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Cruises to Corsica (Ajaccio)

305 Reviews
Corsica (Ajaccio) (Photo:Gerardo Borbolla/Shutterstock)

About Corsica (Ajaccio)

No doubt about it: Ajaccio is our kind of cruise port -- easily explored on foot; crammed with good restaurants and well-stocked, unusual shops; and blessed with a harbor so pretty that local artists jostle with each other for a good painting spot from which to capture it.

On a sunny, Mediterranean morning, the harbor sparkles like sapphire-tinted cut glass. Even the poorest history scholar won't take long to work out who Ajaccio's favorite son was: Multiple streets are named after Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born here on August 15, 1769 -- just a few months after the island of Corsica was finally claimed by the French, after being ruled for more than four centuries by the Genovese.

You'll still find Italian influence here in some street names and in the local cuisine; though essentially French, it has a spicy undertone and features pork as a popular ingredient.

In terms of shops and restaurants, Ajaccio feels 100 percent French. Expect pretty patisseries, stylish fashion shops and pharmacy windows, packed with every beauty accessory known to woman -- but at prices so high they would make a Parisien gasp. This is an island, after all; everything has to be imported, and that's reflected in the price tags. So be warned: This is not the place to make major purchases.

  • More about Corsica (Ajaccio)

  • Why go to Corsica (Ajaccio)?

  • Corsica (Ajaccio) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Sirena
Sirena

12 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

248 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jun 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Riviera
Riviera

7 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

717 Reviews
Leaving:Monaco
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Sep 4, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Edge
E G18  Deluxe Oceanview R (1)

7 Night
Spain, France, & Italy CruiseDetails

668 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Jul 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Explorer of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas

15 Night
15 Nt Portugal & Spain Crossing CruiseDetails

2,010 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sponsored

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Azamara Club Cruises

7 Night
Spain, France, & Italy CruiseDetails

668 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

248 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Apr 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

248 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jul 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

77 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Nov 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

9 Night
Italian Riviera & France CruiseDetails

1,903 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Jun 1, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Italy, France, & Spain CruiseDetails

668 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Irresistible MedDetails

217 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Virgin Voyages
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Spain, France & Italy CruiseDetails

1,903 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
May 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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27 Night
Europe - Western CruiseDetails

585 Reviews
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
Sep 5, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Irresistible MedDetails

217 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Virgin Voyages
May 21, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Islands Of The Med VoyageDetails

37 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Azamara
Sep 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Corsica (Ajaccio)

Why go to Corsica (Ajaccio)?

Pros:

Outside the city, Corsica offers ample opportunities for adventure such as hiking and kayaking

Cons:

Those not keen on "getting lost" in the streets might be a bit underwhelmed

Bottom Line:

Despite its small size, Corsica is full of historic sites, trendy eateries, unique shops and beaches

Corsica (Ajaccio) Cruise Port Facilities?

Unless you have time to hire a car or take a ferry along the coast (not recommended on a short cruise ship call), you don't need to hang around the Gare Maritime. Instead, head left outside the tender pier and keep going straight along the road to get to the heart of Ajaccio's action: the pretty market square, the hotel de ville (town hall), the lovely Genovese old town and the best shops.

Realistically, it's hard to see much outside of Ajaccio with only a few hours to spend ashore, as the spectacularly craggy and densely forested Corsican interior is not easy to negotiate. If you do decide to venture further afield on your own, allow plenty of time to get back before your ship sails.

Good to Know?

Heavy traffic! The French will not be parted from their cars, and the Corsicans have obviously been infected by their passion. Given that Corsica is one of the most under-populated islands in the Mediterranean, the level of traffic in Ajaccio defies belief.

Getting Around?

By Taxi: Taxis are metered, but you can agree on a set price with the driver if you want to hire him or her for a certain length of time. The best way to do this is to walk to the tourist office (just a few minutes from the port) and have them call you a cab; they can make sure you get a fair price and help you communicate with the driver, who typically won't speak English.

By Bus: Ajaccio is walkable enough that most cruise passengers likely won't need to use the local bus service, but it does provide affordable transit to the beaches west of the city. Catch the no. 5 line from Place de Gaulle.

By Rental Car: The nearest rental agency to the cruise port is about a five-minute walk away at the Ajaccio Hotel Kalliste (51 Cours Napoleon; 33 4 95 51 61 81; open daily).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency in Corsica is the Euro, and credit cards are widely accepted. You can check currency conversion rates at www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

You'll find plenty of banks in town. There are several on or around Place Foch, including Credit Agricole and LCL. Banks are typically only open on weekdays, but their ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day.

Language?

French is the official language of Corsica, but there is a local dialect -- called Corsu -- which sounds rather similar to Italian (hardly surprising, given the island's Genovese heritage). Locals will speak some English in Ajaccio but less in the more rustic, outlying villages.

Where You're Docked?

Smaller ships dock right next to the Gare Maritime, while others will anchor and tender passengers to a nearby location. This large building offers little reason to linger; aside from toilets, snack machines and the booking desks for local ferry companies, there's not much of interest. On weekend mornings, the small Forain Market sets up on the waterfront outside the port, offering bags, belts, clothing and other items.


Corsica (Ajaccio) Cruise Reviews
Our tour guide for Highlights of Ajaccio was wonderful and very interesting. It was a beautiful port and definitely a hidden gem.Read More
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OleMissSamfordMom
We hadn’t planned any excursions for Ajaccio. NCL had none (at any point months before the cruise day) that appealed to us, we spoke French, and decided to just figure it out. We made it our beach day. There are Read More
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Bartfast
Don't bother with the Mountains and Mapeis excursion. Most of what you see is trees, trees, trees, and yet more trees, apart from a short photo stop in the woods near a tumbling stream, and a similar stop overlookingRead More
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Fireman95
Beautiful island. We took a private 2 hour boat tour, it was spectacular.Read More
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cocruzlvrs

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