Between Martinique and Panama (Fort de France - Colón)
10 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – FORT-DE-FRANCE
Embarkation from 18H00 to 19H00. Departure at 20H00.
Located on the western coast of Martinique, Fort-de-France will amaze you by the splendour of its bay, a magnificent cut-out in the coastline, considered as one of the most beautiful in the world. At the harbour mouth, on its strip of land, fort Saint-Louis overlooks the capital city of Martinique. If you climb up to it, you can see some breath-taking views. Saint Louis Cathedral and the Schoelcher library bear witness to a secular history, intimately linked to the island’s story. Why not try some fresh coconut at the colourful Grand Marché. Two really pleasant places you can take a breather in, right in the heart of the city, are the garden of Balata and the Aimé Césaire park.
Day 2 – PIGEON POINT AND SOUFRIÈRE
Linked to St Lucia by a sand causeway, Pigeon Island has been a designated National Park since 1979. The tropical vegetation of this wild, protected island is home to abundant birdlife. It is easy to explore on foot; the remains of Fort Rodney offer an insight into the region's naval history as well as fabulous views. Two beautiful beaches nestle on the southern side of the island, where you can take a snuba dive adventure, an exciting mix of diving and snorkelling.
Nestled in the crook of a breath-taking bay, the former capital of St Lucia is brimming with attractions. Soufrière is famous for The Pitons, volcanic spires that tower over the entrance to the town, and you will fall in love with its authentic Creole charm and warm friendly atmosphere. As well as diving and swimming off exquisite beaches, don't miss Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens for the mineral baths, one of the natural wonders of the Caribbean.
Day 3 – SAINT GEORGE'S, GRENADA
Delicately set against the back of a bay on the west coast of Grenada, Saint George’s attracts newcomers by the beauty of its location and its friendly, festive atmosphere. This “spice island” capital is an excellent base for visiting the surrounding natural sites, but you’ll also want to spend some time here moseying around its narrow streets where colonial houses and lush green gardens coexist. Carenage is Saint George’s lively commercial fishing harbour, high in colour, especially when the boats are being loaded with fruit and vegetables destined for neighbouring islands. 5 kilometres south, the Grand Anse beach is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean islands.
Days 4-5 – LOS ROQUES ARCHIPELAGO
A journey to Venezuela is a real break from routine, at the heart of a wild natural environment where adventure is the watchword. The longest Caribbean coastline of the South American continent awaits you to the north of the country, where long unspoiled sunkissed beaches give the traveller the impression that they have entered paradise. The Nature Reserve of Los Roques National Park is a 100 km² lagoon with more than 300 islands, islets and sand banks. Protected by a great coral reef, caressed by the gentle breeze of the trade winds, these islands with their unique beauty offer travellers their emerald water. Do not miss this port of call of incomparable charm.
Day 6 – WILLEMSTAD
The capital of Curaçao stretches along the edge of St Ann?s Bay on the island?s south-west coast, and its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A profusion of colour awaits you on the Handelskade quays, where it's a pleasure to stroll alongside the merchants? houses whose rainbow façades characterise ?Dutch colonial architecture. A few paces from here is the Floating Market, a true feast for the eyes and tastebuds. You can also visit Fort Rif and the Maritime Museum, or, in the quieter streets of Otrobanda, you'll enjoy browsing the craft shops and old-time bars at your own leisurely pace.
Day 7 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 8 – CARTAGENA
A splendid harbour city in the north of Columbia, a source of inspiration for the Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez, Cartagena will win you over with its well-preserved colonial architecture, and warm friendly atmosphere. You can visit the sumptuous UNESCO World Heritage fortified historical centre whose churches and houses have magnificent multi-coloured façades. A witness of Spanish domination, the San Felipe de Barajas fortress stands on top of a hill from where you can admire views over the whole city. The Las Bóvedas neighbourhood will charm you with its arcades, used as prison cells during the 19th century civil wars.
Day 9 – HOLANDES CAYES
Holandes Cayes is among the islands of the San Blas archipelago, a string of coral islands that graces the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Some 378 islands and cays covering an area of 260 square kilometres offer travellers a multitude of natural and cultural treasures. Holandes Cayes, which is nicknamed ?the swimming pool?, is popular with the cruise-yachting community for its white sand beaches and diving and snorkelling opportunities.
Day 10 – COLÓN
Disembarkation at 07H00.
Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city. Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.
All This Included
Join us for an exceptional PONANT cruise sailing from Fort-de-France to Colon. This 10-day itinerary will give you the opportunity to appreciate the richness of Afro-Caribbean cultures, an azure blue sky and white-sand beaches.
Before boarding your ship, start your trip by visiting Fort-de-France and strolling through its colourful markets and lively streets.
You will then sail to the gorgeous island of Saint Lucia, known for its famous Pitons, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After calling at Grenada, your ship will head for the idyllic Los Roquesarchipelago. This small paradise in the Venezuelan Caribbean has been declared a national park and is an ideal spot to dive and snorkel in a turquoise lagoon with stunning sea beds.
The cities of Willemstad on the island of Curaçao and Cartagena in Colombia are both heavily influenced by their colonial past and offer a number of interesting sights and landmarks.
Finally, succumb to the charms of the clear waters of Panama and the San Blas archipelago, composed of more than 300 islands and cays. Here, surrounded by palm trees and dugout canoes, you will discover the island of Holandes Cay, where the Kuna people live.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Champlain or Le Dumont d'Urville
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.