This is the first of our port guides that will give you a quick overview of what we did and saw in La Rochelle, with the aim of giving you ideas for your own visit. Useful links are listed at the bottom of the post.
The port is home to the 14th century towers of St Nicolas Fort and the Tour de la Chaîne (the name comes from the chain drawn across the harbour to keep out intruders).
Once in port you will need to take a shuttle bus to town. When we were there these were executive coaches, but we have read about bendy buses being used also – the ride was 20 to 30 minutes, so best hope for the executive coach. P&O did not charge us for this.
The coach will drop you off near to the Aquarium and the main town. There are some lovely little streets to walk along and within 5 or 10 minutes you can be at the three towers; St Nicolas, Tower of the Lantern and Chaîne tower. We didn’t go inside the towers but instead just had a stroll around.
We spent most of our time in the Aquarium. We pre booked in advance on the website, I think is was €15 per person – a slight discount as we pre booked but if you don’t do this, keep an eye out for a brochure in the terminal before boarding the bus as they had an offer that gave a discount for cruise passengers, which I think was the same price as pre booking.
Opened in 2001, the aquarium houses some 12,000 animals of 600 spices in tanks totalling 3 million litres…
The Aquarium is absolutely fantastic and worth the price – give yourself a good two hours to browse the vast variety of fish and sea creatures on display. Some of the tanks are huge, look out for the Sharks! The pictures don’t do it justice, hopefully our video does. After walking through the aquarium you enter a tropical Forrest, which has a wooden rope bridge over some piranhas – don’t fall in!
The marina near the aquarium is lined with restaurants – by the time we left the aquarium these were packed with people eating and drinking al fresco, taking in the sunshine. This area is very pretty and I could have happily plonked myself on a table and enjoyed a good a few glasses of wine.
Near the bus pickup point there was a large wheel, Grande Roue La Rochelle – due to us seeing the queue for the transfer back to the ship increasing rapidly, we didn’t get the opportunity to try it. Maybe next time and at less than €5 a person it has to be worth a go.
That concludes this port guide – if you have visited La Rochelle and have any tips, please leave a comment or get in touch with us.
Office La Rochelle Aquarium website: http://www.aquarium-larochelle.com/en
La Rochelle Towers: http://www.tours-la-rochelle.fr/en
We visited this port in April 2017 on P&O Azura.