Cannes is a tender port – Ships have to anchor off Cannes and tender passengers ashore by boat. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.
Cannes is a port city located on the French Riviera. This celebrated seaside resort has helped define French Riviera chic and glamour for more than a century. La Croisette is the place to see and be seen, while you’ll find a rich history in Cannes’ Old Town and Vieux Port.
The city’s most famous event is the annual Film Festival. The Promenade de la Croisette is Cannes’ waterfront avenue decorated with palm trees. It is popular for its picturesque beaches, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. The old town, Le Suquet, provides a magnificent view of La Croisette. The Chapel of St Anne and the fortified tower house Musee de la Castre. An outstanding building in the city of Cannes is also the Russian Orthodox Church.
The disabled cruiser visiting Cannes will find the terrain mostly friendly. The town is close to the tender port within easy walking distance. Apart from the Le Suquet, the old town, which is very hilly, most of the tourist areas are accessible. The long sea front and Vieux Port (Old Port) are on the flat. Behind the sea front the road slopes gently upwards.
Le Suquet (Old Town) area is on a steep hill. It is suggested to take Le Petit Train de Cannes which goes there.
Since the cruise ship does not dock and the disabled cruiser is tendered to the island from out in the harbor; if the water is too rough, the captain may not let the disabled cruiser off the ship. Anyone with limited mobility would have some difficulty. Anyone in a wheelchair would have to be carried on and off the tender.
Where You’re Docked
Cannes is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.
Cannes cruise port is a tender port as it is too small to accommodate larger-sized cruise vessels (except some mega yachts). Large ships anchor in the bay and via the ship’s tender boats passengers are tendered ashore to the Old Port (Le Vieux Port).
Tenders arrive at a terrific location within easy walking distance of everything you’ll want to see: shops, restaurants and the historic center of town. You’ll find restrooms at the tender dock. Cannes is an eminently walkable city, very compact, and everything that’s a must-see is located within a few blocks. It’s as simple as this: Just walk to the promenade from the tender dock, turn right and you’ll bump into everything on your to-do list.
The Cannes cruise ship terminal is new and offer all necessary facilities and modern amenities. You can reach the town walking or by taxi (rank is located in front the terminal building). There is a local bus service and the rate is one euro. The city can be explored via trolley (Le Train du Cinema). The closest stop to Cannes cruise port terminal is La Croisette.
The tourist information office is located on the ground floor of Palais des Festivals (1 boulevard de la Croisette), about five blocks from the tender dock. You can pick up a map and brochures there and arrange independent shore excursions. There are no toilets at the tourist office.
Good to Know
Cannes is a tourist town, and where there are tourists, pickpockets will lurk. Take the proper precautions. Also, much of Old Town is hilly with cobblestones, so wear comfortable shoes.
On Foot: Walking/rolling is the best way to get around Cannes, which is fairly small and compact. If you want an alternative to walking, a neat trolley service, Le Train du Cinema, departs regularly from La Croisette, just past the film festival headquarters across from the Majestic hotel.
By Taxi: The taxi stand closest to the tender dock is located next to Caffe Roma on La Croisette across from the Palais des Festivals. Taxis tend to be expensive. A 10 percent gratuity is the norm on top of the fare.
By Bus: The No. 8 bus, on the other hand, is quite cheap. It departs from the dock and travels the seafront until the boulevard ends at Palm Beach and its casino, the oldest casino in Cannes. The roundtrip ride takes about 40 minutes and does not include Old Town.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The local currency is the euro. The cheapest and easiest way to get cash is to use your debit card at an ATM. There is a conveniently located ATM at Banque de France (8 boulevard de la Croisette).
Note also that France applies VAT (Value Added Tax) to most goods and services, currently at the rate of 20 percent, which adds a hefty surcharge to restaurant and shopping bills. As a tourist, you can claim a tax refund on any goods bought for deportation, so keep all receipts and be prepared to present them; possibly with proof that you are taking the goods out of the country; at a VAT refund station. You’ll find these at airports, railway stations with international links and most tourist offices.
The official language in Cannes is French, of course, though English is widely spoken in hotels and deluxe stores.
For officially sanctioned souvenirs of the Cannes Film Festival, check out the boutique in the Cannes Tourist Office at the start of Boulevard de la Croisette, just across from the Majestic Barriere hotel. Locally produced items found in the city’s many shops include woven baskets, lavender sachets, Provencal fabrics and wines of the region. Along the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, you’ll find high-fashion boutiques. Looking for wine, herbs, olives and oils? Peruse the emporiums on the Rue Meynadier. Cannes is also home to some of the best chocolatiers. The local specialty candy may be devoid of chocolate, but these “fruits confits,” or jellied fruits, are definitely worth sampling.
It’s hard to go wrong in Cannes when your stomach starts to growl. Local specialties include bouillabaisse, a fish soup; tapenade; aioli, a mayonnaise made from garlic, egg yolk and olive oil; salade Nicoise; and socca, a chickpea flatbread. The French lunch is often a three-course affair. Be mindful that the meal is typically served from roughly noon to 2 p.m.
Points of Interest
- La Croisette – the famous promenade curves around the seafront. Everything here will look beautiful to you. You can see the locals, hanging around with their families, tanned women, young people, rolerbladers, joggers and even clowns. If you are here during the Cannnes Filn Festival, you will surely meet a few stars around.
- Musée de la Castre – located on Place de la Castre (atop Suquet Hill). The museum holds many different collection from archeological to musical. There is also an amazing view from the tower’s top (but you will need to climb 109 steps).
- Le Suquet – just walk uphill, and you’ll reach the town’s historic center. The maze of about 10 narrow streets and alleyways, most of them pedestrian-only, overlooks the west end of the old port. Follow rue Saint-Antoine uphill for the best views in town. Among the sights: St. Anne’s chapel, dating to the 12th century; Notre-Dame d’Esperance, a gothic church built in the 17th century; and the Castre Museum. At the foot of Le Suquet, the famous Forville market offers a gourmet pilgrimage through the flavors of southern France. The covered market, built in 1870, is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day except Monday when it converts to an antiques market.
- Shopper’s paradise – La Croisette and rue d’Antibes are where you will find the luxury boutiques and art galleries. The six-block-long rue Meynadier, which runs parallel to the port just a few streets uphill, is a colorful pedestrian-only zone with shops selling hats, clothing, wine and cheese, roasted chicken and local products like handcrafted shoes and the ubiquitous lavender sachets.
- Allee des Stars – Outside Palais des Festivals is Cannes’ version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. No surprise that Cannes’ “sister city” is Beverly Hills. There are handprints from more than 200 celebrities who have attended the film festival, including Laura Dern, Ben Gazzara, Sharon Stone and Timothy Dalton.
- Lerins Islands – just off the Cannes coast, offers a great getaway, and an opportunity to experience something wildly different than its glitzy neighbor. It is said that the forest of green oaks and eucalyptus on the two islands, Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat, are among the oldest in Europe. Marguerite, two miles long, is the larger of the islands and is best known as the prison of the Man in the Iron Mask. There is a nature trail, a fortress, a prison and a marine museum. Honorat has been the site of a monastery since the 5th century, and the monks there welcome visitors. A shop at the monastery sells wine, honey and a liqueur called Lerina, all produced in-house. Water taxis depart for the islands from the tender dock multiple times a day year-round.
Cannes Accessible Excursions
There are currently no organized accessible shore excursions in Cannes.