Dive Cherbourgh – The Port of Cherbourgh, a gateway to Europe and the Normandie coast of France.
Cherbourg is located in a very protected harbour with two long breakwaters protecting it. Besides being an attractive harbour, Cherbourg is also a transatlantic seaport, a major naval base, a commercial fishing port and has a large marina for visiting boats.
West Fort Middle Fort East Fort
As a ferry port, Cherbourg is very convenient with around 6 sailings a day to and from Portsmouth and Poole by traditional ferries or fast cat ferries operated by Condor ferries and Brittany Ferries. Traditional ferries take about 5 hours in the day and 8 hours overnight while, if speed is of the essence then the Normandie Express fast cat from Portsmouth & the Condor Express fast cat from Poole take just 2 hours and 45 minutes. Large cruise ships visit Cherbourgh throught the year and moor up alongside its transatlantic terminal, other ships that use this terminal are military vessels.
The Oriana The French Navy A Local Resident
Port Chantereyne in Cherbourgh is an excellent Marina, it offers good berthing facillities with water & electric available on the pontoons next too the boats while ashore there are toilets & a shower blocks and next to the harbour office there is a small launderette with washers & dryers.
Just behind the waterfront the Marina & Harbour area is overlooked as if protected by Napoleon sitting on top of Marengo, As you pass them you head towards the Old Town and the main shopping area of Cherbourg. Here in a maze of narrow cobbled streets, many pedestrianised, they are packed with specialist clothes shops, food and wine stores, cafés, bars & restaurants. In amongst all this are dozens of Hotels all at different prices, a full list is available from the Cherbourgh Tourisme. Office.
There are street markets on several days throught the week with the Saturday one being a Farmers Market and the Thursday one being more clothing.
The diving around Cherbourgh can be quite demanding with the large tides and strong currents adding to the excitement. The diving can range from 20mtrs upto & over 100mtrs but the deep wrecks do need careful and thorough planning and should only be dived on neap-ish tides & or HW slacks/tides.
Probably the most famous wreck on the Cherbourgh peninsular and possibly one of the finest shipwrecks in the Channel is the wreck of the Belgian liner the Leopoldville. On Christmas Eve 1944 the SS Leopoldville left Southampton with over 2000 American troops from the 66th Infantry Division, otherwise known as the Black Panthers, They were on there way to support the battle of the Bulge. When they were just 5 miles from the safety of Cherbourgh harbour the Leopoldville was struck by a torpedo fired from the German submarine U-486. Due to a combination of delays, errors & mishaps over 800 men lost their lives.
There are lots of wrecks to choose from when diving over in Normandie, many unidentified and most very rarely dived. The marine life is absolutely incredible, teaming with fish, crabs, lobsters, and free swimming congers. The only thing is, the reason that there is so much to see and look at, is because the French have a strict law which states, that no one shall, whilst diving with aqualung remove anything from the seabed or especially from any ship wreck, be it metal or edible. And this is a strict rule which applies to everyone, so please
look don’t touch.