The Great Hall with famous bathyscaphes in the maritime museum La Cite de La Mer in Cherbourg, France.

© kateafter/Shutterstock

Cité de la Mer

Top choice in Normandy

Cherbourg’s art-deco Gare Maritime Transatlantique (Transatlantic Ferry Terminal), built from 1928 to 1933, was designed so travellers could walk from their train directly to their ocean liner. These days it is still used by cruise ships such as the Queen Mary 2, but most of the complex houses a fine aquarium featuring Europe’s deepest fish tank. The complex is situated 1km northeast of the tourist office.

Other highlights here include Le Redoubtable, a French nuclear submarine you can go inside (audioguide available), an exhibit on the Titanic (Cherbourg was the ill-fated liner’s last port-of-call), and oodles of exhibits on sea exploration that kids will love. Ticket sales end 1½ hours before closing time.

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