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Cruises to Honfleur

Honfleur (Photo:Johannes Valkama/Shutterstock)

About Honfleur

The villages along the Seine on the popular river cruises between Paris and Normandy are so wonderful that it's almost impossible to pick a favorite. But, when you visit Honfleur, it's easy to understand why this seductive seaside village on France's northern coast has such tremendous appeal.

First, this medieval town -- with its narrow half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets -- has great bones. Unlike many of its neighbors in Normandy, Honfleur was spared during the bombing of World War II. The old harbor, set in a sheltered cove off of the Seine's tidal estuary, is Honfleur's center stage, as it has been for centuries. There, you'll find fishermen, artists, tourists and locals alike soaking in much the same scenery (often from a cafe) that attracted celebrated painters like Delacroix, Sisley, Corot and Monet.

From the harbor, where Samuel de Champlain departed in 1608 to found the city of Quebec in the New World, the lushly planted village rises upward between two hills. Nestled in its tidy, picturesque streets are art galleries, artists' studios, boutiques, restaurants and fine souvenir shops. History has left its footprint, too, with the largest wooden church in France, salt warehouses that date back to the 17th century, and the Lieutenance, the last remaining part of a 16th century castle that fortified the town.

Honfleur, population 9,000, is the start or end of itineraries on river cruises between Paris and Normandy. Travelers are bussed between Paris and their riverboats, negating the need for a hotel in Honfleur. Ships tend to dock for as many as three nights because Honfleur is the departure point for ship-run shore excursions to such landmarks as the D-Day landing beaches, the American Cemetery and the museum that houses the famous Bayeux tapestry.


Three nights in Honfleur? Nothing wrong with that. While its prestigious past goes back 1,000 years, Honfleur has that special something that keeps it fresh, interesting and exciting.

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DAY 1: Dover

11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Honfleur, Saint-Malo ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
322 Ship Review
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DAY 1: Bordeaux

9 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Bordeaux
Visiting:
La Rochelle-La Pallice, Nantes ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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DAY 1: Lisbon

12 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Lisbon
Visiting:
Almeria, Ferrol ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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MSC Cruises

11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Honfleur, Saint-Malo ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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29 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Rotterdam ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Honfleur, Rouen ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Rotterdam, Antwerp ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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45 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Monaco
Visiting:
Marina di Carrara, Rome ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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47 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Reykjavik
Visiting:
Isafjordur, Akureyri ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Bergen
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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6 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Liverpool
Visiting:
Belfast, St. Mary's City ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Dundee
Visiting:
Kirkwall, Tobermory ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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7 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Liverpool
Visiting:
Belfast, St. Peter Port ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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24 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
London
Visiting:
Rotterdam, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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10 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Rotterdam
Visiting:
Kirkwall, Portree ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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13 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Invergordon, Lerwick ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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15 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Rotterdam
Visiting:
London, Amsterdam ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Rotterdam
Visiting:
Kirkwall, Portree ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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7 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
London
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Antwerp ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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10 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
London
Visiting:
Rotterdam, Kirkwall ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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11 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Porto
Visiting:
Santander, Nantes ...
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Cruise Line:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Las Palmas
Visiting:
San Sebastian, Lanzarote ...
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Cruise Line:
AIDA
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6 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Bristol
Visiting:
Isle of Wight, Rouen ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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10 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Les Andelys, Rouen ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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7 Night
Cruise to Honfleur

Leaving:
Paris
Visiting:
Conflans Ste. Honorine, Rouen ...
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Cruise Line:
Scenic
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Why go to Honfleur?

Pros:

Honfleur has an array of worthwhile sites and activities, from museums to charming cafes -- and you can walk to it all

Cons:

You might need to pay a small fee to use a public bathroom

Bottom Line:

There's so much to do, see and eat in this absolutely beautiful medieval town

Honfleur Cruise Port Facilities?

It simply doesn't get any better than this. Shops, museums, restaurants, cafes, pharmacies and a grocery store are all within a couple of blocks of where you're docked. To get your bearings, find the tourism office with the big "I" (for information) just across the street from where ships berth. To its left are an ATM and a full-service grocery called Petit Casino that has a nice selection of wines. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on Sundays when it closes at 7 p.m. To the right from the tourism office and up a little hill is a pharmacy. Just look for the green cross. While everything you might need or want is right in front of you, be sure to climb toward Sainte-Catherine's Church and away from the dock to appreciate Honfleur in full.

Good to Know?

A few of the public toilets in town are the primitive sort: a porcelain hole in the floor with footpads. The toilets with the handicap sign offer more traditional treatment. There are also nice toilets at the tourism office. Be sure to carry local pocket change with you. Many of the public toilets cost a small fee to use.

Getting Around?

Honfleur is absolutely walkable, and the heart of town around the harbor is completely flat. For those who might need it, there is a taxi stand next to the library, which is attached to the tourism office.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The French use the euro. For current currency conversions and wallet-size cheat sheets, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Historically, ATM's have been the cheapest way to get local money. However, many banks are now charging fees ranging from $1 to $5 every time you use an ATM in a foreign city. As a result, you may want to limit the number of withdrawals you make.

Language?

French -- and pretty much exclusively. Little English is spoken, even in the restaurants and shops. But with gestures and a few of the French basics, it's easy enough to communicate. One important reminder: Before ordering a glass of wine or asking someone where the toilet is, say "Bonjour." It means "Good day" or "Hello." It is considered impolite to launch into a conversation without offering a greeting first. For some fun, try out "cou cou" in that high-pitched voice humans usually reserve for dogs and babies. It means hello and goodbye and is insider French. Another neat expression: "O la vache!" It translates as "oh the cow" but means "holy cow" or "oh my gosh."

Where You're Docked?

River ships routinely dock at a quay that adjoins the old harbor right in the center of town. On rare occasions, due to tides and timing, ships may have to dock at a commercial pier some distance away. That pier has no facilities.


Honfleur Cruise Reviews

Mckay4
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Honfleur was a very pretty French port.... Read More
PDMhead
Sail Date: Dec 2018
A free bus transfer was provided, Honfleur is a charming little town with quaint narrow streets of half timbered houses, and well worth a visit.... Read More
shipshapeUK
Sail Date: Aug 2018
Honfleur is beautiful (had been before) Took free shuttle bus from CMV- explored the marina ourselves, plenty to see and do.... Read More
Mark Richards
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Nice old town. Short walk away (maybe 20 minutes) so no real need to shuttle bus unless the weather is poor.... Read More
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