Martinique was perhaps the most developed of the islands we visited. We docked at Fort-de-France, the capital, which was filled with yachts and sailboats and in-season visiting cruise liners. This day we were the only ship in port. Martinique hosts a volcano, Mt. Pelee on the northern side of the island near Saint-Pierre.
Our tour this day was somewhat disappointing as the sites were few and our guide somewhat uninformative (When asked how many people lived on the island his response was "Not too many"). The tour did take us through the rain forests (not as lush as those on Dominica) along the way we watched the harvesting of mahogany. Then on to visit the Balata Church, a replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmarte in Paris. Finally up to Saint-Pierre which was known as the "Paris of the West Indies," until it was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 1902. There we visited the Saint-Pierre Museum which had many artifacts dug up after the volcanic destruction.
The Rain Forests
Sacre Ceur la Martinique
Rainbow ala Martinique
The Race to the Ship
After an unscheduled stop at a rum factory where even the driver tasted the wares, we headed back to the ship with not a lot of time to spare. With the ship in site, we ran into traffic and it was touch and go as to whether we would make it back in time. Obviously we did. Although this tour was not the high point of our cruise, we did get to meet two crew members who toured with us. Larry a saxophone player with the ship's orchestra was originally from Brooklyn and was now living in New Hampshire. With him was the ship's Sound Engineer who was a full-blooded American Indian whose father was an Elected Chief and whose grandfather was a traditional chief. We learned a lot about what its like to sign on as part of the crew on a luxury cruise liner from these two.