Got an upcoming cruise with stops at these two islands? You might find these ports canceled. Read more below:
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for the French West Indies.
This alert is for U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Guadeloupe and Martinique, French West Indies (FWI) that ongoing labor strikes in the region may affect social, economic and tourist services. It is possible that these strikes will spread to other French overseas departments (which includes St. Martin). This Travel Alert expires on May 13, 2009.
Due to ongoing labor strikes, riot police from France are now stationed in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Most commercial activities have ceased, and there are mounting shortages of food, water, and power on both islands.
In Martinique, strikes and large-scale street protests continue. Gas stations, stores, the port, and banks remain closed. There are continuing interruptions in power and rapidly dwindling water and food supplies.
In Guadeloupe there are reports of increasing tensions, with armed gangs blockading routes and targeting residents and tourists. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens being specifically targeted. The government is reportedly mobilizing the police and armed forces to address the possibility of severe civil unrest.
Dave - Thank You for the info on Guadeloupe and Martinique, also Special Thanks to Penny3333 for the additional "heads up" on Antigua and Curacao. How many of the island economies will suffer remains to be seen but as Shakepeare has written "It doth not bode well!"
The potential impact on tourism can become very harmful if there is no improvement forthcoming!
Many years ago, on Royal Caribbean, we were scheduled to stop in Haiti. We didn't go because of a major coup. Of course, we were sad, but our hearts really went out to the people of that country. And no, we didn't get our cruise refunded because of it
I've also read of the possibility that St. Maarten may have some unrest as half is French.
It's sad that a population fueled by the tourist industry drives away what little sources of revenue come their way.