Marseille, France

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Cruising to Marseille (Provence)

Also known as the Port d'Afrique, Marseilles is one of the most intriguing cities in France, having once acted as the major trading port and point of entry and exit to the country's Mediterranean coast. As such, it blends European, North African and Middle Eastern cultures seamlessly, and while it once had a reputation as being a city of vice, these days it's cleaned up its act considerably and is now one of the most charming places to visit in France.

Perhaps the most exotic city in the country - not least because of its gorgeous climate - Marseilles is like several worlds rolled into one, with the African markets around the old harbour - or Vieux Port - seeming to belong to some other time and place. Strolling around this historic part of town you'll also have the chance to see local fisherman going about their business, and this is a great way to gain an appreciation for local customs and ways of life.

Naturally, with all that fishing going on, the city has become famous for its excellent seafood, and the signature dish of Marseilles is the bouillabaisse - a kind of soup that can be enjoyed in restaurants across the city.

Marseille (Provence)

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