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“Great visit, great price, but wish they did English Tours”

Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Kourou
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: More than 500 launches have left from this vital space center, begun in the 1960s. Guided tours of the facility and its six launch sites are among the region's most popular attractions.
Bedford
Level Contributor
69 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Great visit, great price, but wish they did English Tours”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

If you plan to visit the Space Centre, contact them in advance and book yourself onto their FREE site tour; they're popular, but we were able to book around 3-4 days in advance. The tour starts at 8am with registration *(bring your passport) followed by a 3 hour guided tour in air-con coaches. Depending on events, you'll usually be able to drive to, visit and get out at at least 2 of the 3 launch sites (Souyez, Ariane, Vega), plus the ops and control rooms.

There was a huge amount of information given on the three hour tours, but unfortunately all in French. I speak a little French, so grabbed a few words, but my complaint is that there were 2 coaches and 4 guides, all English speaking, and it would have been nice if one of the guides could have provided english commentary as we drove around. Instead, we listened to French guides for 3 hours, with 3 x 5 minutes of English Q&A. PS. This isn't a criticism of the individual guides, who were fun, friendly and very knowledgeable.

Afterwards you'll be dropped off at the museum; if you ask nicely, members of the tour can get a discount off the musuem entrance (7 Euros down to 4 euros). The museum is great, particularly for children who'll love all the interactive experiences on the ground floor.

Advice:
1.) Book the tour in advance; it's free, and you'll get a discount on the museum entrance.
2.) Take water; the coaches are air-con, but there was no water points on the 3hr trip.
3.) Take a picnic; there was no open restaurant at the site.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Adrian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Coral Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
226 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“You don't really go into working areas, mostly drive in a bus, but it's FREE!”
Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

I live in Florida and have been to Kennedy Space Center so I had high expectations.

Here's the bad. It's mostly in French. There's a movie you can wear a headset for English, but that's a very small part of the tour.

The good is the sites and the photos you can take of the control room, etc.

I was hoping you could actually stand on the launch site and other places, but so guess do to security reasons.

I wouldn't go back unless there's a launch. But there's not a lot to do in Kourou but this and Devils Island which was way better than the Space Station.

Stay at Hotel Ballyhou! Alan and Charlotte are great and she speaks English!

Alan took us here free of charge.

Helpful?
2 Thank JerryAscione
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
208 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
“Interesting”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

It's worth checking this out IF you are already in the area. After being to the Kennedy Space Center, this was like hopping off a rollercoaster to go jump on a merry-go-round. Also note that tours are done in French.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ramenmuncher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modling, Austria
Level Contributor
109 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Incredible Experience”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

First, it is interesting to visit the museum, and to read about the facts.

Second, much better is the 3 hour tour to the Soyuz or Ariane 5 Start Places, and to see the Commanders Control Room.

The best is definitly to come to the right time, as me on 19. 12. 12 to see the Ariane V start. Maybe just 20 seconds of closer view than from TV, but minutes before and after, .. until the trip reaally started successful after 90 minutes, it is incredible to feel the atmosphere.

The very best was the chamagne Party, after the lounge at the Venus Centre.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Madidas66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
143 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Very good museum on Space flight”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

It's a very good and interesting museum. I was actually glad I didn't book a tour as there were only French guides and it meant I could avoid the big crowd on the tour. Everything is written down to explain things so I could read what I was interested and ignore the rest anyway. They have some really interesting items to check out and if you go downstairs there's a lot of interactive stuff. A lot of it is for kids, but there are some interesting things to try out as well.
It would be good to be in town on a launch day. People can see the launch from pretty much anywhere in town.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kalmaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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