Cruises to Nantes

Nantes, France

Take a memorable Alaska cruise adventure to Nantes, France. Situated on the banks of the Loire River in western France, Nantes is a captivating cruise port of call that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. As you arrive at this vibrant city, you can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere coupled with breathtaking panoramas, picturesque landscapes, and a rich marine life. Nantes is known for its impressive architecture, charming neighborhoods, and a vibrant arts scene that make it a popular destination for cruise travelers seeking a diverse and immersive experience.

Ships typically dock directly in the port of Nantes, allowing easy access for cruise passengers to explore the city and its surroundings. The arrival times of ships may vary depending on the cruise itinerary, ensuring sufficient time to discover the city's highlights. The duration of a ship's stay in the port can range from a few hours to a full day, providing ample opportunities to delve into the vibrant atmosphere of Nantes. In the harbor, you can enjoy leisurely walks along the waterfront, admire the impressive vessels, and explore the various facilities available, including shops, restaurants, and tourist information centers


Nantes itself is a captivating town that seamlessly blends its rich history with modern elements. Its look is characterized by a harmonious mix of architectural styles, ranging from medieval structures to contemporary masterpieces. From an aerial view, you'll be enchanted by the stunning sight of the iconic Château des Ducs de Bretagne and the magnificent Gothic Nantes Cathedral. Stroll through the charming streets and squares, visit the vibrant Passage Pommeraye, and discover the unique and interactive Les Machines de l'île, an extraordinary art project featuring giant mechanical creatures. Nantes offers a plethora of museums, galleries, and cultural sites, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its artistic and historical heritage.

Nantes is a city deeply rooted in local and native culture, boasting a rich heritage that dates back centuries. Explore the city's museums, such as the Musée d'arts de Nantes and the Musée Jules Verne, to delve into its cultural tapestry and discover the works of renowned artists and writers. Learn about the city's historical significance as a major port during the colonial era and its connections to the slave trade, which are thoughtfully addressed in exhibits and monuments throughout the city. Nantes also celebrates its Breton heritage, with traditional customs, music, and festivals that showcase the region's distinct cultural identity.

Attractions and Activities

Nantes and its surroundings offer a plethora of exciting adventures and outdoor activities for all ages. Embark on a local excursion to the nearby Château de Châteaubriant, a medieval fortress steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Nature lovers can explore the charming Île de Versailles, a small island in the heart of Nantes, boasting stunning Japanese gardens and tranquil walking paths. For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Planète Sauvage, a nearby wildlife park, provides an opportunity to observe exotic animals up close. The region also offers opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, and cycling, allowing visitors to embrace the outdoor beauty of Nantes.

Local Speciality

Nantes is a culinary haven, offering a delightful gastronomic experience that reflects the richness of the region's produce and flavors. Indulge in local dishes such as the famous Nantes-style buckwheat pancakes, known as galettes, filled with an array of savory ingredients. Sample the delectable seafood, including oysters, mussels, and fish, sourced fresh from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Pair your meal with a glass of Muscadet wine, known for its crispness and ability to perfectly complement the local cuisine. Don't forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with traditional desserts like the Nantais cake, a buttery almond cake with a luscious custard filling.

While in Nantes, take the chance to indulge in the local products and bring home some unique souvenirs. Explore the city's vibrant markets, such as the famous Talensac Market, where you can find an array of fresh local produce, cheeses, and regional specialties. Consider purchasing some exquisite Muscadet wine, produced in the nearby vineyards of the Loire Valley, or try the delicious local buttery pastry known as the Nantes Galette. Nantes is also known for its craftsmanship, with local artisans creating unique pottery, textiles, and handmade jewelry that make for memorable gifts and keepsakes.

Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Nantes hosts a variety of vibrant festivals and events that showcase its cultural richness and provide an opportunity for celebration. The Voyage à Nantes, held during the summer, transforms the city into an open-air art exhibition, with art installations and performances adorning the streets and public spaces. The Festival des Rendez-vous de l'Erdre celebrates jazz music, with concerts and performances taking place along the scenic Erdre River. Additionally, the Nantes Wine Festival in November offers a chance to taste a wide selection of local wines and discover the region's winemaking traditions.

Best time to visit Nantes

The best time to visit Nantes is during the spring and summer months, from April to September, when the weather is mild and ideal for exploring the city's outdoor attractions and enjoying its vibrant atmosphere. This period also coincides with many of the local festivals and events, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the cultural vibrancy of the city. However, Nantes is enchanting year-round, and each season offers its own unique charm, from the colorful autumn foliage to the festive Christmas markets during the winter months.

Nantes Cruise Schedule

Nantes, with its rich history, captivating architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and breathtaking natural beauty, is a must-visit cruise port of call in France. Whether you're exploring the town's architectural wonders, immersing yourself in its cultural heritage, embarking on outdoor adventures, or indulging in the local cuisine, Nantes offers a diverse and memorable experience for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of this charming city, interact with its friendly locals, and create lasting memories as you explore the hidden gems of Nantes, a true gem of the Loire Valley.