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Marseille Cruise Port Guide, France


by Violante Maes


Overview of Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port, located in the vibrant city of Marseille along the stunning French Riviera, is one of the most popular cruise destinations in Europe. With its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and a plethora of attractions, Marseille offers an unforgettable experience for cruise ship passengers.


As the second-largest city in France, Marseille is a bustling hub of culture, art, and gastronomy. The cruise port itself is conveniently located in the heart of the city, making it easy for visitors to explore the surrounding area. With its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille has been a key trading port for centuries, attracting merchants, explorers, and tourists from around the world.


Boasting a mild climate all year round, Marseille is the perfect destination for a cruise vacation. Whether you’re seeking sun-soaked beaches, historical landmarks, or delectable French cuisine, this vibrant city has it all. From strolling along the picturesque Old Port to immersing yourself in the local culture at the vibrant markets and lively squares, Marseille offers a myriad of experiences to suit every traveler’s taste.


With its close proximity to other Mediterranean destinations, Marseille serves as a popular embarkation and disembarkation point for cruises to various countries. From here, you can set sail to explore the idyllic beauty of the French Riviera, immerse yourself in the history of Italy and Greece, or venture into the enchanting landscapes of Spain and Portugal.


With its combination of rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Marseille Cruise Port beckons travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Mediterranean. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or a sunseeker, Marseille has something to offer everyone. Prepare to be captivated by the charm and allure of this magnificent port city.


History of Marseille Cruise Port

The history of Marseille Cruise Port dates back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest ports in Europe. Founded by the ancient Greeks in 600 BC, Marseille quickly grew into a major trading center in the Mediterranean region.


Due to its strategic location along the sea routes, Marseille had a flourishing maritime trade during the Roman times. The port became an essential link between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, attracting merchants from various cultures and civilizations.


In the Middle Ages, Marseille saw a period of growth and prosperity as it became a major player in the maritime trade of the Mediterranean. The city’s wealth and influence can still be seen today in the grand architecture of its historic buildings and churches.


In the 19th and 20th centuries, Marseille underwent significant transformations. The industrial revolution brought modernization and expansion to the port, making it a crucial hub for the shipping industry. The construction of the Old Port of Marseille, which still stands today, played a vital role in facilitating trade and navigation.


During World War II, Marseille suffered heavy damage due to bombings, but the city’s resilient spirit brought about its revival. The post-war era saw Marseille reaffirm its importance as a gateway to the Mediterranean, with the establishment of the modern Marseille Cruise Port.


Since its inception, Marseille Cruise Port has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades to accommodate the growing number of cruise ships. Today, it is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Mediterranean, welcoming thousands of travelers every year.


With its rich maritime heritage and cultural significance, Marseille Cruise Port continues to play a vital role in connecting France to the rest of the world. It stands as a testament to the city’s long history of trade, exploration, and the vibrant spirit of Marseille itself.


Location and Directions to Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port is conveniently situated in the heart of the city, making it easily accessible for cruise ship passengers. The port is located on the southern coast of France, along the Mediterranean Sea.


Arriving by air, Marseille has its own international airport, Marseille Provence Airport, which is located approximately 20 kilometers northwest of the city center. From the airport, there are various transportation options available to reach the cruise port.


If you prefer to travel by public transportation, you can take the airport shuttle bus, which operates frequently between the airport and Marseille Saint-Charles train station. From the train station, you can easily reach the cruise port by taxi, bus, or metro. The journey takes around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.


For those traveling by car, Marseille Cruise Port is well connected to the major road networks of France. The port is easily accessible from the A55 and A7 highways, which connect Marseille to other cities in the region. It is important to note that there are several parking options available near the cruise terminal for those who wish to park their cars during their cruise.


If you are already in Marseille or the surrounding areas, you can reach the cruise port by various means of public transportation. The city has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and metros, which provides easy access to the port. The closest metro station to the cruise port is “Joliette,” located just a few minutes’ walk away.


For those staying in the city center, you can also reach the cruise port on foot. The Old Port area, with its picturesque promenade, is a popular starting point for many cruisers. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to walk from the Old Port to the cruise terminal, offering a pleasant and scenic route along the water.


Regardless of how you choose to travel, Marseille Cruise Port is conveniently located and offers excellent transportation connections, allowing you to start your cruise adventure with ease. The port’s central location ensures that you can easily explore the city’s attractions before or after your cruise, making Marseille an ideal destination for cruise ship passengers.


Facilities at Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port offers a range of facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience for passengers. From modern terminal buildings to passenger services, the port is well-equipped to cater to the needs of cruise ship guests.


Upon arrival at Marseille Cruise Port, you will find spacious and well-maintained terminal buildings that provide a seamless embarkation and disembarkation process. The terminals are designed to accommodate multiple cruise ships at once, with efficient check-in and security procedures.


Inside the terminals, you will find a variety of facilities to enhance your stay. There are ample seating areas where you can relax while waiting for departure or transportation. In addition, the terminals offer restrooms, luggage storage, and information desks to assist passengers with any inquiries they may have.


For those looking to stay connected, the port provides free Wi-Fi access throughout the terminals. This allows you to keep in touch with loved ones, check emails, or plan your activities while waiting for your ship.


In terms of dining options, there are several cafes, restaurants, and snack bars available both inside and near the terminal buildings. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you will find a variety of cuisines to satisfy your taste buds.


Marseille Cruise Port also offers a range of shopping opportunities. The terminals feature duty-free shops where you can purchase a wide array of items, including cosmetics, fragrances, liquor, and souvenirs. From luxury brands to local products, you’ll find a diverse selection to suit your shopping preferences.


Furthermore, the port takes the comfort and safety of its passengers seriously. There are medical facilities and first aid services available at the port in case of any medical emergencies. Trained staff are ready to provide assistance and ensure the well-being of passengers throughout their time at the port.


In addition to these amenities, Marseille Cruise Port provides excellent accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility. There are dedicated facilities and services available to ensure that everyone can enjoy a smooth and hassle-free experience at the port.


Overall, Marseille Cruise Port offers a range of facilities and services to make your time at the port comfortable and enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to relax, shop, dine, or seek assistance, the port strives to provide a high level of customer satisfaction, ensuring a pleasant start or end to your cruise journey.


Cruise Lines and Destinations at Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port serves as a gateway to a wide range of exciting destinations, offering an array of cruise options from various cruise lines. With its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea, travelers have the opportunity to embark on unforgettable voyages to stunning destinations.


Many renowned cruise lines operate from Marseille Cruise Port, providing a diverse selection of itineraries to suit different preferences and interests. From luxury cruise lines to mainstream options, there is a wide choice of companies to choose from, including MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and more.


When it comes to destinations, Marseille Cruise Port offers an abundance of possibilities. One popular option is to explore the French Riviera and its glamorous cities, such as Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez. These destinations are known for their picturesque beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant atmosphere.


For those seeking cultural and historical experiences, cruises from Marseille often visit iconic Mediterranean cities, such as Barcelona, Rome, and Athens. These destinations offer a wealth of historical landmarks, architectural marvels, and captivating cultural experiences.


Marseille Cruise Port also serves as a starting point for itineraries that include visits to enchanting islands in the Mediterranean, such as Corsica, Sardinia, and Malta. These idyllic destinations are known for their natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and charming towns.


In addition, Marseille is a gateway to the stunning landscapes and historical sites of the Provence region. From the picturesque town of Avignon and its majestic Palais des Papes to the ancient Roman city of Arles, there is much to explore and discover during shore excursions from Marseille Cruise Port.


Furthermore, some cruises from Marseille also offer extended journeys to other parts of Europe, including ports in Spain, Portugal, and even Northern Europe. These itineraries provide the opportunity to explore a diverse range of cultures and landscapes, further enriching the cruise experience.


With its central location and the wide variety of cruise lines and destinations available, Marseille Cruise Port offers an endless array of possibilities for cruise ship passengers. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach enthusiast, or a culture lover, there is a cruise option that will suit your preferences and fulfill your travel dreams.


Attractions and Excursions near Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port is surrounded by a plethora of captivating attractions and exciting excursions, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore beyond the port. From historical sites to natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy near Marseille.


One of the must-visit attractions near Marseille Cruise Port is the iconic Notre-Dame de la Garde. Perched atop a hill, this stunning basilica offers panoramic views of Marseille and the surrounding coastline. Visitors can marvel at the beautiful architecture and soak in the breathtaking vistas from the highest point in the city.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to Le Panier, Marseille’s old town, is a must. Characterized by narrow, winding streets and colorful buildings, Le Panier exudes charm and is home to the ancient Fort Saint-Jean and the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MUCEM), which traces the rich history of the region.


Another popular attraction near Marseille is the Calanques National Park, a series of fjord-like inlets along the coast. Here, visitors can embark on hikes, boat tours, or simply relax on the pristine beaches surrounded by towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The Calanques offer a breathtaking natural landscape that is not to be missed.


Food lovers will be delighted by the culinary scene near Marseille Cruise Port. The city is known for its bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew, and has a plethora of seafood restaurants where you can savor this local delicacy. Additionally, the vibrant markets, such as the Vieux Port Market and the Noailles Market, offer a vibrant mix of fresh produce, local specialties, and a bustling atmosphere.


Those interested in art and culture can explore the vibrant arts district of Cours Julien, which is teeming with street art, independent boutiques, and cozy cafés. The area is known for its bohemian atmosphere and is a hub for local artists and musicians.


For those seeking a day trip, the picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence is within easy reach from Marseille. Known for its elegant architecture, charming squares, and vibrant cultural scene, Aix-en-Provence offers a delightful escape into the heart of Provence.


When it comes to excursions, Marseille Cruise Port offers a variety of options. From guided tours that explore the city’s history and highlights to wine tasting tours in the nearby Provence wine region, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the best that Marseille and its surroundings have to offer.


With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene, Marseille Cruise Port and its surroundings offer endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, food, or art, there are attractions and excursions near Marseille that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Shopping and Dining Options at Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port offers a diverse range of shopping and dining options, ensuring that visitors have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience during their time at the port.


Shopping enthusiasts will delight in the variety of choices available near Marseille Cruise Port. The port itself features duty-free shops, where passengers can find a wide array of items, including designer clothes, accessories, cosmetics, perfumes, and liquor. These shops offer a great opportunity to find unique souvenirs or indulge in luxury brands at tax-free prices.


For those looking to explore beyond the port’s shops, Marseille city center offers an exciting shopping scene. The bustling Vieux Port area is home to numerous boutique shops, where you can discover local artisans, fashion boutiques, and specialty stores. From trendy clothing to handmade crafts, you’ll find a range of unique and locally-made goods.


In addition to shopping, Marseille Cruise Port boasts a varied dining scene that caters to different tastes and preferences. The port itself has a selection of eateries, ranging from cafes serving light snacks to restaurants offering a diverse range of cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional French dishes, Mediterranean specialties, or international fare, you’ll find options to satisfy your palate.


Exploring the city center of Marseille opens up a world of culinary delights. The city is renowned for its fresh seafood, and you’ll find numerous seafood restaurants and oyster bars serving up the catch of the day. From succulent bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew, to platters of freshly shucked oysters, the local cuisine will leave you craving more.


For those seeking a taste of Provence, Marseille offers a variety of regional dishes that showcase the flavors of the Mediterranean. Olive oil, garlic, and aromatic herbs are common ingredients in traditional Provençal cuisine, and you can savor dishes like ratatouille, pissaladière, or tapenade at many of the local restaurants.


In addition to traditional and regional options, Marseille also caters to international tastes. You can find an array of ethnic restaurants, including Italian, Spanish, Lebanese, and Asian cuisines, reflecting the city’s diverse cultural influences.


When it comes to dining, Marseille also provides options for every budget. From street food stalls and casual eateries to fine dining establishments, you’ll find establishments to suit your preferences and wallet.


Overall, Marseille Cruise Port offers a wide range of shopping and dining opportunities to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re seeking luxury goods, unique souvenirs, fresh local cuisine, or international flavors, Marseille has something to satisfy every shopper and food lover.


Transportation Options from Marseille Cruise Port

Marseille Cruise Port provides a variety of transportation options for passengers to explore the city and the surrounding areas with ease. From public transportation to private services, there are various convenient ways to get around from the port.


One of the most popular options for transportation from Marseille Cruise Port is the city’s extensive public transportation network. The city has a well-developed bus, tram, and metro system, which allows travelers to navigate easily. The closest metro station to the port is “Joliette,” located just a short distance from the cruise terminal. From there, you can access various parts of the city, including the city center and other popular attractions.


In addition, Marseille has a comprehensive taxi service available at the port. Taxis provide a flexible and convenient way to travel, offering door-to-door service to your desired destination. Taxis can be found at designated taxi stands near the cruise terminal or can be arranged through your cruise line or hotel.


For those who prefer a more personalized or private experience, private transfers can be arranged. Private car services or shuttle services can be pre-booked and provide direct transportation from the cruise port to your desired destination. This option offers convenience and flexibility, allowing you to tailor your transportation needs according to your specific requirements.


Another popular option for getting around Marseille is to rent a car. There are several car rental companies located near the cruise port, providing a convenient means of transportation for those who prefer to explore at their own pace. However, it is important to note that driving in the city center of Marseille can be challenging due to traffic and limited parking options.


Furthermore, Marseille Cruise Port offers bicycle rental services for those who wish to explore the city on two wheels. The city has a well-developed network of cycling paths, giving you the opportunity to discover Marseille’s sights and landmarks at your own leisure.


Lastly, Marseille is a pedestrian-friendly city, and many attractions can be easily reached on foot from the cruise port. The Old Port area, with its bustling promenade and charming streets, is a popular starting point for exploring the city’s attractions. Strolling along the waterfront or through the narrow alleyways will lead you to various points of interest, including the historic center, museums, and markets.


Overall, Marseille Cruise Port offers a range of transportation options that cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you choose to explore the city by public transportation, taxi, private transfer, rental car, or on foot, you’ll find convenient and efficient ways to discover the wonders of Marseille and its surroundings.


Tips and Recommendations for Visiting Marseille Cruise Port

Visiting Marseille Cruise Port can be an exciting and memorable experience. To make the most of your time at the port, here are some helpful tips and recommendations:

  • Plan your itinerary in advance: Research and make a list of the attractions and activities you want to explore during your time in Marseille. This will help you prioritize your time and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see sights.
  • Check the cruise ship schedule: Be aware of the arrival and departure times of your cruise ship. It is essential to plan your onshore activities accordingly to ensure you return to the ship on time.
  • Explore beyond the port: While the port area offers some attractions and amenities, don’t miss the opportunity to venture into the city center and discover the rich history, culture, and beauty of Marseille beyond the immediate port vicinity.
  • Try local cuisine: Marseille is known for its delicious food, so don’t miss the chance to savor the local specialties. Try the bouillabaisse, fresh seafood, and Provençal dishes for an authentic gastronomic experience.
  • Take advantage of public transportation: Marseille has an efficient public transportation network, including buses, trams, and metros. Utilize these options to explore the city and its attractions easily and cost-effectively.
  • Visit the local markets: Marseille is home to vibrant markets, such as the Vieux Port Market and the Noailles Market. Explore these bustling hubs to experience the local culture, sample delicious local products, and pick up unique souvenirs.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions to show respect to the local culture. Modesty and polite behavior are appreciated, especially when visiting religious sites and interacting with locals.
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: Marseille can experience high temperatures, particularly during the summer months. Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • Be cautious of your belongings: Like in any tourist destination, it is advisable to be mindful of your personal belongings and take necessary precautions to prevent theft or loss. Keep important documents, such as passports and credit cards, secure and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Learn a few French phrases: While English is often spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic French phrases can go a long way in enhancing your interactions and showing respect to the local language and culture.

By keeping these tips and recommendations in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Marseille Cruise Port and create lasting memories of your time in this beautiful city on the French Riviera.



Marseille Cruise Port offers an exciting and diverse experience for travelers seeking a unique Mediterranean adventure. Its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture make it a popular destination for cruise ship passengers from around the world.


From the moment you arrive at Marseille Cruise Port, you are greeted by a vibrant city brimming with historical landmarks, breathtaking scenery, and a myriad of attractions. The port’s convenient location in the heart of Marseille allows for easy exploration of the city’s bustling streets, charming neighborhoods, and vibrant markets.


Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in the rich maritime heritage of Marseille, indulging in delicious Provençal cuisine, soaking up the sun on the stunning French Riviera, or exploring the historical and cultural sites of nearby cities and islands, Marseille Cruise Port is the perfect starting point for your Mediterranean journey.


The port offers exceptional facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable and memorable experience for cruise ship passengers. With well-designed terminal buildings, convenient transportation options, and a range of dining and shopping choices, every aspect of your visit is well catered to.


As you venture beyond the port, you’ll discover a destination that captivates with its dramatic landscapes, charming coastal towns, and exquisite cuisine. Marseille Cruise Port is well-connected to an array of fascinating destinations, including the French Riviera, historical cities like Barcelona and Rome, the stunning Calanques National Park, and more.


Whether you choose to explore the historical and cultural treasures of Marseille or embark on an exciting excursion to neighboring cities and islands, Marseille Cruise Port offers an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler. With its rich history, picturesque scenery, delectable cuisine, and warm Mediterranean hospitality, Marseille awaits to charm and delight you with its unique blend of old-world charm and modern-day energy.


So set sail to Marseille Cruise Port and embark on a remarkable journey through the heart of the Mediterranean, where adventure, beauty, and captivating experiences await at every turn.