My wife and I are visiting Le Havre in Sept 2008 on the Splendor. Two of the day excursions we are considering are the Historic Rouen (abt 5 hours) and the Fecamp/Etretat (abt 4 hours). Has anyone taken these excrusions and can you give an opinion on them? Is it worth just spending the day in Le Havre? We enjoy walking.
We've been to Paris and are not interested in going there again at this time and the trip to Normandy is longer then we care to take.
We are on the British Isles cruise in July on the Norwegian Jade. I can't answer your question as to which tour is best but we are going on the ship tour to Rouen. I talked to a travel agent who is familiar with the area and she agreed that this is a good trip. Rouen is one hour from the pier, so the trip is not long and you get more sightseeing time. I have reserved private tours in most of our ports and I would like to share the e-mails with you if you like. What other ports are you going to?
Lesliet - thanks for your response. We are taking a 12 day Dover to Civitavecchia cruise on CCL Splendor in September. We are making stops in Le Havre, Vigo Spain, Lisbon, Barcelona, Cannes, Livorno and Civitavecchia. We are currently leaning toward the Rouen excursion in Le Havre. I've posted queries on the other stops with a few of the excursions we are considering for each stop.
You mentioned that you reserved "private" tours in most of the ports your are stopping in. Were these based on recommendation of a tour guide/travel agent?
I'd be interested in getting some of your e-mails that are relevent to our agenda.
Old Traveler, the only port we have in common is LeHavre, so I am sorry I can't be of help. None of our private tours were recommended but all of them are thru reputable companies. There are 7 in our group and the ship tours are expensive, so I looked at where the ship tours were going, did a google search for taxi tours in every port and came up with a lot of good deals. We ended up with only 2 ports with ship tours out of 10 ports and we are saving a lot of money. I got this idea from Hank.
I would 2nd Kitt's comment about Honfleur. Its our favorite place in that part of France. As to the OP questions about the tours, you are choosing between two entirely different experiences. Rouen is a large city with much to offer those that enjoy cities, Cathedrals, etc. Fecamp/Entretat are two towns along the coast that are very much like short towns. We took a drive up there last fall, and the beach view in Entretat is quite stunning since the beach is surrounded by high rocky hills on both ends (the town is in the middle). But, other than being sea towns, they do not have a lot to offer. Personally (and again I am agreeing with Kitt) I would sooner go to Honfleur and nearby Deauville which have more charm.
We had a most wonderful day, we hired a taxi, and went to HonFloure....not too far away form LeHavre, this was the most beautiful little town. Artists painting by the pier, ancient cathedrals, winding old stone roads, lots of little shops. We ate on the sidewalk and had crepes,it was the best place....we had been to Paris and loved this more! I would highly reccomend it, and the taxi drivers were all waiting as we got off the ship and we got a great price for four people, then we asked if he would come back in 3 hours and pick us up and he was there!
Thanks Featherwoman, you are the 3rd person person to recommend HonFloure for a side tour. Don't think it is being offered as a ships tour but will check to see if any others in our group are interested in getting a cab/bus.