CRUISING TO NORTHERN FRANCE:
Above: Brilliance of the Seas in Le Harve.
The largest cruise port in Northern France is Le Havre. It is located in the Seine estuary off of the English Channel.
A fishing village until 1517, King Francis I transformed the town into a port because the ancient ports of Honfleur and Harfleur were silting up. It has continued to be an important port ever since.
Heavily bombed during the Second World War, few of its historic buildings survive. However, Le Havre was named a World Heritage site because of the reconstruction done in the modernist style by August Perret.
Le Havre is France’s second largest port and is quite
busy. Numerous large container ships and other cargo
ships use the port and there are seemingly miles of
cargo facilities surrounding the piers.
Le Harve has a cruise terminal. However, a former warehouse is also used.
The vast majority of passengers do not stay in Le Havre during the port calls but rather use it as a jumping off point for exploring Normandy or for traveling to Paris.
There is a railroad station in the center of the city and shuttle buses are usually available to take passengers into town. It is said to be a 20 minute walk from the cruise terminal to the train station. However, walking through the port area is not always permitted.
Above left: The cathedral in Le Harve.
Above: A view of Le Harve.
Above: The cruise terminal in Le Harve.
Below: Celebrity Eclipse berthed in Le Harve.
Cruise ships also call in Cherbourg on the Colentin
Peninsular. Cherbourg was a frequent port of call for
transatlantic ocean liners and Queen Mary 2 occasionally calls at the at the beginning or end of Atlantic crossings.
Passenger ships usually berth at the Gare Maritime Transatlantique on the Quai de France.
Left: The cruise terminal in Cherbourg.
Below: Prinsendam during a call in Cherbourg.
Cruise ports - Northern France - Le Harve and Cherbourg