Le Havre

Saint-Joseph Church 
The Volcan: Le Havre House of Culture 
Rouen, one of France’s most ancient cities

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Le Havre/Paris

A dazzling example of contemporary architecture

As you sail on your MSC cruise to France, you’ll come to Le Havre, the country’s second-largest port, which takes up half the Seine estuary. However, the town itself, home to almost 200,000 people, is a place of pilgrimage for fans of contemporary architecture.
 
Le Havre – “The Harbour” – is the principal trading post of northern France and a port of call of our MSC Northern Europe cruises. Following its near-destruction during World War II, Le Havre was rebuilt by a single architect, Auguste Perret, between 1946 and 1964.

The sheer sense of space can be exhilarating: the showpiece monuments have a winning self-confidence, and the few surviving relics of the old city have been sensitively integrated into the whole. While the endless mundane residential blocks can be dispiriting, even those visitors who fail to agree with Perret’s famous dictum that “concrete is beautiful” may enjoy a stroll around his city. A shore excursion on your MSC Northern Europe cruise can also be the opportunity to discover Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, one of France’s most ancient cities.

Standing on the site of Rotomagus, built by the Romans at the lowest point where they could bridge the Seine, it was laid out by Rollo, the first duke of Normandy, in 911. Captured by the English in 1419, it became the stage in 1431 for the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, before returning to French control in 1449.

Rouen today can be very seductive, its lively and bustling centre well equipped with impressive churches and museums. North of the Seine at any rate, it’s a real pleasure to explore. As well as some great sights – Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, all the delightful twisting streets of timbered houses – there’s history aplenty too, most notably the links with Joan of Arc.

Must see places in Le Havre

  • Mont Saint Michel

    Mont Saint Michel

  • Paris

    Paris

  • Etretat

    Etretat

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Reach the port

Port of Le Havre

This section contains information on how to reach the port.

Cruise Terminal:

Quai Roger Meunier 
76059 Le Havre

Reach the port by

  • Car

    Arriving at the city centre of Le Havre, drive towards the Port then follow the green signs “LD FERRIES” or “CAR FERRIES”.
    From the Centre de Commerce International, follow “Terminal Croisière”.
    Car
  • Train

    Arriving at Le Havre train station. You can get on an Intercités or TER from Paris (Gare Saint-Lazare station). Direct high speed trains (TGV) from/to Marseille and Lyon.
    From Le Havre train station, it is easy to reach the port by taxi; otherwise you can walk to the cruise terminal (between 10 and 15 minutes).
    Train

France

The Atlantic breeze
The Atlantic breeze

Each quintessentially French yet cherishing its own unique identity, Brittany and Normandy rank among the most intriguing and distinctive regions of France.


Visitors can explore either or both on an MSC Northern Europe cruise, offering a wonderful opportunity to experience the best the country has to offer: sheltered white-sand beaches and wild rugged coastlines; mighty medieval fortresses and mysterious megaliths; graceful Gothic cathedrals and breathtaking contemporary architecture; heathland studded with wildflowers and deep ancient forests. Best of all, perhaps, there’s the compelling and exuberant cuisine, from the seafood extravaganzas in countless little ports to the rich pungent cheeses of rural Normandy.

A cruise to Normandy will take you to its prized large-scale ports: Rouen, Dieppe, Cherbourg and Le Havre. Inland, it is a wonderfully fertile belt of tranquil pastureland, where most visitors head straight for the restaurants of the Pays d’Auge and the Suisse Normande. While the pleasures of Normandy are perhaps less intense than those of Brittany, it too has its fair share of beaches, ranging from the shelving shingle of pretty Étretat to the vast sandy swathes that line the western Cotentin peninsula.