Cherbourg -  At the very end of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, facing the English Channel, Cherbourg-Octeville (44 000 inhabitants) is located in the heart of a beautiful and preserved area. Cherbourg's past is inextricably linked to that of Normandy as a whole. The Cotentin was in fact the first territory conquered by men from the North, the Vikings. For these sea people, it was logical that Cherbourg should become a port. The city evolved in relation to the Anglo-French conflicts before becoming a Channel stronghold and, in 1944, the world's most important harbour. From its maritime history, the town has kept a rich, monumental heritage, dominated by the unique totality of the great dyke, the largest artificial harbour ever built. Its creation is considered as one of the greatest achievements of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Transatlantic Terminal, built in 1933 with its Art Deco style, is also an architectural masterpiece, which welcomed the most impressive transatlantic ships, like the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth, the France or the Titanic during her unique trip. The "Cité de la Mer", a unique scientific, cultural and tourist centre dedicated to underwater world and its exploration, has given a new life to this stylish building. Nowadays, the maritime calling of Cherbourg is obvious with its 4 harbours (military, commercial, fishing harbours and the marina). The dynamical cross Channel ferry traffic leads more than 1.6 million of people in Cherbourg each year. The large marina (1350 berths), with 11000 annual ships welcomed, is the first French port of call for yachtsmen, who incontestably appreciate its location in the heart of the town and its accessibility in all tides and weather.  For the last 15 years, Cherbourg-Octeville has established its know-how in organizing nautical events of national and international renown. From the "Cutty Sark" in 1987 to the "Mondial Assistance Challenge" in 2001 (and next year), via the "European Union UAP Open Race" in 1993, 95 and 97, Cherbourg-Octeville is pride to host each year prestigious events. Sourced with thanks from Ville-Cherbourg.fr

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