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Cruises to Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez (Photo:loan Panaite/Shutterstock)

About Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez conjures up images of the good life, beautiful people, yachts and paparazzi. Yet, that luscious strip of seacoast in the Cote d'Azur region was once a sleepy fishing village offering little more retail panache than a few sandal makers. The balmy Mediterranean spot was first adopted in the 19th century by writers and artists, who migrated there from Paris in the summers. It became an international sensation in the 1960's after Brigitte Bardot put on a bikini and starred in a film ("And God Created Woman," directed by her then-husband Roger Vadim). She liked the area so much that she settled in the community, and the photographers followed. Then, other celebrities showed up. And ... voila.



But what's with the name? Who has ever heard of a saint named Tropez? The story told is this: In 1055, one of Nero's centurions (a certain fellow named Torpes) refused to forsake his religion and was beheaded in Pisa. His body and head were placed in a boat, along with a dog and a rooster. The animals were supposed to eat his body and conceal the crime, but when the boat floated into the estuary of what was then called Athenopolis, the head and body were found intact. Apparently, the dog watched over it and protected it. The town name was changed to Ecclesia Sancti Torpetis, and after the French Revolution, it became Saint-Tropez.



Because of medieval Fido's loyalty, it's said that dogs in Saint-Tropez bear as much cachet today as any rich movie star, and it's also said that you can get in anywhere, even into the packed and exclusive Les Caves du Roy night club, if you bring a well-dressed dog. And indeed, as you amble the streets and squares around this charming village, you see lots of well-behaved pooches with their owners, enjoying the Provencal sun.



The first things that you see when you arrive in the harbor, however, are the glamorous yachts at anchor or maneuvering into the port. The yachts that do find berths in the old port harbor are smaller than the floating palaces at anchor, but they are also the ones that back up their aft ends to the quais so the occupants can lunch in full view of the walking, gawking masses. It's quite a show. And also expensive: It costs 5,000 euros per day to dock a yacht in the old port harbor during the official summer "social season," from July 10 to August 15. Berths are typically booked for three years in advance.



The town itself is a jumble of ochre-colored buildings surrounding the port and narrow streets and alleys that climb away from it to the hills above. The Citadelle, an ancient fortress on a rise, stands guard and is visible from the sea. Most of the town's industry depends on tourism, but what you have when you strip away the celebrities, the yachts and the paparazzi is a happy, comfortable place -- a small French town with history and a sense of place, a maritime sensibility, world-renowned sandals and the famous Tarte Tropezienne, a cream-and-sponge cake developed by a relocated Pole from a recipe he got from his grandmother.



It's a glorious place, the perfect embodiment of the French Riviera, smaller than Nice or Cannes -- even without a stellar beach. The best thing about Saint-Tropez is that you can make it your own and choose the way you want to see it -- playground for spoiled rich folk or charming little Provencal town.

  • More about Saint-Tropez

  • Why go to Saint-Tropez?

  • Saint-Tropez Cruise Port Facilities?

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Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
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Riviera
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713 Reviews
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Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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Sirena
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Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Pursuit
Azamara Pursuit (Photo: Azamara Cruises)

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116 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Azamara
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
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360 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

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713 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 14, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Europe - Western Mediterranean - RomeDetails

2,515 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Aug 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Riviera & Mediterranean JewelsDetails

146 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Grand Prix Weekend VoyageDetails

116 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Azamara
May 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Mediterranean - Western CruiseDetails

375 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
May 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

34 Night
World CruiseDetails

713 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 14, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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20 Night
Tyrrhenian Treasures & MoroccoDetails

146 Reviews
Leaving:Monaco
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Jun 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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27 Night
Treasures Of The MediterraneanDetails

146 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Sep 24, 2023
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30 Night
Riviera Romance & Spanish GemsDetails

146 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
May 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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20 Night
Riviera Romance & Tyrrhenian TreasuresDetails

146 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Saint-Tropez

Why go to Saint-Tropez?

Pros:

For historical reasons, Saint-Tropez is extremely dog-friendly, so visitors can get their Fido fix

Cons:

Everything is expensive in this wealthy port; yacht berths cost more than $5,000 a day

Bottom Line:

The smallest port on the French Riviera, this is where people go to see and be seen

Saint-Tropez Cruise Port Facilities?

Hanging around the area where the tenders pull up, unlike at most tender docks, is quite enjoyable. A good place to get your bearings is the tourist office, where you can pick up pamphlets or maps and ask the English-speaking representatives about bus schedules. It is located in the old port at quai Jean Jaures, a few steps from the popular Senequier cafe, with its distinctive red chairs and awning. The tourist office is open every day except Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nearby, street vendors sell paintings, jewelry and maritime baubles. And if nothing else, you can eyeball the too-fabulous yachts while waiting for the tender to bring you back to your ship.

Good to Know?

Saint-Tropez is a pretty clean, safe place. The biggest danger during the daytime is that you might get gouged by an unscrupulous cab driver. Make sure the meter is running, and the cab should also be clearly marked with its number. If you have any doubts, wait for another.

Getting Around?

If you aren't venturing out of Saint-Tropez, walking is your best transportation option. The town is a delight for strolling; hours can pass as you go from shop to shop, gawk at the yachts, sit in leafy squares or sip a cafe au lait. A couple of beaches are within (long) walking distance, or you can take a cab. A 10 percent gratuity is typical for taxi rides. Some cabs accept U.S. dollars if arrangements are made in advance. Taxis are not abundant, but they do troll the seafront street for fares.



The city has a bus system, but most buses and their routes are not clearly marked; most go outside the city rather than serve a route within it. You can pick up a schedule at the tourist office.



The area right around Saint-Tropez is fairly flat, so if you feel ambitious, you can rent a bicycle or Honda scooter for the day at Holiday Bikes (14 avenue du General Leclerc; 04-94-97-09-39). If you're planning to travel into the hills surrounding the town or as far away as the beaches at St. Maximes, a car rental might be the best option: Locazur is a local agency (9 ZA Saint-Claude Route des Plages; 04-94-97-57-85) or you can book in advance through Hertz or Avis.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the euro. For up-to-the-minute conversion rates, check www.xe.com or www.oanda.com. There are several banks and ATM's in the main area of town and along the sea wall adjacent to the yachts. A "Bureau de Change" (where you can exchange dollars for euros and cash traveler's checks) is located at 1 rue Francois Sibill, which is also near the yacht harbor; it charges a commission for each transaction.

Language?

French is the local tongue, but English, Italian and German are widely spoken in the tourist areas.

Where You're Docked?

Saint-Tropez is a tender port. Tenders arrive in the center of town near the yachts, restaurants, shops and open-air vendors.


Saint-Tropez Cruise Reviews
Saint-Tropez - only port of call where we had to tender in. It was a fun tender in a covered boat and since it was sprinkling we were happy! Took a walking tour including the art museum with Cezanne's and other artiRead More
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Comitis
Musee de l'Annonciade is a small but interesting museum. Expect to spend an hour. The rest of the town is interesting for strolling but there are no must see spots. I would have preferred a different portRead More
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nyc22cruiser
Quaint seaside town with very expensive beach clubs and taxi rides. Enjoyed this port, but felt that two days was too much time. This is a hop off, walk the cute streets and get back on the ship port. Read More
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Johnskis
Tender to the land ,Easy to get around by yourself .Read More
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Bella_boo

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