Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a French archipelago and one of France's overseas territories (collectivity with a special status since 1985), located at Fortune Bay's entrance, in the Saint Lawrence Gulf (northwestern Atlantic Ocean). The islands are approx 25 km (16 mi) south of Canada's Newfoundland Island (Burin Peninsula) which is part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Province. The islands are located approx 3820 km (237o mi) west of Brest - nearest seaport and city in mainland France (Europe).
The archipelago has 8 main islands but only two are inhabited - Miquelon-Langlade (the largest island) and Saint-Pierre. Miquelon Island (aka Grande Miquelon) is located between Le Cap Island (north) and Langlade/Petite Miquelon Island (south). The other islands are uninhabited and named L'Isle-aux-Marins (to the east from St Pierre Island/at close proximity to Port Saint-Pierre/settled in 1604, uninhabited since 1963), Grand Colombier (near St Pierre Island's northernmost tip), Ile aux Vainqueurs (east of St Pierre), Ile aux Pigeons. The collectivity is self-governing (autonomous concerning taxes and customs), has population around 6,000 (all French citizens), healthcare is public and free.
The local economy is based on commercial crab fishing, shipping services, public services, fish farming, livestock raising, tourism (including hotels, accommodation rentals, retail shopping). Around 2/3 of the archipelago's supplies are imports - from Canada or France (via Nova Scotia). St Pierre and Miquelon's official currency is EUR, but CAD is also widely accepted.
The 1999-opened Saint-Pierre Airport is on St Pierre Island (approx 2 km / 1 mi south of the capital city Saint-Pierre). The airport serves Air Saint-Pierre (French airline) with regularly scheduled flights to Canada (Halifax NS, Montreal, St Johns NL), seasonal direct (long-distance) flights to Paris City in the summer, as well as charter flights to/from Canada (Stephenville NL and Sydney NS).
SPM Ferries offers regularly scheduled car and passenger ferry crossings between St Pierre and Miquelon and also to Canada (Fortune NF). In the summer are offered crossings between St Pierre-Langlade and Miquelon-Fortune NL.
St Pierre Island has a total area of 26 km2 (10 mi2) but is the most populous (has the isles' main population). The town Saint-Pierre is also the archipelago's main seaport (cargo and cruise port), capital, the commercial and administrative center.
Miquelon-Langlade island is the group's largest, composed of two isles. Miquelon Island (area 110 km2 / 42 mi2) is connected by a sandbar/isthmus (length 10 km / 6 mi) to the Langlade Island (area 91 km2 / 35 mi2). In the Miquelon Island's northern part is located a small village (population around 700), while Langlade is uninhabited.
With total land area 242 km2 (93 mi2), Saint Pierre and Miquelon is France's only remaining territory in North America (the New France colony/1534-1763). The first European who landed on the islands (St Pierre Island) was Joao Alvares Fagundes (1460-1522, explorer and shipowner from Viana do Castelo Portugal) in October 1520. The islands became part of New France in 1536 but were permanently settled only in the late-17th century. In 1670, the archipelago was annexed by a French officer who found French fishermen camping there. In 1713 the territory was ceded to Great Britain. After the Seven Years' War (1754-1763) and under the Treaty of Paris (1763) France ceded all its North American/New France territories, with the exception of the Saint-Pierre et Miquelon colony. Under the treaty's terms, France maintained its Newfoundland coastal fishing rights.
In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Great Britain invaded and destroyed the colony. Its entire population (around 2,000 at the time) was sent to mainland France. In 1793, British troops landed in the town of St Pierre and expelled its French population replacing it with British settlers. Their colony was in turn raided and sacked by the French in 1796. The uninhabited islands were officially returned to France again by the Treaty of Amiens (1802) and resettled in 1816.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Saint Pierre and Miquelon dock (anchor) at Saint-Pierre - port town on the St Pierre island's eastern coast. There is a ferry service from Newfoundland to St Pierre.
Port Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands 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 Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands, France. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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|National Geographic Explorer|
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