Cherbourg is one of France’s Channel ports. Known to the British above all as a ferry port, Cherbourg has a history as a naval harbour as witnessed by the naval museum. It also has hosts connections with cruise ships and major yacht races. Located at the very North of Normandy’s substantial Cotentin Peninsula, it has a deep natural harbour and in the background steep wooded hills.
Ideally situated as a port for both leisure craft and military ships, Cherbourg has long been a centre for the French navy as well as a popular destination with local and international yachtsmen who enjoy the challenge of the choppy seas and challenging winds.
The town was once also the centre for transatlantic liners, and in its heyday saw many famous celebrities arrive or depart from the Gare Maritime. Now transformed into the Cite de la Mer, an impressive museum dedicated to the world undersea and exhibiting the world’s largest submarine open to the public, this building is an architectural reminder of the town’s glamorous past.
Cherbourg is known as France’s Channel port and hosts connections with cruise ships and major yacht races. Located at the very North of Normandy’s substantial Cotentin Peninsula, it has a deep natural harbor and in the background steep wooded hills.
A lively town, with numerous quayside restaurants and hotels as well as a bustling commercial centre plus several colorful markets, Cherbourg also has one of the most exotic-looking buildings in the area—a 19th C ‘Italian-style’ theatre, vaguely reminiscent of Monaco’s Casino Square. For art lovers, the Tomas Henry Fine Arts Museum boasts a good collection of works by local artist Millet, and for visitors on the Second World War trail there is a Museum dedicated to the Liberation.
Access Cherbourg by ferry services from the UK and Ireland, plus regular trains from Paris. There are air links to Jersey and Paris.
Cité de la Mer:
This maritime museum is located in the restored trans-Atlantic railway terminal in Cherbourg. Visitors discover an aquarium, an ocean diving area, an exhibit about the Titanic and a French nuclear submarine. The monument was built in 1933 and the museum was opened in 2002. It is a 10 minute walk from the old town and costs about €18 for adults.