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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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Nautica
Nautica

12 Night
Mediterranean - Eastern CruiseDetails

355 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 26, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Nautica
Nautica

10 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

355 Reviews
Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Sep 16, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seven Seas Splendor
Seven Seas Splendor (Photo: Regent Seven Seas)

10 Night
Mediterranean - Western CruiseDetails

17 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Oct 23, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina
Marina

21 Night
World CruiseDetails

720 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Apr 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

11 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 13, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
France, Italy & Greece CruiseDetails

1,576 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
May 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Spain, France & Italy TransDetails

9 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

49 Reviews
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Iconic Western MediterraneanDetails

1,903 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Apr 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

1,699 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

1,808 Reviews
Leaving:Madeira
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
May 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Iconic Western MediterraneanDetails

1,398 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Nov 19, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
15 Nt Portugal & Spain Crossing CruiseDetails

1,997 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Western Mediterranean CruiseDetails

15 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Apr 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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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
Our next port on the Viking Sea was Marseille, France. Because the Gran Prix was actually taking place during our visit we did the excursion that toured the coast and it was just breathtaking. Marseille is very cleanRead More
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SpecialEducator
Provence (Marseille) - Took a tour at Aix-En-Provence then went on our own into Marseille. Aix is a beautiful place and well worth the excursion. Visited Cathedral Saint-Sauveur; the Place Des Martyrs de La ResistaRead More
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Comitis
Marseille did not have a great reputation as a tourist destination. But we proved that wrong. We sought a local company that gave us a tour of Marseilles including Notre Dame en Garde on the hill, Aix en Provence aRead More
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Mary Seas
went to aix in provence - beautiful!Read More
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Grandmajoe

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