Fort-de-France Martinique, Saint-Pierre in Fort-de-France Bay
Save
Saint-Pierre in Fort-de-France Bay iStock.com / Frizzantine
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Les Salines Beach
Save
Les Salines Beach iStock.com / c-photo
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Tropical Fish
Save
Tropical Fish iStock.com / vilainecrevette
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Mount Pelée
Save
Mount Pelée iStock.com / sigurcamp
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Rhum Agricole barrels
Save
Rhum Agricole Barrels iStock.com / pixfana
Fort-de-France, Martinique, Banana plantation
Save
Banana Plantation iStock.com / kelifamily

Fort-de-France, Martinique

Fort-de-France, Martinique, St. Louis Cathedral St. Louis Cathedral iStock.com / LisaStrachan

One of four islands in the French West Indies, Martinique is best known as the birthplace of Napoleon’s empress Josephine and the site where now-dormant Mount Pelée famously erupted in 1902. Too sprawling to explore fully in a single day, the island features postcard-worthy beaches, lush rainforests, banana plantations, rum distilleries, and a smattering of historical sites. Though Fort-de-France was long considered a second-string cruise destination, there’s been a notable increase in arrivals in recent years following improvements at the port.

What We Love

Snorkeling and Sea Turtle Spotting. All the cruise lines offer a turtle outing that’s relatively inexpensive, enjoyable at any age, and a wonderful excuse to hit the beach.

Fort Saint-Louis: The iconic 17th-century fort, after years of being closed to the public, is now open for tours.

Best Known For

Rum: Martinique’s history goes hand in hand with the sugar industry, and many local distilleries offer tours and tastings.

French Culture: This “little slice of France in the Caribbean” is authentically française.

Find a Cruise

Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates

Who It's Best For

Beach Lovers: Blessed with temperatures that stay between 75 and 80 degrees all year long, palm-studded beaches, and cooling trade winds, Martinique makes for an ideal beach day in a tropical paradise.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Your Guide May Not Speak English: Ditto for waiters and shopkeepers. If you don't parlez très bien le français, you may want to carry a French phrasebook, or download the Duolingo language app for your day ashore.

It’s a 15-Minute Walk to Get Downtown: On the other hand, cab rides on the island can be a bumpy, harrowing experience for those uninitiated to the island roads. Pick your poison.

The Dock Area Can Feel Sketchy: Despite improvements, cruisers share space with cargo workers, and the waterfront can feel a little seedy.

Almost Everything Is Closed on Sundays: If you’re in port for the Sabbath, book a spa treatment on the ship instead.

Suzanne Kelleher

Suzanne Rowan Kelleher is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Boston Globe.

Find a Cruise
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates

Itineraries Including Fort-de-France, Martinique
Find a Cruise
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates