Le Voyage à Nantes
Estuaire
Les Tables de Nantes
Les Machines de l’île
Château des ducs de Bretagne
Mémorial de l’abolition de l’esclavage
Logo des Machines de l’Ile

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

The project

What will you find at les machines de l’ile?

There are three different activities visitors can enjoy at Les Machines de l’île:

  • The Galerie des Machines is a lively spot featuring a veritable zoo of mechanical animals. Throughout your visit, stagehands will explain the history and workings of these fantastic creatures, and breathe life into the imaginary world of the Heron Tree.
  • The Marine Worlds Carrousel is a merry-go-round with 36 machines spread over 3 floors. The Carrousel operates in two modes:
    – Fairground mode (tour with a possible ride on one of the machines)
    – Discovery mode (guided tour without a ride)
    These options may vary depending on the calendar and opening times.
  • Le Voyage en Grand Éléphant: climb aboard for an one-of-a-kind 30-minute journey on the Grand Elephant.
    Every activity requires a separate ticket, each of which offers access to the balconies overlooking the workshop, a 16-minute film, a photo exhibition, and the prototype branch of the Heron Tree project.

Opening hours – access – ticket offices

What are Machines de l’île’s opening hours?

The calendar and opening hours are available by clicking on this link https://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/practical/opening-hours/

What are the Grand Elephant’s departure times?

Departure times for the Grand Elephant can be consulted on the following page: https://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/practical/opening-hours/

How long will a tour of each activity take?

A visit to the Galerie des Machines lasts about 1 hour, a tour of the Marine Worlds Carrousel is about 50 minutes, and a trip on the Grand Elephant roughly 30 minutes.

Each ticket also offers access to the balconies overlooking the workshop, a 16-minute film, a photo exhibition, and the prototype branch of the Heron Tree project. Visiting times may vary, depending on attendance, and personal preference.

Where are the ticket offices?

There are two ticket offices at Les Machines de l’île:
– One in the Nef/Nave selling tickets to the Galerie des Machines and for a ride on the Grand Elephant.
– Another at the Marine Worlds Carrousel selling tickets to this ride.

Are Les Machines de l’île a closed-off park?

Les Machines de l’île are located in Parc des Chantiers, which is a freely accessible public space.

Visiting this tourist-friendly area is free, but it offers 3 activities requiring a fee:
– Galerie des Machines
– Marine Worlds Carrousel
– Le Voyage en Grand Elephant

Can I buy a ticket at one time and use it later?

Entrance to Galerie des Machines or the Marine Worlds Carrousel is immediately valid once the ticket has been purchased. In other words, it is not possible to buy a ticket, then use it at a later time.

However, tickets to ride the Grand Elephant can be purchased as soon as the ticket office opens for rides that day (subject to availability).

Should you come early?

We advise visitors wishing to ride the Grand Elephant, who have not booked in advance, to be present when the ticket office opens.

Admission to the Galerie or Carrousel is immediate after purchasing a ticket on-site. However, weekends, French school vacations, and public holidays tend to attract high volumes of visitors.

Can children enter on their own?

Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to enter the exhibition areas (Galerie des Machines, Marine Worlds Carrousel, and the Grand Elephant).

Children under the age of 4 must also be accompanied by an adult during a ride on one of the elements of the Marine Worlds Carrousel.

Is there priority access for visitors needing assistance?

The disabled, pregnant women, and those accompanying them can benefit from priority access at the ticket office by simple request to a member of our staff.

Are activities accessible to wheelchair users?

The Galerie des Machines is located in a single-storey, wheelchair-accessible building.
The gangways of the Marine Worlds Carrousel are also wheelchair-accessible, along with 2 of the elements located on the 3rd level.
The Grand Elephant can accommodate one wheelchair user on each of its trips departing from Les Nefs (The Naves).
The balconies overlooking the workshop can be reached via elevator.
The Prototype Branch, however, is not accessible.

Can I arrive with luggage?

Due to nationwide security measures, luggage is not allowed in our visiting areas and cannot be dropped off at reception.

The site has no luggage storage facilities.

Where can you drop off your luggage?
https://www.levoyageanantes.fr/en/nantes-by-bike/lockers/

Luggage deposits, cloakrooms, lockers for bike bags… there are so many ways to leave your luggage and explore the city in total freedom!

Can I bring a stroller?

For reasons of safety and comfort, strollers are not allowed in our visitor areas. You can drop them off and secure them to one of the two stroller parks located across from the ticket desk. You can also buy a combination lock at the ticket desk for €4.80.

Can we park our camper van there?

The parking lot across from Machines de l’île does not accept camper vans or RVs.

The parking lot at 3 Place de la Petite Hollande, however, does accept them (except on outdoor market days). Les Machines de l’île are 5-10 minutes away on foot.

You can visit the Le Voyage à Nantes website: https://www.levoyageanantes.fr/en/places/area_for_camper/ for more information.

How to get to the workshop balconies and the prototype branch of the Heron Tree?

Access to the balconies overlooking the workshop (view of the workshops, 16-minute film, and descent to the Heron Tree prototype branch) is included with every ticket (Galerie des Machines, Marine Worlds Carrousel, or Grand Elephant ride).
There is, however, no ticket available to visit these spaces on their own.

Can adults ride the merry-go-round?

The Marine Worlds Carrousel is designed for everyone: adults and children alike. You can board one of the “machines” with the purchase of a “Visit + 1 ride” ticket in Fairground Mode.

Can we climb on top of the machines?

During tours of the Galerie des Machines, stagehands may call on a few volunteers to participate. The “Nuée de Papillons” (or “Butterfly Swarm”) is freely accessible. However, it is not possible to climb onto any of the other machines, unless requested to do so by a stagehand.

You can climb atop the machines on the Marine Worlds Carrousel by purchasing a “Visit + 1 ride” ticket in Fairground Mode.

The minimum height to board the 2nd level is 1m 35 (4 ½ feet). Boarding certain machines may be restricted, depending on visitor’s age.

Online reservations

I don’t see any slots available for reservation during the week. Does that mean the site is closed, or fully booked?

Certain time slots for trips on the Grand Elephant, tours of the Galerie des Machines, and the Marine Worlds Carrousel, are open to reservation on weekends, French school vacations, and French public holidays.

If no availability appears, this means the slots are either full or unavailable. In this case, you can buy tickets on site for that very same day.

How best to enjoy the Grand Elephant?

You can either watch it take a stroll for free in Parc des Chantiers, or buy a ticket to ride.

How long ahead of time should I make an online reservation?

Reservations are recommended several weeks in advance. Reservations are possible up to 15 minutes before the scheduled visit (subject to availability).

Do I need to print out an e-ticket?

An e-ticket can be printed out or presented on a smartphone the day of the visit.

Can I reserve a trip on the Grand Elephant?

Some slots can be booked online (weekends, French school vacations, and national holidays).
We advise you to make a reservation when possible.
Reservations can be made up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time, and are subject to availability.
Other Grand Elephant tickets can be bought on site for a ride during a time slot that day.
We recommend you arrive when the ticket desk opens, as spots are limited.

Can I make a reservation to visit the Galerie des Machines?

Some slots can be booked online (weekends, French school vacations, and national holidays).
We advise you to make a reservation when possible.
Reservations can be made up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time, and are subject to availability.
Other Galerie des Machines tickets can be bought on-site the day of your visit. Tickets are only valid immediately after purchase.
You are welcome to visit us at any time during opening hours.

Can I reserve a spot on the Marine Worlds Carrousel?

Some slots can be booked online (weekends, French school vacations, and national holidays).
We advise you to make a reservation when possible.
Reservations can be made up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time, and are subject to availability.
Other Marine Worlds Carrousel tickets can be bought on-site the day of your visit. Tickets are only valid immediately after purchase.

You are welcome to visit us any time during opening hours.

How do I book with vouchers (purchased via a staff committee, from a ticket counter, or elsewhere) ?

If you have vouchers, you can make a reservation (Grand Elephant trip, and/or visit to the Galerie des Machines, and/or the Marine Worlds Carrousel) via our reservation site: https://reservation.lesmachines-nantes.fr/content?lang=en by selecting the “Use voucher (ticket already purchased via your staff committee)” fare. You will then need to upload the vouchers in order to validate your reservation.
Reservations can also be made by telephone on +33 (0)810 121 225 (€0.05/min. + call charge), subject to availability.
You must have the vouchers on you to make your reservation: you will be asked for your voucher’s tax number.
Conditions to access the site remain the same as for individual visitors (see the “Is it possible to make a reservation?” section).
You can also go to the Machines de l’île ticket office to exchange your vouchers for tickets valid on the day of your visit (subject to availability).
Vouchers do not allow visitors to skip lines.

Prices

What are the prices?

Each of the three activities (Galerie des Machines, Marine Worlds Carrousel, and a ride on the Grand

Elephant) requires a different ticket.

There is no combined ticket.

Prices are available on the following page: https://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/practical/prices-ticket-offices/

What is the “Pass Ambassadeur”?

The Pass Ambassadeur is a non-transferable pass valid for 1 year from the date of purchase offering unlimited access to the Galerie des Machines, the Marine Worlds Carrousel (without a ride), 1 trip on the Grand Elephant, and 5% off at the Les Machines store and e-boutique.

The Pass Ambassadeur does not offer priority access to venues (?).

Annual Pass prices are available on the following page: https://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/practical/prices-ticket-offices/

What is the Pass Nantes?

The Pass Nantes is sold at the Voyage à Nantes reception desks. It offers access to 50 of the city’s must-see activities (museums, exhibitions, guided tours, and more).

For more information, visit the Le Voyage à Nantes website: https://www.levoyageanantes.fr/en/to-do/nantes-city-pass/

How the Pass Nantes works at Les Machines de l’île: it does not offer priority access to venues. It allows one to freely visit the Galerie des Machines and Marine Worlds Carrousel.

It is possible to book a spot to the Galerie des Machines and/or Marine Worlds Carrousel at the ‘Porteur Pass touristique Pass Nantes’ price on our reservations site. You will then need to download (all) your Pass Nantes in order to validate the reservation.

Weather conditions

Is it still possible to ride the Grand Elephant in poor weather?

Operation of the Grand Elephant is indeed subject to weather conditions: in the event of very strong winds, trips may be cancelled.
In the event of a cancellation, staff will notify the call centre and communicate the information online.

Are sites protected from bad weather?

The Galerie des Machines is an enclosed space and is therefore not subject to external weather conditions. However, it has no heating or air-conditioning system.
The Marine Worlds Carrousel is a concrete structure open to the elements, making it subject to different meteorological conditions: heat, cold, rain, and wind.
Certain access points or sites may be closed in the event of strong winds.
The operation of the Grand Elephant is subject to weather conditions: in the event of very strong winds, trips may be cancelled.