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Caribbean-On-Line » Caribbean Travel News » Guadeloupe

Air France adds Guadeloupe, Martinique flights

As from 4 November 2011, Air France will operate flights to French Caribbean destinations on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Flights will be operated by Boeing B777-300 ER with seating for 472 passengers, including 14 in Affaires, 36 in Alize (Premium) and 422 in Voyageur (economy).

Flight times have been adapted to ensure smooth transfers for passengers connecting to and from Air France's main European destinations at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

"By building on its existing product offer on departure from Paris-Orly to the French Caribbean, Air France is demonstrating, more than any other airline, that it is a major player in the development of Caribbean tourism" said Alain Malka, Senior Vice President, Caribbean & Indian Ocean, Air France KLM.

Christian Mantei, Managing director of Atout France, appointed by the government to prepare the launch of Caribbean services on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, added "Since Air France has officially announced these new frequencies and flight times, they can now be marketed. This is the first step in an upcoming 'destination contract'. The key factor in the success of these new routes will be an undertaking by all professionals involved in the tourism industry to develop the quality of their products and promote these new routes."

Continue reading "Air France adds Guadeloupe, Martinique flights" »



Guadeloupe Calendar of Events 2011

Events in Pointe-a-Pitre

Many of these events do no yet have a fixed date and only the month is given - visit the websites (if provided) or search the web for more information.

Guadeloupe Carnival 6th to 9th of March 2011
Vividly colourful costumes of all shapes bob and sway to the infectious beat of the music in towns across Guadeloupe during carnival time. Catch the weekend street rehearsals and the unmissable main parades in Pointe-a-Pitre and Basse-Terre.

Guadeloupe International Film Festival 28th of January to 4th of February 2011
Feature films, shorts and documentaries screened in venues across the islands of Guadeloupe give an insight into foreign cultures and life closer to home at the annual Guadeloupe International Film Festival. The competition categories home in on Caribbean cinema.

Caribbean Nights Classical Music Festival 4th to 26t of February 2011
The Caribbean Nights Classical Music Festival takes place at Cafeiere Beausejour 18th-century coffee plantation, overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Pointe-Noire, north-west Guadeloupe. Local and international musicians and orchestras perform concerts in the evenings and on Sunday mornings. Cafeiere Beausejour, Acomat 97116, Pointe-Noire, Guadeloupe

Mi-Careme March 2011
Carnival legend King Vaval rises up again in the middle of Lent for one day only and sends Guadeloupeans back into a partying frenzy. Spot the throngs of red and black dancing 'devils', especially in Basse-Terre and Pointe-a-Pitre's streets.

Festival of Fish & the Sea April 2011
Devour sea bream, shark and king mackerel simply grilled or cooked Antillean-style in paprika, saffron and coconut milk at Saint-Francois' annual Festival of Fish & the Sea, on Grande-Terre. There are also sailing and fishing contests plus rowing races. Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe

Morne a l'Eau Crab Festival April 2011
Savour crab cooked in a variety of colourful Antillean sauces every year at the Morne a l'Eau Crab Festival, a big hit across Guadeloupe. There is also live music and other fun non-crab-related events to enjoy in the sunshine. Morne a l'Eau, Guadeloupe

La Desirade Goat Festival April 2011
Taste Guadeloupean kid in creamy, spicy French-Caribbean sauces at the popular Goat Festival on La Desirade island. Vote for the best-looking goat at the curious fancy dress fashion show on the beach, which sees non-plussed goats wearing sunglasses and swimsuits.

Gardel Trophy Race May 2011
Yachts sail elegantly out on the Caribbean Sea from Saint-Francois on Grande-Terre across to the tiny islands of Petite-Terre during the Gardel Trophy Race in Guadeloupe. The races are spread over two days. Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe

Terre de Blues Festival May 2011
The island of Marie-Galante springs to life with daytime performing-arts shows dotted around Grand-Bourg and live music at night during the annual Terre de Blues Festival. Local and international musicians perform at the Château Murat sugar plantation.

Creole Blues Festival May 2011
Le Moule on Grande-Terre island in Guadeloupe breaks into blues once a year at the Creole Blues Festival. Hear performers from Africa, the USA and the Caribbean, notably Guadeloupe itself, and watch documentaries on the roots of Creole Blues. Le Moule, Guadeloupe

French Surfing Championship in Guadeloupe May 2011
Over 200 professional surfers worship the Caribbean waves at Saint-Francois and Anse-Bertrand, in the south and north of Grande-Terre respectively, at the French Surfing Championship in Guadeloupe. Cheer on the longboarders, bodyboarders, bodysurfers and plain cool surfers of all ages. Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe

Antilles Music Festival June 2011
Join the West Indian party spirit with zouk, biguine and gwo ka music from Guadeloupe and Martinique alongside Caribbean sounds at the annual Antilles Music Festival. Look out for concerts on both islands, especially in Pointe a Pitre and Fort-de-France.

Karujet - Jet Ski World Championship June 2011
Professional jet skiers slice through the Caribbean Sea at breakneck speeds around the islands of Guadeloupe during the annual Karujet World Championship. There are nine stages to the course, starting at Pointe-a-Pitre harbour and finishing across the water at Petit-Bourg.

Gwo Ka Festival July 2011
Guadeloupe's mesmeric gwo ka drum music is loudly celebrated at the long-established Gwo Ka Festival on the streets and beach of Sainte-Anne. Explore the dances and seven rhythms of gwo ka that relate to the plantation slaves' activities centuries ago.

Victor Schœlcher Day July 2011
Paris-born Victor Schœlcher brought about the abolition of slavery in the French colonies, specifically the Caribbean. Look out for cultural and commemorative events across the islands every year on 21 July, Schœlcher's birthday and now a public holiday.

Marie-Galante Traditional Sailboat Race August 2011
Jolly Caribbean boats with multi-coloured sails skirt round the southerly Guadeloupean island of Marie-Galante at the annual Traditional Sailboat Race. The race begins in the emerald water at Saint-Louis, continues to Grand-Bourg, on to Capesterre and back to Saint-Louis.

Guadeloupe International Cycling Race August 2011
Catch a glimpse of more than ten international professional cycling teams zooming round a 1300km course at the Guadeloupe International Cycling Race every year. The nine-stage route starts and finishes at Pointe-a-Pitre on Grande-Terre.

Festival of the Women Cooks August 2011
Women in Creole dress, carrying baskets of traditional foods are blessed by Pointe-a-Pitre's bishop before embarking on a five-hour banquet to end all banquets. The Festival of the Women Cooks invites everyone to enjoy local French and Creole cuisine. Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe

European Days of Heritage September 2011
Guadeloupe's museums, historic buildings, monuments and other heritage sites welcome the public free of charge for the annual European Days of Heritage. Look out for special art exhibitions and other cultural activities commemorating France's history in the islands.

All Saints' Day November 2011
Guadeloupe's cemeteries twinkle in a fantastic spectacle of light on the night of All Saints' Day on 1 November. See the red and white candles and flowers adorn the tombs where families gather together for a joyous evening wake.

Conch Festival November 2011
Taste soup, kebab, fricassee and other dishes made from conch and buy handicrafts glimmering with the shell's pink mother-of-pearl interior at the Conch Festival in the small fishing village of Vieux-Bourg, on Grande-Terre. Guadeloupean zouk music also entertains. Vieux-Bourg, Guadeloupe

Gwadloup' Festival November 2011
From reggae and jazz to ragga-dancehall, the cream of the Caribbean's music scene performs at the Gwadloup' Festival. Catch major local stars at concerts in Basse-Terre, Petit Bourg and Pointe-a-Pitre and smaller performances in towns across the Guadeloupean archipelago.

International Ilojazz Festival December 2011
Get your fix of free jazz at Pointe-a-Pitre's annual International Ilojazz Festival. Musicians from Guadeloupe and further afield perform at night in the Place de la Victoire and other venues throughout the city. Highly popular workshops are also held. Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe

Festival of the Old Creole Song December 2011
Vote for the best singer at the annual Festival of the Old Creole Song in Saint-Francoise's Hotel Golf Village. Creole music is the backbone of Guadeloupe's history and culture and can be heard across the islands. Hotel Golf Village, 96 Les Hauts de Saint-François 97118, Saint-Francois, Guadeloupe



Meltdown pain felt in remnants of French empire

The AP is reporting:

"But lately weeks of strikes and outbursts of rioting on Guadeloupe and nearby Martinique have disrupted the Caribbean calm. The world economic crisis is pushing up prices of staples that already cost more than on the French mainland, and reviving the resentment of the mixed-race majority toward the descendants of slave-owners and white colonists who still run much of the islands' economies."



Hotels and cruiselines hit by French Caribbean strikes

I am just coming across this story (late) for the first time:

Violent strikes on the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique have severely hit tourism to the area.

Thousands of islanders have been protesting about low wages and the rising cost of living for three weeks. They have set up blockades across the islands causing life for civilians to come to a standstill. The protests have turned violent causing schools, government offices, petrol stations and banks to close.

More here.





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