River Cruise Advisor’s Ralph Grizzle is currently sailing aboard CroisiEurope’s Botticelli. Today, he explores Honfleur & Cote Fleurie with a mini-report. You can follow along with his entire journey on our sister-site, Live Voyage Reports. We’ll continue to post Ralph’s adventures in France as they are filed.
As promised, CroisiEurope’s Botticelli brought us into the heart of Honfleur this morning. Few, if any, other river cruise vessels can get into Honfleur. Other river cruise companies were in Le Havre today, bussing their guests to Honfleur. We needed only to take three steps across the gangway to reach the historic center.
I’ve written about this region and produced a video, which you’ll find here. Suffice to say that Honfleur oozes charm, and to be able to walk off of our doorstep and into this storied village was quite a treat.
Following breakfast, our day began with a guided tour of Honfleur. Lying at the foot of the Côte de Grace, Honfleur is an enchanting town with an old port, the church of St Catherine made entirely out of wood, and picturesque streets. Fishing boats line the outer harbor, adding to the charm on this beautiful village.
Others opted for the full-day guided tour to the Landing Beaches of Normandy. I had been before and highly recommend it to those visiting the region. I recently wrote about the experience in My D-Day Story: A Startling Discovery At The American Cemetery.
In the afternoon, we joined the optional tour along the “Côte Fleurie” (flowered coast) to the towns of Trouville and Deauville. Our tour included a visit to a Calvados distillery, where we enjoyed a tasting.
We departed Honfleur in the early evening as we were having dinner. Twice so far, we’ve had the pleasure of scenic cruising while dining in places that other river cruise vessels can’t reach. In case you missed it, check out our evening cruise through inner Paris in Boarding Botticelli: Cruising Through The City Of Light.
Tomorrow, we call on Rouen, where the heroine Joan of Arc was burned at the stake and where the artist Claude Monet painted his Rouen Cathedral series.