In the French port city of Saint-Nazaire, near Nantes, get a glimpse of what life would have been like aboard a historic ocean-going vessel. Escal’Atlantic, an interactive museum dedicated to “the historical ocean-liner experience,” displays more than 200 artifacts, all of which hail from ships built in Saint-Nazaire.
Located inside a former submarine base used during World War II, Escal’Atlantic offers 20 main exhibitions spaces designed to evoke the great transatlantic voyages of the 20th century. Learn about the history of vessels built in Saint-Nazaire, and see first-hand the recreations of decks, lifeboats, dining rooms and other public areas. Book tickets online in advance of your visit to avoid waiting in line at the entrance.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum offers multimedia devices for use throughout the exhibition spaces.
Escal’Atlantic is fully accessible to wheelchair users; it’s advised to avoid bringing strollers, if possible.
Free admission to Escal’Atlantic is included with the Nantes Pass ticket package.
How to Get There
Escal’Atlantic is about a 20-minute walk or 5-minute taxi drive from the city’s main train station, Gare de Saint-Nazaire. Various bus lines, including the U2 and Hélyce, stop near the museum, which also can be reached by bicycle.
When to Get There
Escal’Atlantic’s opening hours vary throughout the year. It is open for most days of the week, excluding some Mondays, from 10am–1pm and 2–6pm from March–June and September–October; during July and August the museum is open daily from 10am–8pm. The museum has more significant closures from November–February. Check the museum’s calendar for opening dates and times prior to your visit.
What to Do in Saint-Nazaire
Located along the Atlantic coast, just 33 miles (53 kilometers) from Nantes, Saint-Nazaire is known for its naval history. Visit the city’s historic shipyard—guided tours depart from the submarine base where Escal’Atlantic is located—as well as other nearby, maritime attractions, such as the Submarine Espadon (built in 1958) and the Heritage Museum Ecomusé, which celebrates Saint-Nazaire’s history.
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