St Malo Cruises
Originally a fortified island, the walled city of St Malo at the mouth of the River Rance on France’s Brittany coast, is now connected to the mainland by a 'Sillon' causeway. Visiting this atmospheric port, once a stronghold for privateers (pirates approved by the king), is like stepping back in time.
The walls of St Malo, largely destroyed in World War II, have been painstakingly reconstructed. A magnificent grey granite citadel protects the old city, the cobbled streets of which are packed with interesting shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.[ReadMoreMob] The main gate is Porte St-Vincent, home to the castle and town museum, and an eclectic mix of exhibits including maps and local artefacts. Saint-Malo Cathedral, built in Romanesque and Gothic styles, makes an impressive centrepiece.
From the beach outside the citadel it’s possible to walk at low tide to the small island of Grand-Bé, to see the tomb of the 19th century politician and writer, Chateaubriand. To the south is where the original inhabitants lived. They were converted to Christianity by St Malou, after whom they named the impregnable island when they moved there in the 12th century.
There are two small islands across from St Malo, which are accessible by foot at low tide. The plan was to build a series of forts to protect St Malo from pirates and invaders in the 17th century. One is Grand-Bé – a rocky hill 400m from the port and home to the tomb of the famous writer and politician, Chateaubriand, who was born in St Malo. From the top of the hill, you can get an amazing view of St Malo. This is home to The Fort National, designed by the renowned military architect Vauban, and built in 1689. When the Germans occupied St Malo in 1944, all of the men were sent to The Fort National to be imprisoned. Part of the Fort was destroyed by bombs but it was later rebuilt.
Old Town/City Walls
St Malo sits on a granite island, and the grey walls that surround the city are made of granite. You can walk almost all the way round the walls. The city’s old town is made up of a series of lanes. You will enter the city through the main entrance – the Porte St. Vincent Gate. Within the old town, you will find the Cathedrale St. Vincent – a Gothic 13th century building whose spire can be seen from your cruise ship. You will also find the Chateau de St Malo – a town hall and museum, and the Demeure de Corsaire – an 18th century mansion, built by the wealthy owner of the French East India Company, and one of the only buildings to survive the World War II bombings. Much of the old town was destroyed during World War II, but was reconstructed in an ambitious project completed in 1971.
The aquarium in St Malo boasts around 10,000 sea creatures and 600 different species. There are eight themed rooms including a tropical room, a touch pool and a ‘sea laboratory’. There is also a unique attraction called the Nautibus – a four-person submarine ride that simulates life under the water.
Cruises to St Malo
Departs: Dover, United Kingdom • Thu 27 Aug 2020
5 nights • Boudicca • D2022
Unfortunately, this cruise will not be going ahead as planned. Please click here to find out more >
Sorry, this cruise has been cancelled.
Departs: Dover • Sat 29 May 2021
5 nights • Boudicca • D2113
- A five-night, French flavoured journey of discovery combining scenic river cruising through breathtaking countryside with visits to three inspirational cities, this is an enriching short break.
- See the River Seine’s gorgeous scenes of rolling hills and pretty villages; and enjoy a full day in Rouen, allowing time to delve into famous French history, marvel at spectacular architecture, or even tour to Paris.
- Elsewhere, you can unravel the charms of Honfleur, an inspiration for many poets and painters; and marvel at the iconic spired abbey of fairytale-esque Mont St Michel on tour from St Malo.
From £699ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Sat 29 May 2021
5 nights • Black Watch • W2111
- Uncover historical, architectural and natural highlights aplenty on this enlightening Bank Holiday escape to three of the six Celtic nations: Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany.
- In Dun Loghaire, you can visit the James Joyce Tower and Museum, known for its appearance in the novel Ulysses, while Falmouth is your starting point for discovering attractions along the Cornish coast, such as the beautiful Lizard Peninsula.
- A full-day in St Malo allows time to explore the dramatic fortifications of Mont St Michel, or the ruins of the Celtic Aleth Cathedral in nearby Saint-Servan, before Black Watch sails among the spectacular Isles of Scilly.
From £749ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Rosyth (Edinburgh) • Thu 01 Jul 2021
13 nights • Balmoral • L2120
- You’re in for a feast of diverse culture and enchanting beauty, as Balmoral takes you on an immersive journey of discovery to gorgeous and engrossing French and Spanish cities.
- Docking alongside the promenade in Bordeaux makes it easy to capture the city’s arts, culture and wine heritage, or even tour to a famous family-run vineyard nearby.
- There’s a rare visit to Saint Malo and charming Honfleur too; and in Spain, the cultural treasures and landmarks of Bilbao and Avilés await.
From £1,899ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Mon 19 Jul 2021
10 nights • Black Watch • W2116
- Enjoy an authentic taste of France and Spain, visiting regions and destinations selected for links to famous food and drink.
- Black Watch docks in the heart of Bordeaux, famed for its Medoc, Merlot and Saint Emilion wines – an extended stay allows for a tour to an enchanting family-run vineyard.
- On Brittany’s beautiful coast, you can tour to the famed oyster town of Cancale; while in Spain, Getxo and Avilés offer traditional Basque tapas, Rioja wines and sweet Asturian cider.
From £1,499ppFares Explained | What's Included