Permanent Collection

Beyond the Horizon

The MMM is creating a bridge between the sea world and the Arts

On the shores of the Garonne, in the heart of the maritime history of Bordeaux, that once was the biggest port of Europe, the Musee Mer Marine takes center stage. We call it museum thanks to its wide and high standard collections. It aims at passing on history and knowledge; a place that foster exchanges and art in general.


Art is hidden not only in exploration techniques but also in the sailors’ daily lives.



With more than 10,000 marine objects (scale models and life-size boats, navigation instruments, maps and atlases) and pieces of art, the Musée Mer Marine collection covers several millennia of history of navigation. With the support of historians, oceanographers and artists, this heritage has been put to the service of an unpublished narrative, which places human adventures of the sea in the vast evolution of the oceans, since the geological times to the environmental concerns of the 21st century. A modern and interactive scenography mixing collectibles and multimedia devices, some acting as living witnesses of history, others as playful tools of understanding and of shared emotions.


Ground Floor & First Floor

A museum about the history of sea navigation

On 6000 m2 of exhibition rooms, the MMM tells the story of the sea and the report that human beings have maintained with it, from the dream of conquest to the desire of preservation. The first two levels present a universal story of navigation, with a focus on Bordeaux and its region. The museum’s itinerary tells the story of navigation techniques and shows the wealth of know-how implemented by sailors around the world, through the ages. It takes the visitor in the great discoveries, scientific expeditions and naval battles that have altered the course of history. It shows the artistic contemporary achievements of reported events, visual and aesthetic witnesses of the spirit and imagination of an era.




Second Floor

A museum about oceans discovery

In this final part of the permanent exhibition, it is no longer about history but about ocean exploration. Visitors will be able to discover the evolution of the oceans from their formation to today, marvel at the richness of marine ecosystems, enter unknown environments while reflecting on the fragility of the oceans and life that they shelter and solutions that can be made to its preservation.

Ground Floor & bassins à flot

A museum on water and beyond the walls


Inside the building, a unique space will connect the museum and the wet docks through the theme of offshore racing. On the ground floor, in this vast 800 m² hall, the China Team yacht will be displayed, measuring a whopping 25 metres long. Recently acquired by Norbert Fradin, the former Défi Français flew the flag for France several times in the famous America’s Cup before being bought by Chinese investors, who decorated it in their national colours and adorned it with a dragon head, the symbol of the ‘Middle Kingdom’. The information panels surrounding this iconic boat will allow visitors to dive into the history of regattas, competitions, and other types of individual and team sailing.

The museum will also extend outside the building itself. The close proximity of the wet docks will allow the MMM to launch full scale boats onto the water to act as the museum’s ambassadors on the river. This is a fantastic opportunity for the general public to discover these iconic boats.

Temporary Exhibition & auditorium

An art museum for sharing knowledge and experiences

Aside from its two central themes of the sea and seafarers, the MMM wishes to give special consideration to art. This integrative approach will also be illustrated in the permanent exhibition, where, in addition to ‘historical’ art pieces, there will be curiosity cabinets displaying contemporary works of art.

Beyond the museum space, the MMM aims to be a place for bringing together and sharing knowledge, initiatives and experiences around the sea and sailing. In particular, the museum will organise gatherings between the scientific world, the community of seafarers and the general public.

There will be various reasons for coming to the MMM: the collection of items, large or small, tracing back the History of world navigation; the discovery of oceanography and its main stages; contemporary art coming into play within the sea world; a walk around the hanging garden; the breathtaking view on a fast-changing Bordeaux.