Depart Fort-de-France by bus. This capital city was once named Fort Royal and is the administrative center of Martinique with 110,000 inhabitants. Fort-de-France is famous for its setting on beautiful Fleming's Bay. You are headed to Balata Church—a 20-minute drive from the capital. This tiny chapel is a miniature replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre in Paris and was built in 1925. Don’t miss the amazing view of the city and the bay. From there, proceed to the Botanic Gardens of Balata—the result of 20 years of flower and plant collecting by its owner. You will have almost an hour to discover a multitude of plants and flowers harmoniously placed throughout the grounds. The reception hall is located in an authentic Creole house, completely renovated to modern standards and quite a beautiful building. You will see also an assortment of local fruits and vegetables. From there, you’ll follow La Trace Road, which began life not as a road at all but rather as a track hewn by the Jesuits in the 18th century. It is lined with enormous bamboo plants and giant ferns and lianas. At the foot of the volcano Mount Pelée, you will pass through the village of Morne Rouge (Red Hill)—totally destroyed during a 1902 eruption that killed more than 1,000 people. Even more devastated was Saint Pierre—now perhaps the most famous place in Martinique, albeit for tragic reasons. The same eruption killed 30,000 people in Saint Pierre—the sole survivor was in fact a prisoner who was being kept in an underground dungeon. Saint Pierre is now France’s 101st City of Art & History. Step inside the vulcanology museum for a sad but interesting look at the mass destruction caused by Pelée. Pass through the fishing village of Le Carbet, where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502 and Paul Gauguin once lived and painted. The village church was built in 1645. Further along, in Bellefontaine, keep an eye out for the rather unusual house that’s shaped like a boat, and in Case Pilote, you’ll see the island’s oldest church, built in the 1600s. A Carib Native chief had a house in the cove here and was known to be an unusually peaceful man within a more battle-inclined tribe. En route back to the ship you’ll pass Schœlcher Village, named in honor of slavery abolitionist Victor Schoelcher.