Marseille – the second largest city in France, where cultures collide in a stunning melting pot of French, African and the Mediterranean. Whilst gliding across the bright blue waters of this Mediterranean coastal city you can expect a whirlwind adventure in Marseilles cruise port. As you come to shore at Marseille port – the largest port in France you will be greeted with a ragged coastal line, clear azure waters, bright boats bobbing in the harbor and a hive of port activity.
The Vieux Port
The Vieux Port is simply delightful, alive with rustic charm and the epicenter of city dining. Here you can discover a wide variety of restaurants; whether it’s a slice of pizza, an exotic fresh fish dish or the famed French Bouillabaisse (which actually originated from Marseille). It’s the perfect place to stop for a fast bite or spend hours poring over the catch of the day.
If you are looking to pick up souvenirs you don’t need to go far from the Vieux Port, along the sea front you can find plenty of stunning little boutiques offering up local handicrafts, antiques, fine art and plenty of other goodies to take back on board with you. If you are looking for some chic designer or high street fashion, Marseille has it all. Just make sure all those purchases will fit through the cabin door!
There is plenty to see and do only a stone’s throw away from Marseilles Port. By far the most spectacular and popular sight is the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. Perched at the highest point in the city this stunning 19th century church dates offers breathtaking views across the city including a panoramic sweeping view of the glittering blue Mediterranean Sea. If your feet are feeling tired from the climb you can always opt to take the Petit Train, all aboard the mini train, this tiny railway line will take you across the city and allow you to witness the sights and sounds of Frances liveliest city without causing callouses on your heels. Be sure to hop off at Cours Julien to soak up the true side of Marseille. In this hip and happening square you will find all kind of wonders – from bright and bustling markets selling fresh flowers to antique books. Here you will find the laid back lifestyle and cool charm that makes Marseille so notorious.
Of course one of the main highlights of Marseille is its coast. If you prefer not to traipse around the tourist sights you can simply sit back on golden sand and watch the tide roll in. The Mediterranean climate is perfect for a comfortable dip in the sea. You can enjoy a light cocktail or inexpensive beer along the sea front and marvel at the flaming sunset as she dips down, casting a golden glow across Marseille.
With moderate Mediterranean temperatures Marseille remains a year round destination. Summers can be hot and sticky but you can always cool down in the blue waters. However remember in the summer season the tourists flock to the city in search of sun and sand, so if you don’t like the crowds perhaps try spring or autumn. Winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing so if you want to enjoy a little Joie de Vive at carnival time, February may make the perfect month to visit.
Gateway to the World
Marseille has become a paramount destination in many Mediterranean cruises. Often ships departing from Italy and Spain will stop in Marseille so their guests can soak up a little French culture. Being the gateway to Africa is another reason to consider Marseille as a Cruise port destination. With regular sailings to Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria you can get ready to experience a whole new world.
Marseille and its cruise port – by Jodie Oakes
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