in December and January
From the main base in Le Marin, you can explore Martinique’s lush rainforests and historic plantations, while divers and snorkellers can enjoy the sheltered waters and wrecks off the coast of St Pierre.
You can spend a week exploring Martinique’s blend of French and Creole culture, the capital Fort-de-France, rum distilleries, sugar plantations, relaxing beaches, delightful harbours and seaside villages.
As well as short leg island hopping, you can also enjoy the challenge of longer cruise passages. Head north to Dominica, Guadeloupe and south to St. Lucia, where you can explore Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island.
You’ll find secluded coves, reefs teeming with fish, hot springs, rugged peaks and exotic flowers and fruit everywhere.
Temperatures in Martinique remain around 30°C all-year-round with warm, tropical waters. When it does rain, showers are brief and followed by sun. The temperatures are consistent but there are wind variations:
December to April – The easterly and north-easterly tradewinds blow an average of 15-20 knots in the dry season
May to November – Winds fall to 10-15 knots around June and the weather is hot and humid
Sea conditions in the lee of the island are relatively calm but the waters between islands are exposed and can have a bit of a swell.
Night sailing is not recommended due to the presence of numerous coral reefs and shoals, which are rarely illuminated.
You can fly to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) via Paris with Air France. Other carriers flying to Martinique include Norwegian Air, American Airlines and Air Canada.
7 day Martinique
DAY 1: Marina Le Marin
Embark at Marina Le Marin, a full service marina on the south coast.
DAY 2: Anse d’Arlet (15 miles)
Anse d’Arlet is a lovely relaxed beach where you can anchor for the night.
DAY 3: St. Pierre
Head for Fort de France to shop the boutiques or the bustling local market. Clear customs and then hug the coast up to St. Pierre, the site of the 1902 volcano tragedy.
DAY 4: St Lucia( 35 miles)
Full day’s sail down to Rodney Bay, St Lucia, and customs clearance (entry). Visit Pigeon Island, Reduit Beach and maybe the “jump up” at Gros Ilet every Friday night.
DAY 5: Soufriere Bay (13nm)
Explore Soufriere Bay and the Pitons and discover the volcano, waterfalls and sulphur springs. There’s good snorkelling here.
DAY 6: Ste. Anne (35nm)
Full day sail back to Martinique. Ste. Anne on the south coast is a charming village with boutiques, restaurants and local market.
DAY 7: Return to Marina Le Marin.
10 Day Martinique
Day 1: Le Marin / St. Lucia (31 miles)
Early departure to Rodney Bay in St. Lucia. Crossing the channel may require visual navigation. Swimming and lunch on the island. Night in Marigot Bay, former hurricane shield now a bit crowded, so anchorage offhore is recommended.
Day 2: Marigot / Deux Pitons (10 miles)
Soft and easy navigation along the west coast of St. Lucia up to Soufrière, a picturesque village. Walk through the city and the botanical garden, drive to the waterfalls, the hot water springs and the volcano. Overnight at Deux Pitons.
Day 3: Deux Pitons / Bequia (50 miles)
Navigation day down to Bequia (pronounced “Bekoué”), the entrance to the Grenadines. It is the former whale hunter’s island. Anchorage in Admiralty Bay, facing the capital city Port Elisabeth. “Happy hours” at Frangipanier and dinner in one of the restaurants.
Day 4: Bequia / Mustique (15 miles)
Once customs formalities are done, there’s a short navigation towards Petit Nevis where the fishermen used to flense the whales. Sail to Mustique, the “Jet Set” island. Overnight outside the famous built on piles “Basil Bar”.
Day 5: Mustique / Mayreau (20 miles)
Early morning tour of Mustique island, its beaches and villas. After lunch, head to Mayreau, anchoring at Salt Whistle Bay, a wonderful coconut trees beach (fabulous beach walking!).
Day 6: Mayreau / Tobago Cays (2 miles)
Short navigation to the Tobago Cays. Anchorage in the most beautiful Caribbean lagoon with turquoise waters and white sand beaches, ideal for snorkelling, swimming and relaxing.
Day 7: Tobago Cays / Union (5 miles)
After one hour navigation stop over at Union, the capital of the Grenadines, with its airport, hotels, restaurants, fruit and vegetables market, ship chandler, Internet café, etc. Overnight at Palm Island, half a mile from Union).
Day 8: Union / St. Vincent (40 miles)
Navigation day down to St. Vincent and anchorage for the night at Cumberland Bay or Wallilabu Bay, where the movie “The Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed.
Day 9: St. Vincent / Martinique (77 miles)
Last long crossing towards Martinique. Anchorage at St. Anne, a traditional village with wonderful beaches, or at Club Med.
Day 10: St. Anne/Marin (2 miles)
After a last swim in a heavenly bay, head back to the Marina of Marin.
14 Day Martinique
Day 1: Le Marin / Anse d’Arlet (15 miles)
Navigate towards Petite Anse d’Arlet, passing close to the Diamond Rock, for lunch and swimming. First night at the anchorage at Grande Anse d’Arlet.
Day 2: Anse d’Arlet / Fort de France/ Anse Mitan (10 miles)
Short sail towards Fort de France for lunch ashore, stroll around town, shops and local market. Cross the bay to spend the night at Anse Mitan.
Day 3: Anse Mitan / St. Pierre (15 miles)
Skirt the Caribbean coast of Martinique till St. Pierre, former economic capital which was destroyed by the Montagne Pelée eruption in 1902. Overnight in bay of St. Pierre.
Day 4: St Pierre / Dominica (54 miles)
Set sail early for Portsmouth, Prince Rupert Bay. Visit the Indians River with the local guides. Overnight in the anchorage.
Day 5: Dominica / Les Saintes (20 miles)
After a sail from Portsmouth to Les Saintes, anchor first at Pain de Sucre for snorkelling. Afterwards, anchor for the night in front of Bourg des Saintes and have dinner ashore.
Day 6: Les Saintes / Guadeloupe (26 miles)
Set sail for Pigeon Island and pick up a mooring to visit the famous Reserve Cousteau underwater park. Enjoy snorkelling and diving and sail for a night anchorage at Anse Deshayes.
Day 7: Guadeloupe / Antigua (50 miles)
Depart early morning for English Harbour. Take a walk among the beautiful restored houses and visit the museum.
Day 8: Five Island / Five Island (14 miles)
A short sail along the west coast to Cade Reef. Snorkel on a magnificent coral reef and anchor in Fries Bay for lunch. Enjoy a swim, relax and sail to the evening anchorage at Five Islands Harbour.
Day 9: Five Island / Barbuda (43 miles)
Sail to Barbuda, a fabulous unspoiled coral island. Anchor at Codrington, in front of a beautiful white sand beach for lunch. Swim, snorkel and stroll along the long deserted beach.
Day 10: Barbuda / Antigua (40 miles)
Depart early morning for Non Such Bay, a small bay on the East coast of Antigua, which is wild and beautiful. Take the boat behind Green Island.
Day 11: Antigua / Ilet Gosier (80 miles)
Depart early morning for Ilet Gosier, east side of Guadeloupe, where you’ll find a white sand beach and coral reef.
Day 12: Ilet Gosier / Marie / Galante (18 miles)
Set sail in the morning for Marie Galante, the emblem of the sugar past of the Guadeloupian Archipelago. Here, rum shows off its 59°! Moor in front of the village of fishermen of “Grand Bourg” and tour the island.
Day 13: Marie-Galante / Martinique (90 miles)
Leave Marie-Galante early morning for the last big sail to reach Martinique for lunch in Grande Anse d’Arlet. Sail to St Anne, a charming village with its boutiques, fishing boats and local market.
Day 14: St. Anne / Marina (2 miles)
Time to head back home