Why choose a cruise to La Rochelle?

When it comes to a cruise destination, La Rochelle ticks all the right boxes. Excellent cuisine, great beaches and historic sites combine to make this seaside city a delightful place for relaxation and exploration. It’s iconic Fort Boyard, originally built by Napoleon, dominates its harbour and welcomes visitors to a city which offers seaside delights combined with a colourful and historic past.

La Rochelle

A guide to La Rochelle’s hotspots

If you want to hit the beach in La Rochelle, head to Minimes Beach, which is situated between the marina and Minimes Point. With a swathe of soft sand and beachfront cafes, it’s a good place to relax and get your bearings. Active types may wish to try their hand at windsurfing or hire a boat. There are also opportunities for jogging, cycling and horse riding in the area for those who want it.

The historic heart is the old city, a maze of narrow streets lined with Renaissance houses, adorned by distinctive white-limestone facades. It’s the place to people-watch, grab a bite to eat in one of the many cafes and restaurants and enjoy the atmosphere. The Aquarium, situated close to the Floating Harbour, is a popular visitor attraction and ideal if you want to escape the summer heat or spring showers for an hour or two.

Boats in harbour at La Rochelle

History buffs may also want to venture inside the Maritime Museum, not far from the aquarium, which is onboard a ship. There are also a number of smaller museums and art galleries there to be enjoyed. Many visitors to La Rochelle take a trip to the Ile de Ré, just three miles away, to check out the pretty beaches, whitewashed houses and abundance of birdlife.

La Rochelle is famous for its food markets, too, so if you want to soak up the atmosphere and try a few tasty morsels then make sure you check one out during your visit. The main market is open each morning.

Cruise lines that sail to the port of La Rochelle

Marella Cruises

P&O Cruises

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

The best time to visit La Rochelle

La Rochelle Harbour

Spring is ideal for sightseeing but If you want to hit the beach, July offers the hottest weather for your La Rochelle cruise, when you can expect average temperatures of 20°C. August is warm, too, with sea temperatures of 21°C.

The coolest month is January at around 6°C, so that’s the time to hit the galleries, stroll around the old quarter and enjoy the delicious French cuisine.

Did you know?

  • George Simenon, the writer who created the world-famous fictional French detective Maigret, lived in La Rochelle
  • La Rochelle is also known as La Ville Blanche (white city) because of its limestone buildings
  • The town of Cognac, famous for its namesake spirit, is a popular excursion from La Rochelle
  • Tourtaue Fromager is a local delicacy – a cheesecake which features an unusual blackened crust.