Caen Port Festival

caen fete du port, normandieCaen (14, Calvados, Normandy) is a major French port and a cross-channel ferry port – but, of course, the Ferry docks at Ouistreham which is on the coast, whilst the city of Caen is 10 miles inland – but is nevertheless a major port in its own right, by virtue of the Caen canal which links the city to the sea. Large ocean-going ships use the canal, which also has another claim to fame, i.e. Pegasus Bridge at Benouville – a bascule bridge which enables ships to pass, but is also the site of the first encounter between the Allies and the Germans on D-Day in 1944, and the beginning of the Normandy landings.

So, just to clarify – the Brittany Ferries route from Portsmouth to Caen actually terminates at Ouistreham on the coast, whilst Caen, which is 10 miles inland still serves as a major shipping port.

So to celebrate its maritime heritage, the city of Caen holds its Fete du Port (Harbour Festival) in September every other year with visits onboard boats and ships, a maritime parade, boat trips, stands selling marine and other items, music and dancing, a collection of historic boats and a canoe-kayak water polo competition!

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