Marseille, France - Cruise Port Guide - Anchors Up
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Marseille, France - Cruise Port Guide

Marseille, France - Cruise Port Guide Anchors Up

Location

Getting there from Marseille-Provence Airport (30 km from Marseille Center):

Take a shuttle bus from the airport to the St-Charles railway station. From there, a taxi can conveniently transport you directly to your cruise terminal. Note that Marseille's cruise terminals are spread out; confirm with your cruise company which dock will be used.

Joliette Cruise Terminals: Ideal for small and medium-sized vessels, close to the town.

MPCT (Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal): Suited for larger vessels but is 8 km from the city center. For town access, take a taxi or the shuttle service to and from Vieux Port. Alternatively, use City bus (RTM) no: 35, follow the green line on the ground for a 20-minute walk to the port, get off at Joliette terminus, and take bus 55 to the Old Port.

Outside the port gate, a free shuttle to the city runs every 20 minutes. Cruise shuttles, although payable, go further into the city. This free option involves a bit more walking but is worth it! A taxi to the old port costs approximately €20.

Watch a video tour of this port.

Port location on Google Maps

Monthly climate averages for Marseilles France

The Tourist Information Office is at 4 La Canebière and at the train station Gare St-Charles.  

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Sights

The Vieux Port, Marseille's bustling old port, stands as the city's vibrant centerpiece. Lined with quays hosting fishing boats and yachts, its lively surroundings include narrow streets brimming with seafood restaurants, cafés, and shops. The Quai des Belges, located at the port's end, hosts a lively fish market every morning.

As the tourism hub, the Vieux Port serves as the main marina and an excellent starting point for exploration. Enjoy walks around the old city, along the bustling shopping street "Canebiere," or head to the iconic Notre Dame de la Garde church. To the south, the bohemian cours Julien, known as ‘cours Ju,' offers a youthful atmosphere with fashion boutiques, bookshops, cafés, and music venues.

Heading north reveals Le Panier, a hilly district and the city's oldest part. With narrow streets, steep stairways, and charming pastel-colored houses, it captivates visitors with its historic charm. A small ferry shuttles across the Vieux Port, offering a delightful way to explore both sides.

For those seeking cultural gems, the Abbaye de St-Victor, a fascinating double-decker church, once a powerful abbey, is worth a visit. Another notable landmark, Notre-Dame de la Garde, stands atop a steep climb with twisting streets, presenting an extraordinary neo-Byzantine basilica for an unforgettable experience.

 

Tours, excursions and transportation

Avoid the pricey cruise-organized shuttles into town! Instead, take advantage of the free shuttle service from the cruise port, which conveniently stops just a short 300m walk from where the "Petits Trains Touristiques" begins its city circuit with insightful commentary. The tour kicks off at the end of the Old Port (Quai des Belges, near the Office de Tourisme).

Opting for the hop-on/hop-off services is another convenient choice, starting at the same location.

Taxis are also readily available, offering guided tours for those looking to explore Marseille in comfort and style.

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Nearby destinations

To reach Aix-en-Provence from the cruise port:

Shuttle to Old Port: Catch the shuttle bus to the Old Port.

Métro or Walk to Train Station: Take the Métro or enjoy a walk to the train station.

Train to Aix-en-Provence: Board a train to Aix-en-Provence (45 minutes, twice an hour, 9 Euro one way). Alternatively, trains are available to Arles (1.5 hours) or Avignon (1 hour).

OR Bus 50 to Aix-en-Provence: Bus 50 offers a 35-minute ride (approx. 6 Euro one way) from the train station. Buses run every 5 minutes or so, and tickets can be purchased on the bus. 

Explore the sun-bleached white turrets of Château d'If, a 16th-century island prison immortalized in Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. Today, the island is home to seagulls and salamanders rather than convicts. Ferries depart every hour, taking about 20 minutes for the journey. Departures occur from Vieux Port's quai de Belges, now officially re-named quai de la Fraternité.

 

Shopping and food

The city's culinary scene boasts a diverse array of typical dishes, with one of the most celebrated being bouillabaisse—a delectable fish stew that has gained international acclaim. Marseille's gastronomy is a rich tapestry woven with influences from the Mediterranean, showcasing a fusion of flavors that captivate the palate. From savory seafood dishes to delightful Mediterranean-inspired fare, the city's cuisine reflects its vibrant culture and history. Whether exploring local markets or dining in charming bistros, Marseille offers a culinary adventure that is sure to satisfy the most discerning tastes.

 

Other information

Currency: Euro.

Local emergency number: 112  

 

Opening hours

In France, most shops, businesses, information services, museums, and banks generally maintain all-day opening hours. The only exceptions are smaller shops and enterprises, which may close for lunch sometime between 12:30 pm and 2 pm. For larger shops, the standard business hours are from 8 or 9 am to 6:30 or 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday. Smaller shops typically operate from Tuesday to Saturday, with some opening on Monday afternoons. Boulangeries and food shops are exceptions, often staying open even on days when others close, with Sundays typically closing around noon.