The 4 most beautiful boat trips

The 4 most beautiful boat trips ©Patrice Le Bris

Oyez moussaillons! With a seafront and sandy beaches stretching over 40km, the Côte Fleurie offers a wealth of excursions on the water, aboard a pleasant speedboat, an adventurous sailboat, a historic rig or an intrepid speedboat. From Houlgate to the cliffs of Etretat, via Deauville, Trouville-sur-Mer, Honfleur and Le Havre, you can admire an endless panorama while savoring the silence of the sea. And if you feel like it, our yacht club skippers will have the pleasure of initiating the sailors of a day to take the helm. Here's an overview of the most beautiful boat trips in Normandy!

1. Aboard a speedboat, for a wonderful view from Houlgate to Honfleur

If the Côte Fleurie can be discovered peacefully from the mainland thanks to the paths, dikes and walks along the beach, observing it from a boat is just as striking! Leaving from the port of Trouville-sur-Mer, the boat Gulf Stream II exits the Touques between the two piers and gradually moves away, leaving room for the contemplation of the seaside architecture. At the helm, Guy Perchey, fisherman and navigator from father to son. A man of the sea for more than 60 years, this man from trouvillais knows the Channel like the back of his hand. One by one, the golden sandy beaches and towns are revealed behind the sea spray, their history is told with passion by Guy. Houlgate - the pearl of the Côte Fleurie and its 300 preserved villas -, Cabourg - emblem of the Belle Epoque and its promenade adored by Marcel Proust -, Deauville - a resort town with colorful umbrellas -, Trouville-sur-Mer - the queen of beaches where the Falaises des Roches Noires-Pointe du Heurt begin and Honfleur - city of slate and impressionist painters. In the distance, kayaks, kite-surfs and kites use the infinite space of the beach to indulge in their favorite activities. On board, time is for photography or binoculars; and with a little luck, it is sometimes possible to see dolphins!

The Côte Fleurie and its long golden sandy beaches ©Photo 911 / Calvados Attractivité
The Côte Fleurie and its long golden sandy beachesPhoto 911 / Calvados Attractiveness
The Gulf Stream II ©Kévin Thibaud
The Gulf Stream IIKévin Thibaud
The piers of Deauville and Trouville-sur-Mer ©Fabien Mahaut - Calvados Attractivité
The piers of Deauville and Trouville-sur-MerFabien Mahaut - Calvados Attractiveness

2. On board a sloop, to sail as in the 20th century

François Monique. That's the name of this old rignamed after François Kermarrec, first sailor on board, and Monique, niece of Mr. Hervé Salün, fisherman and first owner of the boat. Her mooring in Deauville's Bassin des Yachts, overlooked by two large gazebos, almost resembles the arrival of a pirate ship. A wooden hull, large sails oscillating between orange and caramel, 12 meters long and 4 meters wide; this former shellfish sloop from the harbor of Brest has a proud appearance. Just cross the gangway to step back in time and discover her storied past. It was first launched on September 16, 1935, and was originally used exclusively for scallop fishing. Carefully restored in 2008 by volunteers from theAssociation Petit Foc who have restored the boat to its former glory. Good humor, the sharing of a passion for the sea and lots of laughs are the order of the day with this crew of kind-hearted sailors. Towed by the strength of the wind, the sailors for a day set off on a four-hour nautical outing, enjoying the maneuvers to the full. Under the watchful eye of the captain, they learn how to hoist the mainsail, take the helm and hoist the staysail (the triangular sail at the front of the boat). Last on the program: tacking, turning around and returning home with a head full of memories.

The François Monique, at the departure of Deauville-Trouville ©Jean-Claude Boscher
The François Monique, at the start of Deauville-TrouvilleJean-Claude Boscher
Le François Monique ©Naïade Plante
Naïade Plante

3. On board a J80, to be close to the sea and the river

Signature yacht of Deauville Yacht ClubThe J80 is not only popular for racing, but also for its ease of navigation. Under the guidance of Malko, a qualified instructor from the century-old club, we're off for two hours of instructive, participative sailing! While he takes pleasure in introducing passengers to sailing at their request, this sea wolf likes to take the time to explain everything about protecting this special environment, where gannets, cormorants and seagulls fly over the sailboat. To the rhythm of the wind and the sea, we tack this 8-metre-long boat. The effort pays off, with a panoramic view over the beaches of the Côte Fleurie, theSeine estuary and Cap de la Hève, the starting point for the Côte d'Albâtre and its chalk cliffs. An incursion into the Touques River as far as the Pont des Belges concludes the tour, immersing you in the world of fishing and the trawlers that ply its waters.

Excursion on a J80 with the Deauville Yacht Club ©Sandrine Boyer-Engel / Fabien Mahaut - Calvados Attractivité
Excursion on a J80 with the Deauville Yacht ClubSandrine Boyer-Engel / Fabien Mahaut - Calvados Attractiveness

4. Aboard "La Calypso", for a trip to Honfleur

Honfleur, a town of history and slate, has such a rich maritime and artistic past that it continues to inspire passers-by centuries after its construction. Its old harbor crosses borders; the masts of the boats contrasting with the tall, narrow houses form a postcard recognizable the world over. And of course, Honfleur was sublimated by the greatest Impressionist masters, who found this charming town an inexhaustible source of inspiration. So it's here, in the harbor of the historic center, that this epic voyage on the waves begins. For 45 minutes, the boat ride takes visitors on a 360° view of Honfleur bay, where all the must-sees are presented and commented on: the Musée de la Marine, the Lieutenance, thechurch of Sainte-Catherine, not forgetting the grand new addition, La Mora.

Boat trip in Honfleur aboard La Calypso ©Antoine Scognamiglio
Boat trip to Honfleur aboard La CalypsoAntoine Scognamiglio
Boating in Deauville

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Résidence de l'Horloge
Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie
14800 Deauville
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Place Jean Mermoz
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