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5th February, 2018


It was yet again a “breezy” approach to the pilot station but with the pilot on board at 0715 we made our approach towards the berth at Fort de France, Martinique. Staff Captain Tom conducted the manouver once again – all part of his training and development towards being Captain one day. It was a challenging docking on a very short berth – only 60m long with a number of detached dolphins (mooring platforms). Jo Boase our Cruise Director commented later that there were a lot of dolphins in Martinique!!

With us all fast by 0800 the ship was cleared soon after by the local officials. I have not been to Martinique for some 20 years and the new cruise pier at Fort De France is located within easy walking distance of the town centre. There were several tours on offer today “Saint Pierre & Botanical Gardens”, “Deep Martinique”, “Discover the North by Catamaran” & “Flemish Bay and Beach”.

Fort De France is the capital of France’s Caribbean overseas department of Martinique and is also one of the major cities in the Caribbean. Martinique itself was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1508 and he immediately declared it the most beautiful country in the world. The name is believed to come from the native words “Matinho”, meaning Island of Women, and “Madinina” – Island of Flowers.

We had another late sail and remained in port until 2230 to give our Guests the opportunity to stay ashore and savour an evening in the French Caribbean. With everyone on board we slipped our lines and as we were leaving the berth the heavens opened such that the Staff Captain and I got absolutely drenched – it’s moments like this one looks forward to the new ship with enclosed bridge wings!!

See you in St Lucia.

Captain Julian Burgess

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