Friday, 13 January 2012

Devil's Island - French Guiana

Wednesday January 11th - Day 7
Arrived at Devil's Island in French Guiana at 9am where it's already very hot and the humidity is 81%.
Devil's Island is the smallest of the three 'Iles Du Salut' located 6 nautical miles off the coast of French Guiana and was part of the French penal colony until 1952. The island was made notorious by the book and then the Steve McQueen film Papillon which was the nickname of Henri Charriere the only known convict to escape from the island. Access to Devil's Island is now forbidden as it hosts a satellite tracking station but we were allowed to visit the neighbouring island 'Ile Royale' which was also part of the penal colony.
Royale was the headquarters of the colony where the administrators and their families lived including the prison governor, the doctor, guards and soldiers. The governor's residence is now a museum tracing the history of the island. The barracks is now a hotel (not 5 star!!) and there is a  chapel  decorated with paintings by a convict of prison life.
We had a leisurely walk around the island and explored the sites and even went inside one the prison areas. Vance tried to leave me there but I escaped.
A great experience but we were pleased to get back to the luxury of our home away from home and our noon cold beer.
We had dinner by candlelight at The Colonnade tonight in the balmy open air under the awning at the back of the ship...just the two of us (I mean Vance of course!!) - romantic.
The curse of the 'Rock The Boat' party out on deck has struck again - everything was set up for the evening party and then down came the rain. The party transferred to The Club but it's not the same.
The previous night we had been kept awake by a shrieking noise that lasted for about 15 minutes then stopped for 5 minutes then started all over again so in the middle of the night we were searching our suite trying to locate the noise but it seemed to be moving around. Vance was convinced it was coming from somewhere in the ceiling.
The next morning on leaving the suite for breakfast Vance discovered the noise coming from inside an access panel outside of our door. A quick call to guest services and a visit from the plumber got it fixed within hours - thanks Seabourn - if I don't get my 8 hours sleep I get VERY grumpy.


  1. Hi how full is the ship ? We are thinking of doing Dubai to the end? Think there is room?

    Really glad you were able to get out of prison on the island. Vance is always naughty! Love your blog! Did the trip with you last year!

  2. josephone....good to hear from you, I have been told there are about 385 guests onboard at the mo but the talk is that there will be 460 from Capetown to Singapore which means we will be very full as the ship is only supposed to hold 450 guests. Chatter says that several cabins will have a third person....not sure about this but you know how people chatter when they get together in the Seabourn Square. I had heard there is still availabilty from Dubai to Venice so I guess you need to get in touch with your TA. Wish we were still going to be onboard then. xxx Helen