Welcome on board ...

In 2007, three new vessels are brought into service: Paul Chevalier, Jacques Henri Edmond Dantes and Espérandieu,
assuring daily throughout the year, the connections to the islands.

Chevalier Paul

 "Chevalier Paul", a glorious symbol of Marseille's history.
Born at sea on the roads of Marseille in 1598, the son of a washer-woman (it is thought that his father was Paul de Fortia, the governor of the Château d'If), Paul began sailing with the merchant service at the age of 12.

In around 1614 he embarked on a brigantine of the Order of Malta at La Ciotat and then  entered the Order's navy where he soon displayed exceptional courage. He distinguished himself during a battle against two Turkish galleys: when his captain was killed he took his place, sank one of the enemy ships and took the other by boarding.

He was confirmed in his rank by the Grand Master of the Order, and his many victorious exploits and his bravery earned him the Knighthood of the Order in 1637 despite his illegitimacy. He fought in a succession of campaigns and played a decisive role in his many victories. In 1649 he was ennobled and promoted to the rank of squadron commander, and then Lieutenant General in March 1654.

Paul was severely wounded in several of his battles, but this did not hinder him from pursuing a brilliant career and achieving great success until 1666. When he was struck down by illness he retired to Toulon, where he died on 20 December 1667.

Edmond Dantès

"Edmond Dantès", a fictional escapade.

A hero of fiction and a very real place are linked in everyone's minds by the famous story of Edmond Dantès, who was imprisoned in the Château d'If. This novel by Alexandre Dumas, completed in 1844, became internationally famous and has been adapted for the screen many times.

Edmond Dantès, a naval captain, was destined for a brilliant career, and was on the point of marrying his lovely fiancée Mercedes when he was falsely accused of being a Bonapartist traitor and was imprisoned for life in the Château d'If. It was not until 14 years later that he managed to escape, with the help of another prisoner, the Abbé Faria. Faria's friendship for Dantès was so strong that he told him about a hidden treasure on the island of Monte-Cristo.

He was 33 when he returned, incognito, as the fabulously wealthy Count of Monte-Cristo, and began to take implacable vengeance on those who had betrayed him. The count's enemies included Villefort, the crown prosecutor, Danglars, Dantès' banker, and the Count of Morcerf, Dantès' rival for Mercedes, as well as his son Albert de Morcerf. Having completed his revenge, Monte-Cristo returns to the Orient together with the woman he loved.

Alexandre Dumas also wrote "The Three Musketeers" and was the author of some great works. He died on 5 December 1870; his body was transferred to the Panthéon de Paris in 2002. His son, also named Alexandre Dumas, was also an author, in particular of "The Lady of the Camellias".

Henri-Jacques Espérandieu

Henri-Jacques Espérandieu”, a great name of Marseille architecture

Henri-Jacques was born in Nîmes on 20 September 1829 of unknown parents. He was abandoned as a baby, and was taken in and adopted by the Carrière family, who were rich Protestant mill-owners of Nîmes.

His artistic talent was considered remarkable when he was only 8 years old and his father, Auguste Abraham Carrière, arranged an exhibition of his paintings at the Nîmes Reformed Church Community Centre; the child signed the paintings with the double name of “Carrière Espérandieu”.

His models were the main Roman monuments of Provence: the Maison Carrée, the Arles Arena, the Theatre of Orange, the Pont du Gard, etc. With the development of his work he entered the Paris School of Architecture at the age of 17, and was there from 1846 to 1851. It was the second empire, and Espérandieu openly supported the new regime. When he returned to Nîmes in 1855 for the funeral of his adopted father, Auguste Abraham, he was given his first commission: the new Protestant church. This imposing building was inaugurated in 1860.

But his passion was always Marseille, “the city of a thousand scents”, and it was here that he produced his most prestigious projects:

·         1856 : Oversight of the construction of the Major Cathedral, and design of the west frontage

·         1862 - 1869 : Palais Longchamp

·         1864 - 1869 : Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde

Two years before his death he made his will, leaving his entire fortune to a charity, “The Retirement Home for Destitute Former Building Workers”, which was built at his cost on the heights of Roucas-Blanc. The building, called by local residents “La Maison Espérandieu”, was destroyed in 1942.

Safety and environment

The shuttles are comfortable, extremely safe, and compliant with the latest environmental standards.

Capacity : 196 passengers and 4 crew members
Length : 24 m
Speed: 20 knots