This Blue Water tour is a 3 week tour with starting point Cherbough (F) and end point Willemstad (NL).
Route 4; Guernsey and Normandy
The Normandy port of Cherbourg offers a view of the channel. Ferries can be seen setting off for Poole and Portsmouth from the marina, Port Chantereyne. The marina was constructed in 1975 and is truly part of the city. With its four wet docks, the marina has 1,600 moorings in what is Europe's largest artificial harbour. It's a deep water harbour that is accessible 24/7. The 'Plage Verte' is located right next to the harbour. The layout and décor suggest 'beach' but the loungers, parasols and beach restaurants are not on sand but on grass. The museum Cité de la Mer tells stories about the secrets and riches of the oceans. The equipment that is used to map the seabed can be found in the Galere des Engins. During the Second World War, Cherbourg suffered badly but a few narrow, historic lanes still exist. The façades of the buildings are made of blue slate, which is typical of the region.
Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands that lie off the coast of Normandy. The Channel Islands are situated in an area with a tidal range of seven to eleven metres; the island's harbours provide a bizarre view at low tide with ships high up on dry land. A few hours later, at high tide, the ships are afloat in an enormous harbour. The island has a rugged coastline with rocks and cliffs, but also beautiful secluded bays. What the capital, St Peter Port, lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. The town has a population that numbers a mere 18,000 or so people, and with its steep, cobbled lanes, palm trees, white houses and abundant flowers, it exudes a Mediterranean atmosphere. All the visiting boats are met by a staff member of the marina, who will assist you and provide you with a suitable mooring for your boat. All visiting boats are obliged to sail into the main port of St Peter Port, regardless of which marina you eventually moor in.
Jersey is the largest and southernmost island of the Channel Islands. Jersey Marinas has 1,000 moorings available in three award-winning marinas with five golden anchorages, all of which are near the lively waterfront and the town centre of the capital St Helier. Jersey has an abundance of sights waiting to be discovered. Impressive war tunnels, a zoo, a national park and various forts and castles. Elizabeth Castle is the island's most famous castle and it can be reached on foot at low tide, or by amphibious vehicle at high tide. The imposing walls are beautifully illuminated at night. Jersey is ideal for hiking thanks to the great diversity of nature. The hills sometimes involve a steep climb. One moment you're walking through a wood full of birdsong and not long after, you're walking along rugged coastlines with steep cliffs. The flat sandy beaches are located in the south.
When you sail into St Malo, you'll be really impressed. The city walls tower proudly above the beaches and harbour. The façades and towers that project above the fortresses give the city a unique silhouette. A walk along the city wall, from bastion to bastion is an absolute must. On one side of the walls and embankments are the narrow streets of the city and on the other, an amazing view of the beaches, the harbour and the forts. The Château de la Duchesse Anne, which is now a town hall, library and museum, can be found at the large entrance gate. Thanks to the geographical location of the bay, St Malo has the highest spring tide in Europe. The large amount of water that is pushed through the channel from the Atlantic Ocean creates an amazing force with which waves crash against the coast. This is very impressive to watch. The difference between low and high tides is more than 12 metres. The famous Mont Saint-Michel is nearby.
Despite its modest population of around 15,000 inhabitants, Granville is a town that has a certain grandeur. The town is largely situated on a cliff that looks out over the bay. It's also known as the 'Monaco of the North'. Going anywhere from the harbour always involves a climb, up steps or cobbled streets. But it's well worth the effort. The marina has a surface area of more than 7 hectares and 1,000 moorings, 150 of which are specifically for passing boats. The fishing harbour is the most important harbour for shellfish in France, and it provides the whole of Europe with scallops, whelks, spider crabs, lobster, cockles and oysters. Granville has three beautiful museums: an archaeological museum, a museum of modern art and the museum of Christian Dior, the famous couturier who was born in Granville. The old centre has narrow streets and large squares as well as numerous terraces.
Dielette Marina is also known as Port Dielette or Port of Flamanville. The marina provides access to the west coast of the Cotentin and is the last stop before passing the Raz Blanchard. It's a popular stopover for water sports enthusiasts who want to enjoy the tranquillity of the site and for hikers who want to enjoy the natural heritage. There are unspoilt beaches, rock formations and dunes nearby. Flamanville is only small with about 1,500 inhabitants. The village is mainly known for the nuclear plant.
Rustling palm trees and an abundance of flowers. Bournemouth, on the English south coast, has numerous public gardens, parks and beautiful beaches. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, it is the largest town in the county of Dorset. The pier is a famous icon of the town. The harbour, Poole Harbour, is a large natural harbour, the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world. There is a lot to see and do in and around Poole Harbour, especially in the area of water sports and fishing. Poole Quay gives you a great view of the harbour in the direction of Brownsea Island. Poole Harbour has a number of islands, most of which are privately owned. Brownsea Island is the largest island and it can be visited almost all year round. Bournemouth is a real shopping and entertainment town with small boutiques and large department stores, and numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
With 360 moorings on the sunny and sheltered banks of the river Medina, East Cowes Marina welcomes visiting yachts and motorboats to the marina throughout the year. Cowes Marina in the centre of Cowes is a stone's throw away from the bustling centre of Cowes. This marina has many facilities, with moorings available throughout the year. As the home base for the oldest and largest sailing regatta in the world, Cowes Week, Cowes is the number one destination for sailors and other water lovers during the summer months. Throughout the year, there are various other regattas with classic yachts, motorboats and sailing boats. Cowes is a true water sports town with numerous facilities for diving, rowing, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, wind- and kite surfing. If you want to get away from the water, you can visit Queen Victoria's royal residence Osborne House, or the Wight Military and Heritage Museum.
Brighton is one of the largest and best known seaside towns in the United Kingdom. Brighton used to be a fishing village but between 1800 and 1830, the village was converted into a chic seaside resort for the rich and famous. In a short period of time, many houses and hotels were built along Brighton's coastline and the village was transformed into a fashionable spa famed for its healthy sea air and water. Brighton flourished in the Victorian era. The Victorian architecture is still visible everywhere you go. The town has a pier that can be compared to that of Scheveningen. Besides the pier, the Royal Pavilion is the most famous building in Brighton. It's a striking palace with minarets and domes that was built for prince George IV. Brighton Marina is perfect for sailing yachts and motorboats. It's the largest marina in the United Kingdom with more than 1,300 moorings and easy access to open water. The marina has received the 5 Gold Anchors Award from The Yacht Harbour Association.
The famous cliffs in the surroundings of Eastbourne, whiter and higher than the cliffs of Dover, are the main tourist attraction of this bustling town. Eastbourne, just like Brighton, is a well-known seaside town with many Victorian-style buildings where, in the past, many of the aristocracy and rich industrialists stayed. One of the iconic buildings is the Eastbourne Bandstand, a music dome with a unique blue roof, built in the 1930s. Concerts are still given here. There is a plaque on the back of the dome for John Wesley Woodward, a former cellist from Eastbourne. Woodward was one of the musicians who played on the Titanic when this enormous ship came to its tragic end in 1912. Eastbourne Marina is a well-equipped marina. The marina is surrounded by boulevards and terraces, where you can easily spend a morning or afternoon without going into the town.
Dover Marina lies in a sheltered corner of the harbour and provides 400 moorings and all sorts of facilities. As the crow flies, this marina is the closest of all British marinas to France. Although many travellers go through or pass Dover on their way to elsewhere, numerous sights make a visit to this historical town worthwhile. Such as the old town hall, Maison Dieu Hall, built in 1203 by Hubert de Burgh as an inn for pilgrims. Many remnants from Roman times, including the remarkable lighthouse on Castle Hill and the Roman Painted House can be seen in Dover. And everyone is familiar with the white cliffs of Dover. Lovely walks can be taken over the steep white cliffs. The views of the Channel are beautiful and on a clear day, you can see France. Pine Gardens is situated in St Margaret's Bay, 6.5 km from Dover, and consists of six hectares of sustainable gardens with a waterfall, a lake, a grass maze and a popular tearoom.
The Royal North Sea Yacht Club Ostend was founded in 1946 by a close-knit group of Snipe and Papillon sailors. The marina has a capacity of approximately 100 moorings divided between the Montgomery Dock, the Churchillkaai and the Visserskaai in the centre of the coastal town. The marina is accessible at any tide and in all weather conditions. The station is a stone's throw away from the marina, which is ideal for a day out in Bruges or Ghent. Next to the station is the coastal tram, which visits all the coastal municipalities. It's as though Ostend consists of two cities: the historical part with the impressive Church of St Peter and St Paul and the Spanish House, the oldest existing house in the city; and the modern part on the coast with its hotels and apartment buildings along the spacious promenade. When you think of Ostend, something that might not come to mind immediately is street art, yet many façades in the city are canvasses for gigantic wall paintings. A tour of all the works of art is definitely worthwhile.
Vlissingen is one of the most vibrant cities in Zeeland. This maritime city has a modern harbour in a historic setting. The marina ´Michiel de Ruyter´ is a perfectly sheltered home port for approximately 90 regular berth holders and hundreds of passers-by that visit the harbour during the summer season. However hard the wind is blowing on the Western Scheldt, once you’re in the harbour you can moor in the calm. Thanks to its central location, shops, catering facilities, the promenade and beach are all within walking distance. There are few buildings left in Vlissingen that serve as a reminder of past Dutch merchant shipping. One building with colonial roots that does still exist is Fort Rammekens, just outside Vlissingen. The ships of the United East India Company (VOC), the Dutch West India Company (WIC) and the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) left for Asia, America and Africa from here. The Beursplein and the Bellamypark are Vlissingen's main catering hotspots. There is even a restaurant in the 17th century stock exchange.
Yerseke, a village on the Eastern Scheldt, is famous mainly for its mussel and oyster culture. Tourists come to Yerseke to eat seafood ('Zeeland's Salty Specials') in one of the many restaurants, for tours of the oyster beds and for a visit to the Eastern Scheldt museum. Up till 1840, the harbour of Yerseke was no more than a few loading and unloading points on a number of small jetties on both sides of the sea lock. Nowadays, this village on the Eastern Scheldt has two modern harbours for commercial ships and pleasure crafts: the Prinses Beatrixhaven harbour and the Prins Willem-Alexanderhaven harbour. The third harbour, the Julianahaven harbour, is solely intended for commercial fishing. The mussel auction is located here. Incidentally, did you know that a mussel isn't a Zeeland mussel unless it has lived in the waters of the Eastern Scheldt for at least three weeks? If you have time, stay until low tide and then sail to the exposed sandflats. Seals sunbathe here when the weather is good.
The star-shaped Willemstad is on the Hollands Diep. The popular harbour in the old town centre has everything you need, such as luxury sanitary facilities and free WiFi. You can sail to Zeeland via the Volkerak locks or to the North Sea via the Haringvliet. Willemstad is also close to De Biesbosch National Park, where you can go on beautiful boat trips. The small fortified town in the shape of a star is named after William the Silent (prince William of Orange). It was William himself who commissioned the town to be built. The glorious past has left its mark: cannons on the quayside, old city walls, cobblestones, bunkers, forts and windmills. The Mauritshuis, the Oude Raadhuis (Old Town Hall) and the Koepelkerk (Domed church) are the most striking buildings. Het Rozemarijntje combined bookshop and gift shop has published in-house a beautiful booklet about Willemstad. For food, drinks and snacks, as well as overnight accommodation, you can go to Mauritz, a grand café that brings Paris to mind.
© Shutterstock / Linssen Yachts