Cruise Port Atlas | Brest, France Day Trips | Attractions

Brest, France Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Brest: Windstar, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Holland America

Key Attractions: Tanguy Tower, Brest Castle and Maritime Museum, Oceanopolis, Morlaix, Quimper, Landevennec

Church of St. John the Baptist Brest Attractions

Port to City Center - 2 KM, 5 minutes

Brest has a limited number of historical buildings due to the destruction of the Battle of Brest in 1944, but there is plenty to see in this naval and university town.  The Maritime Museum is housed in the Brest Castle. On the other side of the river the Tanguy Tower houses dioramas of the city as it looked prior to World War II.  The Oceanopolis houses Europe's largest aquarium and the Botanical Garden features a wide variety of endangered plants.  Saint-Malo Street is the only remaining street with pre-WWII historical buildings.

Castle, Fortress and Naval   Medieval Towers   Botanical Garden   Oceanopolis   Aquarium and Naval ships  

Uneven surfaces    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo by Greudin

Quimper's CathedralQuimper

Port to Quimper - 71 KM, 55 minutes

Quimper is an historic town with a strong Breton style.  Where Brest has long been swayed by non-Breton influences due to its military importance, Quimper has retained more of the original culture of Brittany.  Named because of its position at the confluence of two rivers, the town is mapped out with narrow streets, foot bridges and half-timbered houses dating back centuries.  Its most famous landmark is the gothic St-Corentin Cathedral, begun in the 13th century and not completed until the 19th.  Several churches that are even older are worth a visit.  Quimper is also famous for its ceramics, especially Faience pottery.  The Bishop's Palace now houses the Brittany Museum which contains the most important artifacts from the region.

Photo by Tom dl


Varied Walking    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Picturesque St-FlorentLandevennec

Port to Landevennec - 48 KM, 45 minutes

On the south side of the Rade de Brest, the bay that shelters the area from the waves and winds of the Atlantic is the small town of Landevennec and its Abbey which was first established in the late 5th century AD.  The area has also been designated a boat graveyard.  The summer greenery of the area and the many waterways and streams that separate areas of land make the drive to Landevennec a postcard experience.  This is a great place for serenity, as the monks discovered long ago.


Photo by Moreau.henri

Abbey   Inlets and Forests  

Varied walking depending on activity    Limited Wheelchair Accessibility

Fortress and lighthouseMorlaix

Port to Morlaix - 58 KM, 50 minutes

Morlaix is a traditional Breton city with a few significant historical structures, including the Queen Anne House which houses a cultural museum for Brittany.  Within the city limits is an impressively monumental Roman Aquaduct.  Not far away from the city is the Bay of Morlaix, which is protected by the impressive Chateau du Taureau and built to protect the region from the invasion of the English.

Photo by Thesupermat

Islands in the bay   Migrating Birds   Roman Aquaduct  

Varied Walking    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible