I came there by the cruiseship M/S Vistafjord.
We had to anchor outside of the small port and had a tenderservice for a short shore-leave of 2 hours
Fondest memory: Just imagine, what happens on such a rather small island, when a cruiseship with 780 passengers & maybe 250 crewmembers off duty will overflow the island for 2 hours...
I guess the inhabitants of the island are always again happy, when the ships are gone.
There is a small hotel and a great restaurant on the island -
I remember that there were almost no tourists there except our passengers.
The restaurant had a great terrace overlooking a tropical garden.
Captain Dreyfuss was another well-known prisoner. He was found guilty in 1894 in a first trial because his enemies could show false testemonies and witnesses.
In 1898 Emile Zola and many others started to protest against the judgement and Dreyfuss could leave the prison-island again.
In 1936 the french governement decided to give up the prison on the island, but
because of the World war this was postponed until 1948
He wrote a famous book about his adventures and the time on the island...
...and this book " Papillon " is one of the reasons, why tourists from all over the world want to see this island.
I got there on a christmas-cruise in 1985 and 1978/79
Since 1850 it was used as a prison-island by the French Government and was finally called Devil Island
Strong water-currants and sharks made an escape impossible...
...at least ALMOST impossible...
Take a walk with me on the island with more pics of the prison-cells under
" Must see activities "
Favorite thing: We landed our tenders inside the small port, where also the local ferryboat landed according to a regular timetable
Favorite thing: Today the island is used as a recreation-centre for the workers and engeneers of the european space centre in nearby Curou/French Guyana.
One of the prisoners - called " Papillon " - could escape anyway...
After quite a lot of other methods he finally put Coconuts inside a sack and was drifted by the currants to the mainland
Devil Island had different names in History :
It was called " Isle de salut " ( Salvation Island ) as it was used by white settlers as a refuge during a time of yellow fever-epidemy