Why choose a cruise to Marseille?
The port of Marseille is a typical French town with an appealing streak of eccentricity. Its cultural diversity makes it a fascinating place to explore and you’ll find everything from bustling souk-like markets to delis and fish stalls. Many countries have left their mark on Marseille cuisine, so you could try a variety of dishes from Kashmiri and Syrian street-food to French specialities.
The third-largest city in France, Marseille offers a wealth of attractions whatever the weather. The region also boasts an impressive stretch of coastline if you fancy a spot of rest and relaxation. The nearest to the port is the Plages de Corbières but travel further afield and you can find quieter coves, offering a tranquil escape from city life.
A guide to Marseille’s hotspots
Head to Vieux Port to begin your exploration of Marseille. The old quarter is a great place to get your bearings, soak up the atmosphere and have a bite to eat. On the north side of the port is the intriguingly named Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, a relatively new museum which boasts a permanent collection charting the history of the region.
Close to Vieux Port is La Canebière, an expansive avenue with shops and eateries. The nearby Capucin district, will transport you to exotic shores with its kaleidoscope of souk-like market stalls selling spices, fresh produce and north African arts and crafts. A real feast for the senses.
No Marseille cruise is complete without a few hours in Notre-Dame de la Garde. This awe-inspiring basilica dominates the Marseille skyline and is its most iconic attraction. Perched on a hilltop just south of Vieux Port, it’s a fine example of 19th-century construction and features Romanesque and Byzantine flourishes. From here you’ll also be rewarded with impressive views.
Many visitors to Marseille choose to take an excursion of neighbouring Cassis. A former Roman trading post, this seaside gem is dotted with charming harbourside cafes, pastel-painted buildings and pretty beaches.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Marseille
The best time to visit Marseille
This is definitely a city for all seasons, but If you’re after a tan, visit Marseille in July – it’s the hottest month with temperatures averaging 24°C – ideal beach weather. August is also sizzling with average sea temperatures of 22°C providing blissful bathing conditions.
You might see the odd spot of rain in October, the wettest month, so if you’re going there take a brolly and make the most of all Marseille museums and indoor attractions. January is the coldest month with averages of 7°C, so take a light coat to explore.
Did you know?
- Marseille was founded 2,600 years ago, making it the oldest city in France
- Bouillabaisse is Marseille’s most famous dish – a rich soup packed with chunks of fresh fish
- Château d’If in Marseille is the setting of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo
- Footballer Zinedine Zidane was born in Marseille.