Sa ou fè from Martinique

What's up from Martinique

Sunday, December 30, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!

In France we say Bonne Année!
In Martinique we say Bon Lanné!

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2008!

If your resolutions for the year ahead include adding more romance to your life, you should definitely consider putting a Caribbean getaway on your calendar--and making Martinique your destination.

The relaxed, laid-back island lifestyle on Martinique combines with the French way of looking at the world--and what should be important for happiness--to rank pleasure and romance high on the list of priorities everywhere in this tropical paradise.


The delicious tastes in food that mix Creole and French flavors together with freshness and perfection. The warm breezes and blue water. Endless beaches and soft music. Thousands of varieties of blossoms and plants that give Martinique the nickname “Isle of Flowers”—

And most of all, the warmth and welcome of the people.

When you come to Martinique, you will be well on your way to making good on that resolution by leaving stress behind and surrounding yourself in a world of romance where rewarding the senses is a way of life.

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To turn your resolution into reality, here are some of the most desirable Martinique travel packages available in the coming months:

Karibea Baie Du Galion Resort***
7 NIGHT
– Air included (Delta Airlines)
From New York $1114
From Boston $1158
From Atlanta $1190

You will find even more information and additional listings for Martinique vacation packages in a wide-variety of attractive price ranges at hotels and resorts around the island at www.martinique.org/services/packages.htm





Saturday, December 29, 2007

THANKFUL TO OVERCOME NATURE’S CHALLENGES

Nature brought two major challenges to Martinique during 2007 and the island survived both potential disasters without suffering wide scale long-term damage. The people of Martinique can greet the New Year with gratitude and optimism—the tourist industry is eager to welcome visitors after overcoming threats from a frightening tropical hurricane and a major earthquake that both narrowly missed the island less than four months apart.

Hurricane Dean passed just south of the island in the channel between Martinique and St. Lucia in the early morning hours of Friday, August 17. The huge storm was a Category 2 hurricane at this time so Martinique was spared its full fury. The international airport briefly closed, but reopened by noon the following day. All 160 hotels and resorts remained open despite some cosmetic damage, mostly to landscaping.

Agriculture was less fortunate—virtually 100% of the year’s banana crop was lost. Sadly, two people on Martinique lost their lives due to storm. But Martinique’s damages and casualties were small compared to the devastation brought by Hurricane Dean as it grew to a massive Cat 5 storm a few days later, killing dozens of victims and causing billions of dollars in losses as it barreled across the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico before making two separate landfalls along the coast of Mexico.

In the final days of November, as the end of hurricane season approached, a different natural phenomenon rocked Martinique—a rare, gigantic earthquake shook the entire island at approximately 3PM on November 29. Luckily, the epicenter was 90 miles beneath the surface of the Caribbean and the epicenter was about 13 miles northwest of the closest point to Martinique (25 miles NW of Fort de France.)

The temblor registered 7.3 or 7.4 on most seismic scales—powerful enough to be a major catastrophe if it had struck on land. Several small buildings collapsed and about one-third of the power on the island was knocked out. But only one death—due to a heart attack--was recorded. Around 100 people required medical assistance. Most fortunately of all, there was no tsunami. The experience was terrifying, but the aftershocks soon passed.

So the people of Martinique can look back on 2007 and count their blessings. Martinicans look forward to sharing their good fortune and the beauty of their island with visitors in the year ahead. If you would like more information regarding tourism and attractive travel packages, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau/Martinique Tourism Authority USA at info@martinique.org or visit www.martinique.org

Monday, November 12, 2007

TWO UNIQUE MUSUEMS

Two unique museums give visitors a wonderful way to discover Martinique’s intriguing heritage and to experience the enduring appeal of the island’s allure—

In the north is the Musee de la Banane. That’s right—the Banana Museum.
This one-of-a-kind attraction in the hills above the town of Sainte-Marie is a working plantation known as Habitation Limbe. The word “limbe” translates as broken heart, a name given to the plantation in the 1880s.

This land was once a large sugar cane plantation and rum distillery dating back to the 1700s. But the market for sugar cane collapsed in the 19th Century, causing heartbreak and hardship. The plantation survived by changing the crop from sugar cane to bananas, which are still grown here.

The old Creole shanties that once housed workers have been transformed into shops selling all sorts of banana products—cakes and liquors of course, but also soap and perfume. Other buildings display the history and botany of bananas, as well as how they have been processed and packed over the years. Plus, there is a delightful park with more than 40 species of banana trees and many beautiful tropical flowers where guests can relax with a tasty snack and delicious banana-flavored cocktails.

Another fascinating stop is the Paul Gauguin Museum at Turin Cove, between La Carbet and St. Pierre. The post-impressionist artist may be most famous for the paintings inspired by his time in Tahiti but Gauguin spent five months in Martinique in 1887, several years before he traveled to the South Pacific.

The museum is located on the site where Gauguin lived. Art historians believe he painted between 10 and 20 canvasses on the island. Those paintings are now dispersed all over the world but the museum in Martinique has 12 reproductions on exhibit—they are definitely worth a view by Gauguin enthusiasts because many of the originals are in private collections and have never been seen by the general public.

The museum also has reproductions of several of Gauguin’s Tahitian works that are in private hands, as well as a selection of the artist’s writings, sketches and watercolor studies.

For more information about the Musee de la Banane and the Paul Gauguin Musuem, or any other inquiries about touring Martinique, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA at info@martinique.org

Friday, October 19, 2007

FLYING HIGH

It’s easier than ever to get to Martinique on regularly-scheduled flights offered by two major U.S. air carriers—

Beginning on December 15, 2007, Delta Air Lines will resume weekly nonstop service between its Atlanta hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Aeroport International Martinique Aime Cesaire (formerly known as Le Lamentin Airport) near the island’s capital of Fort-de-France.

Delta flight #409 leaves from Atlanta every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and arrives in Martinique at 3:45 in the afternoon local time. The return flight #410 also departs from Fort-de-France on Saturday—leaving at 4:05 p.m. and touching down at 7:40 p.m. in Atlanta.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is not only Delta’s headquarters airport, it also ranks among the busiest hubs in the world. Plus, it’s known for efficiency and ease of use compared to other airports of similar size and volume of flight activity. Passengers flying through Hartsfield-Jackson on Delta and nearly every other airline serving the entire U.S. can make an easy, one-stop connection to and from Martinique on these flights.

The Boeing 737 800 aircraft on this route has 16 first class seats and 134 seats in the economy cabin. For up-to-date scheduling information and reservations go to www.delta.com

American Eagle continues its daily nonstop service between San Juan, Puerto Rico and Fort-de-France. (Flights are reduced to four flights weekly during the low season in September and October.)

Flight #5106 leaves from San Juan at 12:25 p.m. and reaches Martinique at 2:25 p.m. The return flight #5107 takes off from Aime Cesaire Airport at 2:50 p.m. and arrives in San Juan at 4:45 p.m.

These flights are great for travelers from New York and Miami, which both have frequent, convenient service to Puerto Rico. The planes on American Eagle’s San Juan/Fort-de-France route are ATR72 turboprops with room for 64 passengers.

For details and reservations about these flights go to the American Airlines website at www.aa.com

If you would like to learn more about the pleasures of tourism on Martinique, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA at info@martinique.org

Thursday, September 13, 2007

HURRICANE DEAN AFTERMATH--UPDATE

The tourism industry of Martinique is bouncing back quickly just one month after Hurricane Dean. The big storm was a Category 2 hurricane with the eye remaining over the waters of the Caribbean as it passed south of Martinique and north of St. Lucia on August 17. Flooding and sustained winds of 75MPH, with gusts up to 95MPH, punished Martinique for hours, but the island avoided a direct hit.

By noon of the following day, August 18, Martinique Aimee Cesaire International Airport was operational and reopened. Air traffic is now completely normal with the full schedule of arriving and departing flights restored. Hotels emerged from the storm intact, sustaining some cosmetic damage—broken windows, downed fences, toppled trees—but most repairs are complete. Martinique’s hotels are open for business with full services and hospitality to welcome visitors.

Public transportation is totally up and running; all roads are cleared. The mobile communications network has been reestablished as well.

Some tourist attractions are still closed for repairs. The Gardens of Balata will not reopen until the end of the year. Excursions into the tropical rain forest are temporarily suspended. Habitation Latouche, Habitation Clement, the Museum of the Pagerie and Plantation Leyritz are currently shut to the public but expect to reopen soon.

Although the quality of the beautiful Caribbean waters surrounding Martinique was not harmed by Hurricane Dean, some beaches have lost quite a bit of sand and require further cleaning, especially on the south side of the island. Access may be restricted. Visitors are encouraged to check ahead for the most current information.

For accurate updates and complete details regarding Hurricane Dean recovery and all tourism information, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA at
info@martinique.org

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bravo GEANT UFR

The 23rd Tour de Martinique des Yoles-Rondes boat race around the island is complete and the winner is UFR-Geant, champions for the second year in a row--

Congratulations to the crew and support team
that represents the coastal town of Le Robert!















UFR-Geant defeated seventeen other yoles-rondes teams and won the General Classification for total elapsed time by finishing the seven stages of this year’s race in 21 hours 16 minutes 44 seconds--exactly 45 minutes 41 seconds faster than second-place Joseph Cottrell-Optika. UFR-Geant took the General Classification lead after Stage Two and stayed on top for the rest of the race, confirming its dominance with a victory in Stage Seven at the end of the Tour on August 6. The finale of this year’s race came a day late due to a delay for weather conditions between Stages Three and Four.

UFR-Geant also won the points competition awarded for high-place finishes in each of the seven stages. The team from Le Robert won three stages during this year’s Tour. Second place in the points category went to arch-rival Rosette-Orange, with two stage wins. The final overall points score was UFR-Geant 124 to 114 for Rosette-Orange.


Every summer, the Tour de Martinique des Yoles-Rondes
is the year’s top sailing event for the island’s signature yawls that are powered by beautiful, colorful sails and manned with daring crews who race for the pride and prestige of their hometowns. Each stage around the island is celebrated with a dockside festival of food, music and fun where everyone is invited to join the party.

To see complete race results and full stage details, go to www.yoles-rondes.org/index.php If you would like to find out more about the Tour de Martinique des Yoles-Rondes and visiting the island, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA at info@martinique.org

Sunday, July 08, 2007

THERE’S SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE RUMS

Almost every island in the Caribbean produces its own rum, and all of these islands are proud of the rum they make. But there is something special about the rums distilled on Martinique—

These rums have been giving the designation AOC (for appellation d’origine controllee) by the French government. In France, the prestigious AOC label is reserved for wine, cheese and other agricultural products at the heart of French culture and fine eating. AOC means products are made by consistent and traditional methods with all ingredients from approved sources in strictly designated agricultural areas.

Obviously, the French are serious about their wine and cheese. And the people of Martinique are just as serious—and just as proud—of their rum. Martinique’s rums enjoy a strong reputation across the Caribbean, where the standards for quality are high and extremely competitive.

You can see for yourself how Martinique’s rums are made with tours and tastings at working distilleries across the island:
Distillerie Depaz on the slopes of Mount Pelee has great rum and spectacular views. La Mauny distillery is located amid lush sugar cane fields, where the crops are grown for the rum you can sample right on the spot. The tasting room and museum at St. James distillery is famous with rum connoisseurs around the world.

On these tours, you will see just how serious Martinicans take the production of their rums. But once the rums are made and the tasting starts—that’s where the fun begins.

See for more information about Martinique’s rum and distillery tours.