French is the official language of the French Overseas Possessions. However, local dialects are also widely spoken especially on the islands. In Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Martinique, for example, Creole is considered a second language, while Tahitian and other Polynesian languages are spoken in Tahiti and surrounding islands.
The euro is the official currency for the French Overseas Departments including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and French Guiana. Tahiti and surrounding islands, along with New Caledonia, still use the French Pacific franc, which is tied to the euro.
Sprinkled all over the world, the French Overseas Possessions have varying time zones. French Guiana is UTC -3, while Guadeloupe and Martinique are UTC -4. Reunion is UTC +4, while Tahiti is UTC -10, along with most other French Polynesian islands. New Caledonia is UTC +11.
Territories and departments included in the French Overseas Possessions use 220-240V as standard voltage. Most use Schuko and Europlug plugs though Indian sockets are sometimes used, especially in Martinique. Bring an adapter and a voltage converter or transformer if your electrical items use different settings.
Each territory and department has its own designated international calling code listed below. Cellular and satellite phone providers offer reliable communication within and outside of the territories. Internet services vary in speed and quality.
French Guiana: +594
French Polynesia: +689
New Caledonia: +687
Duty-free policies and import/export limits vary depending on the territory you are planning to visit. Most, however, follow French policies which allow the following: 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, or 250 g of tobacco; two liters of alcohol up to 22 percent proof or one liter of spirits over 22 percent; two liters of wine; and 250 ml of eau de toilette and 50 g of perfume.
Ministére de l’Outre-Mer: www.outre-mer.gouv.fr
Consulates in French Overseas Possessions
Various nations have overseas representation in the French Overseas Possessions.
US Embassy, Guadeloupe: +590-90-22-44
US Embassy, Martinique: +596-60-00-07
US Embassy, French Guiana: +597-472-900
Emergency contact numbers differ in each territory.
Emergency services, French Guiana: 112
Emergency services, New Caledonia: 18 or 17