While in port in Le Havre, spend a day exploring the historic Normandy cities of Bayeux and Caen on this private shore excursion. Enjoy expert commentary from your private guide as you walk Bayeux’s medieval streets to Bayeux Cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. Then, trace the life of William the Conqueror on a tour of Caen, with highlights including his burial site at the Romanesque Abbey of St-Etienne (Men's Abbey) and his palace remains at Château de Caen. As this is a private tour, you can customize the itinerary to your interests, but all entrance fees are at your own expense.
When your cruise ship docks at the Le Havre port, meet your guide and board a private minivan to start your full-day shore excursion to Bayeux and Caen, two of Normandy’s most historically significant cities. After a 1.5-hour drive, arrive in Bayeux, an ancient town founded by the Romans and once a key location in the Duchy of Normandy. Your first stop is Bayeux Cathedral, an 11th-century church ordered by Odo, the highly unpopular Earl of Kent who was also the Bishop of Bayeux and William the Conqueror’s half-brother.Your guide will then take you to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry. This impressive artwork portrays the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.Walking out onto Bayeux’s medieval streets, lined with old half-timbered houses, your guide will give you the option of seeing lace makers at work in the Conservatoire de la Dentelle or visiting the Baron Gérard Fine Arts Museum, depending on your interests. Before leaving Bayeux, take a break for lunch (own expense) and visit the Bayeux War Cemetery, France’s largest World War II cemetery of Commonwealth soldiers.Your shore excursion continues with a 30-minute drive to Caen, the city of William the Conqueror, the most famous of the dukes of Normandy. As you’ll learn, Caen has a long and complicated, yet significant, history.Witness William’s legacy as your guide points out buildings constructed during his reign, and then see where he was buried at the Abbey of St-Etienne (also called the Men's Abbey or Abbaye aux Hommes). This former monastery is considered one of Normandy’s most remarkable Romanesque buildings.Located on a rocky outcrop nearby is Château de Caen (Caen Castle), your next stop, home to the the Vieux Palais (Old Palace). These are the archaeological remains of William's palace. Head to the lookout point to admire a city panorama, dominated by the imposing Gothic spire of the Church of St-Pierre. Your last stop is the Abbey of Ste-Trinité (Women’s Abbey, or Abbaye aux Dames), the counterpart to the Men’s Abbey. Hear the story behind the controversial marriage of William to Mathilda of Flanders, who is buried here. After your time here, relax on the 1-hour drive back to Le Havre, arriving at the port in the evening. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Le Havre port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.