News Column

Brittany Ferries: Summer city breaks to France's 'port of cool'

July 8, 2014

ENP Newswire - 08 July 2014

Release date- 07072014 - This summer, ferry company Brittany Ferries is offering fans of architecture, art, cuisine, history and shopping the chance to discover the rejuvenated French port city of Le Havre with a 1-night city break from GBP76 per person.

These Cruise and Stay packages include foot passenger ferry crossings from Portsmouth (the company offers a choice of eight weekly return sailings to Le Havre), as well as one night's bed and breakfast at a carefully selected hotel.

With its industrial past, Le Havre has long been overlooked by many British tourists who see it as a convenient port, but a destination to bypass. But in recent years the town has re-invented itself as a cool cultural hub, with a wealth of cutting-edge museums, fine restaurants, and smart shopping malls. It even has a new tram system providing easy and green access between the city's modern and historic neighbourhoods.

Here are just five of the many reasons to visit Le Havre this summer:

1. Architecture

Severely bombed during the Second World War, Le Havre was rebuilt by famous French modernist architect Auguste Perret. His masterplan for the town was based on a grid of streets lined with bold concrete buildings - reminiscent of Manhattan - and his work received the ultimate accolade in 2005 when UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site, citing its unity and integrity. Other notable buildings include Oscar Niemeyer's striking 'Volcano' cultural centre and Jean Nouvel'sLes Bains des Docks - a cutting edge lido complex.

2. Food

Le Havre serves the gamut of French food, with everything from seafood restaurants and creperies, to brasseries and Michelin-starred establishments. But the town's roots as a global trading post bear fruit in a profusion of international restaurants - notably in the Quartier Saint-Francois, just a short walk from the ferry terminal.

3. Shopping

As well as offering traditional city centre shops and markets, Le Havre offers two, attractive new shopping destinations. The town's historic coffee, spice and cotton warehouses have been converted into a vibrant shopping centre, Les Docks Vauban, with a mix of boutiques, restaurants and entertainment options. Meanwhile, the indoor L'Espace Coty shopping centre is packed with all the big French brands.

4. Art and culture

In 1873, Le Havre became the birthplace of the impressionist movement when Claude Monet painted his masterpiece Impression, Sunrise, whilst living there. Nowadays, the MuMa modern art museum hosts the second biggest Impressionist collection in France after the Orsay Museum in Paris. Other must-sees include the Maison de l'Armateur, an 18th-century former ship owner's house, which today houses exhibits telling the story of Le Havre's history; and the family-friendly Natural History museum.

5. The beach

Le Havre's centrally-located sand and pebble beach holds a blue flag and offers a range of water sports. The promenade is lined with hotels, restaurants and shops, including a range of pop-up establishments which add colour and choice during the summer months.

City breaks this summer start from GBP76 per person (staying at the Best Western Art Hotel) or from GBP80 per person (staying at the Novotel Le Havre Bassin Vauban) based on two people sharing a room. Customers can choose from both fast craft sailings (33/4 hours), and conventional crossings aboard Brittany Ferries' new 'economie' service (51/2- 101/2 hours).

Full details are available here, and customers can book either online at, or over the phone on 0871 244 0439 quoting HAVREF.


Notes to editors

These breaks include:

Return fast craft or economie crossings from Portsmouth to Le Havre as a foot passenger

night B&B at the Art Hotel or Novotel

Travel dates and itinerary:

Economie service: Tuesday to Friday until 31st October 2014.

Fast craft service: Thursday to Sunday until 7th September 2014.

Services can be mixed and matched

Single, triple and family rooms also available - full details available on the website. If returning on an economie overnight crossing, on board accommodation must be booked and discounted cabin prices start from GBP50.15.

For further information please contact:

Stephen Tuckwell or Christopher Jones

Brittany Ferries Press Office

Tel: 023 9240 2965 | Email:

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: ENP Newswire

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