Le Havre, The Gateway to Paris

Le Havre, the premier French cruise port of the European West Coast holds major assets to develop cruise tourism.

1st French port for external trade & containers traffic, 5th European port, Le Havre enjoys a privileged geographical and nautical situation. Gateway between the Northern Seas and the Atlantic Ocean, the port of Le Havre is accessible 24 hours a day.

Le Havre, cruise destination

Le Havre de Grâce was established in 1517 by Francis I, King of France.

In September 1944, 80% of the city centre was destroyed and the port was completely devastated.

It has taken twenty years for Le Havre to find a new lease of life. In July 2005, UNESCO added the city centre, rebuilt by Auguste Perret, to its World Heritage List. Le Havre city centre is the first 20th century urban settlement in Europe to be added to the World Heritage List.

Le Havre, World Heritage, birthplace of impressionism: more than a city, a site, to be discovered! The modern city of Le Havre, is also a city of Art and History with an outstanding heritage: the Malraux Museum (first impressionist collection in France after Orsay Museum in Paris), the Historic showflat, the shipowner’s mansion, the Hanging gardens….

The old docks harbour site is coming to life again with a huge project. The restored area which will connect the port to the city is rising step by step. The aquatic complex designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel has been delivered in 2008. The shopping mall “Les Docks” has open mid-October 2009. The Ocean and sustainable development centre from Jean Nouvel (expected by 2013) is also part of the project: it will be composed of a 120m high metallic structure dominating Le Havre with panoramic restaurant allowing visitors a 360° view over Le Havre and the bay of the Seine river.

Le Havre, in the heart of Normandy

Normandy offers you its own special version of France, with its local dishes, verdant landscapes, historical towns, and friendly people. With its 350 miles of coastline and richly varied regions, Normandy gives the visitor a wonderful choice of landscapes, sceneries and culture: the stunning beauty of the cliffs at Etretat or the long sandy beaches, steeped in history, from Caen to Arromanches, the Seine Valley winding between wooded hills and chalk escarpments, and the patchwork of fields and hedges of the Calvados region with its orchards and timber-framed cottages. Le Havre is the right stopover to discover Normandy.

Le Havre, the gateway to Paris

The city of love and fashion is one of Europe’s largest capitals. Churches, squares, markets and museums, including the Louvre, the world’s largest museum with the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ portrait. And finish the day on the Eiffel Tower! Paris is the most popular excursion for cruise passengers calling at Le Havre. Le Havre registered the trade mark Le Havre, the gateway to Paris in order to reinforce its position as the port to the French Capital.

Cruise Development:

1st French port for external trade & containers traffic, 5th European port, Le Havre enjoys a privileged geographical and nautical situation. Gateway between the Northern Seas and the Atlantic Ocean, the port of Le Havre is accessible 24 hours a day. The port of Le Havre has the capacity to host the biggest cruises ships in service in the world.

Le Havre Tourist Office, has been developing and promoting cruise activity for 17 years. Within this period, the number of cruise passengers calling at Le Havre have increased fivefold reaching 86 000 in 2009 (50 calls).

In 2011 almost 100 calls are scheduled aiming 170 000 passengers (+40 % compared to 70 calls and 130 000 passengers in 2010), with several maiden calls including : AIDASol, Queen Elizabeth, MSC Opera, MSC Magnifica, Mein Schiff 2, Ventura, and not less than 28 calls from Aida Cruises, 17 calls from Costa, 13 calls from Princess Cruises and 5 calls from Cunard Line. The season starts as soon as march and ends in December.

All aboard at Le Havre!

More and more Europeans are choosing cruises. To meet this rapidly-growing demand, Le Havre has opened a brand-new Cruise Terminal. In addition to its reception and services areas, the Terminal has fully-equipped turnaround facilities, with check-in counters, a baggage handling area and a baggage scanner. Cruises are an increasingly popular holiday choice, and Le Havre is a handy starting-point for a cruise in Northern Europe.

In 2011 Costa Cruises is running a series of eleven cruises out of Le Havre. During their ten-day cruise on board the Costa Magica, passengers will visit the great north European cities of Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Edinburgh. In 2012, Costa will be handling a turnaround in Le Havre for cruises on board one the gems of its fleet, the dazzling new Costa Deliziosa. Cunard also planned a boarding on Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her journey around the world in January 2012.


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