Fort de France
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.