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Port of Rouen to Extend Quays in Bid to Welcome Bigger Cruise Ships

HAROPA Rouen will be extending the quays of the Seine to welcome cruise ships of up to 250 meters in length at its Rouen cruise terminal, according to a press release. In that way, Rouen will be able to host the first cruise ships of this length in spring 2023.

The works on the quay enlargement will start in winter 2021 and will be carried out in two phases in order to not disrupt calls that are expected in 2022.

Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès said that the newly renovated Rouen Seine riverfront (its right and left banks), will be “lined with gardens and activities.”

“It makes for a comfortable and pleasant walk from the ship to the historical city center. A mix of nature, restaurants, bars, terraces, nightlife, culture, shopping, leisure and sports activities draws locals and visitors alike to discover the attractiveness of the Seine,” Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès wrote.

Currently, the maximum length of ships that can call at Rouen is 240 meters, with the largest ship that has called being the MS Asuka II, measuring 241 meters long.

According to the press release, Rouen has a “privileged geographical situation and is a few hours sailing away from key neighboring cruise ports such as Portsmouth, Southampton, Dover, Bordeaux, Zeebrugge and Amsterdam.”

“It is a remarkable voyage and destination on the Channel-Atlantic stretch and equally ideally situated for repositioning vessels. It provides for a safe and secure welcome and makes for a perfect starting point to all the principal tourist destinations for the entire North-West of France,” noted Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès.

Sailing the river to medieval Rouen, the Seine Valley and to Honfleur makes for an “unforgettable and inspirational travel experience,” Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès wrote. All three destinations belong to HAROPA Rouen Port Authority, so the cruise vessel would get charged only once when entering these waters.

“Passengers can absorb the beauty of Normandy’s natural wealth, architecture and history,” said Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès.

Rouen’s cruise terminal is open 24/7 and has two berths. The destination is located midway between the sea and Paris and is the French capital’s ocean port (90 minutes away by route). Most calls to Rouen are overnight so that passengers have more time to go ashore and choose multiple excursions. A popular excursion is Paris by night that allows visitors to stay up as late as they like.

According to the press release, Rouen itself is a “bite-sized city and a boutique destination.”

“(It) makes for a pleasant experience, for both cruisers and locals alike, overcrowding and traffic logistics are not problems caused by ship traffic and the influx of thousands of passengers at the same time,” Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès wrote.

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