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Ponte A Pitre Cruises

The main concentration of Guadeloupe's population is in Pointe-a-Pitre, itsname derived from a Dutch fisherman of Jewish origin who was expelledfrom Brazil by the Portuguese. As the island's main economic center, itlies at the junction between the two parts of the island, where thebridge spans the Salt River, which divides Basse-Terre fromGrande-Terre. The bustling city of some 100,000 inhabitants experiencedover the years severe damage from earthquakes, fires and hurricanes.The remaining French colonial structures help to retain a certain charmwhile at the same time a modern city is emerging.

One of thebest examples of this attempt to rejuvenate the downtown area is thenew cruise-terminal complex, which transformed old warehouses intospace for some 80 shops, restaurants, a hotel and headquarters forGuadeloupe's Port Authority. In sharp contrast to the glitzy duty-freeshops is the bustling market and the Place de la Victoire, surroundedby wood buildings with balconies and shutters. The museum of St. JohnPerse and the museum of Schoelcher are both worth a visit as is theCathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Out of town, on theGrande-Terre side, are the major tourist areas of Gosier and Ste. Anne,known for their white sand beaches and resort hotels.