Cherbourg - Normandy Town on the English Channel

  • 01 of 09

    Overview of Things to Do and See with a Day in Cherbourg, France

    Cherbourg - Brittany Ferry Crosses the English Channel to Cherbourg
    Brittany Ferry Crosses the English Channel to Cherbourg. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Cherbourg sits on the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula in the Normandy Region of France. Most cruise ships dock in Le Havre for passengers to visit either the Normandy beaches or Paris. However, Cherbourg is sometimes a substitute port of call. However, cruise ship passengers with a day in Cherbourg can still visit the Normandy beaches, the Saire Valley, Cap de la Hague at the tip of the Cotentin peninsula, or Mont Saint Michel.

    Many passengers choose to either walk into town (about 15 minutes) or take a shuttle bus. Cherbourg is a town of about 90,000 residents, and is best known for its aquarium, parks, and museums.

    Many tourists reach Cherbourg via a ferry across the English Channel.

    For cruise ship passengers with a day in Cherbourg, it's a pleasant French town to explore for a few hours if none of the tours suit your mood.

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  • 02 of 09

    Cherbourg, France - Downtown Cherbourg

    Cherbourg, France - Downtown Cherbourg
    Cherbourg, France - Downtown Cherbourg. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Like many small European towns, Cherbourg has a nice pedestrian walking and shopping area in the old part of downtown. It's fun to just stroll the narrow streets, peer in the shop windows, and take time to enjoy a coffee or a beer.

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  • 03 of 09

    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street

    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street
    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Those who like to escape the crowds can find a quiet street in Cherbourg without much effort, even on a busy summer day.

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  • 04 of 09

    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street

    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street
    Cherbourg Pedestrian Street. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This street is one of the commercial shopping areas of the Cherbourg pedestrian zone. The small shops can't compare with the couture or boutique shops of Paris, but provide an excellent look at life in a small French town.

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  • 05 of 09

    Cherbourg Theatre

    Cherbourg Theatre
    Cherbourg Theatre. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The Cherbourg Theatre was built in 1882 in an Italian design and was decorated by the same artists who did the Paris Opera House. 

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  • 06 of 09

    Street Along the Yacht Basin in Cherbourg, France

    Street Along the Yacht Basin in Cherbourg, France
    Street Along the Yacht Basin in Cherbourg, France. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The walk from the cruise ship terminal only takes about 15 minutes. This main street runs along the yacht basin.

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  • 07 of 09

    Cherbourg Harbor and La Cite de la Mer

    Cherbourg Yacht Basin and Harbor
    Cherbourg Yacht Basin and Harbor. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Fans of cruise ship history might want to take time to visit the La Cite de la Mer, which is a maritime museum near the Cherbourg harbor. This museum includes exhibits on the Titanic since it was a port of call for the cruise ship's first (and last) voyage, a gallery dedicated to men and their machines, an exhibition on the depths of the sea, and a retired French submarine named Le Redoutable.

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  • 08 of 09

    Fort du Roule in Cherbourg, France

    Fort du Roule in Cherbourg, France
    Fort du Roule in Cherbourg, France. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Fort du Roule sits on a hill overlooking Cherbourg. A World War II museum is housed in the old fort. This fort was one of the most important during the War since its purpose was to protect the artificial harbor at Cherbourg. Wearing a caving hat with lamp, visitors can go inside the bunkers to see where the guns and munitions were located.

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  • 09 of 09

    Carriage Rides on the Pier in Cherbourg

    Carriage Rides on the Pier in Cherbourg
    Cherbourg on the Normandy Coast of France Carriage Rides on the Pier in Cherbourg. Cherbourg Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Passengers arriving on cruise ships are treated to free carriage rides around the Cherbourg cruise ship pier.