Caen-Ouistreham gears up for the 80th D-Day anniversary

Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 13:47 by ce-press

Three calls will be welcomed to Caen-Ouistreham for the 80th D-Day anniversary in the first week of June: one from Sea Cloud (Sea Cloud Spirit charter by Kalos Golf) and two from Ponant’s Le Dumont-d’Urville.

When it comes to historical events, the city will be celebrating its millennium next year and, as a result, there are many redevelopment projects taking place, including some connected to cruise. For example, the port and the city is renovating the main city centre cruise quay.

Morgan Pravos, cruise manager Caen-Ouistreham Normandy Cruise (CONC), says: “We have chosen to have one call a day on this cruise quay so we want to the have best quality and personalised service for the guests and the cruiselines. We don’t want quantity, but quality.”

As part of that quality, CONC provides free shuttle buses to the city, bags for the passengers, a welcome concert on the pier and more. It has also been offering new shore excursion ideas to the tour operators, such as private cooking classes in a chateau and - for the D-Day anniversary visitors - a personalised, small group visit to the Caen Memorial museum hosted by a curator.

In terms of infrastructure the Colombelles Bridge is being replaced, which will increase the navigable width of the channel to 40m (37m with dolphins). Due to open in summer 2026, there will be no air draught restrictions as the bridge has the facility to open.

In addition studies are taking place for the provision of onshore power (OPS) at the main city centre cruise quay. Most of the investment will come from the port but the hope is to find finance from regional, national and European partners. Pravos comments: “The maximum number of calls we will accept is about 20 so OPS is a big investment for us.”

The port is expecting eight calls this year, including one each from Ocean Albatros and Star Pride, which will both be making their first visit.
Caen-Ouistreham gears up for the 80th D-Day anniversary
Sea Cloud Spirit on the Caen canal (c) Eric Destable

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