The picturesque seaside town of Honfleur is situated at the Seine estuary, opposite Le Havre. Honfleur boasts a long, rich history and seafaring tradition. Back in the 15th and 16th centuries, it was from here that the first voyages left for Canada and the New World.
The whole town is virtually an outdoor museum, full of half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. One of Honfleur's most characteristic sites is the Old Port with its tall narrow houses, their wooden façades topped by slate roofs. In the 19th-century, Honfleur attracted a steady stream of artists, among them many Impressionists who took their inspiration from the town's picturesque setting. Honfleur's native son, Eugène Boudin, an early Impressionist painter, has a museum named in his honor.
With its unique attributes, Honfleur today is one of the most popular vacation spots in northern France. The town is centered on the Old Port, which still casts a seafaring atmosphere. Ste-Catherine's Church and its freestanding bell tower dominate the harbor's northern corner. The church was built wooden during the second half of the 15th and the early 16th centuries after its stone predecessor was destroyed in the Hundred Years' War. The vaulted roof that looks like an overturned ship's hull emphasizes the fact that the structure was created by local shipwrights.
The town's narrow, cobbled streets have to be explored on foot. Museums, shops, cafés and restaurants add to the attractions in this outdoor museum setting. Taking the complimentary shuttle bus to town, you are free to sightsee in Honfleur at your own leisure.
For your convenience, shore excursions offered for this port of call are available to reserve in advance at www.silversea.com until seven days prior to your cruise, as well as offered for purchase on board, unless otherwise noted in the description.
Going Ashore in Honfleur
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Quai de Seine, about two miles from the center of town. Taxis are generally available at the pier. From the shuttle bus stop it's a 5- to 10-minute walk to the town center.
Honfleur boasts numerous art galleries and craft shops in the town center. Some shops close for lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The local currency is the Euro. Opening hours : 09.00-12.00 & 14.00-18.00 in the city center
A selection of restaurants can be found in the town center and along the Quai Ste-Catherine. Seafood and hearty local cuisine make a good choice for a meal ashore. We can suggest you the restaurant La Lieutenance situated on the place Ste Catherine or also the restaurant La Fleur de Sel.
Honfleur has to be explored on foot. It can easily be done on your own, taking the shuttle bus from the pier. Following are major sights you should not miss during your exploration of the historic center:
The imposing wooden structure was created by the town's shipwrights between the 15th and 16th centuries. The vaulted roof resembles an overturned ship's hull. The bell tower stands apart from the church, both for structural and for safety reasons.
This 16th-century building with a tiled roof and corner turrets is the sole remainder of the former fortifications.
Dating from the 17th-century, the two huge warehouses served as storage for the salt needed by the fishing fleet to cure its catch of herring and cod.
Musée Eugène Boudin
Named in honor of the early Impressionist painter born here in 1824, the museum has a large collection of Impressionist paintings from Normandy.
Located in the former church of St-Etienne, this small museum features a display of ship models, carpenters tools and engravings.
Museum of Ethnography and Norman Folk Art
Located next to the Marine Museum, the exhibits occupy a couple of houses and a former prison dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Other sites around Honfleur
Throughout its history Deauville has forged its own personality, with a unique style to which it alone holds the secret. At times extravagant, yet always accessible, Deauville charms by its nature and relaxed, casual styles. Ever true to this image, it attracts and inspires the curiosity of artists from every sphere (30 min drive from Honfleur)
With his love of art, the journalist and novelist Alphonse Karr made our seaside resort famous. Guy de Maupassant fell in love with the place. Monet, Courbet, Isabey and lots of other painters have produced hosts of paintings of Etretat. (1 hour drive from Honfleur)
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through ShoreConcierge@Silversea.com a minimum of 14 days prior to your cruise, afterwhich requests may be made at the Shore Concierge Office on board.
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