation
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to Lamentin, one of the island's largest towns, and the hub of its industrial and commercial activities. Upon arrival, proceed for a visit to the Belfort Banana Plantation. Take a tram-ride around the plantation, learn about the processing of bananas and participate in a tasting of local specialities made from bananas.
Clement Plantation and Botanical Garden
Next, re-board your coach and continue driving along the picturesque roads en route to Le François, and a visit to the Clement Plantation. This beautiful plantation was the site of a meeting between former United States and French presidents Bush and Mitterand in 1991. Upon arrival, explore the architectural and industrial heritage of Martinique during a visit to the marvellous Botanical Garden. The garden spans approximately 16 acres (about 6.5 hectares) with ponds, the park, tropical orchard and remarkable trees representing more than 300 identified botanical species.
Rum Distillery and Tasting
Next, visit the old Rum Distillery. Here, view the machinery and observe the rum manufacturing process. Afterward, garner a unique insight into domestic life on the plantation during a tour of the main house and outbuildings, replete with furniture and Creole architecture. From here, proceed to the storage cellars where the rum is slowly aging, and participate in a rum tasting. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking for approximately 87 yards (80 metres), at times over concrete and gravel surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and tram. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The maximum height is 75 inches (190.5 centimetres) to participate on this tour. The maximum weight is 260 pounds (117.9 kilograms/ 18.5 stone) to participate on this tour. Guests must be at least three years old to participate on this tour. Guests must be at least 21 years old to participate in tastings of alcoholic beverages.
Discover the inland beauty of Martinique in an exciting new way during this half-day, off-road excursion through the island's interior.
Depart the pier via 4x4 Jeep for the ride through private land and some rivers before entering the La Palourde Rainforest. Upon arrival, a stop is made to take photos and admire your idyllic surroundings.
Next, your drive continues past valleys, mountains, and banana and sugar cane plantations. Along the way, learn about agricultural production in Martinique. Your drive concludes at a picturesque and serene site that is highlighted by waterfalls, and includes some tables and benches. Sip a refreshing beverage whilst admiring the waterfalls.
Following your visit, re-board your Jeep for the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier via the island's interior roads, with splendid views of the Bay of Fort de France en route.
Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, with many steps to negotiate and slippery ground on the approach to the waterfalls, and off-road driving over bumpy and uneven surfaces. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear a cover-up with sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a towel from the ship.
Experience the scenic splendour of Martinique during this picturesque, half-day sightseeing excursion.
Depart the pier for the short drive to the Balata Church, a mini-replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre in Paris. Built in 1925 on a summit high above Fort de France, the Balata Church offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and its bay. After a photo stop here, re-board your coach and proceed to the Botanical Garden via Trace Road.
Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the garden, which features a collection of beautiful flowers and plants amassed over a 20-year period by botanical and landscape gardener Jean Philippe Thoze. During your visit, you may opt to walk up and along a suspension bridge, which offers splendid views of this exceptional garden, the Fort de France Bay and Pitons of Carbet. The garden's delightful Reception Hall, located in an authentic Creole house, has been thoroughly renovated. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 547 yards (500 metres), at times over uneven, concrete and gravel surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Guests must be at least three years old to participate on this tour.
Discover the spectacular beauty of Martinique's northern coast via catamaran during this panoramic, full- day swimming and snorkelling excursion with lunch.
Bay of Fort de France, Carbet Cliffs, Bellamare, Diamond Rock, and Mt. Pelee
Depart the pier aboard a catamaran and begin your scenic, approximately two-hour sail along Martinique's northern Caribbean coast to St. Pierre. En route, learn about the history of this vicinity whilst marvelling at the picturesque coastal splendour and Caribbean Sea. Highlights include the Bay of Fort de France, Carbet Cliffs, Bellamare, Diamond Rock, and Mt. Pelee. In addition, look for schools of dolphin that frequent this area.
Mt. Pelee, Bay of St. Pierre, Carbet Beach, Swimming, and Creole Lunch
Upon arrival at the bottom of Mt. Pelee in the beautiful Bay of St. Pierre, discover the history and legends and flavours of St. Pierre during a guided stroll through this charming city and its local market. Back on board, set sail for the ride to Carbet Beach. Upon arrival, embark a zodiac boat-ride to access the black-sand beach for a swim in the crystal-clear waters. Following your beach visit and swimming, embark the boat for a Creole lunch served on board.
Anse Bellemare, and Swimming and Snorkelling
After lunch, your catamaran sets sail to Anse Bellemare (or Fond Boucher) for an afternoon swim and guided snorkelling session. Along the way, explore the colourful coral, tropical fish and marine life with masks and snorkels provided. Upon completion of your swimming and snorkelling session, embark the catamaran and commence the approximately 45-minute ride back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking for approximately 54 yards (about 50 metres), with a few steps to negotiate to embark/disembark the catamaran and zodiac boat, and manoeuvre in/out of the catamaran. This tour is recommended for guests who are in good physical condition. This tour is not suitable for pregnant guests, guest with neck and/or back problems, guests with heart and/or respiratory conditions, guests prone to motion sickness, guests with limited mobility, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear a swimsuit under a cover-up with beach or water shoes, and bring sun protection, a towel and change of clothing from the ship. Guests must be at least eight years old to participate on this tour. Snorkelling equipment is provided. Waterproof cameras are highly recommended. Although frequently encountered on this type of tour, fish and marine life sightings are not guaranteed. Guests must be at least 21 years old to participate on this tour, and be served alcoholic beverages. Guests may not snorkel if they have consumed alcohol. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions.