Provence-Marseilles, France


How to get there?

From the airport Marseille-Provence which is 30 km from Marseille center:
The shuttle bus will drive you to the railway station St-Charles (8,50€). From there, a taxi can lead you directly to your cruise terminal.

Be aware that the different cruise terminals of Marseille are pretty far apart, check with your cruise company which dock will be used.

By train: from the railway station St-Charles you can join easily your cruise terminal by taxi.

For GPS users: Place de la Joliette, Marseille.


Although the port is too far (8 km) to walk to center of Marseille and is not pedestrian-friendly. To get into town, take a taxi or the shuttle service to and from the Vieux Port (the center of town)


The Vieux (old) Port is the hub of Marseilles, lined by its quais, filled with fishing boats and yachts, and surrounded by small streets teeming with seafood restaurants , cafés and shops. The Quai des Belges, at the end of the port, hosts a fish market, every morning of the week.

The VieuxPort is the center of tourist Marseille. It is the main marina of the city and it is a good starting point for walks around the old city, along the shopping street “Canebiere” or to the church Notre Dame de la Garde.

South of La Canebière, bohemian cours Julien (known as the ‘cours Ju’) sits on the site of the former central food market. These days it is the city’s most youthful area, home to a varied collection of fashion boutiques, bookshops, terrace cafés and music venues. 

North of the VieuxPort is the hilly district of Le Panier, the oldest part of the city and traditionally the first stop for immigrants – and tourists. It’s hard to resist its narrow streets, steep stairways and ancient, pastel-coloured houses.

There is also a regular, smaller ferry that potters from one side of the VieuxPort to the other. 

Tourist information: 4 La Canebière and at the train station Gare St-Charles. 


The Abbaye de St-Victor (3 rue de l’Abbaye, 04 96 11 22 60), a fascinating double-decker church and once one of the most powerful abbeys in the South, is worth the climb. Another (steep) climb, via twisting streets and steps, will take you to the city’s most famous landmark: Notre-Dame de la Garde, rue Fort du Sanctuaire, an extraordinary neo-Byzantine extravagance of a basilica. 


The shuttle service from the cruise port ends right where The “Petits Trains Touristiques” makes a circuit of the center of Marseille, with commentary. It starts from the end of the Old Port (Quai des Belges, where the Office de Tourisme is located)
Train 1 – Notre-Dame de la Garde via Vieux Port and Abbaye de St-Victor – 50 min trip; Jan-Nov, from 10h; every 30 min during the summer.
Train 2- Vieux Marseille, via Cathedrale, La Vieille Charite, Quartier du Panier – 40 min trip; Easter-Oct, from 10h15; every hour during the summer.

From 12h-14h the trains only run if there are at least 10 passengers.

You can also opt for the hop on/off services of Marseille Le Grand Tour which also starts at the same spot.

Nearby Places:

 Shuttle bus to Old Port, walk or ride Métro to train station, then take a train to Aix-en-Provence (45 minutes), Arles (1.5 hours), or Avignon (1 hour).

Aix en Provence: You might also want to consider that there are excellent train connections between Marseille’s St Charles Train Station and Aix and the train is a lot cheaper than most excursions.

The sun-bleached white turrets of Château d’If, the 16th-century island prison immortalised in Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, are nowadays populated by seagulls and salamanders rather than convicts. Ferries take about 20 minutes and leave every hour from the Vieux Port’s quai de Belges – now officially re-named quai de la Fraternité.

Shopping and Food:

The city’s cuisine includes many typical dishes, the best known of which is bouillabaisse, a fish stew.




Local emergency number:

Police:              17
Fire brigade:      18

Ambulance:       15

Opening Hours and Holidays:

Most shops, businesses, information services, museums and banks in France stay open all day. The exceptions are the smaller shops and enterprises, which may close for lunch sometime between 12.30pm and 2pm. Basic hours of business are from 8 or 9am to 6.30 or 7.30pm Monday to Saturday for the big shops and Tuesday to Saturday for smaller shops (some of the smaller shops may open on Monday afternoon). You can always find boulangeries and food shops that do stay open, however, on days when others close – on Sunday normally until noon.

National holiday dates:

January 1 New Year’s Day
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
Ascension Day (forty days after Easter)
Pentecost or Whitsun (seventh Sunday after Easter, plus the Monday)
May 1 May Day/Labour Day
May 8 Victory in Europe Day
July 14 Bastille Day
August 15 Assumption of the Virgin Mary
November 1 All Saints’ Day
November 11 1918 Armistice Day

December 25 Christmas Day 

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Place Categories: Cruise Ports

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