Cruising in Martinique

Background

Colonized by France in 1635, the island has subsequently remained a French possession except for three brief periods of foreign occupation.

Geography

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates: 14 40 N, 61 00 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 1,100 sq km
Land: 1,060 sq km
Water: 40 sq km

Coastline

350 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average; average temperature 17.3 degrees C; humid

Terrain

Mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Montagne Pelee 1,397 m

Economy

The economy is based on sugarcane, bananas, tourism, and light industry. Agriculture accounts for about 6% of GDP and the small industrial sector for 11%. Sugar production has declined, with most of the sugarcane now used for the production of rum. Banana exports are increasing, going mostly to France.

The bulk of meat, vegetable, and grain requirements must be imported, contributing to a chronic trade deficit that requires large annual transfers of aid from France. Tourism, which employs more than 11,000 people, has become more important than agricultural exports as a source of foreign exchange.

Transportation

Airports: 2 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways: total: 2,105 km (including 261 km of expressways) (2000)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Fort-de-France, La Trinite, Marin

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Anguilla - Antigua and Barbuda - Aruba - Bahamas - Barbados - British Virgin Islands - Cayman Islands - Cuba - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Grenada - Guadeloupe - Haiti - Jamaica - St. Kitts and Nevis - St. Lucia - Martinique - Montserrat - Netherlands Antilles - Puerto Rico - Trinidad and Tobago - Turks and Caicos - St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Virgin Islands (USA)

Further Reading

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