A new gateway to the French city of Bordeaux

Atlantic Port of Bordeaux is building a terminal so large cruise ships can berth in Pauillac 

A new gateway to the French city of Bordeaux
Image: C Bouthé

By Sean Dudley |

This article was first published in Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

At Atlantic Port of Bordeaux, cruise activity has seen significant growth in recent times, with the city currently welcoming 50 calls per year. There are currently two sites able to accommodate cruise ships: Le Verdon near the Atlantic Ocean, and Bordeaux City Centre. Ships measuring up to 255 metres in length can call at Bordeaux City Centre, with passengers able to step right into the heart of the 18th century UNESCO classified city, which is very pedestrian-friendly, making it easy for passengers to discover the town on foot, enjoy a drink or shop at international or local boutiques.

However, to better accommodate larger ships, Atlantic Port of Bordeaux is currently working on a new cruise terminal project. This terminal will be dedicated to larger units measuring up to 340 metres in length and therefore cannot access Bordeaux City Centre. The new facility will be built in Pauillac – halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and central Bordeaux – in the heart of the famous Medoc wine-growing region. The new quay will be located less than 15 minutes by bus from the most prestigious wine estates and one hour from Bordeaux City Centre.

The first phase of the technical studies was approved last December by local authorities and the port’s cruise partners. Next steps include environmental studies, and work to determine the layout and infrastructure of the facility. Overall, the technical studies budget amounts to €100,000, and it is hoped that the new terminal will open in 2021.

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