La Sirène cruises: Boat trips to the Cordouan lighthouse and the Gironde estuary

Royan
La Sirène cruises: Bo ...

On holiday in Royan, do you want to go for a walk at sea, to appreciate the Côte de beauté from the waves? Embark on one of the ships of Croisières la Sirène! Since 1992, the Palacin family has been criss-crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary to offer exceptional panoramas to curious holidaymakers. Head to the Cordouan Lighthouse for an exciting sea trip and an extraordinary visit! Do you prefer catamaran rides? Embark for 2h30 at sea from Royan, a cruise that will leave you with wonderful memories of your vacation. Let's go ?


Photos from the report © Les Croisières la Sirène


Mermaid Cruise

Boat trips and discovery of the Gironde estuary and Cordouan

The Croisières la Sirène have been criss-crossing the sea and the estuary since 1992. It all started from La Palmyre where a small 20-seater boat and its captain offered curious holidaymakers the opportunity to discover the Côte de Beauté from the sea. In 1996, the family business finally settled in Royan to develop the activity, keeping close to customers thanks to boats on a human scale and very pleasant for navigation. Since 2017, François has joined his father and the Captains have together established an enticing menu of sea trips on different themes, to satisfy all the desires for discovery!


Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise


  • The lighthouse route: The Cordouan Lighthouse, the Coubre Lighthouse, the Terre Nègre Lighthouse, the Chay Lighthouse… They guide boats with their twinkling lights to secure navigation in these waters. Come and meet them during a 1h30 walk between Royan, Saint-Palais and Cordouan.

  • The Beauty Coast and Saint-Palais: Head for the pretty seaside resort of Saint-Palais, its squares and its coastal path. You will approach the sumptuous maritime villas of the 1930s from another angle, which bask on the rocks facing the sea. 1 hour ride for the whole family!

  • The Caves of Meschers and Talmont: You will sail towards the Gironde estuary, which you will go up to the village of Talmont (one of the most beautiful villages in France with its Sainte Radegonde church ). A commented cruise that will delight lovers of the sea air, with information on the nature, history and cultural aspects of this estuary portion.

  • Discovery of the estuary: The largest estuary in Europe opens up to you! Embark for 2h15, direction the lighthouse of Cordouan, the Pointe de Grave, the Médoc coast, the sumptuous cliffs of Meschers-sur-Gironde and their troglodyte shelters in the rocks of shells, Suzac and its fort , the bay of Saint-Georges -de-Didonne, the tip of Vallières and the bay of Royan. Take in these fragmented landscapes that stand out against the blue of the sky.


Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise

Exceptional view of the cliffs of Pointe de Suzac

Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise

Talmont and its Sainte Radegonde church

Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise

The squares of Saint-Palais and the cliffs of Meschers-sur-Gironde


In July and August, night cruises from Royan are organized by Croisières la Sirène, for an exceptional evening of sea and light or special "fireworks"... 40 minutes of peaceful sunset or 2 hours of sea with a break to admire the fireworks of July 14 and August 15 (book in advance!)


Mermaid Cruise

Visit the Cordouan lighthouse on a boat cruise

Built on a rocky escarpment in the middle of the sea (10km from the coast) in the 16th century (27 years of work), the Lighthouse of Cordouan is a breathtaking watchtower of the seas, as much as a witness to maritime history and a feat architectural for the time. Come and visit the Versailles of the Seas, which is only revealed for a few hours a day, depending on the tide and in small groups… The lighthouse keepers open the doors of this Historic Monument, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To understand its 68 meters high, get ready to climb 301 steps. Since 1992, Croisières la Sirènes have been working together with the company managing the lighthouse to organize visits. These are done through 2 stages of navigation: a first crossing aboard one of the speedboats, then a transfer to an amphibious boat (which sails and rolls on the sandbank!). The approach is an adventure in itself, for novices! Depending on the weather conditions, the position of the sandbank and the tides, you land on (hard) sand or in a few centimeters of water, before reaching the entrance to the lighthouse.


Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise
Departure by speedboat, then we switch to an amphibious boat!
Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise


It is the keepers who present the history and operation of the lighthouse, which will not fail to arouse your curiosity... Do you want to enjoy an exceptional view? Take your courage with both hands and attack the ascent of the lighthouse, which will be done in 6 stages, since landings are installed on each floor. You will be surprised to discover a building that is more spacious than it looks, comfortable and elegantly decorated.

Take a pair of beach sandals or shoes that can get wet, because when the sea goes out, water holes remain in the sand and you sometimes have to cross them or walk in them. Also bring a backpack for your personal belongings and something to eat if the cruise takes place during lunch time (depending on the tides)


Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise

Boats and catamaran for sea trips from Royan

The Croisières la Sirène have 2 motor launches (1 monohull the Cap Cordouan and 1 catamaran the Jules Vernes 3) with upper deck and panoramic windows, to appreciate the magnificent landscape in all weathers. With a capacity of 80 people, they are spacious but remain of a reasonable size for perfect conviviality and a warm atmosphere.


Mermaid Cruise
Mermaid Cruise


The Saba is a 12-seater catamaran -type sailboat, for a sleek and sporty cruise! With family or friends, it is comfortable and safe, navigated with expertise. You will appreciate the technical gestures, the unique feeling of gliding on the waves aboard this powerful and stable sailboat.

Finally, the amphibious barge is reserved for a safe and comfortable approach to the sandbank near the Cordouan Lighthouse. We make a transfer from the shuttle and then leave for the lighthouse quietly, to the rhythm of the lapping of the water.

Think about gift vouchers , to offer or to be offered for a delicious moment during the holidays! Did you know that you can also privatize one of the boats and its crew for your private or corporate events? Birthday, wedding, bachelor party, Team Building or seminar… A boat trip that everyone will remember!


Mermaid Cruise


We wish you a pleasant trip at sea, from Royan, aboard one of the shuttles or the catamaran sailboat of Croisières la Sirène!


Did you like our report? Find more on the Guide Charente Maritime blog. Connect to the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page to be kept up to date with our news. We are also on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime


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