Devil's Island (cruise-by), French Guiana cruise holidays

Lying off the coast of French Guiana, you'll sail by the infamous French penal colony of Devil's Island.


The prison was immortalised by the international bestseller 'Papillon', and subsequent film of the same name, which was the memoir of convicted felon Henri Charrire. First used to house the prison system's leper colony, the island began to hold political prisoners in 1852, under Emperor Napoleon III. Surrounded by rocky promontories and shoals, strong cross currents and shark-infested waters, it proved an excellent prison location. In fact, landing by boat on the island was so treacherous, that prison officials constructed a cable car system to a small nearby island, which they used to travel the 600-foot wide channel between the two islands. Luckily we will only be sailing by!

Frequently asked questions about Devil's Island, French Guiana