Called the “island of flowers”, Columbus landed here in 1502. Touring the countryside one is reminded of the Hawaiian island of Maui. Overshadowed by a volcano, this island ranges from lush rain forests to a desert of petrified wood. Her people are distinctly French and delightfully Creole. The currency is the French Franc; however stores accept traveler’s checks and charge cards. The street merchants accept U.S. dollars.
For the ships that tender, you will be dropped off downtown. Mercedes Benz cabs are available at the pier for downtown transport or island tours.
SIGHTS: At Fort-de-France in La Savone Park look for the statue of Empress Josephine face her birthplace across the bay of Trois Ilets. Since this is a city to be savored on foot, stroll to the Isambert Market where you will find fresh Martinique fruit, spices and old-time patent medicines. A tour by taxi through the tropical rain forest to Mt. Pelee which erupted n 1902 is a possibility. Don’t forget to visit Dr. Frank Perret’s museum with pictures of the disaster and a drive along the beautiful black sand beaches when returning to the ship. The best buys on perfumes and French luxury items, Parisian silk scares, French neckties and the island poupee’ martinuaise doll in Creole madras costume. If you use traveler’s checks or credit cards you will receive a good discount at Roger Albert’s Duty Free Shop, one of the best stores in this area for shopping. This is not a particularly good island for shopping however.
ADMIRALS TIP: We enjoy getting out of town after a fast shopping trip and seeing the beautiful country side. The ride out to where the volcano erupted in 1902 and a visit to the volcano museum is one of our favorite tours. If you take a cab tour, make sure your cab driver speaks English-many don’t. Another one of our favorites to do is take a cab downtown, shop for 15 minutes then catch a boat for a 15-minute ride to La Pointe Du Bout. Walk the beaches, visit a small village and marina, have lunch and return to the ship.