Musée Maritime de la Rochelle

France 1. Source: GNU Free Documentation License.


The vocation of the association of the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle is to promote French maritime heritage.




In 1988, the association of the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle was created to conserve and promote maritime heritage. It acquired, for the purpose, the meteorological frigate France 1.


The Museum was expanded in 1995, setting up in-land exhibitions in the former Halle à Marées, which had been left empty with the departure of the fishing harbour. A redevelopment project began in 2005, which allowed the museum to spread out over five hectares, based on three sections:


  • A 6,000 m2 ocean section in the inland area, comprising reception areas and services (café, restaurant, bookshop, boutiques), on the one hand, and the museum areas and administrative spaces on the other.
  • An on-board section on the docks and boats in the museum's flotilla.
  • A restaurant and boat maintenance section.




The association of the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle mainly adds to its stock by acquiring vessels.


This consists of:

  • France I (1958), the last French meteorological frigate, 76.5 metres long, a listed historical monument. The vessel carried out its missions for 27 years, until meteorological satellites came into use in 1985.

  • Angoumois (1969), a stern trawler, 38 metres long, a listed historical monument.

  • Duperré (1952), staff boat of the French Navy, a wooden vedette boat.

  • Capitaine de Frégate Le Verger (1954), lifeboat, 15 metres long. 

  • Joshua (1962), red ketch belonging to Bernard Moitessier, a listed historical monument.

  • Steam-powered dredger (1906), a listed historical monument.

  • Saint-Gilles, sea-going tug (1958), a listed historical monument.


The slipway.

This harbour equipment, which stands at the entrance of the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle, was built in 1942 during the Second World War by the Service du Travail Obligatoire (STO - Compulsory Work Service) under authority of the German occupying troops. It was used by the Germans during the war, and then to maintain the fishing fleet of La Rochelle. It was installed at the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle in 1996 in the Bassin des Chalutiers.  This piece of machinery is unique in France and is currently in the process of being listed as a Historical Monument.

The slipway consists of:

- a bunker housing an electric winch dating back to 1938 and requisitioned in Holland,

- a main slipway to hoist 700-tonne ships to dry docking.


Non-material heritage


The Musée Maritime de la Rochelle has undertaken work on non-material maritime heritage. Every year, as part of the Heritage Days, the team organises "Alors Raconte !", an event based on maritime memory.


These two days consist of projections of pictures, recorded interviews with witnesses, visits of boats and, for children, events based on life as a sailor. Former employees provide their accounts, take visitors round and revive life on board the ships and on the dock.


Musée Maritime

Place Bernard Moitessier

BP 3053

17031 LA Rochelle Cedex 01

Tél. : 05 46 28 03 00

Fax : 05 46 41 07 87

e-mail :



Musée maritime de la Rochelle



Late openings

24th July and 7th August 2013 from 10 am to 11 pm, non-stop.

Guided tour at 9 pm subject to booking on 05 46 45 46 57


Getting there

The ships of the Musée Maritime which can be visited are located:


Quai Sénac de Meilhan (Bassin des Chalutiers near the Médiathèque)


Nearby car parks: place Bernard Moitessier (free) Aquarium and Médiathèque (paying)


Bus: illico line, stop at Aquarium, bus No. 19, then cross the Bassin des Chalutiers using the footbridge.


Ferry: crossing from Vieux Port to the Médiathèque.


  • Libération de la Rochelle. Déminage du port par les prisonniers de guerre allemands. Source : DMPA

  • France 1, ancienne frégate météorologique, le navire amiral du Musée Maritime de La Rochelle - Source : Musée Maritime de La Rochelle

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    Practical information


    Place Bernard Moitessier - 17031
    La Rochelle
    05 46 28 03 00


    Adults: €8 Children from 4 to 16 years and students: €5.50 Free for children under 4

    Weekly opening hours

    Open 7 days a week from 1st April to 30th September from 10 am to 6.30 pm (7 pm in July and August). Last entry one hour before closing.

    Fermetures annuelles

    1st October to 31st March