Cruising to Le Havre, France

Le Havre Port tourist information.

Le Havre, FranceConsidering it was bombarded 146 times during WW2, you might think there’d be little left to see in Le Havre – France’s second-largest port (after Marseille). The rebuilt city, with its uncompromising recourse to reinforced concrete and open spaces, is admittedly short on old-school charm.

A Unesco World Heritage Site since 2005, Le Havre is a love letter to modernism, evoking, more than any other French city, France’s postwar energy and optimism. The centre was completely rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret, whose bright, airy modernist vision remains, miraculously, largely intact. The most striking example of Perret’s architecture is the concrete Eglise St Joseph, shaped like a lighthouse, with 12,768 pieces of coloured glass inside the 107m high octagonal lantern tower where the colours reflected differ throughout the day due to the placement of the sun. Built to commemorate the victims of the Allied bombings in 1944, it is an architectural masterpiece of the 20th century and is well worth visiting. The 16th century cathedral is one of the few buildings left of that era that survived the bombing although it did suffer damage. At the Appartement Témoin, a show apartment from the 1950s, you can discover what life was like in the 50s at the birth of consumerism and mass-production.

Numerous museums and galleries provide cultural interest, and in summer, there are several beaches for the sun-seekers.

  • Malraux Art Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • he Corinne le Monnier Gallery
  • Saint Joseph’s Church
  • Japanese Garden
  • Day trips in rural Normandy

Travel to Paris, City of Lights

The drive from the port at Le Havre to the French capital Paris takes around two hours, and passes through some of the most picturesque landscapes the country has to offer. However, the real fun begins when you arrive in Paris, with the so-called City of Love being home to some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in the world.

First-time visitors to Paris will obviously want to explore the main sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe, although what makes this city so special is that no matter how many times you visit, you’ll never run out of things to do.

For example, you could climb the hill at Montmartre to see the incredible Basilica du Sacre Coeur, from where you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best views of the city, while also visiting some of the filming locations from the popular movie Amelie.

Elsewhere, the Cite des Sciences is one of the world’s top science museums, while the Pompidou Centre is another first-class exhibition centre that should not be missed. To the north of Paris itself is the famous Palace of Versailles – a place which needs no introduction – although if you don’t feel like leaving the centre then shopping on the Champs Elysees is another fantastic way to spend your time here.

Port order and/or content may vary, please check specific sailing date concerning risks associated with COVID-19. Please consult all applicable Centers for Disease Control travel advisories, warnings, or recommendations relating to cruise travel and check at official cruise line website.

The Russia-Ukraine war has prompted a growing number of cruise lines to cancel 2022 itineraries that include stops in and around Russian ports of call. For more information please visit official cruise line website.