Martinique & Saint Lucia – Latest Visit

Published 13 years ago, updated 5 years ago

We’ve just returned from Martinique to St Lucia, and here are some comments:


Fort de France area:

  • We entered via Anse Mitan (just South of Fort de France). Nice bay, excellent hold, not too crowded. The ferries that come in every couple of hours generate a bit of rolling, but it’s not too bad. Great beach right in front, and a very good local restaurant called “Barracuda” right on the beach.
  • Clearing has to be the best I’ve seen anywhere: Take the dinghy to the dock near the “Pointe du Bout”, walk 50m to the marina office (there is a small marina at the Pointe du Bout, but not recommended – very small and tight, bad facilities, no air), all you have to do is fill out the form on the dedicated computer, print it, the lady in charge will chop it – done! No customs officer, no immigration officer, no fee, nothing. Same for the exit. Cool! If only it were that easy everywhere…
  • The village of Anse Mitan itself is quite cute, with a watering area called “Case Creole” with a couple of very nice bars and restaurants (try” l’Annexe”, “Malibu” or “Le Corsaire”). Free 2h Wifi at the bar/restaurant “La Marine” by the marina if you order a drink. Shopping is limited with a poorly stocked “Huit a Huit” supermarket, but a very good bakery on the main street.
  • The area is safe, tap water is drinkable, and the atmosphere generally very friendly.

St Pierre:

  • Anchorage rather rolly, and one has to anchor very near the shore to get depths of less than 30/40 feet. Cute town to visit and nearby are a couple of nice distilleries. Very friendly bar on the Southern side of the beach (big sign says “free Wifi” and “free showers” – and it’s true!)

Le Marin:

  • We decided to stay away from the marina and anchorage at the “Cul de Sac” end. A great anchorage is to be found just around the Pointe Marin, in the mangroves. A bit tricky to enter, with a short but winding channel surrounded by shallows (and a small yacht wreck to show in the middle), but well worth it. Very good hold, totally protected from all sides, and calm…calm. There is room for no more than 2 or 3 yachts, but for some reason we were alone.
  • Ste Anne: Nice bay, good hold, a bit crowded at times, but a great beach right in front.
  • There is feedback that the new customs boss in Le Marin is a problem: one yacht was fined 500 euros because it was carrying more than 10l of diesel in jerry cans (the matter is investigated by the Austrian Yachting Association), and had 5 customs officers on board searching the boat (I happen to know the owner who is not a drug dealer or anything). So it may be wise to clear in elsewhere (Anse Mitan, Fort de France, St Pierre).

Overall, we liked it in Martinique, and although some stuff can be very costly (bell peppers at 6 euro a kilo???), it’s not as expensive as we expected. The rum is very good and not very expensive.

Saint Lucia

Rodney Bay

  • We stayed again in Rodney Bay Marina, which is a very good marina with wide berths, all services, and lots of restaurants and bars. A very good marina, UNFORTUNATELY…
  • Customs and immigration obviously have not been told that yachts are welcome. Very unfriendly attitude, arrogant, and expensive. My wife (a Malaysian citizen) technically needs a “visa on entry”. When we came through in April, they waved the visa because we were only staying 24 hours., so I expected the same this time. Well, no go. We had to take a taxi to the airport (so, to get the entry visa, you need to cross half the island in a taxi, go figure…) at 50 USD round trip, then get the visa at another 50 USD a pop, then return to immigration at the marina. All in, half a day is gone, and together with the marina fees (155 EC – 62 USD for a day) and the clearing fees (40 EC – 16 USD), we ended up paying about 180 USD for a one day stay. Welcome yachts! Next time, we’ll stay away from St Lucia, and go straight from St Vincent to Martinique, as many yachts seem to do anyway. I don’t think this kind of attitude and process should be encouraged.



SY Mary Ann



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