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Cruise Growth Outlook Good for Rouen and Honfleur

AIDAcara in Honfleur

2019 is looking to be a record year for Rouen, with 30 ships scheduled and 24 overnights, equating to 23,000 passengers, said Jaco Seyffert, river and ocean cruise development manager. It is fantastic growth compared to 2013, when just six ships called.

Nearby in Honfleur the estimate was for 58 calls, also up from 2018 numbers, said Jermone Radanovic, cruise promotion.

Growth continues in 2020, with Seyffert adding he was expecting some more first-time callers and current cruise clients returning. Rouen has two terminals for lines to choose form.

Among the highlights this year were the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Rouen Armada, attracting 10 million visitors in a 10-day span as more than 50 tall ships gathered between June 6 and June 16. Four cruise ships were also in port during the 10 day span.

“Rouen, the Capital of Normandy, has been strongly involved with renovation of its infrastructure, business, and heritage to make the city a welcoming and attractive destination to both locals and the millions of visitors we welcome every year,” Seyffert said.

Both ports fall under the same port authority, meaning vessels can call at both and pay just one fee.

Perhaps the only limiting factor is vessel size. Rouen is restricted to ships up to 240 meters in length while Honfleur is restricted to ships up to 260 meters in length, making them both so-called boutique ports.

“There are many current and future big ships being build that we cannot accommodate. But current small and medium-sized vessels as well as the emergence of smaller luxury ships are an advantage to us because we can offer an exclusive experience that big ports can’t. Also we are an ideal overnight destination for most cruise lines,” Seyffert noted.

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