The Gironde is a major navigable estuary (falsely referred to as a river), situated in southwest France. It is formed from the meeting of Dordogne and Garonne rivers downstream of the centre of the city of Bordeaux. Covering about 635 km2 (245 ml2), it is the largest estuary found in western Europe.
The Gironde is nearly 80 km (50 miles) long and 3–11 km (2–7 ml) wide. The French departement Gironde was named after it. Gironde Estuary is subject to strong tidal currents. Great care is needed while navigating the estuary by any type or size of vessel.
Within the estuary between Pointe de Grave at seaward end and Bec d'Ambes are a series of tiny islands.
- Ile de Patiras (200 ha), has a lighthouse to aid navigation in Gironde Estuary. Maize and vines are grown there.
- Ile Sans-Pain and Ile Bouchaud are virtually joined due to silting and are referred to as Ile Nouvelle. They total 265 ha and are managed by Department of the Gironde and owned by Conservatoire du Littoral.
- Ile Cazeau, Ile Verte and Ile du Nord comprise about 800 ha. Due to their natural state the isles provide a fine stopping off site for migrating birds.
- Ile Margaux (25 ha) had 14 ha devoted to vines in 2005. It is part of the famous Médoc wine region.
- Ile Paté (13 ha) was privately owned in 2006. The island boasts a historic fort built between 1685-1693 as part of a national fortification program by Marquis de Vauban (1633-1707). The building is oval, nearly 12 m high and was originally equipped with 30 cannon. Fort Pate, along with Fort Medoc and ancient Blaye citadelle, defended Bordeaux and the estuary. During the French Revolution, Fort Pate was used as prison for priests.
In 2006, the Conseil General took a decision to make Ile Paté a zone de pre-emption espace naturel sensible (ZPENS). This status protects the isle from development. If the owner decides to sell the island, the Department has pre-emptive right. After 2 months the Conservatoire National du Littoral has next pre-emptive right and after another 2 months the town of Blaye has the final pre-emptive right to buy the island.
Highlights: Chateaux de Medoc, Bordeaux, Blaye
The Gironde Estuary cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Gironde Estuary, France.
If you lose the Gironde Estuary location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Gironde Estuary cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Gironde Estuary, France. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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2 May, 2017