From Boston To The French West Indies For $100
Looking for the best way to get to Martinique? Here are some suggestions that could help save you both time and money. Martinique is surprisingly equidistant to the major east coast cities, whether Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Miami, Montreal or New York. Flights take around four hours and, if you know where to look (and when to book), can cost as little as $100 each way.
- If you are on the US/Canadian East Coast, key airports to check are JFK, YUL, FLL and PVD. Flights from $100 each way;
- If you are on the West Coast, look to fly to one of the above hubs first or to San Juan (SJU). Flights from $300 each way;
- If you are in Europe, get yourself to Paris or Amsterdam and fly from there. Flights from $300 each way;
- If you are in the Caribbean, check flights with Liat, Winair or Air Antilles;
- You can also take a ferry from the islands immediately north or south of Martinique;
- Most of the tips below also apply for business/first class flights.
The east coast of North America runs NE to SW and Martinique lies to the SE. This means east coast cities are surprisingly equidistant from Martinique.
The key is to spend a bit of time shopping around on Google Flights or whichever is your favourite flight ticket aggregator. It will be time well spent.
First a bit about Martinique. We love this island. If you like good food and wine, great sailing, lush natural forests, a safe environment, friendly locals and are looking for a bit of culture in the Caribbean, Martinique (a Department of France, population 380,000) is a great island to visit. It has one airport, located just south of the main city of Fort-de-France (FDF), and three main ferry terminals, one to the north (St Pierre), one in the main town (Fort-de-France), the other to the south (Le Marin).
For tips on sailing in the Caribbean generally, check out this blog post we wrote earlier. Here is a close-up of the eastern Caribbean islands, showing Martinique sitting in the centre of the archipelago.
Best Ways To Fly To Martinique
Flying To Martinique From The US for $250 return
Easily the best deal right now is with Norwegian Airlines, who are offering non-stop flights to New York's John F Kennedy (JFK) airport. A return ticket will cost as little as $210 depending when you book.
Montreal's Trudeau airport (YUL) is a hub from which to find reliably cheap tickets to Montreal. Carriers such as American Airlines, Air Canada and Delta typically offer sub-$250 return airfares.
Here are some other cities to look at when flying from the US to Martinique:
Fort Lauderdale/Miami is a base for return flights with Norwegian for around $250
Boston/Providence: of all places, Norwegian also flies nonstop from Providence (aka PVD) to Martinique for around $250 return.
Atlanta (ATL) is mentioned by some pundits as a decent connection, although we find it is better to fly to one of the aforementioned east coast hubs first.
San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico can be used as a hub, however you normally need to overnight there and the planes you take from San Juan to Martinique tend to be smaller, slower turboprops operated by a local Caribbean carrier.
Fishing at The Pier, St Pierre, Martinique
Flying to Martinique from the West Coast of the US
If you are coming from Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego or any other city on the west coast, your best bet may be to fly to a major east coast hub such as New York or Miami (or possibly Montreal).
For example, Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) costs around $300 return, and from there you can enjoy the better prices down to Martinique.
Compare this against the other east coast hubs as mentioned above.
San Juan can be a handy hub for those on the west coast, although it may be affected by Hurricane Maria for some time (as at November 2017). Air Antilles offers return tickets between San Juan and Martinique from $300.
Flying To Martinique From Europe
Martinique is a French island. As such the best value flights tend to be from Paris (CDG or ORY), where return flights can be found for as little as €400.
Amsterdam (AMS) is another one to check, with similar prices to Paris.
London Heathrow (LHR) can also be quite reasonable, with return flights to Martinique from around £530
Flying To Martinique From Other Caribbean Islands
The Caribbean is home to a few local airlines such as LIAT, Air Caraibes and Winair. Either check with a flight ticket aggregator such as Google Flights or go to the airlines' own websites direct.
Best Ways To Ferry To Martinique
If you are coming or going from the north (Guadeloupe, Îles des Saintes or Dominica), you can also ferry between the islands. Express des Îles operates a four hour service between Guadeloupe and Martinique.
If you are coming or going from the south (St Lucia), you can also fly or take a ferry. A regular Expess des Îles service runs from Fort de France to Castries, and a lesser-known service called Channel Shuttle runs from Le Marin (in the south of Martinique).
Martinique is part of the French West Indies, sitting in the middle of the eastern Caribbean archipelago. As such is is more exotic, and a little more challenging, to get to. However you can find some great deals if you know where to look. It's worth it. Of all Caribbean Islands, Martinique is one of the best.
If you're on or near the east coast of the US/Canada, check out flights from New York, Montreal or Fort Lauderdale/Miami.
If you're on or near the west coast of the US/Canada we suggest you find a flight to one of the above east coast airports.
If you're in Europe, your best bet is finding flights from Paris.
Sailing Virgins runs courses in and around Martinique. Check our courses by choosing a menu item above or email us if you'd like to learn more.