If you’re going on a Caribbean cruise that will include Martinique as a port of call or if you’re just thinking about a cruise vacation, you may want more information about this French-speaking island that is located just north of Saint Lucia and Barbados and south of Puerto Rico.
15 Top Reasons to Visit Martinique on Your Next Cruise
- An elegant Caribbean island which offers a delightful mix of French and Caribbean influences.
- Hearty welcome ashore.
- Cruise boats dock close to downtown Fort de France, located on one of the largest bays in the world.
- Brand new Malecon waterfront promenade, with a range of facilities offered to the visitors.
- An updated choice of tours and leisure opportunities, including new segway and carriage rides.
- A wide array of excellent shopping options, just a few steps from the cruise terminal.
- A refined & exquisite Creole cuisine mixed with French influences.
- Saint-Pierre, Classified City of Art and History considered the little Pompeii of the Caribbean.
- A bounty of historical sites and museums.
- Total freedom of transportation, no quota requirements.
- Reliable and professional quality of taxi drivers’ service.
- Safe and secure environment.
- Excellent port facilities.
- Strict respect of ISPS code.
- No head tax applied.
Martinique Cruise Village
Martinique has recently started a new initiative to welcome its cruise visitors, the Martinique Cruise Village, a complex consisting of vendors and information points, located at Pointe Simon, at the entrance of downtown Fort-de-France.
Open for arrivals of vessels at the Pointe Simon Cruise Terminal, the Village will be in place on these calls days, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, through the season, until Friday April 18th.
Vendors include local clothing, jewelry and accessory designers, locally produced skin care products and perfumes, souvenir shops, local artists exhibiting their paintings and tasty snacks. All vendors accept payment in US Dollars.
The experience is enhanced with live local music, entertainment, rum tasting, and greetings by multi-lingual hostesses. Our local AOC rums will soon be available for sale and visitors will be able to bring back the perfect souvenir to their loved ones.
The Martinique Tourism Authority and the Fort de France tourist office also have booths onsite to assist visitors in designing their perfect day in Martinique.
Further into the city, visitors will be assisted by “city stewards” easily noticeable by their red jacket uniform. These multi-lingual local guides, dispatched through the city are always handy to answers questions, give directions or just welcome visitors.
This season Martinique welcomes calls from Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Aida, Seabourn, Star Clippers, Club Med, Compagnie du Ponant, Costa, MSC, Sea Cloud and Swan Hellenic.
* All pictures of Martinique Cruise Village are copyright MICHA for the Martinique Tourism Authority.
Entry Requirements for Cruise Passengers
Don’t Need Visa
Passengers with the following nationalities may enter Martinique without a visa:
- United States of America citizens
- Canadian citizens
- European Economic Community (EEC) citizens
- Brazil citizens
In addition, a visa is waived for citizens of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Moncao, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela
Non-EEC citizens who are subject to a visa to enter Martinique must hold any of the following:
- A valid Schengen visa delivered in France, or in any European Union member country
- A valid residence permit issued by one of the European Union member states, or by one of the EEC states, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino
- A valid residence permit issued in the United States of America, Canada or Japan
Passengers and crew members who do not meet the above conditions may not leave the ship.
For more details please contact your nearest French Consulate.
Visit www.ambafrance-us.org for a listing of all French Consulates.
The Martinique Cruise Experience
Cruise guests are given personalized and friendly reception upon their arrival at Martinique’s Tourelles and Pointe Simon Terminals.
- Hostesses in Creole costumes greet guests with a beaming smile and handing out practical tourist information leaflets and maps.
- Uniformed Taxi dispatchers assist visitors in arranging local transportation.
- Knowledgeable professionals give useful tips on how to spend the day in Martinique.
- Local musicians welcome visitors with lively Caribbean tunes.
Fort de France
- Bilingual street guides, wearing white and red uniforms, are posted in strategic areas to greet and inform cruise visitors.
- Tourist information offices are located downtown (corner of rues Schoelcher & Antoine Siger next to the Saint-Louis Cathedral, 76 rue Lazare Carnot). If you have any questions regarding the Martinique capital, please consult the website of the tourist office of Fort-de-France: www.tourismefdf.com
Restaurants In Fort-de-France
Le Gossip is the talk of the town among young, hip locals in Martinique. A restaurant, boutique and art gallery all in one, Le Gossip regularly hosts fashion shows, poetry readings, wine tastings, and more in a lively downtown Fort-de-France location.
- 126 rue Antoine Siger – Fort-de-France
- Open Monday to Saturday
- Information and reservation at + 596 596 57 51 98
- Facebook: Le Gossip
Named in honor of Martinique’s famed poet, Aimé Césaire, this charming eatery located in downtown Fort-de-France features the culinary creations of Chef Harold Jeanville, formerly of Ti’ Foyaal and Lenotre in Paris where he worked alongside such culinary masters as Pierre Hermé and Alain Ducasse. The dynamic menu changes daily, ensuring a unique dining experience with every visit.
- Corner of rue Desproges & rue Schoelcher, above Le Foyaal restaurant – Fort-de-France
- Open everyday from 12pm to 3pm and 7:30pm to 11pm
- Information and reservation at + 596 596 63 00 38
Lili’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
Martinique’s newest hot spot to see and be seen, Lili’s is a chic beachfront bar and restaurant located at the La Batliere hotel in Schoelcher, just 10 min from downtown Fort-France. New menu choices are served up daily under the auspices of Chef Johnny Vahey, a native of Ireland who apprenticed under renowned celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsey. Chef Vahey describes the cuisine as refined Caribbean/Creole with French accents and an emphasis on fresh, local products. The gourmet fare runs counter to Lili’s casual, laid-back setting, lending a uniquely alluring, tropical style epitomizing the French Riviera in the Caribbean.
- Monday and Tuesday: for lunch only
- Wednesday to Sunday: lunch and dinner
Bar & beach open
- Monday to Friday: from 10am to midnight
- Weekends: from 10am to 2am
- Facebook: Lilis Beach Bar
Discovering the Balata Gardens’ canopy on aerial paths
Located only seven miles from Fort-de-France, and very much appreciated by our cruise guests and nature-lovers, the Balata Gardens of Martinique now offer an incredible innovating experience to its visitors by allowing them to explore its luxuriant canopy while comfortably strolling on fifteen-meter high wooden bridges running over the tops of one hundred-year-old trees and giving a magical breathtaking aerial view of the garden, the bay of Fort-de-France and the Carbet Pitons. The Balata Gardens are a real master piece and an internationally-renowned reference for the richness of its botanical collections.
- Balata Garden
- Route de Balata
- 97200 Fort de France
- t : + 596 596 64 48 73
Depaz distillery opens its “Château” to the public
Being one of the most visited venues by cruise guests, the Depaz Distillery has recently opened its plantation house to the public.
Surrounded by a well-tended park and beautifully nestled at the foot of the majestic and famed Mount Pelée, the plantation house of the former master shelters a precious collection of artifacts, archive documents, Creole costumes, and antique furniture. A real invitation to a wonderful voyage into the life of yesteryear!
- Chateau Depaz
- 97250 Saint Pierre
- t: + 596 596 78 13 14
- Ship Agency
- Roger Larcher
- 44 rue Garnier-Pagès
- 97205 Fort De France Cedex
- t: + 596 596 71 31 00
- Ship Agency
- Bassin de Radoub’s ships’ agent
- Jean Pierre Monginy
- Immeuble du Port – Av François Mitterand
- 97200 Fort De France
- t: + 596 596 63 35 35