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Cruises to Marseille

Marseille (Photo:Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock)

About Marseille

Marseille, gateway to Provence, is France's largest port and second largest city, with a vast history stretching back more than 2,000 years to its foundation by the Greeks in the 6th century BC.

While much of the city is urban sprawl, it has a spectacular setting between dramatic limestone hills and the Mediterranean, and the once-industrial streets now feature stylish shops and cutting-edge art galleries, thanks to investment from its role as European Capital of Culture 2013.

Most cruisers make a beeline for Le Vieux Port, a buzzing, picturesque harbor lined with boutiques, restaurants and cafes. This district attracts an eclectic crowd, from local fishermen to millionaires venturing ashore from James Bond-style mega-yachts. All gather to soak up Le Vieux Port's charming atmosphere, browse its bustling markets and tuck into a bowl of Marseille's classic signature dish, bouillabaisse (a rich fish stew).

  • Why go to Marseille?

  • Marseille Cruise Port Facilities?

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Marina
Marina
Marina

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

713 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
$3,249*pp
$325/night • balcony

Avoya Travel

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Marina
Marina
Marina

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Island Princess
Island Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Island Princess
Island Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Virgin Voyages

Island Princess

111 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Riviera

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Regal Princess

14 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Westerdam

12 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Marina

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Luxury Cruise Connections

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MSC Grandiosa

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

41 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Riviera

12 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Island Princess

97 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Westerdam

12 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Nautica

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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Westerdam

24 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Seven Seas Splendor

65 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Regal Princess

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Harmony of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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MSC Fantasia

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Naples
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Nautica

22 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Haifa
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Regal Princess

21 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Allure of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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MSC Fantasia

7 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Armonia

18 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Seven Seas Splendor

10 Night
Cruise to MarseilleDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Why go to Marseille?

Pros:

Marseille is a large city with lots to see and do, including cultural and historic attractions, and plentiful shops

Cons:

The cruise terminal is far from the center of town, and time can be something of an issue

Bottom Line:

Plan your visit to Marseille well to avoid not having enough time to see everything on your list

Marseille Cruise Port Facilities?

Most passengers board a shuttle bus to Le Vieux Port and start exploring right away, but shopaholics will find an expanding range of retail outlets along the waterfront which links the cruise terminal to Le Vieux Port. It's best to head into the lovely, lively Le Vieux Port as quickly as you can, and leave closer-to-ship browsing for later, if you have time before returning to your vessel.

Good to Know?

Watch out for dogs. The French are very fond of little pooches, who run around at ankle-height and sometimes leave deposits on the sidewalk; remember to look where you're walking. Also beware of heavy traffic in the port area, and be sure to check hours of operation for any sights you're hoping to visit. Museums and most major attractions are closed on Mondays, and many local restaurants only serve lunch from noon to 2 p.m.

Getting Around?

By Taxi: The ship's shuttle is probably the best option for reaching the Le Vieux Port, but taxis are also available at the cruise terminal. Costs vary, depending on how far out your ship has docked.

On Foot: Once you're in Le Vieux Port, you're within walking distance of the major sights. If you want to go further afield, you can use the subway, which is safe, straightforward and accessible from Le Vieux Port station.

By Train: Like most French tourist towns, Marseille has a "petit train" which rides past the main sights for a few euros. The journey will give you a good overview of the local charms if you're strapped for time. It operates roughly every half hour from Le Vieux Port's Quai des Belges; tours take about one hour.

Note: It may be worth investing in a 24-hour city pass (available from the Tourist Office). It costs around 25 euro per adult and allows free use of the city's public transport system, free entrance to most of its museums, 10 percent discounts at certain stores, and other perks including free rides on the petit train and on the ferry which runs from Le Vieux Port to the Isle of Chateau d'If.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The official currency is the euro; for the latest exchange rate, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. You'll find ATMs around the cruise terminal and Le Vieux Port.

Language?

English is widely spoken and understood in Marseille, particularly in restaurants. But don't assume that everyone speaks it. Win favor with the locals with a few basic phrases, including "merci beaucoup" (thanks very much) and "l'addition, s'il vous plait" (the bill, please).

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock to the north of Le Vieux Port, in a large industrial zone which is rapidly being updated to appeal to ever-increasing numbers of cruise passengers.

At present, this vast docklands -- which accommodates dry docks; ferries to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria and Tunisia; and freight vessels as well as cruise ships -- is sprawling and far from pretty, and its cruise berths are set quite far apart.

The Joliette Terminal -- which lies closest to the center of town -- currently has two berths for small to medium-sized ships, while larger vessels have to dock further out at a jetty, approximately six miles to the north of Le Vieux Port at the Marseille-Provence Cruise Terminal. The bad news is that passengers here have a longer journey into the heart of the action; the good is that parts of the terminal were renovated in 2014.


Marseille Cruise Reviews
We paid E11 each for the shuttle bus into Marseille which is huge,but if you walk about 500 yards into the port, there's a free shuttle bus.... Read More
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bckl
Again we took a taxi into the centre, but if you walk out from the boat along the road there is a FREE shuttle into the centre of town. Marseille has had a great clean up! It’s sparkling and lovely to just stroll,... Read More
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Norahkiora
I had originally planned to visit Aix-en-Provence by train when in Marseille, but a French railway strike meant that this was not possible. Instead I visited the Church of Notre Dame de la Guard which dominates the... Read More
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kiwiatheart
Marseille was switched to Toulon on our cruise due to the interprofessional strike in France which we already knew about from train travelling there prior to the cruise. Toulon was great: kids enjoyed seeing the... Read More
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heebee8

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