Going ashore in Le Havre, France

Going ashore in Le Havre

Le Havre is situated in the Northwestern part of France, on the English Channel, at the mouth of the Seine River. It is one of the largest and busiest ports in France and it plays an important role in the trade between North Europe and North/ Central America. The city of Le Havre is ~ 25 km away from the port with which is connected via a very good highway-like road.

Port – container vessels are docked in 2000 Terminal – Port 2000 – and going out of the port requires a small effort – from the financial and time consuming point of view.

If you arrive in the Port of Le Havre, you will most probably want to go out for a walk around the city centre or along the beach – if weather allows it.

Walking inside the terminal is prohibited and there is no shuttle bus available inside the port. To go out of the port, you have to rely on some of the best friends a ship can ever have – the volunteers from the Seamen’s Mission. In Le Havre, you can find one of the most reliable and friendliest Seamen’s Mission in Europe. Although they can be very busy – especially in the afternoon – the volunteers from the Seamen’s Mission Gens de Mer will always find time in their schedule to come to your ship and pick you up.


The Seamen’s Club minivans are available upon request, but seafarers must consider the fact that their services are required by many vessels and a certain schedule is needed for a better coverage. The minivan has a maximum capacity of 8 persons and it can travel from one terminal to another in order to fill its capacity. The van will take you to the club in ~ 25 minutes where you can have a relaxing time – using the club’s facilities (internet,  ping pong, reading, watching TV).

Seamens Club Le Havre

Seamens Club Le Havre

Seamens Club Le Havre

Seamens Club Le Havre

From there you can start your walk around the city centre, but not before arranging a return pick up time, from the same spot. If a pick up schedule is already done for the day, you’d better choose a return pick up time from the existing plan and not force the volunteers to make a special trip for you.

Inside the Port of Le Havre, taxis are allowed to enter as well and they can be called upon using a local phone. The ride to the centre will not take longer than 25 minutes and cannot cost more than 25 Euros.

In 2-3 hours you can visit the centre of the city and admire some of it most important landmarks.

As Le Havre was severely bombed during the II World War, a major part of its centre was reconstructed after 1950 and only few buildings are older than 1940. One of the few buildings which survived the war is the Le Havre Cathedral –  Church of Notre Dame, situated close to the centre.

Church of Notre Dame, Le Havre

Only a few minute-walk from the old church, a new and modern one was erected in 1957, as a memorial of the victims of the bombing raids – the Church of Saint Joseph. This is the tallest building in town – with its 100 meter high tower – and it is visible from the sea.

Le Havre Church of Saint Joseph

The Church of Saint Joseph view from the sea

The city centre hosts the Town Hall (Hotel de Ville), a beautiful garden and some monuments erected to honour the war heroes.

Le Havre World War Memorial

Le Havre City Centre

The old port of Le Havre – founded during the reign of King Francis I – stands in the centre of the city as well and it is a beautiful sight especially in the evening, when the sun goes down and brings lots of colours all over it.

Le Havre Old Port

If you want to buy some fresh products, you can visit Les Halles Centrales– the local market – where you can find a very wide display of fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood, dry fruits, wines, honey, sweets, diary products and much more. The market is located just behind the Hotel Gens du Mer and it is open from early morning until 7.30 pm.

Le Havre Les Halles Centrales

Le Havre Les Halles Centrales

Le Havre Les Halles Centrales

Useful Info

Seamen’s Club Gens du Mer:

– The Seamen’s Club Gens du Mer is open every day between 10 and 22 and it is situated close to the centre, on Voltaire Street, No 44;

– The minivan should be called upon at least one hour before;

– Telephone Number available for pick up van – (0)235.218.079;

– Inside the club, internet is available for 1 euro fee (3 hours);

– In the club, you can find a small display of souvenirs, a tennis table, books for exchange, a few computers to use for internet;

– As the seafarers’ mission is a voluntary organization which relies on donations, do not forget to offer a little money in the special box you will find close to the cashier desk. Any donation is important as long as it helps the organization going and any sign of appreciation is most welcome.



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