Fort de France

Coconut trees and gentle waves 
The Sacré Coeur de Balata
French fortress and rum distilleries

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Fort de France

Irresistible seas

Among the great pleasures that disembarking from an MSC cruise ship at Fort-de-France, Martinique can grant you is the immediate possibility of bathing in the Caribbean Sea.

Just stroll down to the Anse Mitan beach in the Trois-Ilets, located on a promontory that protects the interior of Martinique’s main bay; or to the nearby Anse à l'Ane: white beaches, coconut trees for shade and the luxurious inland vegetation as a background, the perfect setting for a holiday in the Caribbean.

Less than 20 minutes away from the island’s capital, in Balata, there is a Botanical Garden set up in the heart of the rainforest. It has over 3000 species of tropical plants and flowers that can be observed along trails some of which are partly suspended. Nearby, you will also find Balata’s Sacre Coeur, a miniature replica of the basilica in Montmartre, Paris.

Here, from the slopes of Pitons du Carbet, you can admire a beautiful view spanning from the bay of Fort-de-France to Pointe du Bout. Of the city churches in the capital, the St. Louis Cathedral, constructed by the architect Henry Pick in 1895, is worth a visit. Because the church had to stand up to fire and hurricane winds, it Roman-Byzantine style and its 57-metre-tall tower were modified to the need of keeping the church profile simple.

To enjoy the most picturesque view of the bay and the port, take an excursion to Fort Saint-Louis, which was constructed by the French in 1640 (it continued to be used up till the Second World War) on the eastern edge of Flamands Bay. There is, however, another way of experiencing the island’s French heritage: visiting the island’s rhum distillery, as the French call rum. The Depaz distillery has been producing the national beverage since 1651, when it was constructed by the Depaz family on their private lands in the northeast of the island, at the feet of the Mont Pelée volcano.

Must see place in Fort de France

  • Anse Mitan Beach

    Anse Mitan Beach

  • Depaz rum distillery

    Depaz rum distillery

  • Garden’s Suspension Bridge  in the botanical garden

    Garden’s Suspension Bridge in the botanical garden

Discover our excursions

5 results found

  • GETAWAY JEEP ADVENTURE (approx. 4 hours)
                           

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    MAR15

    Step off the ship and get in a jeep for an exciting tour of the lesser known regions of Martinique. A scenic drive along the main roads will first take you to the small town of St. Joseph in the island's interior, after which you will enter private property and proceed to the off-road part of your tour, fording a number of rivers along the way before you hit the rainforest and its glorious vegetation. A stop will be made to let you appreciate the sheer tranquillity of this special place. Back on the road again, you can enjoy splendid views of the valleys and mountains before learning a little about Martinique's agriculture when you travel through a banana plantation. Your final stop on the tour is the beautiful Coeur-Bouliki forest near St. Joseph and the Rivière Blanche (White River), where you can take a seat at the river bank and refresh yourself with a delicious drink. Your return to Fort-de-France on interior roads will give you more marvellous views of the bay to enjoy before you arrive back at your ship. Please note: as this tour involves travelling along winding roads, it may be unsuitable for guests who are susceptible to motion sickness. This tour is only available for guests on board the MSC Musica.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • HIKING & PEACE OF MIND (approx. 3 hours)

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    MAR20

    Take some time out from your ship and board a minibus for a short ride from Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, to the scenic Rue de la Fontaine Didier hiking trail. Look forward to a gentle hike on well-maintained roads through the most spectacular landscape, marked by lush rainforest vegetation, tropical trees and an abundance of wildlife. The trail also takes you past a number of lovely waterfalls before you arrive at Absalon, the final destination of your hike. You will then have time to have a rest, relax and enjoy a well-earned drink on the banks of a small river. To save your feet, a comfortable minibus will then be waiting to take you on an equally scenic return drive to the port and your ship.
      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        3 h

    • FOLKLORIC MARTINIQUE & RUM DISTILLERY TOUR (approx. 4 hours)

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      MAR16

      For an authentic taste of Martinique, step off the ship, board a coach and travel through the rainforest to one of the island's best rum distilleries. On the way, a stop will be made at Balata Church, an exact miniature replica of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris that affords a spectacular view of Fort-de-France and the bay. A visit to the Depaz rum distillery will not only give you a chance to learn a little about the process of making rum, but also let you sample the special rhum agricole, which is distilled only in Martinique and is made using freshly squeezed sugarcane juice rather than the conventional molasses. A 10-minute drive from the distillery will take you St. Pierre, the former cultural capital of Martinique that was tragically destroyed in a major outbreak of Mount Pelée in 1902. The modern-day town of St. Pierre is France's 101st "City of Art and History”. After visiting the Volcano Museum, your return trip to Fort-de-France will take you through Le Carbet, the spot where Columbus landed in 1502 and the town that inspired Gauguin to paint some of his most beguiling canvases. Also on the itinerary are Bellefontaine and its famous boat-shaped house as well as Schoelcher, a seaside resort that was named after a 19th-century French abolitionist writer. Please note: the tour itinerary may be reversed. As this tour involves travelling along winding roads, it may be unsuitable for guests who are susceptible to motion sickness. Shooting videos and taking photos are not permitted inside the St. Pierre Volcano Museum. This tour is only available for guests on board the MSC Musica.
      • Tasting included

      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

    • Historical Clement Plantation (3 hours)

      NATURAL WONDERS

      MAR22

      During this excursion you will discover the architectural and industrial heritage of Martinique. Your tour begins with a visit to a tropical botanic garden which showcases more than 300 different botanical species throughout 16 acres of lush landscape. Next you will make your way to the Clement Plantation where you will visit the Main house where you can observe the domestic life of the plantation, and admire the Creole architecture. Your visit to the plantation also includes a visit to the Old Rum Distillery where you can learn about the rum making process and have a rum tasting. Notes: This tour involves winding roads which may not be suitable for those who suffer from vertigo or car- sickness. Participants must be in good health and correctly dressed. This tour ends at the port for transit guests and at the airport for guests who are disembarking and booked on flights after 3pm. The duration of the tour also includes the time for transfer to the airport. To book and prepay this tour before your cruise, please use code MAR22 if you will be in transit in Fort de France or code MAR22D if you will be disembarking in Fort de France.
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          3 h

      • Rum Distillery with lunch at Bambou (7 hours)

        SOMETHING SPECIAL

        MAR24

        You will depart Fort de France and head towards Ste Marie where you will visit the famous St. James Rum Distillery & Museum. There you can try some agricol rum and learn how rum is distilled while visiting the museum. Next you will make your way to "Le Bambou” for an authentic Creole lunch. After lunch you will board your motor coach and travel to the city of St. Pierre which was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Pelee in 1902. On your journey back to the ship make sure to be on the lookout for the many quaint fishing villages you will pass along the way. Notes: This tour is not available for the port of call of March 4, 2014.
        • Lunch or dinner included

        • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Easy

        • Duration
          7 h

      The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

       

      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

      Martinique

      An explosion of colours

      An explosion of colours

      Probably the most colourful stop on this Caribbean cruise with its shimmering beaches changing from shades of dazzling white to silvery black.

      Where can you experience such striking diversity of landscape? Only on a holiday to Martinique, on the beaches of Les Salines, the Baies des Anglais and Le François. Near Anse Noire, on the south-east of the island, you can even see a black beach neighbouring a white one.

      Turn your back on the sea to discover a verdant paradise which mutates from one end of the island to the other. The North is a lush green mountainous landscape and the wild scenery is crossed by its many streams and just as many natural spring waterfalls.

      Mount Pelée, the Pitons du Carbet, the Canal de Beauregard or the Trace des Jésuites, are only some of the destinations for those explorers who embark upon one of the thirty footpaths at the heart of the island. Don't overlook the island’s Queen of drinks: Rum, produced in eleven different distilleries on the island.

      Along the “Rum Road” you'll find the distillers telling you about the character and the peculiarities of their sugarcane spirit, of how the choices made, from the cutting of the sugarcane onwards, can change the flavour of this perfumed nectar.