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Fort-de-France is the largest port and the capital city of Martinique - one of France's overseas territories in the Caribbean Sea. The port is located on the island's central-western coast, at Madame River's mouth. Here are also the island's Martinique Aime Cesaire International Airport, and Fort Saint Louis (French naval base). The other cruise ports in Martinique are Le Marin and Les Anses d'Arlet.
Besides the cruise ship tourism, the port of Fort-de-France serves most of the country's cargo shipping traffic, including the exports of cacao, rum, sugar, tinned fruits. The city covers a total area of 44 km2 (17 ml2) and has population around 85,000.
Christopher Columbus (Italian explorer and colonizer, 1451-1506) discovered the Martinique Island in 1493. In 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc (French trader in the Caribbean, 1585-1636) claimed the island for France.
Fort-de-France is an extraordinary town, with a distinctive French flair. It is a perfect travel destination for dining or shopping for souveniers. Other attractions are the Central Park (flowering gardens and fountains), the Cathedral, the historic Fort Saint Louis.
Elsewhere on the island are Paul Gauguin Memorial, the Museum of Seashell Art and the Museum of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon. For a scenic Martinique Island tour, remember to visit the Regional Natural Park. Those who like hiking can climb the semi-active volcano Mount Pelee (elevation 1400 m / 4580 ft). Its 1902 eruption killed around 30,000 inhabitants.
During season 2015-2016, Martinique was visited by cruise ships 221 times (49 more over season 2014-2015), binging over 380,000 passengers. This passenger volume was an increase of 73% over 2014.
For season 2018, the port reported a record number of cruise berth bookings (a total of 365) made by early March 2018. The over 70% increase (2018 over 2017) was mainly due to diverted cruise ships from the Caribbean islands that suffered hurricane damages. In 2017, the cruise port handled a total of 511,147 passengers.
Also in 2018 were upgraded cruise terminal's amenities and services, including pierside passenger greetings, taxi vouchers, new tours, new terminal signage.
Fort-de-France cruise terminal
The cruise ship terminal features a large shopping complex with numerous vendors, including designer jewelry, watches, clothing and accessories, perfumes, locally-made merchandise (incl hand-made souvenirs and art). Payements in USD are accepted. Each ship's passengers are greeted by local hostesses dressed in Creole costumes and live performances of popular Caribbean music.
From the cruise port to the city's downtown is an approx 15-min walking distance. Sometimes, the cruise ship may dock at Tourelles' Passenger Terminal - located less than 1 ml (2 km) away from the city.
Port Fort-de-France cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Fort-de-France, Martinique. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|16 October, 2019|