Rendez-Vouz at Le Havre

July 25, 2017

Reaching their final destination this summer, over forty Tall Ships will arrive in Le Havre’s expansive port on 31 August, departing from Le Havre on 3 September. This finale will come after the last leg of the race across the Atlantic Ocean from Halifax, Canada which will take sailors the duration of August to complete. The transatlantic competition will have covered 7000 nautical miles and will have visited 6 countries before it reaches its end location of Le Havre.

The regal magnificence of these vessels is not something to be missed. Each different from the last, the ships, with their enormous sails and protruding bow spirits, will dominate Le Havre’s famous port.

Take a tour of the ships as they rest in the ancient harbour, possibly catching a glimpse of the captains as they retire for some much needed rest before their next maritime adventure. The Rendez-Vous events will be totally free to the public, too, with concerts, fireworks displays and more to enjoy.

However, Le Havre will be celebrating more than the Rendez-Vouz 2017 Tall Ships Regatta this year. A Summer in Le Havre will see 6 months of festivity to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the city and port. Normandy’s biggest city and France’s largest port, Le Havre, was founded by King Francis I in 1517.

From May until November there is an array of activities in the city, including exhibitions, installations and impressive street parades. Monet’s Impression, Sunrise, painted from Le Havre port in 1872, will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art André Malraux from September until October.

The city, too, is a hub of contemporary art and was made a World Heritage Site in 2005. One of the worst affected cities after World War II, Le Havre was almost destroyed in air raid attacks. In 1945 Auguste Perret was given the immense responsibility of redesigning the architecture of almost the entire city. St-Joseph Church is particularly popular and an excellent representation of Le Havre’s overall modern architectural design. The octagonal steeple soars to a height of 110m with coloured glass that reflects different hues depending on the time of day.

From our port in Dieppe, Le Havre is just a 90 minute drive, meaning a DFDS ferry from Newhaven-Dieppe is a great way to visit the Tall Ships. Alternatively, sail from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais as both ports are less than 3 hours from Le Havre.

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