Why go to Le Havre?
A gateway to Paris and close to Normandy, the port itself has some excellent cafes and restaurants
Le Havre was heavily bombed during WWII and as a result lost many of its ancient sites and buildings
Often overlooked by out-of-town attractions, Le Havre offers ample to see and do during a short visit
Le Havre Cruise Port Facilities?
Le Havre's cruise terminal offers a variety of services, including car rental agencies, a taxi station, shops, a cafe, Internet-accessible computers, free Wi-Fi, an ATM, a tourist office and bicycle rentals.
Travelers who have already visited Paris might want to consider touring Normandy -- fascinating in its own right, not to mention beautiful. Otherwise, look into commuting between Paris and the port of Le Havre.
Good to Know?
Beware of "whirlwind syndrome." With just one day in Paris, strategize, and select two or three (at most) sightseeing destinations. Don't forget to allow time for a leisurely lunch. Also beware of pickpocketing and bag-snatching.
As well, if you opt for visiting places in Normandy, note that they're fairly spread out and also involve some commuting time. Your best bet is to rent a car (and possibly a tour guide/driver), and plan your itinerary carefully.
From the ship's dock to the city of Le Havre, it's about a 20-minute walk. (Often, passengers aren't permitted to stroll through the port facility.) Shuttles are typically provided to transport passengers from ship to center of town; some cruise lines levy a surcharge for the service.
Taxis line up at the pier, and you'll find a list of fares in the cruise terminal. It costs 8 EUR to get into town. A 1.5-hour taxi tour of Le Havre costs about 60 EUR for up to four people.
Rental cars are available from Sixt (02 78 63 00 18), Europcar (02 35 25 21 95), Radio Taxi (02 35 25 81 81) and Hertz (02 35 19 01 19).
Getting To Paris: Le Havre's train station is about a mile from the port. In most cases, passengers will take the shuttle from the ship to the center of Le Havre and then a taxi to the station (or take a taxi directly from the port to the station). Trains run to Gare St-Lazare (Paris) roughly every hour, more often before 8 a.m. It's more than a two-hour train ride home, so leave plenty of time to return to the pier.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The official currency is the euro. There are plenty of ATMs and exchange bureaus in town. (Bureau de change at 41 Chaussee Kennedy, 76 600 Le Havre; 02 35 41 29 13)
Where You're Docked?
Le Havre may often be billed by cruise lines as the port for Paris, but please note: The commute between port and Paris is a solid 2.5 hours each way. Just be prepared. Le Havre Cruise Terminal is at Florida Tip, and ships dock at Roger Meunier or Pierre Callet piers. The town center is 1.5 miles away.