Costa Magica Cruise Photos
As Costa Magica approached Marseille the next afternoon, we saw a hilltop fortress, a coastal road that wasn't designed for sissies, and a dry, mountainous landscape overlooking a deep blue sea.
A pilot boat raced toward the ship as we neared the port of Marseille.
Inside Marseille's harbor, the cruise terminal basked in the early-afternoon sun.
Because we were arriving in Marseille at 1 p.m., rather than the usual 7 or 8 a.m., most passengers who wanted to go ashore were ready to leave the ship. Costa had anticipated the demand by bringing in a fleet of shuttle buses.
Unfortunately, there was a bottleneck waiting on the pier: The cruise terminal simply wasn't big enough to handle the crush of 1,000 or more passengers coming off a ship at the same time.
Signs inside the cruise terminal told where to find shuttle buses, taxis, and public transportation. (We'd already bought 7-euro tickets for the Costa shuttle bus, since we planned to spend our time in Old Port and downtown Marseille.)
Beneath the signs, Costa Magica passengers remained calm (and surprisingly patient) in the slow-moving line that led through the terminal to the exit doors and shuttle buses.
A representative of the local tourist office handed out free city maps in Italian. The title of the map was "Marsiglia: Pianta del Centro Città."
On our way out of the port by shuttle bus, we saw a bus stop of RTM, the Marseille transit network, just beyond the gates about one mile or 1.6 km from the cruise terminal.
For an English-language summary of how to get around Marseille by public or private transportation, see Marseille Tourism's City Transports page or AngloINFO Provence's Marseille Metro, Bus & Tram page.
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