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Cruising Article –02/24/2011

Travel under the sea in Brest, France.

European Cruise Destinations

Fans of marine life might assume that a Caribbean vacation is their best bet to see various kinds of fish and wildlife, but a European cruise is actually where it's at - if you book an excursion in Brest, France.

That's because Brest is home to Oceanopolis, a massive compound dedicated to all things marine. You might have visited a local aquarium in your home city, but it's nothing compared to Oceanopolis, which features more than 50 aquariums and 1,000 different species. To give you a sense of the sheer size of the operation, the park employs more than 60 percent of all the oceanographers in France.

The various animals contained within the park are spread out over three different ecosystems. The central feature of the Tropical Pavillion is a massive warm water tank complete with its own coral reef - even better than what you'll likely find on a trip to the Caribbean. The Temperate Pavillion offers travelers the chance to view some of the species that call the Mediterranean home. And finally the Arctic Pavillion looks to recreate the ecosystem found up north - complete with everyone's favorite, penguins.

Whether you're a fan of the ocean or the creatures that call it home, there's no better option on a European cruise.