France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Boat Excursions, Marseille, France
Many day-trip excursion boats leave from Marseille's Vieux Port to explore the surrounding seas—a fine way to spend a day in Marseille.




Excursion boats leave from the Quai des Belges at the head of the Vieux Port, for excursion trips ranging from an hour to a full day.

There are two main companies. The dock at the southeast corner of the Vieux Port opposite the Cours Jean Ballard is the larger, with more departures, which we prefer.

The dock at the northeast corner of the Vieux Port is smaller.

I love any excuse to get out on the water, and a boat excursion not only takes you to interesting destinations, but also provides wonderful views of Marseille, the Vieux Port, the historic forts, the coastline, and of course the fjord-like calanques.


To the east of Marseille, along the southern coast of France, are a number of calanques, beautiful narrow channels of water reaching inland, framed by high cliffs.

Though they look similar to fjords, they were not formed by glaciers.

Château d'If & Îles de Frioul

Boats also go to the Château d'If, the former island fortress turned prison that dates from the 17th century. On the island, you can visit cells that were used for prisoners.

However, the Château d'If is perhaps best known for its fictional prisoners created by author Alexandre Dumas. In Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count himself and the Abbé Faria were imprisoned here.

It looks like it would be very difficult to escape from this little island:

Chateau d'If, Marseille, France

If you want this distant view of the Château d'If, however, it's not taken from the sea, but from the parvis of the lovely Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, high on a hill above Marseille. More...

Le Ferry Boat

The shortest voyage in Marseille is Le Ferry Boat, the passenger ferry (50 centimes) that traverses the Vieux Port, linking the Hôtel de Ville and the Place aux Huiles every 10 minutes.

What to See & Do in Marseille

Marseille Hotels

About Marseille

Marseille Transport

Marseille Tourist Information

About Provence

About Côte d'Azur


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Excursion boat, Marseille, France

Excursion boat in the Vieux Port.

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