Quick Facts

First sighted by Columbus on his initial expedition in 1493, Martinique played host to its first European “tourists” in 1502 when Columbus landed there during his fourth voyage. Dubbed Martinique by Columbus, the island was inhabited by Kalinago Indians who had driven away the Arawaks (both tribes had come to the island from South America). Martinique was claimed by France in 1635 and officially annexed in 1674. France and Britain fought over the island until 1815, when France prevailed. Slavery was abolished in 1848. In 1946, Martinique became a Department of France and in 1974 a Region of France, its current status.

Modern day Martinique is truly “a little bit of France in the Caribbean.” It exudes an alluring and distinctly French sensibility in the excellence of its cuisine and rhums, the chic sophistication of its fine resorts and hotels, its fashion and art scene, and more. Yet Martinique has a cachet all its own; an endearing West Indian warmth in its personality, a special spice in its music and dance, its local dishes, cultural heritage, and way of life. It is an island with style and so much more. A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!

Entry Requirements

Ilet Oscar Martinique

U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter without a visa for stays of up to three months, however a valid passport is required. A visa is also not required for stays of up to three months for the following:

Nationals holding a valid ID card or passport from a EU member country or other European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.

France residence permit holders (carte de séjour).
For more details, contact your Regional French Consulate.

Arrival/Departure Taxes

None for air or cruise arrivals.

Ferry Boat

Ferry boat in Martinique

3x’s per-week ferry service is available between Martinique (Fort-de-France) and Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, and Dominica aboard sleek catamarans operated by:

Express des Iles (leaving from Fort-de-France)
Tel:  +596 596 63 05 45

Jeans for Freedom (leaving from Saint-Pierre)
Tel:  +1 (767) 255-1200

Additional Ferry service is available between Martinique (le Marin) and St Lucia with:

Compagnie Maritime West Indies
Tel. +596 596 74 93 38


Cruise Ship Martinique

Cruise Lines featuring Martinique include:

Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line,  Star Clippers, Club Med, Compagnie du Ponant, Costa, MSC Cruises.

Check out our cruise page


Yatching in Martinique

Bareboat or crewed charters can be arranged at most hotels. Yachtsmen can choose among several marinas, most notably Port de Plaisance in Le Marin.

Getting Around by Rental Car

5,000+ cars available from Avis, Budget, Hertz and more. Driving is on the right. A valid driver’s license is required; min. age is 21.

Check out our rental car listing