Martinique has just welcomed the first ship of the season this Sunday, October 08, with the "Seabourn Pursuit" from Seabourn Cruises.
This inaugural call took place at Pointe Simon cruise terminal, in the heart of Fort de France with 231 passengers on board. This is the second expedition ship of the cruise company launched this year, which carries two custom-built submarines, 24 Zodiacs, kayaks, and a 26-person expert expedition team whose role is to engage guests throughout each voyage. Along the Pursuit, the Seabourn Quest, Sojourn and Ovation are scheduled several times this season.
Martinique Tourism Authority and all its local industry partners are indeed fully prepared to welcome the new season. With a remarkable number of 240 calls scheduled all around the island, the local cruise industry expects a rise of 28% of calls, compared to last season.
Overall, the island expects a forecast of approximately 421,000 passengers, compared with 338,154 registered last season (2022/2023):
- 180 cruise calls in Fort de France (Les Tourelles cruise port & Pointe Simon terminal)
- 60 calls in anchorages: in Trois-Ilets, Anses-d’Arlet, Le Marin and Saint Pierre.
- 6 cruise lines in homeporting at Les Tourelles (MSC, Costa, Club Med, Aida, Le Ponant, Sea Cloud Cruises)
The cruise passengers experience upon arrival in Fort-de-France is improving season after season. After the “Instapoint M” created by the team of local artists from Valorisation Martinique inaugurated in August 2022, followed by the colourful revamp of the entire Garnier Pagès street by the group of artists from Madrid, Boa Mistura; the cruise passengers will discover the newest creative addition named “Apajé” (this is not a game).
The 328-foot long art piece created by the group of 7 local artists of “Mada Paint”, is a deconstruct board game, featuring different aspects of the island. The giant floor piece includes 3 anamorphosis that create very immersive photos, for unforgettable memories.
This 2023-2024 season also marks the expansion of Saint Pierre, city of Art & History, with 32 cruise calls scheduled (with a forecast of approximately 13 000 passengers), compared to none last season. Passengers from Explora Journeys, Club Med, Scenic Cruises, Rizt Carlton and Seabourn Cruises will arrived at the foot of the majestic Mount Pelee, which has recently received one the most prestigious distinction.
During the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh from September 10 to 25, 2023; an early announcement made on September 16 declared the Volcanoes and Forests of Mount Pelée and the Pitons of Northern Martinique, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This well-deserved recognition will increase the attractiveness of this region of course, but also of the island as a whole.
The city of Saint Pierre will also host the Cruise Friendly program, for the first time in Martinique. Initially launch in 2013 by the Var Provence Cruise Club in the Ports of Toulon Bay, the “Cruise Friendly” certification is granted to local tourism providers, shops, restaurants etc… who comply with certain requirements catered to visiting cruise passengers.
The aim is to create a strong network that works towards the same common goal: enhance the experience ashore that meets the requirements of cruise lines, their cruise passengers and crew members!
Transat Jacques Vabre regatta arrival in Fort-de-France is another highlight of this 2023-2024 season. More than 100 competitors will sail toward the magnificent Bay of Fort-de-France, from November 11 to 19, 2023.