Following a journey of 55 km (35 miles) up the Loire Estuary, passengers will disembark in immediate proximity to the City center.(1 km) The Quai Wilson is on an island in the river Loire, Ile de Nantes.
A free shuttle service will be provided to the City center for every call at the Quai Wilson facility, which will also be the point of departure for coach excursions to the main places of interest in the region. Nantes Atlantique International Airport is located just 8 kilometers away from Quai Wilson.
Two terminals are also available in Saint- Nazaire (close to high sea) and Montoir de Bretagne (in the heart of port operations).
Printable map to take along.
Cruise schedule for Nantes.
Watch a destination video.
The most beautiful monuments of Nantes are the superb Gothic Flamboyant St Cathedral Pierre (started in 1434), and the fortified medieval château of the Dukes of Brittany, where Queen Anne of Brittany was born in 1477.
The cathedral shelters the Duke's recumbent statue, a marble masterpiece. He is buried there with his two wives. Cobblestone street lead to the medieval district, filled with boutiques of all kind. Parks and greenhouses host collections of camelias and magnolias, brought back from great expeditions of the 18th c. The fine-arts museum displays paintings by major artists of the 17th and 18th c (Rubens, de la Tour, Watteau,…), of the 19th c (Delacroix, Courbet) and 20th c (Kandinsky).
Le petit Train (the little train is running every 30 min for a tour of 40 min from the Place St. Pierre in front of the cathedral. (also english spoken; from mid-april till end september).
The Isle of Nantes; a former shipyard turned into a leisure and cultural site, including the Machines of the Isle of Nantes permanent exhibition
Nantes and its surroundings have a good network of trams and buses.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
The gateway to the Loire Valley: Nantes is at the mouth of the river Loire, the longest of France. Long cherished by the kings of France, the royal river is today the link between the port and unique destinations : Château de Chambord & the Loire Valley, both inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, the Loire Valley vineyard, the Audubon bog, Paris and much more...
The seaside resort of La Baule (50 miles away) has the longest sandy beach in Europe. Nearby is the walled medieval town of Guérande, the Guérande salt marshes and the fishing port of Le Croisic. The scenic Erdre Valley, with its chateaux and pretty woods, is within striking distance of Nantes.
In Nantes, they don't talk about window-shopping, the verb is "crébillonner", from the name of the Rue Crébillon, the town's smartest shopping street. It opens onto the famous Passage Pommeraye, the 19th Century shopping arcade with elegant, original boutiques.
Rue Jean Jaurès: with antique and bric-à-brac shops and art galleries.
You'll find dozens of restaurants in the center of Nantes, traditional and exotic, to suit every taste and every pocket. Of course, we'd recommend our fish and seafood specialties, to be washed down with a lightly chilled Muscadet sur Lie. Or one of our traditional creperies...
Further away from the center, the banks of the Loire and the Erdre offer a more original choice in a magical setting.
Trentemoult: for the Nantes citizens, this delightful little fishing village on the left bank of the Loire is a favorite place for a walk. Here, time is suspended. Find your way through a surprising maze of huddled colored houses before returning to the quay for a drink or a bite overlooking the river. A delightful way of getting there easily: the Navibus (river shuttle) links the city center to the banks of Trentemoult.
For Internet check with the local tourist office.near the cathedral at 2, place Saint-Pierre.
Local emergency number: 112
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
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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