We are going on Celebrity 4/29/08 cruise which goes to Le Havre, La Rochelle, France, Bilbao, Spain, Gijon, Spain, Vigo, Spain, Lisbon, Cadiz, Spain, Valencia, Spain and Barcelona. We aren't interested in going to Paris and wonder if Le Havre is worth visiting on our own. Also, my husband is content to just hang around waterfronts and he is cheap. Are any of these ports, places where we can get off the boat and just enjoy walking around the area? Also, are cabs available to take us on our own tours or should we use the ship's excursions? Is there anyone that provides excursions at less cost than the ship?
I live in the UK and am familiar with some of these ports
I have not personally been to Vigo or Lisbon (will be in July)but I am told by those who have that you can easily make your own arrangements when there
Lisbon in particular is worth seeing
I have been to Cadiz and the ship docks right in the city and you can have a nice day there just wandering aroud the old streets and the see front
In Barcelona the ship also docks quite near the main area and you can see everything by getting the on/off tourist bus
A lovely place but beware pickpockets and women trying to hand you babies
My husband and I have been to Barcelona and many other places and Barcelona was where we saw lots of petty theft. In fact, we were the victims of the thrown coffee trick. We were standing in line for a tour of some kind when my husband felt something on his back. A man rushed up, holding a tourist map and offered to help my husband clean the back of his jacket. He kept insisting and my husband kept ;refusing. When we got back to our hotel, the conceirge told us that this was a scam to get my husband's jacket off so that they could steal things from his pockets. We had just come from a store where we had bought some inexpensive jewelry whch they must have observed.
We will be in LeHavre in July and I have been researching it a bit. Go on the internet and read about it and how to get into town (LeHavre is 15 min.from the pier). I noticed a lot was said about Honfleur, also, and it's only a 20 min. taxi ride to the south of LeHavre. Saw it on "Travels in Europe" show and it is beautiful and good for walking. There is info on the internet on how to get there. Agree on price of taxi before getting in. There is a language barrier.
You are correct that Honfleur is a charming little town. There is a wonderful cafe/restaurant area that surrounds a small inlet where the moules (mussels) are some of the best in the world. However, keep in mind that Honfleur is only a good place to visit in good outdoor weather (similar to nearby Deauville). LeHarvre also offers pretty decent access to Normandy. As to taking a taxi, that would be very expensive. We prefer to rent a car for the day which costs about $100 (less than a round trip taxi to Honfleur) and allows us freedom to go whereever we please. If you want to simply go to Honfleur, there is a local bus that will get you there for little money. Just check with the local tourist office folks (they will be at the pier) for info on the best location to get the bus.
Hank,Thank you for the cost info on taking a taxi to Honfleur. Who would have thought it would be that much? At the pier we will get info about taking the bus as you suggest (if the weather is good).