In the port of Fort de France on the colourful Caribbean island of Martinique,
our friendly crew will welcome you aboard our comfortably-equipped windjammer. Embarkation takes place at 19:00 hours. Afterwards, there will be dinner in the comfortable lounge, where you will quickly feel at home on the Eye of the Wind's deck and get to know your fellow sailors.
This French overseas département also bears the name "flower island" and reflects the tropical side of France – 14 degrees north of the equator and over 4,000 miles from Paris. Do not miss renting a car in Martinique to explore the north of the island right up to the green rainforest wilderness of Morne Rouge on the Route de la Trace, a route created by the Jesuits. The church square of the Sacre Coeur
de Balata offers a stunning view of the mountainous tropical island and is the perfect place to start this journey. After a few minutes' drive, you will reach the Botanical Garden, which charms its visitors with a stunning variety of tropical flowers and plants. Our tip: To get in the mood for the trip, try the island's specialty, Rum Punch. It is said to be the best in the whole Caribbean!
Our sailing waters: The Lesser Antilles. After a thorough safety briefing and sailing instructions from the experienced crew, you will soon be familiar with the ship and be able to take part in the
sailing yourself – always on a voluntary basis, of course. A pleasant wind pushes us through the azure water of the Caribbean Sea. The smooth and steady rise and fall of the hull in the waves, the vast ocean and the soft creaking of the rigging are the perfect ingredients for a wonderfully relaxing
Possible stops include:
• Dominica is the botanical garden of the Caribbean. It bears the unofficial nickname "Nature Island" because of its lush and diverse flora and fauna. Turquoise water, green palm tree forests and white beaches make up the charm of this region. Our tip: In the morning hours, go for a guided two-hour rowing boat ride up the Indian River and through mangrove forests. The island's capital, Roseau, is a typical Caribbean town that invites you to stroll and shop.
• Guadeloupe: We will anchor in deamlike bays on the Butterfly Island. For nature lovers, Guadeloupe – the butterfly-shaped "Emerald Island" – is a green paradise where you can discover the largest national park in the Caribbean with the highest waterfalls of the Antilles, a treetop trail, mysterious mangrove forests, and a lush plant and animal life. The impressive colour palette of the sandy beaches ranges from the purest white at Raisins Clairs on the south coast, to black volcanic sand in the small bay of Anse St. Sauveur. From the Eye of the Wind's deck, we will have a breathtaking view of the volcanic cone of La
Soufrière, almost 1500 metres high, and will round off the day by watching the stunning
• Saint Kitts and sister-island Nevis. More than a quarter of St. Kitts is designated as a protected
national park. Tours of the island take you to the botanical garden, the old sugarcane factory or the impressive island church built in 1856. From the lively party beach at Frigate Bay to the somewhat hidden insider's tip Banana Bay with its backdrop of coconut palms and azure water, all swimming bays
can be reached quickly by boat and offer safe mooring spots.
Many sea miles later, the Caribbean island of Saint Martin will appear on the
horizon. The modern Marigot marina in the French part of the island will be our
next mooring spot. Make the most of your stay on Saint Martin island for a relaxing
day at the breathtaking Dawn Beach, a hike along the rugged cliffs of Pointe
Blanche Bay, or a boat trip through Simpson Bay Lagoon. Every day, several cruise
ships sail to Philipsburg, the largest port. There is a wide range of tourist
attractions, from jet skiing and snorkelling tours to casino and beach visits in Great
Bay. In the bustling shopping mile on Front Street, typical local handcrafted goods
are offered in a rich variety of colours typical for the Caribbean.
Fort de France (Martinique)
Fort de France is the capital of France's Caribbean overseas territory of Martinique. It is also one of the major cities in the Caribbean with it's busy commercial center and historic fort mentioned above.
Fort de France has a lot of history dating back to 1638 when the first fort was build. It was subsequently battered with military mite then rebuilt in 1669. A series of volcanic eruptions destroyed part of the area only to be rebuild to what you see today. Most sailing vessels pass by since there is not much to see other than what you see from your ship.
People say that the 'Nature Island' is the only Caribbean island that Columbus would recognize today. Virgin rainforests stand proud and tall. Waterfalls cascade from glorious heights where birds fill the forest with color and song. Dominica is a dream-like island, full of surprises. The steep mountainsides and lush jungle-like beauty might remind you of a Rousseau landscape. Glide through a steamy orchid-festooned rainforest in a fascinating boat ride up the winding Layrou River. Or, hike to breathtaking Trafalgar Falls and a bubbling lake.
Guadeloupe in the French West Indies looks like a butterfly from the air. Its giant wings are actually two islands, separated by the Rivière Salée, a natural salt water channel. Basse Terre, the southern or leeward part of Guadeloupe, is lush and rugged, dominated by La Soufrière. A stream of boiling water gushes from the top of the 4,800-ft. mountain, reminding you that this volcano is not dormant, but very much alive. Further downstream you can swim in the beautiful triple falls of Chute de Carbet. Gourmets take note - Guadeloupe is purported to have the best chefs in the Caribbean.
Unlike other islands where traditional lifestyles have been stamped out by mass tourism, St. Kitts boasts a thriving West Indian culture. Her lush and forested slopes rise gracefully to mist-shrouded peaks. A worthwhile site for history buffs, the imposing 17th century fortress (Brimstone Hill) looms over green fields of sugar cane and banana trees. St. Kitts’ was the first successful colony in the British West Indies. Indeed, when viewed from the top of Brimstone Hill, the “Gibraltar of the Caribbean” appears to dominate everything in the Southern Sea. Shop in colourful Basseterre, play golf and tour old plantation houses. For the adventuresome there’s a brisk hike through the rainforest.
Nevis, Leeward Islands
Almost completely circular, Nevis' green slopes rise in sweeping curves to the islands summit. From a distance, Nevis looks like a snow-capped mountain, but it's just clouds and mist hovering around Nevis Peak. Charlestown is a well-preserved village with plantation estates and 18th century buildings decorated with gingerbread trim. An interesting zoning law requires that no buildings be taller than the palm trees. Be sure to try the Calalloo soup while you are here.
Marigot, St. Martin
St. Martin's capital city of Marigot is perhaps the most French in flavor of all the cities in the Caribbean. Smart cafés, bistros, pastry shops and luxury boutiques stand beside lovely colonial houses. In many ways Marigot looks just like a French market town you might find in Europe. A new shopping center at the foot of Fort St. Louis, boasts luxurious boutiques such as Chanel and Lacoste. By the harbor is the Marina Port la Royale, with elegant stores offering the latest in European designer fashions and fine jewelry, duty free. The entire town is just four streets wide, and very easy to navigate.