Day Sails in Martinique
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- Fodor's Choice
Kata Mambo. The catamaran Kata Mambo offers two full-day excursions now. For €74, you can sail north to historic St-Pierre and snorkel in clear, Atlantic waters. For €79, you can have a sail coupled with a 4x4 adventure through sugarcane and banana plantations in the south of the island. The full-day trips include rum drinks and a good, multicourse, creole lunch. The boat pulls into its slip at the marina at 5 pm. This is a fun day, and although there's no guarantee, chances are you'll have meet some dolphins. The fact that it's been in the biz since the early 1990s attests to its professionalism. Pointe du Bout Marina, Les Trois-Ilets, 97229. 0696/25–23–16 or 0596/66–11–83. www.kata-mambo.com.
La Belle Kréole. La Belle Kréole runs one of the most popular excursion boats to les fonds blanc, also known as Empress Joséphine's baths. (These are natural, shallow pools with white-sand bottoms.) You can experience the unique Martinican custom of "baptism by rum" (tilt your head back while standing in waist-deep water, and one of the crew pours rum into your mouth). The cost of the day trip depends it part on what you choose to have for lunch, which is taken on the remote Isle de Thierry. There's planter's punch and dancing to Martinican CDs. Yes, it is touristy—you're basically on a booze cruise that lasts from 9 am to 5 pm, with lots of loud music. The price, which starts at around €50, varies depending on what you chose for lunch. A two-hour excursion directly to the baths is also available. Baie du Simon, slip 36, Baie du Simon, slip 36, Le François, 97240. 0596/54–95–57 or 0696/29–93–13. www.baignoiredejosephine.com.
Les Ballades du Delphis. This civilized full-day tour (€79) uses one of three commodious catamarans, with two departure points: François Bay and Anse Spoutourne (Tartane). The sail from François takes in the famous fond blancs and then the Baie du Robert and I'let Chancel to see sea iguanas and ruins. The Tartane route heads to Treasure Bay, one of the most appealing nature preserves on the island. You'll be served planter's punch, accras (fritters), and a creole-style lunch. This can be an idyllic travel memory, especially when you are sailing from islet to islet, between coral reefs and swimming in shallow pools with white-sand bottoms. La Marina du François, Le François, 97240. 0696/90–90–36. www.catamaran-martinique.com.
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