Celebrity Equinox, a mega-ocean liner with a capacity of 2,850 passengers, is the first cruise ship to call in Fort-de-France since March 2020. The pandemic has hit tourism industry players hard. On the Pointe-Simon waterfront in Fort-de-France, the wait was palpable between traders and passengers.
This Sunday, September 4, 2022, the weather was gloomy. It was the rain that welcomed the “Celebrity Equinox”, the first ocean liner to call at Fort-de-France for two and a half years.
Despite this mixed climate, this resumption of cruise ship calls was eagerly awaited.
The hikers received clients who had booked tours to visit the island.
Linda Elie, who lives in Florida, is part of a growing number of solo travelers. She opted for a walk between the districts of Didier and Absalon in Fort-de-France with an expert guide who speaks good English.
Linda Elie, Celebrity Equinox traveler
It’s good to go out. During the Covid-19 epidemic, I did a lot of volunteering to try to forget the frustration of not being able to travel.Linda Elie, American cruise company
All 40 merchants were present at the souvenir market on the seafront. The Covid-19 epidemic has hit this community of artisans hard. No entry during this period, which means sales hopes are very strong this Sunday.
Denise, a souvenir seller in Fort-de-France for 40 years.
Since the visitors arrived in December 2021, things have gotten better. Today we are all present. We hope that passengers come to visit us.Denise, 40 years old souvenir seller
In the city of Fort-de-France, souvenir shops and some restaurants are open this Sunday. The activity is strong on the Boulevard Général de Gaulle where the fruit and vegetable market and the self-service, have welcomed the world.
Instead, historical sites such as the Schoelcher Library closed.
Celebrity Equinox at the Pointe Simon terminal in Fort-de-France.
Celebrity Equinox began its 10-day itinerary from Port Everglades in Florida. On board, 2,280 passengers.
Before docking in Martinique, the transatlantic made stopovers in Antigua and Barbuda, Santa Lucia and Barbados. After Martinique, passengers will visit Saint Kitts and Nevis.
For this 2022 and 2023 cruise season, Martinique will welcome more than 200 cruise ships.