Le Havre develops river cruise business

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 09:43 by ce-press

Le Havre has gone from zero calls in 2012 and 2013 to 55 river cruise calls this year and numbers are still climbing, according to Valerie Conan, marketing manager Le Havre Tourism Office. The season began on February 13 and concludes on October 27 and included 17 calls from Swiss Sapphire (pictured) and 21 from River Venture.

The French port received 30 calls from Viking Seine between 2007 and 2009 but then lost out when the vessel was replaced by one unable to navigate beyond Rouen. In 2011 Le Havre received 33 calls due to work taking place in the port of Honfleur.

This year a river section was added to Le Havre’s promotional brochure and direct approaches were made to river companies such as Scenic Tours, Vantage and Tauck. In addition the Cruise Club has included river cruises in its 2015 action plan.

Discussions with ships’ captains have identified opportunities for improved bus access and parking and this is being worked on with the local authorities. Wintering opportunites are also being discussed with the port authority.

In the revamped brochure four pages are dedicated to shore excursions for both river and cruise vessels, listing partner contacts and an a la carte menu that offers various themes which can be combined in various ways.

New highlights include religious tourism in Lisieux, unusual visits in Palais Benedictine Fecamp and an impressionist workshop in Rouen combined with a visit to Giverny.

River cruise passengers can discover the French capital of Paris, enjoy Normandy as they sail the Seine and then visit World Heritage Le Havre and beyond. By adding pre or post stay, excursions to the D-Day beaches, Mont Saint Michel and up the Alabaster coast are possible.
Le Havre develops river cruise business
Swiss Sapphire in Le Havre (c) Le Havre Tourism Office

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