Fort de France Cruise

Balata Cathedral
Rum Distilleries
Botanical Gardens

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Fort de France

French history, natural beauty and rum

Thanks in large part to its French and West Indian influences, Martinique, a lush mountainous island in the Lesser Antilles with its dormant Mount Pelée volcano in the backdrop, exudes a cosmopolitan flair with a sophisticated culinary and cultural scene that draws travellers not only to its natural wonders, beautiful bays and beaches, but also to its heart at Fort-de-France, the capital. While French is the official language, most islanders also speak Antillean Creole. As part of the European Union, the island uses the euro as its currency.
 
When you arrive on an MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise in Fort-de-France, you immediately notice the island’s steep hills, colourful colonial architecture, ornate balconies and tropical flowers. Book an MSC excursion to the Balata Cathedral, a miniature replica of the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, Paris, which offers a spectacular view of Fort-de-France and the bay. 
 
Before Martinique came to be known by its current name, it was once called Madinina, the island of flowers. At Balata Botanical Gardens, discover 300 types of palm trees, take in views from the garden's suspension bridge and enjoy the tropical flowers in bloom across 16 acres of lush landscape.
 
Or try the island's best rum distilleries. MSC excursions will take you to the Depaz Distillery, in business since 1651, or the St. James Rum Distillery & Museum,  where you will learn about the process of making rum and taste the traditional Rhum Agricole, made by using freshly squeezed sugarcane juice rather than the conventional molasses. 
 
Afterwards, visit the ruins of the theatre in St. Pierre, the former cultural capital of Martinique that was tragically destroyed by the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée. The modern-day town of St. Pierre is France's 101st “City of Art and History.”

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Must see place in Fort de France

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    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.