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11th February, 2016

Castries, St Lucia & Fort de France, Martinique

It was a case of two for the price of one as today saw us visit two beautiful islands in the same day! First stop St Lucia……

Normally, when you arrive into a port, you have to get clearance from the Harbour Master to bring the ship in. As you can imagine, there can’t be many ports in the world like Castries, where not only do you need permission from the Harbour Master, but you also require it from the Air Traffic Control at neighbouring George F. L. Charles Airport. This is because the approach to the runway is directly over the entrance to the harbour, running parallel to the beautiful Vigie Beach. With both permissions granted we sailed into the port and slipped gracefully onto our berth in the heart of town.

Three different shore excursions took our passengers further afield from Castries, taking them to Morne Coubaril & La Soufrière, the St. Lucia Aerial Tram, and on a Heritage Highlights tour. The weather was a mix of sunshine and showers, typical for this part of the world.

With everyone back on board, and permission gained from the pilot and airport, we headed out to begin the short island hop of 35nm towards Fort de France and the island of Martinique. Originally named ‘Fort-Royal’, the French revolution understandably instigated a change of name, and thus ‘Fort-de-France’ was born. The population of the entire island is just under 500,000 and there is certainly a cosmopolitan feel to the place. We remained alongside until 11pm and it proved to be a warm and balmy evening, and so our guests had even more dining options tonight. The Pole to Pole dining room, East to West, the Verandah, or a special barbecue dinner on our aft decks. The latter proved very popular, and understandably so as the Caribbean is the ideal place for a spot of al fresco dining.

Captain Wesley Dunlop

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