Why choose a cruise to Brest?
A cruising hotspot, Brest is known for its rich maritime heritage. Located in north-west France, straddling the Penfold River, this vibrant port city has an array of ocean-themed attractions, from important naval landmarks to its famous marine discovery centre.
Brimming in history and culture, a Brest cruise gives you the chance to marvel at medieval architecture, visit fascinating museums and dine on delicious cuisine. The city is also a gateway to Brittany’s historic towns and rugged coastline.
A guide to Brest’s hotspots
As you disembark from the ship, spend some time exploring the bustling waterfront and natural harbour. The city centre is just a brief walk from the main cruise dock, where you’ll find a host of bars, restaurants and shops. Don’t miss the chance to sample some local seafood and try the famous Breton crêpes.
Brest also has some great historic landmarks. Perched on a hill overlooking the harbour, the 14th-century Castle of Brest and the Tanguy Tower are the city’s oldest buildings and are home to the National Navy Museum, providing a glimpse into the city’s maritime traditions.
In keeping with the city’s nautical roots, Océanopolis is a great day out for all the family. The only marine discovery centre of its kind in Europe, it features huge aquariums with an array of sea life, live shows and a seal clinic. The little ones will love the opportunity to interact with some of these fascinating sea creatures.
Brest is also a popular jumping-off point for cruise passengers looking to explore the Brittany region. Visit picturesque towns such as Quimper and Locronan, with their Gothic churches and age-old châteaus, or explore the rugged granite cliffs and beaches. One of the area’s most visited attractions is Daoulas Abbey – a collection of medieval religious buildings situated in 11 acres of beautiful gardens.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Brest
The best time to visit Brest
In the summer, the average temperatures are around 20°C and are ideal for sightseeing. It’s also the best time for the beach, and it’s usually warm enough to swim in the sea. The summer also sees many maritime-themed events and festivals taking place around the port. Highlights include the week-long Brest Maritime Festival, taking place every four years in July.
The winter in Brest is still relatively mild, with temperature highs of 9°C, although this drops considerably during the evenings. The attractions tend to be quieter during this time, giving you a chance to see a more relaxed, less tourist-heavy side to Brittany.
Did you know?
- Brest is France’s second-biggest military port after Toulon
- Océanopolis is home to thousands of marine species, including seven species of shark
- The Brittany region is famous for its crêpes, both sweet and savoury
- The city castle is one of the oldest in the world still in use
- Brittany has a distinct cultural identity and is one of the six Celtic nations