Infiltrate the Espadon, a military submarine!
Treat yourself to a thrilling experience in the bowels of the Espadon, a real military submarine still docked at the port of Saint-Nazaire... A sea monster left unchanged for years that gives the impression, once inside, that the crew have only just docked.
The Espadon submarine, still docked in the port of Saint-Nazaire
There it is, half-submerged, lurking in the shadows... Between the giant concrete walls of the fortified lock of the port of Saint-Nazaire hides the long black silhouette of a 1960s military submarine. Equipped with audioguides, visitors enter the dark mass via steps that descend sharply, for a half-hour tour of the many dials, machines and controls.
A colossus that has travelled around the world 17 times!
Once aboard, finding a way through the sometimes very cramped spaces can be tough. It's difficult to imagine that 67 people could all live here at once, taking turns to sleep in the narrow bunks and sharing a single shower with – cold – seawater! The 78-metre colossus nevertheless crossed all the world's seas, even under the sea ice of the Arctic Circle, travelling a total of 360,547 nautical miles, or 17 laps around the world!
Discovering the daily life of submariners
Tucked halfway along the tour, the golden ears post attests to the incredible ability of the submariners who, headphones on, could pick out each different sound, from a ship sailing on the surface to an iceberg broken in two, as well as the thousands of shrimps tapping on the hull. These sounds are reproduced here to completely immerse visitors, who already feel like they're on a under-sea surveillance mission, manoeuvre training or an ocean survey. There's also the unbearable heat of the machine room to experience, as well as the alternating white and red lights intended to replicate day and night, or a torpedo launch simulation... Ready to come aboard?
Learn more about the Espadon submarine of Saint-Nazaire