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Cruise excursions which one to take: Honfleur & Rouen or Giverny & Rouen

Advice please, help me decide!
We will be in port, LeHavre, France for one day on April 20th. I can't decide which excursion to take. We spent 3 weeks in France several years ago and I spent 10 days there last year so we've seen a lot of the country. I gave away my RS France guide book after returning home last year so I don't have that to help me with my decision.
These are the options I'm considering:
1. Am excursion to Honfleur and the afternoon early evening to Rouen.
2. All day excursion to Giverny (about a 90 min bus ride)with a stop on the way back to port in Rouen.
I've heard that LeHavre is nice, a UNESCO site. An option would be that tour LeHavre on our own then take the 17 minute 4€ train trip to Honfleur and do our own thing.
Thanks in advance everyone.

Posted by
673 posts

Yes, you do want to read up on these locations before you decide. I quite like Le Havre because of its architecture and status as a planned city brought about by WWII destruction and necessary build up after WWII. There is also a lovely art museum there. Others find Le Havre cold and uninteresting. Honfleur is a beautiful; port made famous by Boudin and other painters of the Normandy coast. Being that you're going in April which is a gorgeous month in France, you might be sorry to miss Giverny even though it will be very crowded. And Rouen is also special. Tough decision and I'm not much help. Sorry. I've been to all and wouldn't give up any.

Posted by
1097 posts

Train from le Havre to Honfleur?
Are you sure?
We took the bus.

If you love Monet, go to Giverny.
I was just in Rouen and Honfleur and loved them both.

Le Havre is very nice now, but not memorable in any way.

Posted by
673 posts

"Le Havre is very nice now, but not memorable in any way."

As said by a famous wizard . . . . "Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man"

Posted by
5562 posts

If you love Monet and/or flower gardens go to Giverny. If scenic, photogenic, seaside towns are high on your list, got to Honfleur. If French history and cathedrals are important, then adding either of these to Rouen would be good. If none of the above are all out important to you, explore Le Havre.

Only you can decide which you would prefer. Research them all and make a decision based on that.

Posted by
11255 posts

If you don't mind Giverny being really crowded, I'd pick Giverny in April. It's a little early in spring but all the early bulbs should be blooming about then. Honfleur is nice and has more space to accommodate more people. If crowds really bother you, I'd choose Honfleur.

Rouen has a large medieval center as well as being the place Joan d'Arc was burned at the stake. I'd really like a full walk around rather than just a visit to the new Joan d'Arc church and square. There's not much left in the square where she was executed, but I really liked the area around there.

Posted by
13300 posts

Yes, Rouen's (rebuilt) historic area is quite large. It would be easy to fill the full day there. There were three museums I enjoyed, too. You could make your own way to Rouen by train in less than an hour if that's all you wanted to see; you wouldn't need a pricey cruise excursion to get there. However, I see that on weekdays there's no return train departing from Rouen between 2:03 PM and 4:03 PM, which might be an issue for your return to the cruise ship.

It's correct that there's no rail service to Honfleur, so getting there requires a bus.