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

Discover our excursions

10 results found

  • GETAWAY JEEP ADVENTURE

    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.
    • 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

    • Adults£69.00Price per person

    • Children£49.00Price per person

  • HIKING & PEACE OF MIND

    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. Please note: guests must be in good physical health and at least 6 years of age to take part. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult (parent/legal guardian) throughout the tour and under their constant supervision at all times. Guests are recommended to wear sports or mountain shoes suitable for hiking.
      • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

        Difficulty Level
        Strenuous

      • Duration
        3 h

      • Adults£52.00Price per person

      • Children£39.00Price per person

    • FOLKLORIC MARTINIQUE & RUM DISTILLERY TOUR

      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.
      • 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

      • Adults£55.00Price per person

      • Children£42.00Price per person

    • MADININA: SLAVES’ SAVANNAH

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      MAR26

      Before Martinique came to be known by its current name, it was once called Madinina – the island of flowers. And to go with the historical name, this tour will whisk you off on a voyage back in time to discover a little about the island’s rich heritage. After leaving the port, the coach will first take you south and around Fort-de-France Bay to the small town of Les Trois-Îlets, home to a living museum called “La Savane des Esclaves”, or the Slaves’ Savannah. Designed to offer a window to the daily lives of slaves in Martinique in the 19th century, the museum park covers 2 ha of land and features a traditional village setting, including wooden huts with earthen floors and roofs made of sugarcane leaves. Learn how cassava flour cakes were traditionally made and find out what sort of plants you’d find in a typical Creole garden and how you could put them to nutritional, cosmetic or even medicinal use. As a final highlight to round off the tour’s heritage theme, a stop will be made at the nearby Pottery Village. See local artisans create all sorts of attractive handmade pottery using methods already practiced by the island’s indigenous population, the Arawaks. Leaving potters’ heaven behind, a short but scenic coach ride will then see you return to the port, your ship and all the comforts of the present day. Please note: guests are recommended to wear comfortable clothing, a hat, sunglasses and high-factor sunscreen.
      • Limited seats

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

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        3:25 h

      • Adults£42.00Price per person

      • Children£29.00Price per person

    • BEACH & TURTLES

      NATURAL WONDERS

      MAR28

      Make a date with some of Martinique’s very best features on this leisurely half-day tour around its amazing coastal waters on board a special submarine-style motorised catamaran with panoramic viewing windows. The on-board guide will tell you about the history of Flemish Bay as you cross and then you’ll sail along the coastline to reach L’îlet à Ramiers, a tiny green dot in the sea located just off the shore. The catamaran will draw close to the conical islet so you can snap photos and savour the views, especially when you pass the bat cave. Leaving this place of great marine and land-based biodiversity, you’ll then move on through the area known as Cap Salomon to head for one of the island’s gorgeous beaches. Before you leave the catamaran for some time on the sand, you’ll have a chance to benefit from the vessel’s submarine capabilities and watch sea turtles gracefully swim through the water. After your stay at the beach, enjoy local cake, fruit juice and rum punch to the sound of traditional island music as you make your way back to the pier and your ship. Please note: although sightings of turtles and other marine wildlife are common, they cannot be guaranteed. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult throughout the tour and under their constant supervision at all times.
      • Snack included

      • Limited seats

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

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3:30 h

      • Adults£55.00Price per person

      • Children£39.00Price per person

    • BOTANICAL GARDEN & ITS SUSPENSION BRIDGE

      NATURAL WONDERS

      MAR21D

      After a short drive, enjoy a beautiful view of Fort de France while visiting a replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre. Next, your tour will take you to the stunning Botanical Garden where you can walk under the trees and discover a multitude of tropical plants and flowers. Take a moment to cross the Garden’s Suspension Bridge where you will find exceptional views you will want to immortalize in photos. Please note: Participants of this tour must be physically fit and able to walk about 1.5 miles. Guests are recommended to wear comfortable closed shoes. The tour itinerary may be reversed. This tour involves winding roads, which may be unsuitable for those who suffer with vertigo and car-sickness. Walking on the suspension bridge is unsuitable for pregnant guests, or guest who suffer from vertigo. The minimum age for the suspension bridge 7 years old. 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 MAR21 if you will be in transit in Fort de France or code MAR21D 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

        • Adults£52.00Price per person

        • Children£39.00Price per person

      • BOTANICAL GARDEN & ITS SUSPENSION BRIDGE

        NATURAL WONDERS

        MAR21

        After a short drive, enjoy a beautiful view of Fort de France while visiting a replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre. Next, your tour will take you to the stunning Botanical Garden where you can walk under the trees and discover a multitude of tropical plants and flowers. Take a moment to cross the Garden’s Suspension Bridge where you will find exceptional views you will want to immortalize in photos. Please note: Participants of this tour must be physically fit and able to walk about 1.5 miles. Guests are recommended to wear comfortable closed shoes. The tour itinerary may be reversed. This tour involves winding roads, which may be unsuitable for those who suffer with vertigo and car-sickness. Walking on the suspension bridge is unsuitable for pregnant guests, or guest who suffer from vertigo. The minimum age for the suspension bridge 7 years old.
          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            3 h

          • Adults£52.00Price per person

          • Children£39.00Price per person

        • HISTORICAL CLEMENT PLANTATION

          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. Please note: 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.
            • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

              Difficulty Level
              Moderate

            • Duration
              3 h

            • Adults£52.00Price per person

            • Children£39.00Price per person

          • HISTORICAL CLEMENT PLANTATION

            NATURAL WONDERS

            MAR22D

            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.Please note: 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

              • Adults£52.00Price per person

              • Children£39.00Price per person

            • RUM DISTILLERY WITH LUNCH AT BAMBOU

              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. Please note: This tour involves winding roads which may not be suitable for those who suffer from vertigo or car- sickness.
              • Lunch or dinner included

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

                Difficulty Level
                Easy

              • Duration
                7 h

              • Adults£59.00Price per person

              • Children£42.00Price per person

            The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which 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 programmes 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.