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About Brest

Set in one of Europe's finest natural harbours, France's main naval port Brest is steeped in maritime history and is also a gateway into the ruggedly scenic and proudly Celtic province of Brittany. The maritime museum is inside the city's Motte Tanguy Castle and Tower, which perches on a headland overlooking the beautiful harbour.

In keeping with its nautical traditions, Brest is also home to Oceanopolis, a massive new attraction dedicated to the sea and its many forms of marine life.  It is quite easy to lose track of time and spend a whole day getting up close and personal with every species of fish imaginable in the 42 aquariums highlighting Polar, Tropical and Temperate oceans.

The city centre is just across from the cruise dock and there you will find streets with evocative names like La Fayette and Bougainville and an array of shops, bars, restaurants, theatres and museums.

 

Shore excursions in Brest

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Breton Delights

Activity lowRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Discover Breton charms on this tour of Brest and Guimiliau, followed by a tasting of local specialities at Kerveleoc Manor.

The city of Brest offers numerous sites reminiscent of its rich historic past. A sightseeing drive through Brest will show you some of the main highlights such as the castle, which now houses the Maritime Museum, and The Tanguy Tower, dating from the Middle Ages.

The Guimiliau Parish Close is a group of religious buildings, very typical of Breton culture. The church, ossuary and calvary are enclosed by a wall and used for worship by the people of the parish. Upon arrival, follow your guide on a walking tour, passing through the triumphal arch where you’ll find a calvary dating back to 1581 which depicts scenes from the life of Jesus.

You’ll rejoin your coach and continue to the little manor house of Kerveleoc to sample some of the wonderful Breton specialities. This typical 17th century Breton manor house has been traditionally restored and offers a wonderful atmosphere. Sample some of the locally produced paté, pastry and of course the famous Breton crêpes, all served with cider and Chouchen (local liqueur).

During your return journey to Brest, you’ll make a photo stop at Landerneau to see Rohan's Bridge, built in the 16th century, one of the last inhabited bridges in Europe.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves approximately 45 minutes walking over some uneven surfaces. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended.

Medieval Majesty

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 5 hours

Explore the enchanting town of Locronan and sample delicious home-made cider and traditional crêpes at the Cider Museum.

A visit to the Cider Museum in Argol gives an insight into the various stages of traditional cider making. History will then give way to pleasure, as you are offered a glass of cider or apple juice served with a traditional Breton crêpe. There is a small boutique at the Museum should you wish to purchase your own ‘taste’ of Brittany.

Locronan is an authentic medieval town, which is often chosen as a film set, and saw its last electric wires disappear underground when Roman Polanski came here to shoot ‘Tess’. During your walking tour of this charming town, you will discover the cobblestoned town square, the old granite houses and the quaint 15th century church.

Following your guided walk, some limited free time will be given so that you may browse in the souvenir and craft shops or perhaps sample some local delicacies.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves approximately 2½ hours of leisurely walking over some uneven and cobblestoned ground, including steps. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Please note that the introduction video and displays at the Cider Museum are in French. Euros and credit cards are accepted for local purchases and Euros are also required for the use of public facilities.

Picturesque Finistère

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Known as the coast of legends, Finistère is broken up by estuaries called ‘abers’, which create some wonderful scenery.

Le Folgoet means ‘The mad man of the woods’; legend has it that a local man lived alone in the woods, endlessly repeating the song ‘Ave Maria’. After his death in 1358, it’s said that a lily bearing the inscription ‘Ave Maria’ blossomed on his grave. A short time later, the Bretons decided to erect a basilica at the exact place where the miracle supposedly took place. You’ll visit the enchanting Notre Dame Basilica in Le Folgoet, and learn more of its interesting past.

Rohan’s Bridge, Landerneau is one of the last inhabited bridges in Europe. Only 29 towns in the whole of Europe have bridges with buildings on them, 2 of which are located in France and are permanently inhabited. The original Pont de Rohan at Landerneau was probably a wooden one, and the present bridge was completed in 1510. After visiting the bridge, you’ll have some free time in Landerneau for shopping.

You’ll take the beautiful coastal road, which offers great views when crossing the Aber Benoit and Aber Wrac’h. Afterwards, continue to the ‘Vierge Island’ lighthouse for a panoramic view: this cylindrical granite tower is the tallest in Europe.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves approximately 1 hour of walking. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended.

The City of Quimper

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 5 hours

Quimper is one of the highlights of this region and truly a delight to explore.

Quimper is a ‘gem’ from the Middle Ages with quaint cobble-stoned streets and a fine cathedral. Its name comes from ‘kemper’, a Breton word meaning the confluence of 2 rivers. The River Steir and Odet still flow through this pleasant cathedral city. During a guided walk you’ll visit ‘Old Quimper’ and discover the delights of this truly charming town. Allow your guide to take you back in time with local tales of the city and its colourful and historic past.

The quaint pedestrian area is full of shops, créperies and half-timbered houses, which lead to the real heart of the city, St Corentin’s Cathedral. It took 7 centuries to complete and is dedicated to the city’s founder-bishop St Corentin. The names of the medieval streets date back to the time when each trade used to have its own street, such as ‘Shoemaker Street’.

Take the opportunity during some free time to browse through the historical centre and soak up the atmosphere of this lovely town.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.This tour involves approximately 1½ hours’ walking over paved and cobblestoned streets. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. The drive to Quimper takes approximately 1 hour. Euros or credit cards are accepted for local purchases.

Transfer To Quimper

Activity lowShoppingFamily

Duration: 5 hours

An ideal option for those who wish to explore Quimper independently.

Quimper is arguably the cultural and artistic centre for the Brittany region and is distinctly Breton in terms of architecture and ambience.

This transfer allows you to explore the delights of Quimper independently. Upon arrival you’ll have the opportunity to wander the quaintly named streets lined with ancient half timbered houses. You may choose to browse the many shops and boutiques or simply relax in a nearby café and enjoy the small town atmosphere. The time is yours do to as you please, which makes this an ideal option for families.

During your time in Quimper you may like to visit the historic St Corentin’s Cathedral, or perhaps indulge in some of the wonderful local cuisine.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. The transfer time from Brest to Quimper is 1 hour each way. Walking is at passengers’ own discretion. This tour is unguided. Please be sure to take note of the pick-up point and time. Euros or major credit cards are required for local purchases. St Corentin’s Cathedral generally closes between 12.00pm-1.00pm and is subject to further closures without notice.

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