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Saint Pierre anchorage | SBPR
Martinique

Sailing Into History in St. Pierre, Martinique

Sailing Into History in St. Pierre, Martinique

It’s impossible not to think about history when sailing into the Bay of Saint-Pierre, the quaint and generally quiet little town lying in the shadow of Mt. Pelée along the north Caribbean coast of Martinique.

The 10+ shipwrecks lining the depths below as you approach the shore, all of them a product of the infamous eruption of Mt. Pelée way back in 1902; the brooding baroque facade of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Port (est. 1654); ancient cannons atop the city’s old walls…

Ancient cannons atop the old city walls of Saint-Pierre, Martinique | SBPR
Ancient cannons atop the old city walls of Saint-Pierre, Martinique | SBPR

Stoic reminders of Saint-Pierre’s glory days hundreds of years past, when it was known as The Paris of the Caribbean, are everywhere, the Saint-Pierre of today literally built into and atop the charred remains of the old city forever scarred.

The new peeks out among the old everywhere in historic Saint-Pierre, Martinique | SBPR
The new peeks out among the old everywhere in historic Saint-Pierre, Martinique | SBPR

Dropping anchor and coming ashore here presents a singular Caribbean travel experience; one that offers an authentic trek back in time to a seminal event in the region’s history, minus the all-too-out-of-place Hooters you might remember from your last visit to Old San Juan.

Grand staircase of the legendary Theatre de Saint-Pierre, established in 1786 | SBPR
Grand staircase of the legendary Theatre de Saint-Pierre, established in 1786 | SBPR

At the same time, the Saint-Pierre of today offers laid-back seaside beach bars, poignant art installations, and fine epicurean delights and stylish accommodations at Villa Saint-Pierre – all of it enticement enough on their own.

Distillerie Depaz sits a mere stone’s throw from the downtown. Thrilling hiking adventures to the summit of Mt. Pelée lay waiting just outside the town.

Saint-Pierre, a dead town?

Hardly.

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