There’s been a port here since medieval times and it is still an important naval base. Sadly very few buildings remain from before the Second World War, apart from the 15th-century Château de Brest, and the Tour Tanguy, a medieval tower that probably dates from the 14th-century Breton War of Succession. The Château has the Musée de la Marine de Brest, celebrating Brest’s maritime tradition, while the Tour Tanguy has the Museum of Old Brest.
One of the best-known sights is the Pont de Recouvrance, a huge vertical-lift bridge, which elevates the 88m roadway on 70m-pylons to allow ships to pass up the River Penfeld. The newest attraction is the unique Océanopolis marine centre, which has three aquariums replicating polar, tropical and temperate oceans. There are over a thousand different types of fish, as well as 120 species of marine mammal, from dolphins to walrus.
Cruises to Brest
French Rivers & Bordeaux • L2229
- Enjoy local wines in Bordeaux and Getxo
- From Rouen, tour to the culinary hotspot of Paris
- Sail through the size-restricted Seine River
Islands of the Azores, Crossing the Path of the Solar Eclipse • T2406
- Explore volcanic sites in the Azores and go in search of resident whales and dolphins
- See, smell and learn about the vibrant, fragrant flora of Madeira
- Cross the path of the Solar Eclipse, for a chance to see the phenomenon before it finishes