If you are passing through Cherbourg from the ferry, carve a few hours out of your day to visit the brilliant Cité de la Mer. This is also sound advice if you are generally in the area, or you like submarines or love pretty underwater things, are a fan of Titanic, perhaps it’s raining then again maybe it’s really hot. These are just some of the many reasons to visit this excellent Normandy attraction. (No they didn’t pay us to say that, not even the price of a ticket, we just popped in.)
Cité de la Mer has five very different areas to explore: Titanic return to Cherbourg exhibition, Le Redoutable submarine, the Aquarium, Walking the depths virtual animation show and the Great gallery of (underwater) machines.
Our photos are just a taster of what impressed us and miss many wonderful exhibits on show. We think Cité de la Mer has something for everyone of every age to enjoy. We also had a very nice lunch and plan to go back. If you go, do let us know how you get on and tweet us a pic to retweet @normandythennow
Grand entrance gallery
Cite de la Mer’s entrance is through the vast transatlantic liner terminal’s great hall. Here machines large and small give a good idea just how crazy deep sea explorers must be.
Le Redoutable nuclear submarine
One of us thought this was Brilliant! The other, Quite Interesting. Make sure you pick up an audio guide and if you are claustrophobic take a deep breath…
RMS Titanic, return to Cherbourg
Cherbourg was a stop on the first and last journey for Titanic in 1912, which gives this exhibition unusual authenticity. Very elegant, it is all perhaps a little more style than substance. Good if you haven’t read much about Titanic, with charming tableau and some moving stories. We would have liked to see a few more mementos, but definitely worth a look around.
A beautiful meander through ocean life with myths, legends, environmental info and of course wonderful watery creatures. The largest tank here is an impressive 11 metres deep and home to 1000 tropical fish usually found swimming around a Tahiti atoll.
The anemones were hypnotic so we made a quick clip!
We met a charming octopus who has no name, tweet us your naming suggestions @normandythennow and we will start a campaign!
Another quick clip from the Cité de la Mer aquarium smudged together with a some free music from YouTube. We’ve had a look around and there are lots of better ones on there, but this is at least very short.
We ran out of time for the ‘Walking in the depths’ virtual animation show. Perhaps next time.
Want to know more? Here is the Cité de la Mer website (English)..