Navigating the port of Cherbourg: your complete guide

Let's sail away!

Are you planning to take the ferry to Cherbourg and already dreaming of freshly baked croissants and triple-crème cheese for lunch? Read our complete guide, find out all the information you need about the second-largest artificial harbor in the world, and hop on a ferry to Cherbourg to explore the French town!

Hundreds of sailboats in the port of Cherbourg in France

The picturesque port of Cherbourg filled with sailboats

First things first, where is the Cherbourg port located?

The port of Cherbourg is located at the northern end of the Cotentin Peninsula in France. It is not only situated on the coastline in Normandy but also one of the most important ports of the English Channel including the ports of Portsmouth, Southampton, Le Havre, and Brest.

So, is Cherbourg a port city? Definitely! Its seafaring and eventful past goes way back in time as the port of Cherbourg was the first stop of the world-famous Titanic ship’s maiden voyage in 1912. Nowadays, it is one of the best-connected ferry ports in France and also a gateway to the Cotentin Peninsula. 

How to get to Cherbourg port?

You can get to Cherbourg port by ferry, train, or car depending on the point of your departure. Traveling from/to Cherbourg by ferry is a great idea and a comfortable option! 

Why? Ferries from/to the port of Cherbourg cross the English Channel all year round. Also, you can reach northern France and Cherbourg from Poole and Portsmouth in the UK and from Dublin and Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland

Alternatively, you can reach Cherbourg by train. The Paris - Cherbourg railway route connects the "city of light" with Cherbourg via the city of Caen. The SNCF train station in Cherbourg operates several services to Caen, Rouen, París St Lazare (vía Caen), and Rennes (vía Lison) with train tickets starting at €10.

How far is Cherbourg port from the town?

Cherbourg port is located in very close proximity to the town center. It is just a 10-minute ride by car and about a 25-minute walk from the top attractions such as the Basilica of the Holy Trinity (Basilique Sainte-Trinité) and Thomas Henry Museum.

Alternatively, you can grab a taxi from the taxi stand near the ferry terminal that will take you to the town center in about 10 minutes.

Tip: the train station of Cherbourg is located in the town center and is just about a 10-minute ride from the ferry terminal or around 40 minutes on foot.

The imposing Basilica of the Holy Trinity in the port town or Cherbourg

The Basilica of the Holy Trinity, just a 30-minute walk from the Cherbourg port

Ferries to Cherbourg 

Are you wondering which ferry companies go to Cherbourg and which are the connections to the north French city? The ferry companies of Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries, and Stena Line are the ones operating several ferry crossings from/to Cherbourg port. With up to 27 weekly sailings the french port is connected with the Republic of Ireland, the UK, and the island of Guernsey.

More specifically, there are regular ferry connections to the port of Cherbourg from the ports of Portsmouth and Poole in southern England, UK, from the island of Guernsey, and from Dublin and Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland. 

Here you can find more information on the ferry routes to Cherbourg:

  • Portsmouth - Cherbourg ferry: the ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Cherbourg is available all year round with up to 4 crossings a week. The route is operated by the Brittany Ferries and the trip takes around 8 hours.
  • Poole - Cherbourg ferry: the ferry crossing from Poole to Cherbourg is operated daily once from late March to early November by Brittany Ferries. The ferry trip takes between 3 and 4.5 hours.
  • Dublin - Cherbourg ferry: you can travel by ferry from Dublin to Cherbourg all year round, with up to 4 weekly crossings by Irish Ferries. The duration of the ferry ride is approximately 16 hours.
  • Rosslare - Cherbourg ferry: the Rosslare - Cherbourg ferry route is usually operated with up to 3 weekly crossings operated by Stena Line. The ferry trip to the French port lasts around 17.5 hours.
  • Guernsey - Cherbourg ferry: the ferry trip to Cherbourg from Guernsey is operated by Condor Ferries with up to 2 weekly crossings.

On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all available ferry routes from/to the port of Cherbourg, so you can easily plan your ferry trip. 

Tip: if you're a fan of island hopping you can check the ultimate guide for ferry trips to France and explore your options.

Anchored boats in the port of Cherbourg

Anchored sailing boats in the port of Cherbourg

Cherbourg port's top facilities and services

Whether you depart or arrive at the port of Cherbourg, the port makes sure to have everything you need. With a tourist information office, an ATM, a free parking lot, cute restaurants and a spacious lounge area with free Wi-Fi, the port area is perfect to relax for a while before or after your ferry trip to Cherbourg.

Also, the Cherbourg port is accessible to people with disabilities. It offers a shuttle bus service connecting the ferry terminal to the ferry, including a bus equipped with a ramp and a minibus adapted with a chair lift. There are also wheelchair-accessible buildings with lifts, toilets, and parking spaces specially designed for people with disabilities.

Plus, if you have some hours ahead before your next ferry trip, you can enjoy a coffee (accompanied by some French delicacies of course 🤤) in one of the brasserie-style restaurants nearby. 

Tip: if you're traveling with your pet, you can take a short walk in one of the parks near the port (about a 12-minute drive away).

A guide dog acompanying a person with disabilities in the port of Cherbourg

Happy guide dog helping a person with a disability around the port

Useful tips for the port of Cherbourg

Here you can find some important tips about the port of Cherbourg for a carefree ferry trip:

  • If you are traveling by ferry from the port of Cherbourg, you should check in at least 60 minutes before departure. Also, keep in mind that If you are traveling with your pet, you should then arrive at least 90 minutes prior to departure.
  • There are usually available taxis at the ferry terminal waiting at the taxi stand. If you can’t find one upon arrival, you can ask the tourist information office to call a taxi for you. It takes about 5-10 minutes to reach the town center.
  • Are you taking a cruise with a stop at Cherbourg port? Cruise ships usually dock either at the Quay of France or the Quay of Normandy. From there, you can hop on a shuttle bus for free and explore the town of Cherbourg easily.
  • If you’re traveling to Cherbourg by ferry with your dog, you can disembark and stretch your legs in the small grassed area just outside the terminal where dogs are allowed on a leash

So, did the guide for the Cherbourg port make your day and can’t wait to sail away? Book those ferry tickets from/to Cherbourg port, weigh anchor and à tout à l'heure!⚓

Tip: want to use a mobile app where you can have your ferry tickets on your phone? Download the Ferryhopper App for free, to keep your e-tickets (if available) in one place and track your ferry in real time!