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The 10 Best Things To Do In Martinique On A Cruise


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Collette Feeney



Welcome to Martinique, a stunning Caribbean island known for its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. Located in the Lesser Antilles, Martinique is a French overseas territory that combines the enchantment of the Caribbean with a hint of European charm. It’s a popular destination for cruise ship travelers who want to experience the beauty and diversity that Martinique has to offer.


With its stunning coastline, lush rainforests, and fascinating cultural heritage, Martinique offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or simply relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone on this tropical paradise.


In this article, we’ll take you through the top 10 things to do in Martinique on a cruise. From exploring the island’s capital city to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, you’ll discover the best experiences that Martinique has to offer. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this Caribbean gem and create unforgettable memories during your cruise vacation.


Explore Fort-de-France

No visit to Martinique is complete without exploring its vibrant capital city, Fort-de-France. As the cultural and economic center of the island, Fort-de-France offers a fascinating blend of French and Caribbean influences.


Start your exploration at La Savane, a beautiful park in the heart of the city. Here, you can wander through lush tropical gardens, admire the statue of Empress Josephine, and soak up the lively atmosphere. Nearby, you’ll find the iconic Schoelcher Library, a stunning example of French architectural style.


For history buffs, a visit to Fort Saint-Louis is a must. This fortress, originally built in the 17th century, played a crucial role in defending the island against foreign invasions. Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Caribbean Sea.


Continue your exploration by strolling along the vibrant Rue de la République, the main shopping street in Fort-de-France. Here, you’ll find a variety of shops, boutiques, and local markets where you can purchase souvenirs, handicrafts, spices, and more.


To delve deeper into Martinique’s history and culture, visit the Musée d’Histoire et d’Ethnographie. Housed in a beautiful Creole mansion, this museum showcases the island’s past through a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays.


No visit to Fort-de-France would be complete without tasting the local cuisine. Head to the Grand Marché, the bustling central market of the city, where you can sample fresh fruits, spices, and local delicacies. Don’t forget to try the famous accras de morue (cod fritters) and a refreshing glass of Ti Punch, the traditional Martinican rum cocktail.


Pro tip: If you’re visiting on a Saturday morning, don’t miss the colorful flower and produce market on the square in front of the Fort-de-France Cathedral. It’s a feast for the senses and a great opportunity to mingle with the locals.


Whether you’re interested in history, culture, shopping, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a buzzing Caribbean city, exploring Fort-de-France is a must-do during your visit to Martinique.


Visit Les Anses d’Arlet

Escape to the picturesque fishing village of Les Anses d’Arlet, located on the southwest coast of Martinique. With its palm-fringed beaches and charming Creole architecture, this quaint village offers a serene and idyllic setting.


One of the main attractions of Les Anses d’Arlet is its stunning beaches. Head to Anse Dufour and Anse Noire, two neighboring beaches known for their crystal-clear turquoise waters and abundant marine life. These beaches offer excellent snorkeling opportunities, allowing you to swim among colorful coral reefs and encounter a variety of tropical fish.


After a morning of sunbathing and snorkeling, take a leisurely stroll through the village to admire the vibrant Creole houses and enjoy the laid-back ambiance. Don’t miss the chance to visit the picturesque church, Église Notre-Dame de la Bonne-Délivrance, which dates back to the 19th century.


For those seeking a culinary adventure, indulge in the local seafood dishes that Les Anses d’Arlet is famous for. From grilled fish to savory lobster, the restaurants in the village offer a wide range of delectable options. Pair your meal with a glass of refreshing local rum and savor the flavors of Martinique.


If you’re interested in exploring the underwater world even further, consider taking a boat trip from Les Anses d’Arlet to nearby Diamond Rock. This unique rock formation, rising dramatically from the sea, is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling. Marvel at the marine life that call the rock home, including colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and maybe even some turtles.


Make sure to take some time to relax and soak up the beauty of Les Anses d’Arlet’s beaches. Whether you’re a beach lover, a food enthusiast, or simply appreciate the charm of a quaint fishing village, a visit to Les Anses d’Arlet is a must during your time in Martinique.


Discover the Charm of Saint-Pierre

Step back in time and discover the intriguing history and charm of Saint-Pierre, once known as the “Paris of the Caribbean.” Located on the northern Caribbean coast of Martinique, Saint-Pierre offers a fascinating glimpse into its prosperous past and the devastating tragedy that befell the city.


Prior to the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902, Saint-Pierre was the cultural and economic capital of Martinique. It was a bustling city with theaters, luxury shops, and a vibrant social scene. However, the volcanic eruption completely destroyed the city, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.


Today, visitors can explore the ruins of Saint-Pierre, which have been preserved as a historical site. Take a guided tour through the ruins to learn about the city’s history and the impact of the volcanic eruption. Visit the Musée Vulcanologique, which houses artifacts and displays that chronicle the events leading up to the eruption.


One of the most iconic landmarks in Saint-Pierre is the Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre. Partially destroyed by the volcanic eruption, the cathedral’s imposing ruins are a powerful reminder of the city’s tragic past. Take a moment to reflect on the resilience of the people of Saint-Pierre as you wander through this hauntingly beautiful site.


For a taste of local culture, visit the Franck-A.-Perret Museum, dedicated to preserving the heritage of Martinique. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, artwork, and historical documents that provide insight into the island’s history and culture.


After immersing yourself in history, take a stroll along the waterfront promenade and soak up the captivating views of the Caribbean Sea. Indulge in some local cuisine at one of the waterfront restaurants, where you can savor the flavors of Creole dishes and fresh seafood.


If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a boat tour to explore the nearby Bay of Saint-Pierre. This scenic bay is surrounded by lush green hillsides and offers opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and diving in pristine waters.


Saint-Pierre is a place of historical significance, offering a glimpse into a past era while showcasing the resilience of its people. A visit to this charming town is a must for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Martinique’s rich cultural heritage.


Enjoy Anse Mitan Beach

Escape to the pristine shores of Anse Mitan Beach, located on the western coast of Martinique. With its golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views, this beach is a perfect spot for relaxation and recreation.


Anse Mitan Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering a range of activities to suit all interests. Spend your day lounging on the sun-kissed sand, soaking up the Caribbean sun, and taking refreshing dips in the turquoise waters.


If you’re seeking some adventure, Anse Mitan Beach is a great place for water sports. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the calm waters, or try your hand at windsurfing or jet skiing. The beach is also known for its snorkeling opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your gear and discover the vibrant underwater world.


When you’re ready for a break from the sun, head to the nearby village of Trois-Îlets. This charming town is steeped in history and offers a glimpse into the island’s colonial past. Visit the Musée de la Pagerie, the birthplace of Empress Josephine, and learn about her life and the impact she had on French history.


In Trois-Îlets, you’ll also find an array of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Indulge in some local cuisine, such as accras (fried dough balls) or grilled seafood, and sip on a refreshing tropical drink. Browse the boutiques and souvenir shops for unique gifts or handcrafted items to take home as a memento of your trip.


For those seeking a bit of culture, consider visiting the historic church, Eglise du Diamant, near Anse Mitan Beach. This church dates back to the 18th century and features beautiful architecture and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.


As the sun sets over Anse Mitan Beach, take a moment to relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Watch as the sky transforms into shades of orange and pink, creating a breathtaking backdrop for a romantic evening stroll along the shoreline.


Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, Anse Mitan Beach offers the ideal setting for a memorable day in Martinique.


Take a Catamaran Excursion to Diamond Rock

Embark on a memorable adventure by taking a catamaran excursion to Diamond Rock, a unique geological formation located off the southern coast of Martinique. Shaped like a massive diamond, this striking rock provides an excellent opportunity for exploration and relaxation.


Board a catamaran and set sail from one of the island’s marinas, enjoying the gentle breeze and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. As you approach Diamond Rock, marvel at its impressive size, rising dramatically from the turquoise waters.


Once you arrive at Diamond Rock, anchor near its shores and take the opportunity to swim, snorkel, or simply bask in the sun on the catamaran’s spacious deck. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the rock are teeming with marine life, making it a fantastic spot for underwater exploration. Grab your snorkeling gear and dive into the depths to discover vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and maybe even a sea turtle or two.


If you prefer to stay on the catamaran, simply relax and take in the breathtaking views of Diamond Rock and the surrounding coastline. Capture memorable photos of this unique landmark and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Caribbean Sea.


During the excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch on board the catamaran. Feast on a variety of local delicacies and refreshing drinks as you soak up the sun and cruise around Diamond Rock.


As you sail back to the marina, take the time to reflect on the natural beauty and wonder of Diamond Rock. This iconic formation holds significant historical importance as well, as it once served as a hideout for pirates during the 17th century. Learn more about the rock’s fascinating past from the knowledgeable crew on board the catamaran.


Overall, a catamaran excursion to Diamond Rock offers a perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. Whether you choose to snorkel, sunbathe, or simply admire the breathtaking scenery, this unique experience will undoubtedly be a highlight of your visit to Martinique.


Relax at Les Salines Beach

Experience the ultimate Caribbean beach paradise at Les Salines Beach, located on the southern tip of Martinique. Renowned for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Les Salines Beach offers a picture-perfect setting for relaxation and enjoyment.


As one of the most popular beaches in Martinique, Les Salines attracts both locals and visitors seeking a tranquil escape. Start your day by finding a spot on the soft sandy shores, where you can set up your beach essentials and soak up the warm sun.


Take a refreshing dip in the calm, clear waters of Les Salines. Whether you prefer to swim, snorkel, or simply wade in the shallows, the beach provides an ideal setting to cool off and enjoy the inviting Caribbean Sea.


For those seeking adventure, various water sports are available at Les Salines Beach. Rent a paddleboard or a kayak and explore the coastline at your own pace, or try your hand at windsurfing as you catch the gentle breezes. The beach is also a popular spot for kiteboarding and sailing.


Take a leisurely stroll along the palm-fringed shoreline and marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Converse with other beachgoers, watch local fishermen in action, and immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance of this tropical paradise.


If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, there are food vendors and beach-side restaurants where you can sample delicious local cuisine. Indulge in grilled fish, seafood delicacies, and refreshing tropical drinks while enjoying the breathtaking views.


For a change of scenery, venture a short distance away from the main beach area and explore the salt ponds for which Les Salines is named. These natural salt pans showcase the unique ecosystem of the region and provide a tranquil backdrop for a leisurely walk or picnic.


As the sun begins to set, find a comfortable spot on the beach and marvel at the stunning colors spreading across the sky. The sunset views at Les Salines Beach are truly mesmerizing and provide the perfect ending to a day of relaxation.


Les Salines Beach offers a quintessential Caribbean beach experience with its pristine beauty, warm waters, and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, water sports, or simply a breathtaking view, this beach is a must-visit during your time in Martinique.


Tour the Distilleries and Sample Local Rum

No visit to Martinique is complete without immersing yourself in the island’s rich rum-making heritage. Martinique is renowned for producing some of the finest rums in the world, and a tour of its distilleries is a must for rum enthusiasts and those interested in learning about the island’s history.


Start your rum exploration by visiting one of the many distilleries scattered throughout the island. Each distillery offers a unique experience, providing insight into the traditional rum-making process and the chance to sample a variety of flavors and styles.


One of the most famous distilleries in Martinique is the Habitation Clément. Located in Le François, this historic plantation offers guided tours that take you through the rum production process, from the sugarcane fields to the aging cellars. Discover the fascinating history of rum in Martinique and indulge in tastings of their award-winning rums.


Another distillery not to be missed is the Rhum JM Distillery in Macouba. Nestled in the lush green hills of northern Martinique, this distillery is known for its high-quality agricole rum. Take a guided tour to learn about the unique process of making agricole rum, which is crafted from fresh sugarcane juice instead of molasses.


During your distillery visits, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the different types of rums and how they are aged to develop their distinct flavors. From light and floral to rich and robust, there’s a rum to suit every palate. Sample a variety of rums during tastings and savor the complex flavors and aromas.


At some distilleries, you can also explore museum exhibits that provide historical context and showcase the tools and equipment used in traditional rum production. Learn about the importance of sugarcane cultivation, the role of the distillery in the local economy, and the impact of rum on Martinique’s cultural identity.


Before you leave, be sure to pick up a bottle or two of your favorite rums to bring home as souvenirs. Martinique’s rum is highly regarded and makes for a perfect gift or a lasting reminder of your trip.


As you embark on your rum tour, remember to drink responsibly and pace yourself. Enjoy the flavors and savor the experience of discovering the rich world of Martinique’s rum-making traditions.


Exploring the distilleries and sampling the local rum is a unique and immersive way to connect with Martinique’s culture and heritage, making it an essential part of any visit to the island.


Explore the Botanical Gardens in Balata

Escape into a lush oasis of tropical beauty by visiting the Botanical Gardens in Balata, located just outside of Fort-de-France. These stunning gardens offer a tranquil retreat where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and fragrant scents of Martinique’s diverse plant life.


The highlight of the Botanical Gardens is the Jardin de Balata, a paradise filled with an incredible array of exotic plants and flowers. As you meander along the winding pathways, you’ll encounter towering palm trees, vibrant orchids, and a variety of tropical foliage that create a feast for the eyes.


Take your time to explore the well-maintained gardens and discover the unique species that call Martinique home. Admire the beauty of the lotus pond, marvel at the intricate patterns of the heliconia flowers, and be captivated by the vibrant blooms of hibiscus and bougainvillea.


One of the highlights of the Botanical Gardens is the treetop walkway, which allows you to experience the beauty of the gardens from a different perspective. Ascend high into the canopy, surrounded by lush greenery, and enjoy panoramic views of the gardens and the surrounding landscape.


For those with a love for tropical botany, the Jardin de Balata also features a fascinating collection of bromeliads, ferns, and other tropical plants. Learn about their unique characteristics and the intricate ecosystems they support as you wander through these specialized areas.


Throughout the gardens, you’ll find various seating areas and shaded spots where you can pause, relax, and take in the serene atmosphere. Bring along a picnic and find a quiet spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by nature’s beauty.


The Jardin de Balata is not only a haven for plant enthusiasts but also a paradise for birdwatchers. Keep your eyes and ears open for the colorful bird species that call the gardens home, such as hummingbirds and parrots. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Balata is a must. Experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Martinique as you explore these lush gardens and immerse yourself in the wonders of the tropical world. 

Visit the Village of Sainte-Anne

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Martinique by visiting the charming village of Sainte-Anne. Located on the southern coast of the island, this picturesque village offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches, local markets, and a lively atmosphere.


Start your exploration of Sainte-Anne with a visit to its renowned beach, Les Salines. With its soft white sands, gently swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters, Les Salines is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Take a dip in the refreshing sea, relax on the beach, or simply bask in the sunshine.


After enjoying the beach, wander through the streets of Sainte-Anne and discover its vibrant local culture. Explore the colorful market, where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and local handicrafts. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as vendors showcase their products and locals gather to socialize.


Indulge in the flavors of Martinique by sampling the local cuisine in one of the village’s restaurants. Taste traditional Martinican dishes such as accras de morue (cod fritters), colombo (a flavorful curry), or fresh seafood caught that very day.


For a taste of history, visit the church of Sainte-Anne, Église Sainte-Anne. This charming church, dating back to the 18th century, features a blend of colonial and local architectural styles. Step inside to admire the beautiful interior and experience a moment of peace and reflection.


Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade that lines the coast of Sainte-Anne and take in the panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. This scenic walk offers breathtaking vistas of the turquoise waters and nearby islets, creating a perfect backdrop for memorable photos.


If you’re interested in outdoor activities, make your way to Pointe Marin, where you can indulge in various water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, or even kiteboarding. Gear and equipment rentals are readily available, allowing you to enjoy the stunning coastal landscape from a new perspective.


As the sun sets, head to one of the beachside bars and enjoy live music, a refreshing cocktail, and the inviting ambiance of Sainte-Anne. Whether you choose to dance the night away or simply soak up the tropical vibes, the village offers a lively and memorable nightlife experience.


With its beautiful beach, vibrant market, delicious cuisine, and lively atmosphere, a visit to the village of Sainte-Anne provides a delightful blend of relaxation, cultural immersion, and natural beauty that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Martinique.


Embark on a Hike in La Caravelle Nature Reserve

For nature enthusiasts and hiking enthusiasts alike, a visit to the La Caravelle Nature Reserve is a must when exploring Martinique. Located on the northeastern coast of the island, this protected area offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and diverse ecosystem.


Begin your adventure by exploring the numerous hiking trails that wind their way through the reserve. With varying levels of difficulty, there’s a trail suitable for every fitness level and interest. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a journey that leads you through dense mangroves, lush forests, and along dramatic cliffs.


As you hike through La Caravelle Nature Reserve, keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that calls this area home. Observe colorful bird species, including the Martinique Oriole and the Lesser Antillean Pewee, as they flit through the trees. Look out for iguanas and other reptiles basking in the sun, and you may even catch a glimpse of a curious mongoose darting through the undergrowth.


One of the highlights of La Caravelle Nature Reserve is the breathtaking coastline. Take a break from your hike to marvel at the stunning views of the rugged cliffs and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also explore hidden coves and secluded beaches, perfect for a refreshing swim or a moment of relaxation.


During your hike, make your way to the iconic lighthouse, the Phare de la Caravelle. This historic structure offers spectacular panoramic views of the reserve and its surroundings. Climb to the top of the lighthouse for an even more impressive vantage point, where you can appreciate the natural splendor of Martinique in all its glory.


As you traverse the trails of La Caravelle Nature Reserve, take the time to appreciate the diverse flora and fauna that flourish in this protected area. Marvel at the vibrant orchids, ferns, and other native plant species that line the paths and create a beautiful tapestry of colors.


Remember to be prepared when embarking on a hike in the reserve. Wear appropriate footwear, dress in layers, bring plenty of water, and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat. It’s also a good idea to bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be prevalent in some areas.


Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy being immersed in nature, a hike in La Caravelle Nature Reserve is an experience that showcases the true beauty and diversity of Martinique’s natural landscape. So, lace up your boots, grab your camera, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this pristine wilderness.



Martinique offers a myriad of captivating experiences for cruise ship travelers looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of this Caribbean gem. From the vibrant capital city of Fort-de-France to the serene fishing village of Les Anses d’Arlet, the island provides a diverse range of activities and attractions for every taste.


Explore the rich history of Saint-Pierre, once hailed as the “Paris of the Caribbean,” and witness the haunting ruins that bear witness to the city’s tragic past. Relax on the pristine shores of Anse Mitan Beach and immerse yourself in the beauty of its surrounding turquoise waters. Take a catamaran excursion to Diamond Rock and marvel at the unique geological formation and diverse marine life it has to offer.


Indulge in the allure of Les Salines Beach, where you can soak up the sun and explore the vibrant local culture at the nearby markets. Tour the distilleries and sample the exquisite local rum, uncovering the secrets of Martinique’s rum-making traditions. Experience the tranquility of the Botanical Gardens in Balata and immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and scents of the tropical flora.


Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the village of Sainte-Anne, where you can relax on the stunning Les Salines Beach, sample delicious local cuisine, and explore the vibrant local market. Finally, embark on a hike in La Caravelle Nature Reserve, where you can discover the natural beauty of Martinique through lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and panoramic vistas.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, cultural immersion, or natural exploration, Martinique offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. From its pristine beaches to its historic sites, from its rum distilleries to its vibrant markets, this Caribbean jewel is sure to captivate and leave you with lasting memories.


So, set sail for Martinique on your next cruise and let the enchanting sights, flavors, and experiences of this tropical paradise leave an indelible mark on your heart.