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.



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.

A variety of 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.

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 istant 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...

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.

The shortest voyage in Marseille is the free passenger ferry that traverses the Vieux Port, linking the Hôtel de Ville and the Place aux Huiles.

What to See & Do in Marseille

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Marseille Tourist Information

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Excursion boat, Marseille, France

Excursion boat in the Vieux Port.

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