Marseille port | MSC Cruises

Marseille cruises: discover Avignon and Aix-en-Provence

Marseille is where Provence comes crashing into the sea: bustling city and beautiful coastline, Belle Époque facades and bold street art, Provençal and multicultural traditions. France’s oldest city is also its most original, appealing to both first-time and seasoned visitors, as you’ll discover on a Marseille cruise.

Snap photos of wooden boats lining Le Vieux-Port harbour and hop between cafes, restaurants and bars – grab an outside table to watch the world go by and appreciate the gentle hubbub. Marvel at limestone fjords in Calanques National Park, home to Château d’If. 
This 16th-century island prison was made famous in The Count of Monte Cristo, and sits one of the Frioul Islands, an archipelago offering coastal walks and quiet beaches. Soak up views from Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, before getting lost in Le Panier’s cobblestone streets.

Charming Aix-en-Provence and Avignon are nearby on cruises to Marseille. These picturesque locations are the perfect pairing to Marseille’s cosmopolitan flair. On a Marseille cruise, discover the best of Provence, France and the Mediterranean all at once.

Best Marseille (Provence) Cruises

Let us help you choose the best itinerary for your Marseille cruise. Circle the Mediterranean via Barcelona, Palermo and La Goulette. Embark on a journey to Italy, Spain and the Balearic Islands. Set sail to South America with MSC Grand Voyages. With MSC Cruises, you can visit Marseille and so much more.


cruises from MARSEILLE (Provence) IN 2024

Perched in the south of France between Italy and Spain, and across from North Africa, Marseille is perfectly positioned for a Mediterranean cruise. Choose your own adventure among the cruises from Marseille 2024-2025.

Explore historic Mediterranean capitals like Genoa, Naples and Palermo in Italy, Barcelona in Spain, and Valetta in Malta. Traverse the Med’s deep-blue waters on your cruise from Marseille, arriving at the North African cities of La Goulette (Tunisia) and Casablanca (Morocco). Island-hop between Ibiza, Mahón (Menorca) and Olbia on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast, plus Funchal (Madeira) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands) in the Atlantic Ocean.

As France’s longest-running port, Marseille has welcomed ships from all over the globe for centuries. Continue this tradition with MSC Grand Voyages, setting sail from the Marseille cruise port around the Mediterranean, past the Canary Islands on North Africa’s western coast and across the Atlantic to Brazil, Puerto Rico or Miami.

 

Cruises from Marseille | MSC Cruises

cruises to MARSEILLE (Provence) in 2024

Take your pick of our Marseille cruises and dive into France’s oldest city.

Every Marseille cruise invites guests to immerse themselves in this Mediterranean city. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Le Panier while gazing at its street art. Enjoy the ocean views and cafe culture of Le Vieux-Port. Discover the Mucem museum, its exhibits and its daring architecture. Visit Marseille’s highest point, the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, for a 360-degree view and nautical interior. Hike or bike the famous La Corniche coastal road. Explore Marseille’s surroundings – like the lavender fields of Provence or the port of Cassis – on an MSC Cruises excursion.

A cruise to Marseille will awaken your appetite for exploration, so pair your trip with visits to other coastal cities like Barcelona, Lisbon and Palermo. After enjoying Marseille’s charm and bustle, try the Med’s major islands, such as Sardinia, Sicily and Malta.

Whatever you’re searching for, MSC Cruises has the perfect itinerary for you.

Cruises to Marseille | MSC Cruises

Marseille excursions: the ideal way to discover the city

Savour the sights, sounds and scents of the capital of Provence with MSC Cruises’ Marseille Shore Excursions. Our Marseille tours uncover the best of the city and its surroundings.

Visit Marseille’s highest point, Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. Stroll through ancient Le Panier, the oldest neighbourhood of France’s oldest city. Marvel at one of the world’s largest Gothic papal palaces in Avignon. Follow in Cézanne’s footsteps in Aix-en-Provence. Experience a quintessentially Provençal fishing village in colourful Cassis.

Our Marseille excursions are led by knowledgeable local guides, ensuring you get a keen sense of each place and lasting memories.

Excursions & Activities Marseille

How to reach MARSEILLE Cruise port

Where do MSC Cruises’ ships dock in Marseille?

MSC Cruises’ ships dock at Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal (also known as MPCT), which can be found at Porte 4, Môle Léon Gourret, BP 90094, Cedex 15. The terminal is approximately 7.5 kilometres from Le Vieux-Port in the centre of Marseille, around a 20-minute drive. The terminal was built in 2009 and receives more than one million passengers every year.

How do I reach the car park at Marseille cruise port?

Marseille cruise port parking (Parking Croisières, Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal, Porte 4, Môle Léon Gourret, BP 90094, Cedex 15) is located just off exit 5 on the A55 road. When on the A55, follow signs to Porte 4. From the car park, it is around a 10-minute walk to the cruise terminal.

The car park is a little over seven kilometres from the centre of Marseille, so you should give yourself around half an hour to reach the cruise terminal by car if staying near the centre of town.

If travelling from the airport, join the D20 southbound before heading east on the D9. Then follow signs for the A7, before slipping on to the A55, which will take you directly to the cruise terminal off exit 5. The airport is located over 19 kilometres from the cruise terminal, so give yourself around 40 minutes to reach it.

If you’re planning to leave your car at the terminal car park during your cruise, you’ll need to pay a fee of €14 per 24-hour period, or if leaving it there for a longer period, you can pay €140 per month (between 10-30 days). You can pay by cash or credit card by visiting the automatic cash desks located in the luggage area on the ground floor of the cruise terminal. The car park has space for 2,000 vehicles and no reservations are required.

How do I get to Marseille cruise port from the airport?

Marseille Provence Airport is located around 20 kilometres from the cruise terminal, and driving should take between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on traffic. The easiest way to get from Marseille Airport to the cruise port is to request an MSC Cruises transfer service, which you can book via a travel agent or by contacting the MSC Cruises call centre.

If you’re picking up a rental car from the airport or driving your own vehicle, driving to the cruise terminal is straightforward. When leaving the airport, follow signs towards Marseille and head on to the D20 southbound road. You then need to join the D9 eastbound after around two kilometres, before joining the A7 southbound after another two kilometres. From there, continue along the A7 for around four kilometres before joining the A55 southbound towards Marseille. Continue on the A55 for around 10 kilometres, before reaching the cruise port terminal at exit 5.

There will also be numerous taxis at Marseille Provence Airport that can take you to the cruise terminal for around €50.

Taking public transport between Marseille Provence Airport and the cruise terminal is not recommended, as you will first need to take a bus to the city centre, before taking another bus back towards the cruise terminal. This journey can take around two hours.

How to get to the Marseille cruise port from the train station?

There is no direct rail connection between Marseille cruise terminal and the city centre, but it is possible to reach the port via public transport. A free shuttle bus service runs every day that cruise ships are operating.

Using public transport to travel from Marseille train station to the cruise port takes between 40 minutes and one hour. Take metro line M2 (red line) from the city’s main station (Marseille-Saint-Charles) towards Gèze and travel two stops to Joliette. Leave the station and take the 35T bus from Place de la Joliette to Terminal Croisières. The departure point of the cruise terminal is a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.

There is also a free shuttle bus service between the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and the city centre. On cruise days only, the shuttle runs every 20 minutes between 9.20am and 5.20pm. To take the shuttle bus, go from Place de la Joliette to 9 Quai du Lazaret, located between the Terrasses du Port shopping centre and the maritime station. It takes around 25 minutes for the shuttle to reach the cruise terminal, although it can take up to 45 minutes in heavy traffic. Please check the Marseille Tourist Office website for availability of the shuttle bus.

 

Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Renting a car is not advised.

When is the best time to visit Marseille?

France’s oldest city is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that is enjoyable to experience throughout the year, so the best time to visit Marseille will vary depending on your interests and preferences. While summer is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit, travellers who prefer fewer crowds and cooler temperatures may lean towards visiting in spring or autumn.

Summer months, when temperatures are at their hottest, draw the largest number of visitors, while many people also flock to the beaches to cool down. There are many public events during summer, from open-air films and concerts to late-night parties, so you won’t be short on things to do.

If you visit in spring or autumn, expect pleasantly warm daytime temperatures and fewer visitors. There are also plenty of activities and other things do in these months, from vibrant street markets and enjoyable walks in the park to swimming in the still-warm Mediterranean waters.

While winter will, of course, have the coolest temperatures, it rarely drops below freezing, although it can get chilly at night. Those traveling to Marseille at this time can explore the city’s museums and galleries with greater ease, thanks to significantly fewer visitors. A range of winter-themed festivities also take place during these months.

Is Marseille expensive?

Many people will ask ‘Is Marseille expensive?’ before visiting, often based on the view of Paris as being an expensive city. While Marseille’s prices are generally not as high as cities like Paris or London, some venues or activities can still be relatively costly, as is the case with many large, popular European destinations.

As you might expect from any French city, there are a huge range of dining options in Marseille, with all budgets catered for. There are plenty of mid-level restaurants available throughout, while cafes, snack bars and fast food outlets offer cheaper options.

Travelling around the city is affordable, with a single metro ticket costing around €1.50 and a 24-hour pass costing €5.20. Taxis will be more expensive, and you can expect to pay around €2 per kilometre for a reasonably priced journey.

Does Marseille have a beach?

If you’re wondering ‘Does Marseille have a beach?’, we have good news for you! As you might hope for from a city on the Mediterranean Sea, there are lots of options when it comes to beaches in Marseille. Plage des Catalans is the closest beach to the city centre and offers lots of facilities. It’s a popular spot during summer.

Slightly further from the centre (to the south), but still easily accessible, are Plage du Prophète (one of the city’s older beaches) and Plage du Prado (the largest beach in Marseille). Both are loved by locals and visitors, and both offer good opportunities for swimming.

To the north, Plage de la Batterie is a small but peaceful spot, surrounded by towering rock formations. It’s popular with families and doesn’t get too crowded, as it’s a little further out from the city centre, but still makes provides a great setting for sunbathing and swimming. There are also some small beaches on the islands of the nearby Frioul archipelago (these are less crowded than some Marseille city beaches), including Saint Estève, a small, sheltered cove with beautifully clear water. While a little further away, Calanque National Park also houses several small beaches. The most well-known is Calanque d’En-Vau, enclosed by soaring cliffs and perfect for swimming.

TRAVEL TO THE Marseille CRUISE TERMINAL

From highway A7, reach the A55 (« Autoroute du Littoral »): take gate 4 and follow the signs towards cruise terminal.

Arriving at Marseille Saint-Charles train station, you can take a taxi to the cruise terminal (15-20 minutes).
We suggest you not to take a bus as they stop far from the cruise terminal.

Marseille Provence airport is located around 20 km far from the port.
You may reach the cruise terminal by taxi.