Passengers arriving at Fort-de-France, Martinique are enjoying the facilities of a new cruise terminal.
Situated on the port's main harbor dock, the new terminal is within 10 minutes walking distance from the center of town. It contains a welcome center with a branch of the Tourist Office; customs facilities; a new hospital complex with emergency helicopter service and a mobile operating room; and overseas communications. Taxi and bus excursions to various parts of town are offered from the terminal, and individual taxis also are available.
According to a spokesman for the port, the new terminal represents the government's commitment to the cruise industry.
Last year, 153,769 passengers came through Fort-de-France - an increase of more than 12 percent over 1984. Estimated figures for 1986 were unavailable, but 313 cruise calls are expected, compared to 247 in 1985.
In order to better ascertain the needs of the cruise industry, the port hosted an International Seminar on Cruise Ship Tourism last October. Topics discussed included priority considerations for cruise ship calls; the advantages of berthing versus lightering; and security measures.
As a result of the meeting, the port guaranteed that all cruise ships that registered with Fort-de-France in 1986 would be received at one of the harbor berths.
Shortly after the seminar, Carnival announced that it would bring the Festivale to Martinique.