Iles Du Salut - French Guiana

French Guiana is perhaps best known for the infamous penal colony to which convicts and undesirables were deported from France. For a long time the small archipelago Isles Du Salut (the Safety Islands) was known by the name of "Devil's Island" and was named by refugees fleeing the jungle diseases of the nearby mainland. Here you can explore the old prisoners' and wardens' quarters, the tiny church with its paintings of convict life, and a surprising wildlife population, including agoutis, hummingbirds, turtles and macaws. You can also visit the Kourou Space Centre. The three islands - Devil's Island, Ile Royale and Ile St. Joseph - are about one hour by boat from the mainland. Their notorious convict settlements were built in 1852, with each one of the islands serving a different purpose. Ile Royale was the the administrative centre and its prison cells housed less dangerous criminals while the more troublesome were kept on St. Joseph. Political prisoners like Alfred Dreyfus were held in isolation on the almost inaccessible Devil's Island. The prisoner who became most famous was Henri Charrière, who was immortalized in the movie "Papillon" for supposedly being the only convict who managed to escape. Of 80,000 prisoners sent to the islands, some 50,000 died here. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.